Good rating for charity’s care at home service

Caring for the elderly
Caring for the elderly

The home-care service run by an older persons’ charity in Northumberland has been rated as good by the regulator for health and social care.

Age UK Northumberland’s Home Care Service achieved a good rating across all of the five questions inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) under its new inspection regime.

The new regime rates facilities as either inadequate, requires improvement, good or outstanding, reflecting the system used by Ofsted for schools.

This is broken down into five key areas to assess whether the provider is safe; effective; caring; responsive and well-led.

The report for Age UK Northumberland’s home-care service was published last Thursday, following an inspection in July.

It highlighted that ‘people were happy with the care and support they received and they spoke highly of the staff who assisted them’ and ‘staff had the skills they needed to meet the varying care needs of the people using the service’.

Some recent reports for other facilities in the county have met with criticism for a perceived extreme focus on administrative issues, which led to lower ratings.

But in the case of Age UK Northumberland, ‘records showed that historic complaints were handled appropriately and records were kept of each individual complaint received and any associated paperwork or correspondence with the complainant’.

Angela Murray, chief executive of Age UK Northumberland, said: “We are absolutely delighted to achieve a good outcome from our CQC inspection. This reflects the high level of care that we provide in communities across Northumberland 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“The inspection report includes very positive comments from our service users and I would like to thank all of our carers, staff and supporters for their hard work and dedication.

“We look forward to building on this and it is our ambition to be recognised as an outstanding provider in future inspections.”

Age UK Northumberland is a large provider of care in the home in Northumberland and, at the time of the inspection, the charity was supporting 739 service users and delivered more than 6,800 hours of care.

With more than 288 staff, it is also one of the largest employers in the county.