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Outstanding service helping people regain their independence

Friday, 25 May, 2018
Outstanding service helping people regain their independence

A service that helps people regain their independence after an accident or illness has been rated as Outstanding by the independent regulator of health and social care services in England.

West Short Term Support Service (STSS), provided by Northumberland County Council, was inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to ensure the service meets quality and safety standards.

The Hexham-based service provides domiciliary care and support to people in their own homes across west Northumberland, often following a recent illness, hospital discharge or to avoid unnecessary hospital admissions.

It is part of the Short Term Support Service which is managed in partnership with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

Inspectors described the service as ‘very caring’ and ‘exceedingly responsive to people’s individual needs and preferences’ and said people using the service and their families described it as ‘exceptional, ‘brilliant, and ‘outstanding’.

The report praised the service’s joined up approach to providing holistic care that helps ensure people experience the best possible outcomes.

Inspectors noted that the service has its own team of physiotherapists, occupational therapists, technical instructors and rehabilitation workers, so people have access to a range of therapists to help meet their needs.

The report highlighted that:

  • The service is exceptional in enabling people to become independent in various activities of daily living.
  • Staff are highly motivated and committed to providing dignified and compassionate care and support.
  • People told inspectors that without the service they would have spent much longer in hospital.

Northumberland County Councillor Veronica Jones, cabinet member for Adult Wellbeing and Health, said: “I am delighted with the findings of this report which confirms that this service is providing outstanding support for people to help them recover after an accident or illness.

“I am particularly pleased that people value the person-centred, responsive and caring nature of the staff who support them.”

West Short Term Support Service registered manager Shirley Proctor said: “Our priority is to help people regain their independence so they can live safely in their own home, and it is really good to see that people find the service is helping to rebuild their abilities and confidence.”

Debbie Westhead, Deputy Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care in the North, said: “This is a service that provides exceptional care.

“We found the service was exceedingly flexible and responsive to people’s individual needs and preferences.  Staff spoke with pride about the importance of ensuring people’s needs were met. Service users and relatives said the quality of care had significantly reduced the time they needed to stay in hospital.

“It is clear the care being provided by the West STSS (Short Term Support Service) is outstanding and I congratulate all concerned on improving the rating from Good to Outstanding. It is fully deserved.”


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