Staff at a domiciliary care agency are celebrating after being rated outstanding by the Care Quality Commission.
SweetTree Home Care Services – which is based in Swiss Cottage, north-west London, but provides home and live-in services across the capital – was judged as being well-led and responsive. It was rated good for being safe, effective and caring. The agency provides support to a range of people from the elderly and people living with dementia, to those with brain injuries and learning disabilities.
Debbie Ivanova, CQC’s deputy chief inspector of adult social care, said: “It is always good to see a well- run care agency such as SweetTree Home Care Services. SweetTree’s hard-working staff and management thoroughly deserve the outstanding rating.
“This is a fine example of quality care”
“What has made this agency outstanding has been the well thought-out management arrangements. There is an advisory board, a multi-disciplinary team of service directors and managers, a charter and newsletter plus investment in staff with an awards scheme and staff support. People using the service are involved in agreeing their care arrangements and they told us how much they appreciated the service. This is a fine example of quality care.”
At the time of the autumn inspection, SweetTree provided care to approximately 380 people and employed 500 staff. The CQC said the agency was exceptionally well led with strong leadership at all levels. The senior management team had been actively involved in all aspects of service provision and had very good knowledge about the business needs of the service provided and the satisfaction level of people who used it.
Staff said they were well supported by the management team and they thought they could approach them with any issues related to their professional roles and responsibilities.
Training workshops and academy offer quality CPD for care workers
There were a number of partnership initiatives including the development of a National Dementia Carers’ Day in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society and Dementia UK. In addition, the development of a series of training workshops for those professionals who wished to increase their knowledge and understanding on care related subjects.
The agency had also worked with the University College of London on implementing Cognitive Stimulation Therapy that aimed at the reduction of the cognitive decline of people with mild to moderate dementia. Since the beginning of 2017, the agency had also started hosting quarterly Registered Managers Forums where representatives of various agencies in the area could share their experience and good practice of service delivery.
SweetTree has its own training academy to provide CPD accredited training to all staff members employed by the agency and also employs an Admiral Nurse – a trained nurse specialising in dementia who has worked with 80 families providing support and working with staff.
The CQC also found that common interests, culture, religion, gender and languages spoken were taken into consideration, ensuring positive relationships between staff and users of the service.