Care home in Crawley receives CQC’s highest rating

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has rated Greensleeves Care Home in Crawley as outstanding overall, following an inspection in March.

Greensleeves Care Home provides accommodation and personal care for up to 34 older women.

At the time of the inspection 32 people were living at the service. This was the first inspection of the service under a new provider.

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Following the inspection, the service is rated outstanding overall. It is also rated outstanding for being caring, responsive and well-led. It is rated good for being safe and effective.

The Care Quality Commission has rated Greensleeves Care Home in Crawley as outstanding overall, following an inspection in March. Picture courtesy of Google Maps

Hazel Roberts, CQC’s head of inspection for adult social care, said: "When we inspected Greensleeves Care Home, we found an outstanding service which was exceptionally responsive to people’s needs.

"It is led by a passionate and committed registered manager and management team, and the staff are well-trained and happy in their roles.

“The provider had ensured the environment was homely and suitable for people living with dementia, and they were using innovative and inventive practices to care for people.

"The service used an electronic medication administration record system to alert staff when people needed certain medicines, or if they were at risk of becoming dehydrated.

"During the Covid-19 pandemic, the service offered virtual tours of the home, so people could see where they would be living before moving in.

“People were able to walk around the home freely, and they had access to a garden, designed with people’s wellbeing and ease of access in mind.

"Calming music was played in the hallways, and throughout the home there were clear written and pictorial signs to help people recognise shared space and bathrooms.

"Each bedroom had a photograph of the person it belonged to outside, to help them identify their own room. There was also a dementia friendly clock in each shared space to help people’s orientation of the date and time.

“The service also had a sensory ‘Namaste’ room where people went for therapies, such as a hand massage, or reminiscence sessions. When people felt anxious, the room offered a calming atmosphere, with soft lighting, scents, music and touch to suit each person. People’s wellbeing improved after spending time there, they were more alert and experienced fewer falls.

"Some people, who had previously needed anti-psychotic medicines, no longer required them. When one lady felt depressed and didn’t want to get out of bed, a member of staff took her to the Namaste room and discovered she loved barber shop music. On hearing that, her face lit up and she talked about her husband and the music they loved.

“Staff treated everyone as an individual and went out of their way to make people feel at home. One resident loved football, and a member of staff, who was also a fan, watched matches with her and chatted about the outcome afterwards.

"Another lady was born outside the UK, and staff baked some pastries following recipes from her country of birth, to make her feel at home.

"People were encouraged to contribute their ideas to a ‘wish tree’, and staff would make these wishes come true if possible.

"When someone asked for a beach day, staff decorated the lounge and organised food and games to make it feel like they were at the beach.

“People were encouraged to be as independent as possible. Shift patterns were adjusted to suit the people living there, not the staff. So, if people preferred to have a bath or shower in the evening, staff were available to support them.

"Breakfast was laid out in a buffet format, so people could help themselves to whatever they wanted in their own time.

"When one lady was unable to find her way back to her seat at lunch time, a member of staff approached her, and they danced back to the table, laughing together.

“The atmosphere in the home was lively and people were clearly having fun. Residents told us it was ‘the Buckingham Palace of care homes’ and described it as ‘Heaven on earth’.

"People told us they had made friends at the home and said they ‘do all kinds of wonderful things’, as the provider had ensured there were a full range of activities on offer for people to take part in, such as gardening, jewellery making, crosswords, games and exercise.

"Relatives said their they had noticed their loved one had improved since moving into the service.

“It was an absolute pleasure to inspect Greensleeves Care Home and the whole team there is thoroughly deserving of the overall outstanding rating.

"I would encourage other care providers to read the inspection report and learn from the personalised quality of care being delivered.”

Inspectors found the following during this inspection:

Staff were recruited safely and there were enough staff with the right training to meet people's needs. Prior to any staff engagement people were asked if they were happy to be cared for by the prospective staff member. People were supported by staff who knew them well and assisted them appropriately.

The management team listened and strived to continually improve people's experiences. This included researching initiatives from organisations such as the Alzheimer's Society.

People's needs were robustly assessed before they moved into the service. Person-centred care plans were developed with people and their families, this included people's life stories and wishes. People were continually involved with decisions relating to their care and environment and the management team held regular video meetings with relatives to keep them informed and ask for their views.

People were supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives and staff supported them in the least restrictive way possible and in their best interests; the policies and systems in the service supported this practice.

Medicines were administered safely by trained and competent staff. People had access to healthcare agencies and support including physiotherapists, opticians and district nurses. Visiting healthcare professionals spoke highly of the staff and the care they delivered to people.

There were clear systems in place to safeguard people from the risk of abuse.

Risks were managed safely. People were supported to live their lives according to their wishes and were involved in risk management planning.

People received exceptional responsive support to improve health and prevent conditions. Risks to health, such as diabetes had been assessed. Care plans and risk assessments guided staff on how to respond. People who were at risk of choking received diets appropriate to their needs. Staff thought of inventive ways to naturally lessen urinary tract infections (UTIs), offering people cranberry juice, probiotic yoghurts and PH balanced soap. People had a reduction in infections and associated complications as a result.

Staff underwent ‘dementia simulation' training, so they could experience the challenges of living with dementia and other age-related conditions. Staff said this increased their understanding of the condition, and changed the way they approached people, always introducing themselves and minimising unnecessary, startling background noises such as doors slamming. This made the people living there more relaxed.

The service had an open culture. Staff knew when and how to report accidents or incidents which resulted in appropriate action being taken. The service continually learned lessons and made changes when things went wrong.

People were encouraged to personalise their space and surround themselves with items important to them, staff respected people's space and belongings.

People enjoyed home cooked food which was tailored to their tastes. Where people required an alternative diet due to health or cultural needs, these were well catered for. Food was served on coloured plates, as research from the Alzheimer’s society showed this stimulated appetite and encouraged people’s independence when eating.

Staff always asked for people’s consent prior to assisting them.

One person said: "The carers always check with me if I am happy, they ask me for permission before they do anything and offer choices, little things like they ask me to check my bath water is comfortable, they ask me if I want my back washed. It's the little things that make me feel respected."

The full report can be found on the website.