A national housing with care provider is celebrating after being awarded its sixth ‘Outstanding’ rating from the CQC.
Housing 21 received the top rating for its Extra Care Living Court, Oak House in Ipswich last week, making it one of the most highly rated housing with care providers in the country.
The news follows a major employee retention drive by Housing 21. In April 2018, the organisation introduced guaranteed hours contracts, hourly pay that is at least 10% more than the National Living Wage, better opportunities for progression and increased management support for care workers on a daily basis.
Oak House was rated ‘Good’ for all key lines of enquiry at its previous inspection in 2017.
Kris Peach, Director of Extra Care at Housing 21, said: “Two years ago, we started talking about making changes within the organisation to ensure we are providing services that are of the highest standard.
“Eighteen months on from starting to implement these changes, which included developing a dedicated quality assurance team, working on continuous improvement and reviewing our approach and policies, we are starting to see the results of our time and effort come to fruition.”
CQC inspectors said the Oak House service “went above and beyond” to ensure people were supported to live their lives as fully and independently as possible.
The report said: “It was clear staff made a positive impact on people’s lives and the culture of the staff team and management was exceptionally caring. People who use the service, their relatives and healthcare professionals all agreed the service provided to people was exceptional.”
In October 2019, a Skills for Care report found that those paid more were less likely to leave their role, and employees with zero-hours contracts were significantly more likely to leave.
Since investing more into the growth and progression of its care workers, Housing 21’s staff turnover rate has reduced to 20%.
Housing 21 is also rated ‘Gold’ by Investors in People and earlier this month won the Investors in People Third Sector Award at a ceremony in London.
“Extra Care can have a vital role to play in people’s lives and the difference the services make is truly amazing to see,” said Peach.
“As I visit the schemes and hear stories from residents and their families about the impact Extra Care has had on them, it’s impossible not to feel proud of the difference we are making. None of this could be achieved without the local staff at each scheme and I do believe they are the real heroes in seeing the quality of both housing and care services improve over recent years.