Outstanding result as care home rated the top in Northamptonshire

May 17, 2019

We are delighted to announce that, following a CQC inspection on 28th November 2018, Heatherington House in Kettering, part of Consensus Support Services Ltd, have been awarded the very top rating of ‘Outstanding’ in all five Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOEs) – Safe, Effective, Caring, Responsive, and Well-led.

Now, the top-rated residential care service in Northamptonshire and one of only two in the CQC’S East Midlands Area to achieve this unique and rare rating their achievement is exceptional.

Previously rated Good in 2016, Heatherington House specialises in providing support for up to eight people living with Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS). This is a condition where people have a chronic feeling of hunger that can lead to excessive eating and sometimes life-threatening obesity. The team have worked tirelessly with the people they support to achieve the best outcomes they can together with families, health and social care professionals and their wider community.

As one of only 17 residential care services in the country to achieve the rating of ‘Outstanding’ in all five areas, CQC were without exception hugely complimentary about the support provided by the team at Heatherington House, stating that,

“People with learning disabilities and autism using the service can live as ordinary a life as any citizen and the staff within this service were exceptional in ensuring this was the case for people living at this home. Without exception, people were supported to achieve their goals. The staff and management team were creative, committed and determined to support people to live independent lives and challenge the barriers around supporting people with PWS.”

The ethos within the home consistently puts people at the heart of every decision and ensures that people’s lives are the best they can be. Overwhelmingly, CQC inspectors noted that people were empowered to take positive risks if this gave them fulfilment and a greater sense of independence. The service is not risk averse and the team are committed to supporting people to achieve their dreams.

Importantly CQC also observed that outcomes for people who live at Heatherington House were significantly better than expected when compared with similar services. People who live at the home recognised the huge improvement exceptional care had on their lives. One person told inspectors, “Everyone with PWS has the tendency to try and get food all the time and gorge on food – until death. I’ve got the knowledge now to be contented. I feel fantastic.”

Inspectors praised the service stating, “The registered manager challenged current practice and recognised ways of working with people with PWS. They were innovative in designing tailored care for each person which recognised their skills, strengths, goals and own ideas. They understood where each person’s difficulties and barriers were and sought to overcome them. This was particularly evidenced by removing the negative stigma around food and allowing people greater control and choice about their eating arrangements. For example, people living at the home enjoyed the television show, ‘Come Dine with Me’ and sought to create their own version of the show at home. This required people to design a three-course menu, purchase all the ingredients and cook the meal for everyone living at the home. This approach and freedom with food for people with PWS was revolutionary and empowering for people. It further helped build their ability to be surrounded by food without the need to gorge.

Inspectors shared that, “The registered manager’s approach to food was pioneering. The registered manager said, “We speak honestly about food. We talk about the things that need to be talked about, and it helps to promote their independence for when people are eating out. Food is everywhere so it’s important we don’t try to shield them from it.”

People consistently commented on the caring nature of the team. One person said, “The staff here are the best!” Another person shared that the team treated them well and had done everything they could to help them be as independent as possible.

Consensus are delighted to congratulate the whole team at Heatherington House, who are praised throughout the CQC report for their teamwork and their genuine person-centred approach to supporting and empowering people they support. These themes recur throughout the report, which goes on to reinforce the importance of strong communication throughout the support team, but also with people they support, relatives, health and social care professionals and the wider community.

Heatherington House is managed by Margaret Elliot, who has been with Consensus now 15 years starting as a Support Worker. Named Manager of the Year by Caring Homes Group, of which Consensus is a part, last year Margaret was delighted to also win the title of ‘Learning Disability Service Manager of the Year’ at the National Care Awards in 2017, and be recognised again in 2018 when she and her team were shortlisted as finalists in the Care Team of the Year category at the National Care Awards in November 2018.

Margaret on learning Heatherington House had been awarded an Outstanding rating in all five Kloe’s said, “It’s all down to the hard work, passion and commitment of the entire team, the people we support and the support of our wider operational and management team across Consensus. Our values are quite definitely what drive us and inspire the way we work and inspire success.

“It’s still sinking in at the moment but obviously I am absolutely delighted and so proud of my team and the people we support, as without them none of this would have been possible. Also, I would just like to say a huge thank you to my colleague, Emma Painter, who’s now moved into a leadership role in another of our PWS homes, as she was part of that team and has shared my passion and determination over the past four years and I know she will be delighted that we have finally achieved what we have worked so hard for.”

Eddie Morgan, Managing Director, Consensus praised the team, “It is a fantastic achievement for service to receive the highest possible rating from the CQC of Outstanding in all areas. It is an even greater achievement for a Learning Disability service that supports Prader-Willi Syndrome. The fact that Heatherington House has achieved this is testimony to the values, culture and hard work of the team which under Margaret’s leadership ensures such excellent outcomes. We are immensely proud of Heatherington House and all that they continue to achieve and inspire.”

The full report (published on the CQC website) highlights many areas of positive practice and can be found the CQC website.

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