A national care watchdog has given a care home in Colchester its seal of approval, with relatives and residents praising the caring and attentive team members.
The Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) report gave Care UK’s Tall Trees care home, on Mile End Road, an overall ‘Good’ rating, following an unannounced inspection.
The care home was rated ‘Good’ in four categories, which include safety, effectiveness, caring, and responsiveness, while leadership in the home was rated ‘Outstanding’.
Residents told the CQC inspectors that they felt safe at Tall Trees. A relative of a resident said: “I feel my relative is safe, I really do. I come every few weeks, but I know they’re in good hands."
It was clear that the team knew each resident well, and there were meaningful life story books for every individual, with a detailed account of their former lifestyle, family history, hobbies and interests and significant life events. These life story books were continued with entries and photographs of their life since living in Tall Trees.
The fabric of the building has been adapted to meet the needs of those living with dementia. For example, there were hats and bags on various walls for people to try on and wear, and boxes of old photographs to look at. A ‘nursery station’ with a cot, pram and dolls, and various ‘cleaning stations’ with dusters and other cleaning equipment had been set up to promote participation in everyday activities within the home.
CQC inspectors also noted the strong links with the home and the local community, which included intergenerational partnerships local schools. Strong relationships had developed between the residents and children, and one resident, who no longer had the ability to communicate, ‘came alive when the children were around, watching and smiling intently’, according to the report.
Mealtimes were also assessed during the observation, and it was noted that a lot of thought went into ensuring residents dined with dignity. One resident was supported by a team member to lay cutlery and items out for lunch time, which they noticeably enjoyed. The head chef took around a ‘farmers market stall’ with fresh meat and vegetables for people to choose their dinner from, and residents were encouraged to make their own choices about what they ate.
Inspectors were particularly impressed with the leadership within the home, praising home manager, Alice, who was a finalist in the 2018 Care UK Outstanding Leadership Awards, for the ‘exceptional and distinctive’ service culture she has created in the home.
Rated as outstanding, team members spoke highly of Alice and her management style, with one carer commenting, “The registered manager listens to you, and is always open to ideas.” A relative of one of the residents also described Alice as ‘their rock’ during a difficult time, and praised her for going beyond just caring for residents, but also about their families, who describe Tall Trees as a ‘second home’.
The report also commended the positive impact the home manager had had on the team. Delivering a high standard of care, members of the team at Tall Trees were extremely motivated, often coming in on their days off to visit residents. One member of the team said they felt ‘immensely proud’ to work at the home, while a resident described the team as being ‘respectful and kind’.
Alice Banda, home manager at Tall Trees, said: “Everyone has put in a lot of hard work to ensure we offer a home-from-home to all residents and their families, and the whole team is really proud of their achievements.
“Receiving a ‘Good’ rating shows just how dedicated the team is to looking after every individual’s needs, and we will continue our hard work to ensure residents receive compassionate, person-centred care. I am incredibly proud that Tall Trees has been rated ‘Outstanding’ for its leadership, and would like to say thank you to the team for their dedication, which I know is also greatly appreciated by residents and their families.”
To assess service standards at Tall Trees 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.
Tall Trees is a modern care home which provides full-time residential, nursing and dementia care, as well as short-term respite care. Designed to enable residents to live enjoyable and fulfilling lives, the care home has its very own activity areas and hair salon, and there is plenty of space, both indoors and out, for relaxation and recreation.
For more information on Tall Trees, please call home manager, Alice Banda, on 0333 434 3076, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For general information, please visit careuk.com/care-homes/tall-trees-colchester