Posted 03/03/2020

Swan Housing Association Receives Outstanding Rating By Care Quality Commission

Swan Housing Association has received an overall rating of 'outstanding' from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for its rapid response care service in Colchester which enables people who are in need of care and support in a variety of ways, to remain as independent for as long as possible, while living in their own homes.

The domiciliary care service - which is just one of a range of services provided by the Essex and East London based Swan Housing Association that is dedicated to ensuring that everyone has 'Somewhere to Feel at Home' - received the exemplary rating following a  review carried out by the CQC inspection team in December last year (2019).

As well as finding Swan's Care and Support service to be responsive and well-led, the CQC's report stated that: 'We were repeatedly told Swan staff were exceptionally compassionate and kind'.

One person described how Swan staff made them feel safe and supported. They said: "Every time before they leave they say, 'Is there anything else that you need?' And that puts everything in place and reassures you."

The inspectors described the service as being 'innovative' in its approach to care, noting that without the support of staff, many of the people using the service would have remained in hospital although there was no medical need for them to be there.

A person who was initially unable to get out of bed, following an accident said: "The help (Swan team) has given me personally, has been invaluable and has helped me to pick up my life again after my accident".

Since April 2019, Swan has provided care that has enabled 1,753 people to be safely discharged from hospital and avoided 382 people being admitted to hospital. Its dedicated team of 'Night Owls' have travelled through the night to visit 209 people, preventing them from being admitted to hospital.

One person recalled that even when the area they lived in was flooded staff still arrived for every visit. This included the 'night owl' service which supported them during the night.

The report emphasised that supporting people to express their views and be involved in making decisions about their care is vital to Swan's approach. With individual's preferences about how they wanted their care to be provided being incorporated into personalised care and support plans that really make a difference.

Inspectors highlighted the high level of training that Swan staff receive, such as specialist training in areas such as management of spinal braces. Staff also become 'champions' in areas of interest to them such as dementia and end of life care and in turn, share best practice with other team members and care partners.

Swans' end-of-life care and support also received recognition for going 'above and beyond' to ensure that people and their families receive the best possible care at this time. Swan Care and Support received the Essex Care Sector Prosper Awards: End of Life Care Award (2019) for their exemplary care in this area. An award well received by the team for their exceptional support.

Sandra Fawcett, Executive Director of Operations for Swan Housing Association, said:

"I am exceptionally proud of this CQC 'outstanding' achievement for our Care & Support Team, which is a credit to our dedicated team of staff in Essex for the work they do every day in sometimes difficult situations.

We regularly receive feedback from clients and their families about the kindness and consideration shown by our Swan teams. This report formalises the difference that their 'going the extra mile' makes to our clients every day.

We are committed to keep improving this critical service, which prevents people from being admitted to hospital as well as allows patients to be released from hospital early - to enable our customers to be able to stay in the comfort of their own home wherever possible."

Under the CQC's programme of inspections, all adult social care services are given a rating according to whether they are safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led. Swan Care and Support Colchester has been given an overall rating of Outstanding. It is rated as Outstanding for being responsive and well-led, and Good for being caring, safe and effective.

Read the full report at: