A Norfolk home care company is celebrating after being declared ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission.
Extra Hands’ Heacham office was inspected in February and is currently the only home care company in Norfolk to be rated as ‘Outstanding’.
The service, which was caring for 160 people at the time of inspection, was given the top rating for being effective and well-led.
It was rated ‘Good’ during a previous inspection in July 2016.
Registered manager Lynda Hilliard said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive the outstanding rating and incredibly proud of everyone at Extra Hands who works so hard to provide fantastic person-centred care for all of our service users,” said manager Lynda Hilliard.
“Our services range from a well-being check to palliative care and everything in between, so having exceptional people providing that care is crucial to Extra Hands and it is thanks to them that we have been awarded outstanding,” she added.
Inspectors noted in their report that the service had strong leadership and a well-planned and organised workforce.
“This ensured people had consistency from a small team of care staff who knew their needs well and could be relied upon. Care calls were electronically monitored to ensure people received a need based service. There were emergency plans in place to ensure all calls were covered or extra ones could be provided when required,” the report said.
“The service had a rapid response team who were not scheduled to cover calls and meant they could respond to people’s changing needs and able to avert a crisis or take some of the strain of a family member.”
The service had robust systems in place to monitor the safety and quality of the service they provided, inspectors said.
“They clearly communicated their high expectations of their service and their staff and took responsibility and accountability for when things went wrong,” the report said.
Extra Hands was also hailed for working collaboratively with other organisations to improve the outcomes for people they were supporting.
Particular praise was made of the company’s training, which includes a detailed induction and training programme. Employees receive regular and updated training which the inspectors described as ‘thorough’ while service users and their relatives said the staff were patient, caring and knowledgeable.
“All of them are brilliant. Since we have had them his life has been completely changed for the better. It is all down to the wonderful training and skill of the carers,” a relative told the inspectors.