Outstanding result for West Norfolk home care company

Outstanding result for West Norfolk home care company
The Extra Hands team at Heacham celebrates its Outstanding status. Company founder David Evans is centre (dark glasses), with company director and wife Hazel (second right, yellow jacket). Manager Lynda Hilliard is on David's right (black top). The banner is being held by carer Katrina Bussey, left, and director James Back, right.

A West Norfolk home care company has been declared outstanding by the Care Quality Commission which has praised managers and staff for their work.

Extra Hands’ Heacham office was inspected in February and is currently the only home care company in Norfolk to be rated as outstanding - the highest rating that can be given by the commission.

The company, which has another office near Norwich, has many hundreds of people using the range of services on offer (over 700 in the last year alone) - from the elderly to younger people needing help in their own homes and is a multi-award winning, family-run company.

It uses innovative approaches, including a smart phone app for staff and a ‘rapid response’ team of carers to cover emergencies and provide additional support when needed.

“We are absolutely delighted to receive the outstanding rating and incredibly proud of everyone at Extra Hands who works so hard to provide fantastic person-centred care for all of our service users,” said manager Lynda Hilliard.

“Our services range from a well-being check to palliative care and everything in between, so having exceptional people providing that care is crucial to Extra Hands and it is thanks to them that we have been awarded outstanding,” she added.

The inspecting team praised the company in all five key areas of safety, effectiveness, caring, responsiveness and leadership and awarded an overall outstanding rating for the service.

“People had consistency from a small team of care staff who knew their needs well and could be relied upon. Care calls were electronically monitored to ensure people received a needs-based service,” said the inspector.

Particular praise was made of the company’s training which includes a detailed induction and training programme.

They receive regular and updated training which the inspectors described as ‘thorough’ while service users and their relatives said the staff were patient, caring and knowledgeable.

“All of them are brilliant. Since we have had them his life has been completely changed for the better. It is all down to the wonderful training and skill of the carers,” a relative told the inspectors.

The report also added: “Training was exceptional because it was provided face-to-face and included a wide range of additional training around the specific needs of individuals. These enable care staff to support people in the way they wanted to be supported in their own homes.

Before any service is provided, a holistic assessment is completed involving the person and their extended network of support, including other healthcare professionals.

“Care giving was responsive around people’s changing needs which helped ensure continuity for the person and enabling people to stay for as long as possible in their own homes,” the report says.

The inspection team also praised the management of Extra Hands and said it was ‘highly effective’ with exceptional and distinctive leaders creating a service culture of high quality person-centred care.

“The registered manager demonstrated an in-depth knowledge of the people they supported and their staff.”

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