A Bournemouth care home has been given the highest ever rating by regulators, achieving ‘Outstanding’ ratings in all five areas of their report. It becomes one of just four nursing homes in the whole of England which is rated ‘Outstanding’ in all five areas.
Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) made an unannounced visit to Bupa Queensmount – on Queens Park Drive in Bournemouth – and noted that “an outstandingly caring culture was promoted at every level. Without exception everything the service did was to enhance the lives of the people living there and their families.”
Queensmount is Bupa’s eighth ‘Outstanding’ care home – and the fifth to be secured this year – and means that ‘Outstanding’ homes now make up 6% of its total portfolio. This is double the national average, with the CQC’s latest figures showing that only 3% of care homes in England secure the prestigious rating.
Speaking of the news Joan Elliott, Managing Director for Bupa Care Homes, said: “2019 has got off to an absolutely flying start for us, and I’m absolutely thrilled by this latest result. We’ve put a lot of energy into driving quality within our homes and results like this show that it’s really paying off.
“As soon as you step foot inside Queensmount you can feel that you’re somewhere special. The team are nothing short of heroes, constantly going the extra mile for the residents, their families and guests. While I’m not surprised to see it achieve this faultless rating, I know just how difficult it is to achieve. The team should be hugely proud of this achievement.”
Nicola Soulsby, Home Manager at Bupa Queensmount, added: “I’ve always been proud of the service we offer and was confident that we could achieve an Outstanding rating. That said, I never dreamed for one moment that we’d be one of the best rated home in England. I keep having to pinch myself! We have a fantastic team at the home and every single person pulls together to deliver the best for residents. I’m delighted that the CQC could see this.”
Positive values were shared by staff at the home and, in one example, the CQC report noted a laundry manager who struck up a friendship with a resident. The resident struggled to communicate with others, often leaving them frustrated, so the colleague helped develop a photographic communication aid, allowing the resident to engage with others at the home.
The report also praised activities at the home stating how they were tailored around residents’ personal interests and people were encouraged to get involved with daily tasks to help them feel valued.
On pancake day, for example, the home purchased lightweight frying pans so residents could cook and toss their own pancakes. The thoughtful gesture was well received, with one resident commenting: “Thank you for helping me to achieve this. I never thought I would be able to cook again".
Staff also ensured that all residents were able to take part in activities – even those whose care needs meant they were unable to leave their rooms. When hosting a cheese and wine event, colleagues made individual cheeseboards to take into people’s rooms. Elsewhere the team created a mobile garden on a trolley so that people could water and tend to the plants from their beds.
The home was also commended for its involvement in #NeverTooLate – Bupa’s nationwide wish granting campaign for residents – arranging outings for residents including a ride in a sports car and a boat trip to Brownsea Island.
Looking at safety, inspectors praised the home for “developing a comprehensive and innovative approach to safeguarding”, which supported residents in maintaining independence.
In one example the report highlighted how one resident – who was at a high risk of falls – still wished to take independent weekly trips to the bank. Knowing this was important to the lady, the home arranged a regular taxi driver who waits for her during the visit and knows to call the home if there are any issues.
Elsewhere inspectors recalled how a resident with limited physical ability still wanted to walk independently. Respecting his wish, the home devised a programme of daily exercises which significantly helped reduce falls.
The home’s chef was also praised for personally getting to know each resident and tailoring the menu to ensure that they could still enjoy their home comforts, such as regular homemade cakes or ‘a beer while watching the football’.
As well as going above and beyond to support residents, colleagues at the home were also recognised for their caring approach towards families and guests visiting the home.
In one example, inspectors noted how the home considered family members who were staying with relatives receiving end of life care. The team introduced comfort boxes for relatives which included items such as toiletries, lavender oil and bed socks. Keen to ensure that they were as effective and thoughtful as possible, Nicola, the home manager, sought feedback from relatives as to which of the items they found useful or if there was anything else they could include.
And the service didn’t stop after a resident’s passing. In the weeks afterwards, the home would write to families to let them know that they were thinking of them, while also sharing a collection of photos from their time at the home.
Nicola Soulsby explains: “People sometimes think that going into a care home is the end. In reality it’s just the beginning, and we put a real focus on events and activities to ensure residents can flourish and enjoy their later years.
“While the final days will always be sad, the smallest gestures can make the biggest difference. Because our residents have so much fun in the home, we’re able to share photos of these happy times. Families have mentioned what a big comfort this has been and how it’s brought them a smile during an otherwise dark time.”
Deborah Ivanova, Deputy Chief Inspector for Adult Social Care, added: “What really impressed me in reading the inspection report and speaking with those involved in the inspection about this service was the level of personalised support that people received, from staff who had the right skills and who treated people with kindness, compassion and dignity. People told us they liked the staff who supported them, and staff themselves declared it a great place to work.
“People should always be cared for by services that are safe, effective, caring, responsive to their needs, and well led. I would encourage other providers to read this report, and the others we have published on services we have rated Outstanding, to see what they can learn.”
Set on a quiet residential street in Bournemouth, Bupa Queensmount provides care for up to 49 residents. In addition to a range of communal spaces and activities rooms – including a bar for residents – the home has well-kept gardens and sits adjacent to local parks and a golf course.
In addition to its eight ‘Outstanding’ care homes, Bupa has also received an ‘Outstanding’ rating for the domiciliary care provided at Richmond Village Nantwich – part of its network of retirement villages for the over 55s.