Kerry Libby, Regional Director for the Regard Group (South and South West)
Last year Regard achieved an impressive hat-trick of Outstanding inspection ratings for services in South West England.
Currently 98% of our services are CQC rated good or outstanding, compared to an industry average of 82% due, in no small part, to the commitment of staff and the quality of our managers.
Our ‘Outstanding’ trio – Restormel House and Douglas House in Plymouth, and Domcare South West – are clearly succeeding in delivering the kind of service we all aspire to. Douglas House first achieved ‘Outstanding’ in 2015 and deserves the fullest credit for maintaining their high standard of care. We were also proud to welcome another ‘Outstanding’ service into Regard last year: Acorn Park Lodge in Redruth, formerly a Solar Care service.
The foundation for any ‘Outstanding’ inspection rating is a strong leadership, meaningful values, collaboration, team work and putting people at the heart of what we do. It’s about supporting people to live their life to the full through compassionate care and working hard to make a positive difference.
First and foremost, our focus is firmly on how best to satisfy the wants and needs of the people we support (and their families). And alongside that is a transparency which makes it possible to demonstrate the quality of our performance to the CQC inspector.
My teams are passionate about ensuring all the support we provide is person-led, focusing on each person’s individuality, promoting independence and protecting peoples’ rights.
Our staff often say how much they love their work and they are clearly committed to ensuring individuals live a happy, fulfilled life, feel safe, are supported to try new opportunities, and maintain their independence as much as possible.
Inspectors, relatives, staff and outside agencies all comment frequently on the strong leadership that characterises our services, and how our managers lead by example. In-house award schemes celebrate their contributions and aspiring leadership opportunities encourage progress and development.
An ‘Outstanding’ service will demonstrate clear values and visions. Our cornerstones are compassion, respect and independence. Managers create a positive, open and inclusive culture with diversity and equality needs catered for, including religious and cultural practices.
People are encouraged to lead active lives, including as much community participation as possible. Small steps are taken to help achieve individuals’ goals – often a long process, but patience pays off and we aim to get there in the end.
Inspectors pay tribute to exceptionally good governance evident in our ‘Outstanding’ services, recognising the contribution of local managers and Regard’s holistic auditing approach, which combine to ensure the highest quality of care is maintained and enhanced.
Our audit team looks at all aspects of compliance, adding critical evidence dimensions to the key lines of enquiry used by CQC. In fact, our own standards are even more exacting than theirs.
We also work very hard to communicate clearly, which earns compliments such as this (from a local learning disability service): “It was one of the best and smoothest young person’s transitions I have ever worked with. They worked really well with the family, communication was spot on”.
And we make a point of sharing what is excellent about our services in the confident expectation that we will continue to learn from each other.
Kerry’s key themes for an ‘Outstanding’ service:
- Inspiring leadership;
- Clear shared values;
- Truly person-centred support;
- Meaningful ongoing community engagement;
- Involve individuals in preparing for CQC and help them be advocates;
- Promote on-going specialist training for staff and ensure they understand who CQC are, and what will interest them.
- An ‘Outstanding’ team recognises they can’t change the world, but they can really make positive changes to the world of those we support.