Review of 170 southern care homes uncovers just one ‘outstanding’

The Conifers

Inspections carried out across 170 care homes in London and the South have produced just a single ‘Outstanding’ score, latest data from the Care Quality Commission reveals.

The Conifers, based on the outskirts of Basingstoke and operated by Care Opportunities Ltd, was the sole care home to emerge with an overall rating of ‘outstanding’ following the latest round of reviews.

The Conifers is a two-floor care home which provides residential care for up to six adults with mild to moderate learning difficulties. People receiving the service also live with health conditions such as schizophrenia and epilepsy.

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The CQC praised the emphasis on resident safety and the level of detail placed on supporting people to eat and drink safely while maintaining their dignity and independence. Support works were “highly motivated” to develop close relationships with people they were assisting and had developed “innovative” communication methods.

“People received personalised, dignified and respectful care from support workers who had an exceptional understanding of their specific care needs,” the report stated. “Support plans contained detailed information to assist support workers to provide outstanding care in a manner that respected each person’s individual requirements and promoted treating people with dignity.”

The CQC hailed The Conifers for promoting a culture of independence, highs standards of personalised care and “strong, positive leadership”. It said the home also had a robust complaints procedure in place although none had been received in the previous year.

CQC officials carried out unannounced inspections at The Conifers on 18 and 20 January. During the inspection it spoke with one shift leader, three support workers, the provider’s behavioural specialist, the provider and their specialist support team, which included assistant psychologist, Clinical Lead and the registered manager.

It also evaluated six people’s support plan, daily care notes, three support workers’ recruitment files, support workers training records and six medicine administration records, as well as its quality assurance procedures.

Out of the recent inspections that the CQC conducted in the south, 71 care homes were rated as ‘Good’, 37 fell under the umbrella of ‘requires improvement’ and 10 were deemed ‘Inadequate’.

In London, 38 care homes and agencies supporting people in their own homes scored a ‘Good’ rating, while 12 ‘Require Improvement’. One rated as ‘Inadequate’, while zero operators hit the ‘Outstanding’ mark.

Under CQC’s programme of inspections, all of England’s adult social care services regulated by CQC, are given a rating according to whether they are safe, effective, caring, responsive and well led.

Deborah Ivanova, interim deputy chief inspector for adult social care in London and the South, said: “People are entitled to services which provide safe, effective, compassionate and high quality care. Where we find a service meets our characteristics of good or outstanding then we will rate accordingly.

“If we find that a service requires improvement, we will expect them to provide us with a full plan setting out how they will address the issue.  We will share our findings with local commissioners, and we will return in due course to check that they have made the required improvements.”

Ivanova said whenever the CQC finds a service to be inadequate, it will consider taking further action on behalf of the people who use the service. “Providers of those services should take the publication of the inadequate rating as a signal that immediate action is required to improve the service,” she said.

Full reports on all 170 inspections can be found by clicking on the links below.

Adult Social Care services: London

(by local authority area and rating)

Adult Social Care services: South

(by local authority area and rating)

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