A third Outstanding result for Consensus in Northamptonshire

December 21, 2021

Consensus Community Support Limited at 55 Headlands, our community supported living service in Northamptonshire, is celebrating once again, having been awarded the highest rating of ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for the third consecutive time.

The service achieved ratings of Outstanding overall and Outstanding for being caring and well-led from the CQC, which is the independent regulator of all health and adult social care in England. In addition, it was rated Good for being safe, responsive and effective.

Consensus Community Support provides personal care and support for adults with a learning disability or autistic people in their homes, through supported living and outreach services in Kettering and Corby.  

As a result of the inspection in October 2021, the CQC inspectors were extremely impressed with the level of support provided by the Consensus team. They found people using the service benefitted from personalised care that had changed their lives for the better, enabling them to be as independent as possible. 

During their visit, the inspectors spoke to six people who are supported by the service and five relatives, eight members of care and support staff, including the Registered Manager, three Service Managers and 11 members of the team. Inspectors viewed a range of records including three people’s care, risk assessments and medication records. They also reviewed information relating to the management of the service, including quality assurance, staff training and governance, as well as key policies and procedures.

Debbie Ivanova, CQC deputy chief inspector for people with a learning disability and autistic people, said: “Our inspectors were extremely impressed by the level of support Consensus offered the people in its care.

“From the moment they joined 55 Headlands, there was great commitment to ensure they led fulfilling, happy and healthy lives. Effective and strong leaders ensured people received an extremely personalised service that considered their hobbies, preferences and goals.

“For example, staff had supported one person for over a year to overcome their anxieties which had left them housebound. This was successful and the person was able to leave their home and move to new accommodation.

“People were fully involved in the staff interview process and were supported to sit on interview panels. A matching tool was used to so people had an informed choice about who they wished to support them.

“In addition, staff had been highly inventive and proactive supporting people to stay safe during the pandemic. They used games and easy-read information such as posters and stories to help people understand more about COVID-19 restrictions.

 “All of this meant that the service was providing the best care for people and the whole team at the service deserve to be congratulated.”

 The CQC inspectors also found:

  • Staff were very caring and knowledgeable about how best to communicate with people and to advocate for them to ensure their views were heard.
  • The Registered Manager and staff promoted a very positive, transparent and open culture.
  • Staff liaised extremely well with external healthcare and social care professionals, especially in working with them on behalf of the people supported by 55 Headlands since the start of the pandemic.
  • They used innovative techniques to help people overcome their anxieties about appointments such as visits to a dentist, or to support those who were anxious about having the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Easy read guides around safeguarding and bullying were available which used various communication aids like symbols, objects and pictures to help people understand and take control of their safety.
  • Staff and leadership were able to demonstrate how they were meeting the underpinning principles of ‘Right support, right care, right culture’.

Registered Manager, Michelle Christie, said the report was a credit to the whole team: “We are really pleased to be recognised as Outstanding once again, especially after the challenges that the COVID pandemic has posed for us and the people we support. 2020 and 2021 brought many demanding situations and a lot of hard work, but we focused on helping our supported individuals to get through the lockdowns and the anxieties, to bring about the best outcomes for them. We had to be more imaginative and creative than ever before in how we provided our support, which clearly the CQC inspectors were impressed by.

“I’m grateful for all the hard work, passion and commitment of the entire team here, with the backing of our wider operational and management team across Consensus. Although we won’t be sitting back now – we’ll keep going and progressing and achieving more great outcomes for our supported individuals.  We’re also looking forward to sharing details of our good practices with colleagues in other Consensus services soon.”

Deborah Cotton-Soares, Quality & Compliance Director, said: “All of our staff at Consensus work very hard to get everything right and it’s wonderful to see the Headlands team get fully deserved recognition for the exceptional quality of the service they are providing. We are all immensely proud of them. 

“This reflects our continued drive for quality and continuous improvement across the organisation and demonstrates our ethos and values in continually achieving the best outcomes for the people we support.”

The inspection report for Consensus (2013) Limited- 55 Headlands has been published on the CQC website. 

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