London-based home care service, Sweet Tree Home Care, has retained its overall Outstanding rating following a recent CQC inspection.
At the time of the inspection in November, the service, located in Swiss Cottage, was providing care to around 285 people with a range of issues, including older people living with dementia, people with brain injuries or neurological conditions, and people with learning disabilities.
CQC’s Deputy Chief Inspector for Adult Social Care, South and London, Deborah Ivanova, said: “People using Sweet Tree Home Care, and their relatives, gave our inspectors excellent feedback about the service. Along with external health and social care providers, service users all felt that the staff had dealt admirably with the challenges posed by the pandemic, and everyone we spoke to said that they would recommend the service to others.
“We were pleased to find that the provider had continued to build on the high standards we reported following our previous inspection and had launched a range of new initiatives to support people using the service, such as an upgraded website and an improved reporting system for complaints.
“We also found that the provider had responded to the COVID-19 pandemic in a systematic and well thought out way, with regular infection control training and practical and emotional support offered to people using the service, as well as their families and staff. All of this meant that the service was providing the best care during the most challenging time, and the whole team at Sweet Tree Home Care deserves to be congratulated.”
Commenting on the achievement, SweetTree CEO Nicki Bones (pictured) said, “We are over the moon to have been rated Outstanding by CQC for the second consecutive inspection. I am thrilled that our team were able to maintain such high standards throughout these difficult times.
“Without the training, passion and dedication our support workers have and knowledge of the Covid-19 guidelines which the office and care team have been following, we would not have attained this fantastic achievement. Only a tiny minority of care providers are recognised as being Outstanding by CQC – and an even smaller percentage are awarded it for a second time, which only confirms how important getting the fundamentals right, like recruitment and training is to ensuring our status as one of the best home care providers in the UK.”
The CQC said governance of the service was outstanding and highly effective, and noted its range of initiatives to support the local community, such as running webinars about coronavirus and dementia.
Sweet Tree has also worked with the Skills for Care charity and chaired the London Central manager network which provides support for registered managers from other services in London during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CQC commented that staff were “extremely caring”, “knew what was expected of them” and their roles were “clearly defined”.