Borough care home now rated as ‘outstanding’ by council

Heathside care home staff
Heathside care home staff

A council-owned care home once ordered to make improvements by health and social care watchdogs has now been rated “outstanding”.

Heathside in Leigh has been given the highest rating following the latest visit from the Care Quality Commission.

The Plank Lane home has come a long way since 2014 - when inspectors raised concerns about standards of care.

Following another inspection at the end of 2016, the facility received a “good” rating, but vast improvements in its provision have seen it join just a handful of other services with the top rating.

Heathside was marked outstanding in the caring and responsive categories and good in the remaining three.

The report said: “There was an extremely strong and visible person-centred culture at the home.

“Staff members went out of their way to ensure people’s needs were met and wishes fulfilled, including attending the home in their own time to provide support to people they were key workers for.

“This included personalising and decorating people’s bedrooms, themed around their likes and interests to supporting people to attending activities they had expressed an interest in during conversations but had not done for some time, such as watching live sport, attending tea dances and going on shopping trips.

“One staff member had accompanied a person to a close family members wedding, remaining with them throughout. Due to this person’s support needs, they would not have been able to go without the staff’s input in their own time.”

Staff were praised for encouraging residents to pursue the things that make them happy and going out of their way to help them do so.

The CQC officers wrote: “One person had been supported to reconnect with the professional football club they used to play for. This person now meets up regularly with ex-players they had lost touch with and engages weekly with visitors to the home, sharing stories of their playing days.

“Another person was reluctant to wear any footwear or to stand and mobilise. This person talked regularly about football and how they loved their boots.

“A staff member purchased some football boots, which upon seeing, the person asked to wear immediately.

“They then stood and walked about in them. They regularly ask to wear their football boots, which brings them joy.”

Since the last inspection, management has implemented innovative techniques to reduce harm within the home.

Inspectors found the home had been trialling a device which attaches to a residents bed frame and continually monitors heart rate, respiration and body motion.

The system provides an alert up to three minutes prior to people deemed a high falls risk getting out of bed, which allowed staff time to provide support.

Since installing the system falls had reduced by 66 per cent.

This monitor has also benefited people at risk of developing pressure areas, by reducing the need to wake people and provide unnecessary pressure relief through the night.

The system alerts staff if a person has not changed position independently within two hours, so they can provide care. Otherwise, people are left to sleep, which had improved their sleep/wake cycle, mood and general wellbeing.

Coun Keith Cunliffe, cabinet member for adult social care and health, said: “I am incredibly proud of what staff at Heathside have managed to achieve and this latest report reflects the dedication and passion that staff have for their work.

“Inspectors have highlighted the caring, kind and hard-working attitude demonstrated by all members of staff so families can be assured their loved ones will benefit from an exceptional standard of care around the clock.”