A national care watchdog has given Highmarket House the seal of approval, with residents and relatives praising its helpful and attentive team members.
The Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) report gave the home an overall ‘good’ rating, following an unannounced inspection.
The newly-opened home received five ‘good’ ratings in all five categories for safety, effectiveness, responsiveness, caring and having a well-led service.
Inspectors commented on the ethos of the home and how it is one focused on promoting a positive, person-centred culture. Team members were commended for their kind and caring manner and for seeking thoughts and opinions from every resident, on an individual basis. One team member said, “Everything we do is about the residents. They are at the heart of everything I do. I go home knowing I have made a difference and put a smile on their face.”
Residents confirmed this with inspectors by telling them how much they enjoyed living at the home and that their lives had improved as a result. One resident said: “This place has made the world of difference to me, it has allowed me to be fit and happy.”
Each resident has a Life Story book, created with the help of the team, to allow colleagues to get to know residents’ personalities, as well as providing their individual care needs. The books include the unique life stories of the residents, team members then use this to develop meaningful relationships with them. One resident, who had lived locally for many years, said: “I’ve been taken to the old fish and chip shop I used to go to and they took me to Banbury Fair last October,” demonstrating how his Life Story book had helped shape the unique care provided by Highmarket House.
Credit was given to the home for promoting independence wherever possible and supporting the residents in making their own processes and decisions. It was noted that the team’s willingness to spend time with, and get to know residents, was clearly appreciated by their loved ones.
Key features of the home were highlighted, including the spacious and light environment, in particular the enclosed outside space which people living with dementia were able to access freely. Social areas were commented on, including the calm and sociable atmosphere of the dining room, where the chef joins the residents during meal times, ensuring everyone is enjoying their meals and individual dietary requirements are met.
The inspector noted that activity based care was at the centre of Highmarket House ethos. The lifestyle team works hard to provide a range of activities to suit the residents, giving them the opportunity to choose which activities they would like to do. As well as daily activities, residents are also taken on day trips. One resident said “The activities are very good; they took us to Stratford, I really enjoyed that.”
It was noted that the home manager is working hard to develop strong links with the local community, from arranging ‘Dementia Friends’ events, to inviting local schools to visit the home and spend the day with the residents.
Commenting on the ‘good’ rating, home manager at Highmarket House, Julia Joy, said: “I’m delighted the CQC’s inspectors have rated us ‘good’. We strive to create a welcoming home from home feel, making sure every resident receives the best possible care is our number one priority.
“I’m incredibly proud of the team, everyone here works very hard to provide residents with unique, compassionate and person-centred care. It’s brilliant to have all of our hard work recognised by the national care regulator.
“I would like to say thank you for their hard work - something which I know is echoed by the residents’ families here at the home.”
To assess service standards at Highmarket House, the CQC’s inspector spoke with team members, residents and their visiting relatives on the day of the inspection. They also reviewed the records and procedures already in place at the care home.