A home care company based in St Albans has been awarded the highest possible rating by inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
Home Instead Senior Care St Albans is now amongst the top 3% of home care companies, having been rated ‘Outstanding’ for being caring and well-led.
Inspectors observed that “people were truly respected and valued as individuals; and empowered as partners in their care, in an exceptional service”.
The organisation, led by Fiona and Nick Harrall, provides at-home care and companionship that enables older people to continue living independently for as long as possible. Inspectors interviewed clients, relatives of clients and Home Instead staff members, before praising the couple’s leadership as “exceptional and distinctive”.
They found a “strong, visible, person-centred culture” running throughout the organisation, quoting a member of staff as being “proud of my company” and clients that had been made to feel “positive”, “independent” and “happy”.
Commenting on the report, the owners said: “We are so pleased to have had the hard work of our dedicated team recognised in this way. We do our best to ensure that high quality care is provided to every client and that Home Instead positively benefits the St Albans community. We also pride ourselves on being an employer of choice in our industry, so to hear such wonderful feedback from staff is fantastic.”
The service was supported on an organisational level by training described by staff as “very good” and “amazing”, as well as a real-time electronic reporting system that has saved time and ensured that updates to care plans are immediately available.
Home Instead said its care visits last for a minimum of one hour, to ensure that quality care and companionship can be provided to every client. The company’s approach received high praise from one client who said, “Staff are very friendly, supportive and very helpful. We always have a good laugh… they have become my friends.”
The report also praises Home Instead for working with numerous local charities and community groups. It notes that the team worked with one group to make their village a Dementia friendly community, by delivering the Alzheimers Society’s signature ‘Dementia Friends’ training sessions to church groups, the parish council, and volunteers at the library.
Jemima Burnage, CQC Head of Inspection for Adult Social Care in the central region, said: “Our inspection team was very impressed by the level of care and support offered by Home Instead Senior Care.
“We found that people who used the service received exceptional personalised care and they were supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives.”