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SweetTree is rated Outstanding – Again
SweetTree Home Care Services are proud to announce that, despite the pandemic, we have once again been awarded an ‘Outstanding’ rating by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) – the care sector’s regulator. Supporting the new transitional inspection approach being trialled by CQC, the SweetTree team took on this unique pilot inspection with vigour and pride.
Only a tiny minority of care providers are recognised as being Outstanding by CQC – and an even smaller percentage are awarded it for a second time, which confirms SweetTree’s position as one of the best home care providers in the UK.
SweetTree’s co-founders Barry Sweetbaum and Nicki Bones launched the business in 2002, embarking on a joint mission to change the definition of what ‘High Quality’ care at home looks like for people with age-related frailty, dementia, brain injuries, neurological conditions and learning disabilities. SweetTree’s support is provided on a live-in or live out basis and includes a highly specialist end-of-life care programme for those facing these challenges.
The CQC report states: “People using SweetTree and their relatives gave us excellent feedback about the service. They all said they would recommend the service to others. People using the service, their relatives, staff and external health and social care professionals all said that SweetTree dealt admirably with challenges posed by the pandemic and were able to provide a high quality of care.
“We received feedback from 20 external health and social care professionals who all gave a continuously positive view of the service. Some of their comments included, “I have seen many examples of how staff go the extra mile to meet individuals’ needs.
“One person described the dedicated care provided by her carer as “A soft pillow to my very broken soul” and “I believe that the staff are well trained and looked after. SweetTree ensures all their staff do not work with clients until they are absolutely ready to do their jobs correctly. SweetTree are the best Care Company that I have ever been associated with.”
Barry said: “I was so proud to read the feedback given to CQC by SweetTree’s clients, family members and professionals. We cannot thank our team enough for the incredible hard work and effort they have made to ensure our clients have been kept safe through this pandemic.”
The report noted that SweetTree had built on its previous high standards and had launched a number of new initiatives since its previous inspection, many of which involved training and support around Covid-19.
Nicki added: “I am so grateful to all our team at SweetTree. Maintaining such high standards throughout these difficult times shows their passion and dedication towards our clients and each other; never forgetting why we are here. The CQC report spoke so highly of the support workers who adapted to new guidelines, ways of working and training in an instant.
Nicki went on to say SweetTree’s Outstanding rating is a testament to the fact that with the right culture and training people really can receive life changing, highly professional care and support at home. It is a credit to the whole SweetTree team, our dedicated and distinguished Advisory Board and our clients who welcome us into their lives and work with us to achieve amazing things.
Below are some quotes from SweetTree’s latest CQC report while the full CQC report can be found here… https://bit.ly/39Q6uLZ
Extracts from SweetTree Home Care Service’s CQC Report
People using SweetTree and their relatives gave us excellent feedback about the service. They all said they would recommend the service to others. People using the service, their relatives, staff and external health and social care professionals all said that SweetTree dealt admirably with challenges posed by the pandemic and were able to provide a high quality of care.
We found that SweetTree had built on the previous high standards we had found. Since our last inspection SweetTree had launched a range of new initiatives to support people using the service, their families and the wider community. These included an upgraded internet website to respond to enquiries quicker. There was also an improved accidents, incident and complaints reporting system allowing staff and people to have instant access to the information and the support of managers when needed.
We found that SweetTree had responded to the Covid-19 pandemic in a systematic and well thought out way. There was a range of good practice which resulted in positive outcomes for people. These included the corporate pre-planning work to address the challenges of care provision during the pandemic. It also included the successful procurement of enough appropriate personal equipment planning. The individualised COVID-19 risk assessment of all people using the service and staff. The regular and current infection control training and emotional and practical support for people, their families and staff.
SweetTree’s mission, vision, values and ethics were at the heart of all decisions made by the senior management team. Anchored to that, thoughtful consideration of the service needs and bold and quick implementation of new ways of working meant that the service could provide the best care during the most challenging times.
The governance of the service was outstanding. Managerial responsibilities were allocated with consideration of specific roles as well as individual skills, experience, interests and talents of each manager. This meant the governance of the service was highly effective. The senior management team promoted career development within the service. They introduced a leadership and management framework to help to develop future leaders and managers within the service.
Staff knew what was expected of them. Their roles were clearly defined through individual role descriptions for specific departments within the service. Staff skills were regularly improved through a range of training available from the service’s training academy. Staff were also regularly monitored through managerial checks of their direct work with people as well as regular supervision.
Staff were extremely caring for people who used the service and their families. All people and relatives spoke highly of staff who supported them. They said that although the COVID-19 pandemic affected the intensity of the support provided, staff still did all they could to reduce the impact of the pandemic on people. Staff contribution had been recognised by the service through the yearly Sweet Awards for the best care staff. Nominations for these awards were given by people who used the service.
Staff supported people to reach their full potential despite their health condition and wellbeing. There were detailed and personalised care plans formulated as a result of a collaboration between people using the service, their relatives and professionals. This meant that people were receiving care they needed and wanted. The individualised care was enhanced by skilful matching of care staff with people according to their interests, staff skills and experience.
Medicines were managed safely. People were protected from abuse by safely recruited and appropriately trained staff. Risks to people’s health and wellbeing had been assessed and staff had detailed guidelines about supporting people safely.
People told us they had lots of opportunities to provide feedback about the service. This was done through regular reviews and frequent contact with members of the management team. People and relatives told us that when issues arose, these had been dealt with quickly and to their satisfaction.
SweetTree had a range of community initiatives. They acted to support the local community and the general public by running webinars about later life, dementia and coronavirus to increase awareness about these topics. They also collaborated with the Skills for Care Charity and chaired the London Central registered manager network which supported registered manager from other services in London during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We received feedback from 20 external health and social care professionals who all gave a positive view of the service. They commended the service for a high level of training, the positive and caring attitude of staff towards people and their relatives and the excellent management of the service.
People were supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives and staff supported them in the least restrictive way possible and in their best interests; the policies and systems in the service this practice.
We expect health and social care providers to guarantee autistic people and people with a learning disability the choices, dignity, independence and good access to local communities that most people take for granted. Right support, right care, right culture is statutory guidance which supports CQC to make assessments and judgements about services providing support to people with a learning disability and/or autistic people.
The service was able to demonstrate how they were meeting the underpinning principles of Right support, right care, right culture. The model of care maximised people’s choice, control and, independence. Care was person-centred and promoted people’s dignity, privacy and human Rights. Ethos, values, attitudes and behaviours of leaders and care staff ensure people using services lead confident, inclusive and empowered lives.