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SweetTree team celebrate “Outstanding” success

Jun 8, 2021 | Discover Our CQC Blog, Discover Our Blog

Lady with her live-in carer

Everyone at SweetTree knows that our work is for people, by people. So our latest Care Quality Commission (CQC) Inspection Report which found us to be “Outstanding” is a tribute to the hard work and dedication shown by our staff.

The latest inspection report is the second time SweetTree Home Care Services has been awarded “Outstanding” and is particularly notable given the changes that we had to implement during lockdown restrictions. It’s really rewarding for us to know that people using our services and their families have been so positive about our staff and the services they provide. But we know our staff are at the heart of that, so it’s really encouraging that they feel valued and supported in their work.

The CQC heard from the people that use our services, their families, healthcare professionals and our staff. Here’s what our staff told the inspectors:

Our response to COVID:

“From the very beginning we were receiving official guidance and advice for homecare providers in England on COVID-19. It is mandatory to complete assigned PPE guidance and COVID-19 training webinars on our training website. We are receiving sufficient PPE and our managers regularly enquire if we need more supply.”

One person, due to their health condition, struggled with care staff wearing a mask. The service prepared easy-read materials and a social story to help the person understand the purpose of PPE. As a result, the person became comfortable with the care staff wearing a mask.

Staff were encouraged to access a yearly flu vaccination via their GP surgery and COVID-19 testing. As much as possible staff visited the same people to reduce the risk of infection. The provider hired cars and drivers to transport staff to care visits. This helped to reduce the need to use public transport when travelling to the most vulnerable people and when the care staff were in the vulnerable group themselves.


“I am aware of signs of physical harm and will update records, inform management and check whether these are symptomatic of underlying illness and/or malnutrition ill health effects.”

Using medicines safely:

“Manager does audits and does daily checks. Training is second to none and the organisation is very supportive.”


“SweetTree encourage etiquette at work, punctuality and to respect the culture and diversity of others. If there is a religious celebration event, they will send out information so that staff are aware, prepared and understand its significance. I am made aware of different cultural events so I can respect others’ faith, be cultured and knowledgeable.”

“I encourage my clients to speak up and allow them time to make choices and I do not do so on their behalf, I let them choose their diet, their activities in the home, whether they want to go out or not, and how they want to plan their access to community services.”

Management and staff development:

“I can make contact with the service at any time and obtain a response, and I think the service is well managed.”

“We have the opportunity to evaluate our performance and what we look to improve. This includes the service provided. We are also able to suggest improvements through regular contact with my manager.”

Staff recognition and awards:

“Service users that I work with put me forward for the nomination of awards. It goes without saying that the staff are SweetTree’s overall best investment and ambassadors of the service.”

SweetTree’s co-founders Barry Sweetbaum and Nicki Bones added: “That sums it up for us. Our staff are our most valuable asset and we’re incredibly proud of them.”