Learning Disabilities & Autism

Outstanding: Aspire to live it, not attain it.

Each month we profile a care provider who has achieved an Outstanding rating with the Care Quality Commission and find out what they think it takes to be truly Outstanding. This month we feature Consensus and their ‘Outstanding’ Prader-Willi Syndrome Services.

Adam Henderson
Consensus Divisional Director
Midlands and North

As the Divisional Director for Consensus in Midlands and North, I’ve seen three of our specialist Prader-Willi Syndrome Services in my region rated as ‘Outstanding’ by the CQC, in the last six months. Within Consensus, we now have six. It’s a fantastic result but also an accurate reflection of these services.

In the Care industry an ‘Outstanding’ rating is like the holy grail. For the two per cent of services who have it, we all want to know what the learnings are – how did you get there? What did you do? How can we replicate the same success?

As an organisation that supports over 650 individuals with learning disabilities in over 90 residential and supported living services across the UK, it would be wonderful to simply package it up and share it round. Add three parts quality assurance, to two parts training and qualifications, mix it up with a little creativity and a big dollop of kindness and compassion and hey presto!

But, of course, it’s not that simple. Why? Because ‘Outstanding’ isn’t something you attain – it’s something you live.

At Consensus, we recognise that doesn’t start at the services, it starts with us as an organisation. We set the tone and lay the foundation for our Services to build upon.

It’s embedded through our purpose, values and culture

It’s about our Services processes and people being aligned to our vision, values and culture, so we can achieve our purpose of supporting Opportunity, Choice and Success for the individuals we support.

It’s in our commitment to continuous improvement

It’s about striving to be better through Best Practice Groups, Quality Checkers and Stakeholder Feedback… Outstanding is not a destination, it’s dynamic. It’s flexing, reviewing, trialling, changing, learning and adapting.

It’s in our availability and our presence  

It’s about being visible and being available. Our Senior Management Team, Divisional Directors and Operational Managers are in our Services, supporting the Managers, working alongside frontline colleagues, building relationships with supported individuals and their families – listening and responding.

For our Services, what makes them outstanding is the home they build on top of those foundations and the life they create within it.

It’s in the way they think, respond and invest.

It’s about bringing everyone on that journey. Our outstanding Managers look for ways to empower their team to try new ideas and flourish where their own skills lay. They support individuals to dream big and then as a team, think creatively to overcome obstacles and make it happen.

It’s what drives their revolutionary approaches and life changing ideas.

Our outstanding Services aren’t just adopting best practice approaches, they’re pioneering them. They’re not afraid to challenge the status quo, to trial new ways of supporting, to learn and adapt to empower individual’s and improve their quality of life.

It’s what shines through in their support, relationships and outcomes.

It’s about living it, breathing it, nurturing it and developing it. When you look at our outstanding Services, what really sets them apart is their ‘outstanding mindset’. It has become who they are, not just what they do.

The other point to make is that I can honestly say we have far more outstanding Services than we do ‘outstanding’ ratings. So, as I often tell our Managers, next time the inspector calls, be prepared and make sure you evidence it!

Hopefully that’s a little food for thought.



Email Newsletter