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By Debbie le Quesne

Winning home – captures heartbeat of many others

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From October, the CQC is reintroducing a new ratings system with four grades – from outstanding to inadequate.

For me, and indeed my members at West Midlands Care Association, it’s good news. We have nothing to hide and by March 2016 every care home will have been assessed.

Quoted in the Press, Andrea Sutcliffe, chief inspector of adult social care at the CQC, says: “We will rate adult social care services against the five key questions that matter most to the people who use them – are they safe, caring, effective, well-led and responsive to people’s needs?

“Ratings will provide more meaningful information about the quality of the service for providers and the public. It is important for people who use services, their families and carers to clearly see and understand our judgments and how services in their area are performing.”

And I agree, the ratings system is good for would-be users of private care to get a quick snapshot of the service on offer.

Recently the results of another ‘care quality’ initiative have been published – the Your Care Rating poll which included residents of small independent homes, non-for-profit organisations and those who are looked after by providers such as Barchester, Care UK, Anchor and the Abbeyfield Society.

And I am thrilled that out of 21,000 car homes surveyed about the quality of care, a 15-bed operation – St Leonards rest home on Hayling Island in Hampshire – has come out top.

It’s two houses knocked into one, not flash, and run by a husband and wife team Frank and Mary Bartlett for more than 17 years.

Frank Bartlett, who worked as a medical microbiologist in Saudi Arabia before moving back to the UK to take over the home, is quoted in the national Press: “The place doesn’t look much from the outside, but inside we like to think there’s a heart of gold. We try to run a family-friendly care home. The residents are your mums, dads or aunties and we treat them accordingly – like our family.”

This award-winning business is representative of so many of those run by my members.

Congratulations Frank and Mary Bartlett. They represent the heartbeat of so many of our members and it’s great to see good care rewarded.

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