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Supported living service director credits ‘sound and true value base’ for ‘outstanding’ inspection report

Stock photo of a carer checking on a patient. Photo: Thinkstock

Stock photo of a carer checking on a patient. Photo: Thinkstock

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A supported living service for people with complex learning disabilities across East Anglia has been given top marks by inspectors.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) rated Dimensions East Anglia as outstanding following an inspection in August, when 178 people used the service.

Inspectors found staff were “exceptionally caring” and the report said: “People and relatives were extremely complimentary about the care they received.”

One person said: “I can talk to [staff members] without feeling judged.”

Another added: “I do laugh and be happy.”

The report also highlighted imaginative ways some people were supported in communicating. For one person who could not always process auditory information or found it difficult to express themselves, the report said: “This person had a milkshake which they drank when they were disappointed, and they felt when finishing it, the disappointment went away.”

Sam Sheppard, operations director for Dimensions in Norfolk and Lincolnshire said their success was all about tailoring support to whatever an individual wanted to achieve.

He said: “It’s about having a workforce who have a really sound and true value base and who have a really good understanding of what keeps people safe. I think by having good local leadership and by including people’s families we can achieve some great things.”

He added everyone at the organisation was “thrilled” about the result.

Jemima Burnage, CQC’s head of inspection for adult social care in the central region, said: “Our inspection team were really impressed by the level of care and support offered to people at Dimensions East Anglia. The service provided exceptional, compassionate care to people which enhanced their lives, through adaptive and creative ways of communicating.

“Staff used individualised methods to promote people’s independence through achieving their identified goals and supporting them through each step.

“The service was engaged in creating an innovative approach to caring for people living with learning difficulties focusing on what people wanted to achieve in their lives, how they could overcome any obstacles, and ultimately achieve a positive outcome.

“It is an outstandingly well-led service that actively promotes a positive, inclusive and open culture. The structure of the service worked for people, so that locality managers were always available to support staff and people when needed. All of this meant people received a high standard of care, which is why it has been rated outstanding.”

Andrea Sutcliffe, chief inspector of adult social care, added: “The quality of care which our inspectors found here was exceptional and I am very pleased that we can celebrate the service’s achievements. An outstanding service is the result of a tremendous amount of hard work and commitment. I would like to thank and congratulate everyone involved.”

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