Calderdale Council’s Support in Mind care service, which helps people living with dementia to remain in their own homes, has been rated ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
The CQC described Support in Mind staff as “exceptionally kind and caring” in its inspection in November 2019. The team provides short-term support to people in their own homes who are living with dementia or other mental health issues. The aim is to prepare residents for longer-term care from other providers.
The CQC is responsible for making sure health and social care services meet national standards. After an inspection it gives one of four possible ratings: ‘outstanding’, ‘good’, ‘requires improvement’ and ‘inadequate’. The overall rating of ‘outstanding’ means the CQC believes the Support in Mind service is safe, responsive and exceptionally effective, caring and well led.
Cllr Bob Metcalfe, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults’ Services and Wellbeing, said:
“This is a fantastic achievement. I’m thrilled that the CQC has recognised the hard work and dedication of our kind and caring staff, who always put residents first. I have heard heartening feedback about how the Support in Mind team has made life-changing impacts for local people – one person was able to go out for the first time in many years, and another resident was supported to live independently after their spouse passed away.”
During the inspection, the CQC spoke to staff and relatives of people who use the service about their experiences of the care provided. People were “extremely positive” about the service and said they “would have no hesitation in recommending it”. One family member said: “I don’t know where we would be without them; actually, I do, and it’s not the happy place we are in.”
Safety was highly rated. Excellent quality assurance, monitoring systems and staff skills ensure that people receive safe care and treatment. One relative told the CQC they had “absolute peace of mind” in how their loved one was cared for.
The inspectors praised the service for supporting residents to have maximum choice and control of their lives. Individuals and their families are fully involved in planning how their needs will be met. They are treated with respect and compassion.
Kindness is one of the qualities that makes Calderdale such a special place. It is a key theme of the Vision2024 for Calderdale, and the Support in Mind team is a shining example. The CQC found the staff to be “dedicated to ensuring people experienced the best possible care and support”, and saw “many examples of staff going the extra mile”. This exceptional care, and strong partnership work with other health and social care agencies, has helped people to live independently in their own homes and avoid residential care.
The service puts all aspects of a resident’s life at the heart of everything it does. For example, to help with their physical and mental wellbeing, the team created an innovative ‘Motivation to Move’ programme. This encourages people to move more in ways that they enjoy and which are suitable for them, from gentle stretching to dancing.
An area for improvement identified in the CQC report is end of life care planning. The service would benefit from recording this in a more consistent way in residents’ care plans. Further work has already started on this, as part of the Council’s commitment to continually improving services for local people.
In the year 2024 Calderdale will celebrate its 50th birthday. Where do we want to be by 2024? How will the Calderdale of 2024 be different from the place it is now? What ambitions do we share? Join the conversation by following #VisionCdale2024 on social media and visit www.calderdale.gov.uk/vision