A South Lakeland homecare company has been rated among the top ten in the country.
Kendal-based Westmorland Homecare was given an ‘outstanding’ rating in all five key areas following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission, the independent regulator of health and social care services in England.
Only ten of the 17,633 home care agencies registered with the CQC in England are rated outstanding in every area – and Westmorland Homecare is the only one in Cumbria.
It is the second consecutive time the company has achieved the feat.
Westmorland Homecare provides hundreds of hours of care each week, which enable elderly and often frail people to live independently in their own home.
It was founded in 2017 by Doctors Josh Macaulay and Chris Moss. Both had experience of caring for people in their NHS roles as an A&E doctor and anaesthetist but wanted to help people more than while they were just in hospital.
“We are obviously delighted with the CQC report,” said Dr Macauley, who paid special tribute to the company’s staff: “They work tremendously hard and they really care and want to do the best possible job that they can.
“For the work they do to be externally and officially verified as outstanding in every area is a great accolade for them.
“The CQC inspected the service between February and June this year. They visited our office, spoke to people who use the services, to professionals who work with us – such as district nurses, GPs and the hospitals – and to our staff.”
On the key question of ‘‘Is the service safe?’, the CQC report stated that ‘people were protected by a strong and distinctive approach to safeguarding, including positive risk taking to maximise their control over their lives’. It added: ‘One person said, ‘I know I am in good hands with Westmorland Homecare – I feel exceptionally safe’.”
The report stated: “People were well protected from the risk of infection, including during the Coronavirus pandemic.”
The report highlighted the effectiveness of people’s care, treatment and support. It said people described the service as ‘exceptional’. Staff were ‘very well trained and exceptionally skilled’.
Families of those who had been cared for had thanked Westmorland Homecare, describing staff as ‘amazing’ and the care as ‘exemplary’.
The directors had developed strong relationships with partner organisations, including working with the local NHS trust on collaborative working and shared decision making. This led directly to an early discharge pilot scheme between the company and the trust, which had reduced risks around discharge and enabled early discharge from hospital for 16 people.
People were ‘truly respected and valued as individuals,’ and the report quoted one person as saying: “This is what being cared for truly feels like. It’s wonderful”.
The report said: “The service was exceptionally person-centred and was adaptive and responsive to people’s needs.”
And one staff member said: “I think Westmorland Homecare is brilliantly managed. I have never in my life worked for a more conscientious, caring company.”
Westmorland Homecare recently opened a new satellite office in Grange-over-Sands and Dr Macaulay said plans were well advanced to expand into a new area.
He added that Westmorland Homecare had been hand-picked to be on a working group led by Baroness Camilla Cavendish to look at how social services and the Government worked with care providers.
“It will examine how care is commissioned and funded and how we can change the way that staff are recruited, trained and encouraged into the industry,” said Dr Macauley.
To view the CQC report go to https://api.cqc.org.uk/public/v1/reports/6628d40f-109c-4f7d-bbe8-b99e257ed20d