Baycroft’s Great Baddow home has been open for just over a year – welcoming its first residents in January 2018.
A couple of months ago, with new manager Wendy Harvey in place, the home was visited by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for its first inspection.
We’re delighted to report that Great Baddow received an overall rating of ‘Good’ from the CQC, with a special commendation of ‘Outstanding’ in the category ‘Is the service responsive?’
Here’s what the CQC had to say – and how Baycroft is making sure the high standards are maintained.
The CQC reports on five different categories: whether the home is safe, effective, caring, responsive and well led.
For the first category, the CQC praised the system of comprehensive risk assessments and how staff recognised the importance of keeping people mobile, independent and encouraged.
One family member of a resident was quoted as saying, “My [relative] is very safe here. She’s very determined but there is always someone looking out for her.”
That sentiment was echoed by the residents themselves. “I feel safe, absolutely,” one said. “I’ve only had one fall since I’ve been here and staff came very quickly. It’s all very positive for me.”
Of course, the largest factor in ensuring safety comes from the calibre of the staff we employ, and making sure the home is sufficiently resourced for any eventuality. The report noted that the home had enough staff on duty to meet people’s needs, whatever time of day or night.
Recently, we’ve expanded the clinical expertise of our Quality and Compliance team. We now have a dedicated clinical quality and compliance manager so that our colleagues have extra support when delivering clinical care.
Effectiveness is a broad category for CQC inspection but, as with safety, the Great Baddow home also received a classification of ‘Good’.
“People’s needs were assessed and regularly reviewed,” the report states. “Support was provided in line with best practice guidance and legislation, and staff had a clear understanding of people’s needs and choices.”
Again, ensuring that our staff are properly equipped to provide the highest level of care is vital and the report noted that when knowledge gaps were identified, the manager was proactive in putting in place learning sessions to train staff.
For example, the report notes, “We observed staff caring for people in a knowledgeable manner. […] One staff member told us, ‘After receiving dementia training, I recognised that [x] always got distressed at the sound of the hoover. Now, when domestic staff are about to hoover, they let us know and we take [x] for a walk so they are not affected any more.’”
Providing support for residents with dementia is a particular focus. And that can come not only from effective staff training, but also from the care home design.
Baycroft homes are custom designed to create a comforting and safe environment for those with dementia. For example, clear signage helps reduce the possibility of confusion for residents, so too the use of feature landmarks placed around the home for easy orientation.
For Wendy Harvey, who’d only been manager at the home for two months before the CQC came in, there is always more to be done to ensure staff are sufficiently trained.
“I brought in peripatetic management support to Baycroft when I arrived,” she says. “They’re all trained nurses and provide training and specialist expertise – especially clinical expertise – for staff.
“That gave me the space to focus on other aspects of delivering care. It’s made a huge difference.”
We treat clinical care with the utmost importance. But the value of social and emotional support is never underestimated and Great Baddow received another rating of ‘Good’ for the level of caring at the home.
The CQC report notes that residents “were supported and treated with dignity and respect; and involved as partners in their care.”
The warm attitude was reflected in relatives’ experiences of the home. One said, “When I came in last week, my [relative] was in the café. I was overcome with emotion because a staff member was holding her hand. They’re amazing. It’s not just through rose-tinted glasses, I just can’t fault them.”
In general, the CQC report notes that “People were incredibly positive about the service, the staff and the environment.
“One resident said: “My [child relative] asked whether I was coming home. I said ‘I am home, this is my home.’”
“I feel very proud of the report,” says Wendy. “All the staff were so happy. Working in the care industry can be a really tough job but the report has made everyone feel so positive about the home and what we’re doing here.
“It’s been like an injection of adrenaline.”
For this category, the Great Baddow home received top marks, rated as ‘Outstanding’.
“Care plans were exceptionally comprehensive, up to date, written in a person-centred way and reviewed regularly,” the CQC reported.
“Staff demonstrated an excellent awareness and in-depth knowledge of the individual needs of people they supported and knew people’s preferences, likes, dislikes and personalities exceptionally well.”
At Baycroft, the focus is always on making sure that each individual is treated as such – and their own tastes, interests and needs are carefully catered to. The CQC recognised “the extra mile” that staff go in order to engage residents in activities they enjoy and learn new interests.
Activities include art classes, cinema trips, gym sessions, afternoon tea with the vicar, memory quizzes, cake decorating, petting animals, film afternoons – and a range of personalised activities aimed at stimulating memories or celebrating achievements.
Technology is another way in which Baycroft is at the forefront of the industry to enhance resident experience. For example, the Tovertafel (Magic Table) is interactive software that enables older people in the late stages of dementia to connect with each other and their surroundings. Similarly, the CRDL is a wooden object that translates touch into sound – making interaction easier for those struggling to communicate socially.
“Everyone’s contribution was acknowledged and significant,” the report states – a welcome validation of everyone at Great Baddow’s hard work.
In the final section, how well led the home is, Great Baddow once again received at rating of ‘Good’ – a particularly impressive result considering the short amount of time that Wendy had been in the role of general manager before the inspection.
Wendy has been working in the care industry for 38 years, including stints in palliative care, as a nursing consultant, and undertaking research on hydration that subsequently became a national care standard.
“It’s really important that staff are proactive in care, not reactive,” she says. One particular area that Wendy encourages is outside study and career development. Many Baycroft staff members are studying for NVQs and other qualifications – resulting in broader specialisms across the home.
The report noted that “the service was consistently managed and well led. Leaders and the culture they created promoted high-quality, person-centred care” while the management was “committed, caring and lead by example.”
The report also quotes one staff member as saying, “I love my job so much, it gives me so much joy to help people – it gives me a sense of purpose.”
Wendy echoes the sense of positivity throughout the home, recognising the importance that staff are happy, supported and motivated in order to provide the best care for the residents.
“The atmosphere has to be positive”, says Wendy. “Residents have to feel happy and safe – it’s their home, after all, and it’s a privilege for us to be here.”
You can read the full CQC report here.