Care Talk: How to be Outstanding

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Outstanding staff, an outstanding service

Christies Care Ltd was established in 1987 by our founder and Chairman Hugh Gathorne- Hardy. We are a family owned and run business. Hugh’s son Freddy is our Managing Director. We provide Live-in care nationally and pop-in care locally in Suffolk. 

Our last two CQC inspections have been rated as Outstanding. As CQC phases into their new regulatory approach here at Christies Care we are ensuring that we are working with the new framework to ensure that we continue to deliver and evidence the outstanding care we provide to our clients and how we ensure we have an outstanding workforce who understand the importance of high-quality outstanding care. 

“Our last two CQC inspections have been rated as Outstanding.”

Continual service improvement and staff engagement/ wellbeing is key to our continued outstanding rating. We recently underwent an external mock CQC inspection conducted by an ex-CQC Inspector. This inspection highlighted the good work Christies has done around staff wellbeing and progression. The result of the mock inspection was that we retained our outstanding rating with amazing results and positive feedback which we are so very proud of. 

We have an internal Leadership Commitment to our staff around progression and continued personal development; there is a tangible culture of excellence and this is being achieved in partnership with people, relatives and staff. It is important that our Leaders are innovative in their increasing use of technology and we continually focus on this quarterly alongside monthly KPIs with amazing results. 

Our staff love working for Christies Care and many have had the opportunity to grow and develop. 

We continually invest in good management and staff engagement. We know that if you have good management, you can have highly engaged staff, who then do a fantastic job for their clients, who in turn get a fantastic service. 

This year we have focused heavily on our management teams. We give management training to all our managers, including a day of coaching for care, sessions on active/ empathetic listening, feedback and other subjects. Because we focus on great internal management, we can make sure everyone is treated extremely well, which in turn means we have fewer problems with recruitment and retention of carers. This year we are in the top 100 large employers and in the top 5 for health and social care providers in the UK, according to Best Companies Survey. 

We have also focused heavily on recruitment from outside of our sector; we have had great success with this, 70% of our carer recruitment this year has been from outside of care, we are very proud of this outcome. 

The Christies Care Benevolent Fund helps our carers when they are out of work; in the financial year 2022-23 it paid out just under £25,000.00 to deserving carers. 

We are improving client feedback. This Feedback focusses on results: what will we do to make life better for our clients. Our live-in client Peter (with us since 2012 and calls us for a chat every day) had told our team he wanted a surprise birthday party with a cake. Our care-co-ordinators made sure they visited and gave him a surprise birthday cake. He was absolutely ecstatic. 

“70% of our carer recruitment  this year has been from outside  of care, we are very proud of  this outcome.” 

We have focussed heavily on staff Engagement; we have looked after our wellbeing and celebrated the role of physical activity, mental strength and resilience. We have been involved in National Fitness Day where we invited a Yoga teacher to teach chair yoga and mindfulness to our carers and staff. We also encouraged our clients to talk about the activities they love to partake in and their past achievements. We had an ice-cream van visit us at our head office treating all staff and carers to an ice-cream to say thank you and how much their hard work is appreciated. 

Over the last year we have had a very strong community presence in and around the Saxmundham area, we have recruited a Community Engagement Officer who has forged positive relationships with local charities, organisations and attended local events. 

All of the above highlights our continued commitment to our clients, carers and staff which in turn enables us to give an outstanding service and retain our outstanding rating. 

Charlotte Driver-Young 
Operations Director and Registered Manager, Christies Care 

Originally published in Care Talk Winter 2023/24


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