Outstanding care service praised

Northumberland county councillor Veronica Jones and staff from South East Sector Homecare.
Northumberland county councillor Veronica Jones and staff from South East Sector Homecare.

The quality of a short-term care and support service in south east Northumberland has been rated as outstanding by the independent regulator of health and social care services.

Blyth-based South East Sector Homecare, provided by Northumberland County Council, was inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to ensure the service meets quality and safety standards.

It provides short-term care and support to people in their own homes across the south east of the county, often following illness, hospital discharge or to avoid unnecessary hospital admissions.

It is part of the short term support service (STSS) which is managed in partnership with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

Inspectors described the service as vibrant, dynamic and creative, and praised the commitment and drive to deliver a service which improves the lives of the people who use it.

They noted that people using the service and their families described it as ‘tremendous’, ‘fantastic’, and a ‘godsend’.

The report highlighted that staff had an exceptionally good knowledge of how to meet people’s individual needs, providing high quality care and therapy; they were innovative in devising a service tailored to meet needs; people were very complimentary about staff skills and felt the service had enhanced their quality of life; and effective leadership had led to the development of innovative ways to support people to return to leading independent lives.

Northumberland county councillor Veronica Jones, cabinet member for adult wellbeing and health, said: “This service combines council and healthcare staff and I am delighted to see that by working effectively together they are helping people to regain the ability and confidence to live independently in their own homes following a fall or period of ill-health.

“This report highlights the service’s absolute commitment to delivering a totally personalised service for people in Northumberland.”

South East Sector Homecare registered manager Michael Culley said: “We welcome this report which highlights that staff are devoted to helping people regain their skills and confidence, and to providing the best standards of care for each person.

“It is particularly pleasing to see that people using this service and their families feel they are benefitting from the support they have received.”

Debbie Westhead, deputy chief inspector of adult social care in the north, said: “We found the quality of care provided at South East Sector Home Care in Northumberland to be outstanding.

“It was impressive to see how person centred the service was. People’s individual needs were really taken care of and this bespoke service reflected the changes taking place in their lives, confidence and abilities.

“The integration between social care and healthcare was making a huge difference in people’s lives, preventing avoidable hospital admissions.

“All the staff should be very proud of the care they are providing and I hope other providers look to their example of what outstanding care should look like.”