Vital service receives outstanding rating for work across the county

County Coun Veronica Jones with Gail Cooper and Sue Davison, both of Short Term Support Service (Alnwick).
County Coun Veronica Jones with Gail Cooper and Sue Davison, both of Short Term Support Service (Alnwick).

A service that helps people regain their independence and recover in their own homes after an accident or illness has been rated as outstanding across the whole of Northumberland.

The Short Term Support Service is provided by Northumberland County Council and managed in partnership with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

This vital service not only helps people get safely back to their own homes and loved ones earlier, but also relieves pressure on the hospital system.

The service is inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in four geographical areas – Alnwick, Berwick, south-east Northumberland and west Northumberland – to ensure each one meets quality and safety standards.

Following an inspection of the Alnwick-based service published this week; all four geographical areas are now rated outstanding – the highest possible designation.

In the report on the Alnwick-based service, inspectors described it as exceptionally responsive to people’s individual needs and said they saw and heard how staff went above and beyond their role.

Inspectors highlighted that during a period of bad weather and heavy snow, staff had walked through the snow to reach people, ensuring they had basic needs like bread and milk and fuel for their fires.

People who used the service described the staff as ‘fantastic’, ‘excellent’ and ‘very caring’ and said they ‘couldn’t have coped without them, especially at the beginning’.

North Short Term Support Service (Alnwick) registered manager Sue Davison said: “This rating is a testament to the dedicated, caring and professional staff who go out of their way to help people.”

The service has its own team of physiotherapists, occupational therapists, technical instructors and rehabilitation workers and staff work closely with district nursing teams.