Outstanding rating a first for care provider

Blesson Thomas

Blesson Thomas

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A care provider and charity has received the first Outstanding rating from the industry watchdog, the first in Buckinghamshire.

The Fremantle Trust has earned recognition from the Care Quality Commission (CQC), with an ‘Outstanding’ rating for The Heights nursing home and Downley Lodge learning disability service.

Steve Flanagan, CEO, Freemantle Trust

Steve Flanagan, CEO, Freemantle Trust

The High Wycombe-based sites received an unannounced visit from CQC in January, and scored highly across the board, excelling particularly in its responsiveness and its leadership, under the management of Blesson Thomas and Warren Wood respectively.

Feedback within the report includes comments from residents such as: “I am so happy now, I am cared for and looked after very well,”

“Staff know all the residents very well and what they like,” and “I don’t think we can find a better place than this.”

The care services were praised for their investment in supporting training and development, with the trust also being complimented for its BTEC course in dementia training, previously recognised by social care recruitment and development specialists, Skills for Care.

The report also highlighted examples where employees had “gone above and beyond the call of duty to fulfil some people’s wishes and dreams.”

Steve Flanagan, chief executive of The Fremantle Trust, said: “We are extremely proud that The Heights has been recognised by CQC as the first ‘Outstanding’ care home in Buckinghamshire. The rating also applies to Downley Lodge, the learning disability service we provide at this location. It is testament to our commitment to providing exemplary care and reflects the work of a dedicated team who consistently go the extra mile, reflecting the ethos of The Fremantle Trust.”

Deborah Ivanova, interim deputy chief inspector of adult social care, CQC (South Central and South Coast) said: “We found that the Heights was providing an outstanding service to the people it supported. We were struck by the extent to which the service places the people it supports at the heart of everything it does. While this should be standard practice across the sector, we do not see it often enough – and this, amongst other good practice found, is why this service deserves the outstanding rating which has been awarded.

“The support provided was designed not just to meet people’s individual needs, but also foster good, close relationships and enhance interpersonal skills. A caring, friendly and close bond is evident between people and the staff. The quality of staff providing services is a key to the quality of a service overall. At the Heights the investment in staff training and development coupled with support from the registered manager and the provider has resulted in an outstanding service which provides consistent and reliable care.”

Mike Appleyard, Buckinghamshire County Council’s cabinet member for health and wellbeing said: “This outstanding result is well earned. It reflects the scale of work over years by the many people who have contributed to it, not least the staff, who have gone beyond the job spec to contribute to this outcome.

“Congratulations to the whole of the Fremantle enterprise for demonstrating that we are well able to deliver outstanding services to vulnerable people in Bucks, and in the face of significant budgetary pressures.”

Founded in 1992, the Fremantle Trust is a registered charity providing first class care and support services that enhance quality of life for older people and adults with a learning disability.

Fremantle services include care homes, day care, supported living schemes and domiciliary care in 58 locations across Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Milton Keynes, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and North London. Its 1,850 dedicated staff are passionate about helping people live life to the full.

Fremantle is committed to safeguarding the independence, rights and lifestyle of every individual and believes that those who use our services should be genuinely consulted and fully respected. All services are based on its core values of choice, privacy, dignity, independence, rights and fulfilment.

Fremantle is the largest single supplier of care services for older people in Buckinghamshire, with 793 registered care beds. More widely it supports the individual lifestyle choices of almost 2,000 residents, tenants and people attending day care services.