The Mews rated ‘Good’ again in CQC inspection

The Mews, one of our homes providing residential care and rehabilitation for adults with acquired brain injuries in Northampton was once again rated ‘Good’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).  Following an unannounced inspection on 17 & 19 January 2018, The Mews was rated ‘Good’ by the CQC in all categories: Safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led. We’d like to thank Registered Manager Helen Petrie and her team for maintaining its high standards, as well as always looking for ways to improve our service. You can read the details of the report below

The CQC reported the following:

“People’s individuality was respected and people continued to be treated with empathy and kindness. The staff were friendly, caring and compassionate. Positive therapeutic relationships had been developed between the people and staff.

“Detailed personalised care plans were in place, which enabled staff to provide consistent care and support in line with people’s personal preferences, choices and needs. End of life wishes were discussed and plans put in place.

“People continued to receive safe care. Staff were appropriately recruited and there were sufficient staff to meet people’s needs. People were protected from the risk of harm and received their prescribed medicines safely.

“The care that people received continued to be effective and positive outcomes for people were being achieved. Staff had access to the support, supervision and training that they required to work effectively in their roles. Development of staff knowledge and skills was encouraged. People were supported to maintain good health and nutrition and reach their full potential.

“People were supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives and staff supported them in the least restrictive way possible; the policies and systems in the home supported this practice. There was a variety of activities available for people to participate in, individually or as a group. Family and friends were welcomed and supported.

“The service had a positive ethos and an open culture. The provider was committed to develop the service and actively looked at ways to continuously improve the service. There were effective quality assurance systems and audits in place; action was taken to address any shortfalls.

“People knew how to raise a concern or make a complaint and the provider had implemented effective systems to manage any complaints that they may receive.”

Details of all recent CQC inspections in our homes.

Brain Injury Rehabilitation physiotherapy

Physiotherapy session for brain injury rehabilitation

CQC Inspection for The Mews

An unannounced inspection took place at The Mews, one of our homes for adults with acquired brain injuries, in January. The Mews was rated ‘Good’ against all of the five key questions:  Is the service safe? Is the service effective? Is the service caring? Is the service responsive? Is the service well-led? Additional evidence was obtained to produce a full report, which you can access here

The Richardson Mews

The Mews. The Richardson Partnership for Care

The Mews awarded 10/10 in Quality Checkers report

Voice Ability is an advocacy service providing independent advocacy for people aged over 18. The organisation supports people who use adult mental health care services with issues about mental health and social care.

Voice Ability also provides a quality checking service for a range of organisations including Northamptonshire County Council, the CQC and NHS Trusts. Their ‘experts by experience’ take part in quality assessments from a service user’s perspective.

Northamptonshire Quality Checkers recently assessed The Mews, one of our homes providing rehabilitation and residential care for adults with acquired brain injuries. Mike, the Quality Checker, had a look around the home and spoke with service users and staff. He said that he was made to feel very welcome, and the service users that he spoke to said that the house was very ‘homely’ and that the food was ‘delish’! They also told him about the activities in which they are involved: one service user does paid admin work at the home and another is starting a college course to study animals.

An area of key importance to Voice Ability is that service users have the freedom to make their own choices and are supported to take informed risks. The brain injury rehabilitation service provided at The Mews, aims to increase the independence of all service users and these elements of decision making are an important part of this rehabilitation process.

Mike also discovered that service users at The Mews have communication passports and hospital passports and that everyone has health action plans in their care plans. He awarded The Mews 10 out of 10 in his report.

We welcome independent assessments from all types of organisation, listening objectively to all feedback from third parties, service users, their families and our staff. We endeavour to continually improve the quality of life for people in our homes and the effectiveness of our rehabilitation services, wherever possible.

Bedroom at The Richardson Partnership for Care

A bedroom at The Mews

Wild Science brings some animal magic to The Mews

Wild Science, a specialist animal education group, brought some inhabitants of their ‘mini zoo’ to The Mews recently, where service users from all of our homes could take part in an ‘animal therapy’ session.

For service users who have mobility difficulties, or for people who would find visiting a real zoo an over-stimulating environment, the session presented an excellent opportunity to learn about some unusual creatures. It was a fun, engaging and fascinating afternoon for everyone who took part, providing close-up interaction with a wide range of different animals. These included a gerbil, a tree frog, a snake and a giant millipede, plus a pygmy hedgehog and a crested gecko, which were two of the most popular animals.

We learnt about all of the animals’ natural habitats and how they live. The Madagascan Cockroach was fascinating: we discovered that cockroaches have been around since the times of the dinosaurs, they can survive being frozen and can hold their breath for 45 minutes!

All of the service users were able to benefit from a new and rewarding experience and the joy of holding or stroking the animals was clearly evident for some people. In addition, simple interactions with animals can be a soothing and relaxing experience.

The ‘animal therapy’ session was part of a range of activities at our specialist residential care homes for adults with learning disabilities or acquired brain injuries. They are designed to provide a fulfilling and inclusive lifestyle and to assist in rehabilitation programmes.

Pygmy hedgehog

A Pygmy Hedgehog

A Madagascan Cockroach

A Madagascan Cockroach

Current affairs group for service users with acquired brain injuries

We recently introduced a ‘News and Current Affairs Group’ to two of our care homes for adults with acquired brain injuries. They comprise twice weekly sessions of half an hour each. Originally run by psychologists, support workers have now been trained to run the sessions in which newspaper articles are read and discussed by the group with contributions from all attendees.

The service users are eager to attend and enjoy the sessions . Not only are they enjoyable, however, the sessions form an important part of the rehabilitation process by providing an opportunity to practise skills such as:
•    Orientation to time and place
•    Communication/ discussion
•    Listening to others
•    Memory and Reminiscence
•    Sharing relevant experiences
•    Understanding the world
•    Cognitive stimulation
•    Creative thinking/ abstract reasoning,

The outcomes of the sessions are evaluated as part of the battery of standardised assessments carried out regularly at The Richardson Partnership for Care. These include aspects of adaptive behaviour (i.e. communication, functional academics, social engagement),mood, self-esteem and communication.

There is a broad research base, supporting the use of functional-based groups like these to develop skills, for example:
•    Evans, J. J., Bateman, A., Turner, G., and Green, R. E. A. (2008). Understanding brain injury resources and evidence base. Neuropsychol. Rehabil. Res. Dig. 18. p. 372–384.
•    Feeney, T. J., & Capo, M. (2010). Making meaning: The use of Project-based supports for individuals with brain injury. Journal of Behavioural and Neuroscience Research, 8, 70-80.

Newspapers and current affairs

The Mews receives approval from independent Quality Checkers

Northamptonshire County Council employs Total Voice Northamptonshire to provide independent quality checking services. Total Voice is an advocacy service and part of VoiceAbility, which champions the rights and strengthens the voice of people who face disadvantage or discrimination.

Total Voice recently carried out a review of The Mews, one of our homes providing residential care and rehabilitation for adults with acquired brain injuries. They visited The Mews to check the quality of service from a service user’s perspective, interviewing two residents and talking to members of staff as well as looking around the home. After their visit they provided a report of their findings.

Choices and control
An area of key importance to Total Voice is whether service users know how to complain about any aspect of the service and if they think that it will help. The service users interviewed said that they know how to complain and that complaints were listened to and acted upon.

Having a health action plan for each service user is also assessed by Total Voice who found that all residents at The Mews have health action plans and see all relevant health professionals.

The report also highlighted that all residents are free to make their own choices, for example, deciding on holidays, how their rooms are decorated, what they do and where they go. They are free to take informed risks and have keys to their rooms.

The brain injury rehabilitation service provided at The Mews, aims to increase the independence of all service users and these elements of decision making are an important part of this rehabilitation process.

Positive comments
Here are some of the comments the quality checkers made:
“The best one I have been to, it’s about people getting the best support, not about profit and people being greedy.”
“I find it heart-warming.”
“The staff were polite and approachable.”
“There is loads of space. There are places they [service users] can go if they want to chill out.”
“The garden was massive and very nice.”

We welcome independent assessments from all types of organisation, listening objectively to all feedback from third parties, service users, their families and our staff. We endeavour to continually improve the quality of life for people in our homes and the effectiveness of our rehabilitation services, wherever possible.

Celebrating 25 years in residential care

We have just celebrated the 25th anniversary of The Richardson Partnership for Care with a pig roast and summer fete for service users, their families and our staff. I would like to thank everyone involved who made the day such a success.

The event at The Mews was centred around the service users from all of our homes because they are always at the centre of what we do. Each of our residential homes provided an activity or game, such as ‘name the teddy’, ‘hook the duck’, giant playing cards and Connect 4, as well as ball games. We also had some beautiful owls on display, which had been rescued after being injured in the wild, so were used to human contact and were very popular with everyone.

The sun shone, there was a wonderful atmosphere and we couldn’t have asked for a better day. We had some fantastic positive feedback from the service users and their families on the day, which was really rewarding.

The event epitomised what we have been doing for the last 25 years: We have always focused on the needs of service users, providing specialist care for adults with learning difficulties and/or acquired brain injury. Our ethos of social integration, dignity, respect and choice was clearly demonstrated in the way that everyone thoroughly enjoyed the event. It also enabled families of our service users to meet and chat, sharing experiences in a relaxed environment and enjoying time with their loved ones.

Thanks again to everyone for making it a special day and we look forward to the next 25 years!

RPC 25th anniversary cake

Our 25th anniversary cake

Activities at RPC 25th anniversary party

Activities at our 25th anniversary party

2014 Conference and 25th Anniversary

We are pleased to announce the date of our 2014 Conference. It will be taking place on Thursday 15th May at The Richardson Mews, Northampton NN2 7BH. The theme of the conference will be ‘Behaviours that Challenge’ and we are expecting some interesting debates.

As it is our 25th anniversary this year, we will also be using the occasion to celebrate this milestone. Some of our service users have been with us since the beginning – they are the reason that we started the business – so it’s an important milestone for them too.There will be a delicious lunch and some more light-hearted activities in the afternoon. We do hope that you’ll be able to join us for at least part of the day. More details will follow later.

Louise Pittam

Admissions and Referrals Manager Louise Pittam at the 2013 Conference

Energy usage in care homes

As it’s Energy Saving Week this week, I thought I’d write a short post about what we’re doing at The Richardson Partnership for Care to reduce our carbon footprint.

Our care home at 144 Boughton Green Road has been using solar power to heat the water for the last 10 years and we’re installing solar water heating in The Mews too. We’ve also made provision to switch to solar water heating in our other care homes by putting water tanks in place.

In addition, our care homes are well insulated to reduce heat loss and they recycle most of their waste. We are also considering installing rain water harvesting systems in some of our homes – there’s certainly a lot of rain water about at the moment!

The Mews Open Day 2012

DSCF1147_1We held our first Open Day in celebration of the one year birthday of our beautiful Mews home and my word, did we have a great day!

We arranged for all of our Homes and Specialist Support teams to be available to speak to the visitors on the day, as well as answer any questions they had.

The feedback we have received already from the attendees about The Richardson Mews remains as rewarding as ever. Hearing things like  “I can’t believe the quality of this care home” from a care manager in particular is something that really warms our hearts and reaffirms what we set out to do as a business and a caring service provider.

We invited many different people to the Open Day – including a large number of influential professionals from all areas  of the care, medical and charitable professions. We welcomed them into our home and gave them a first hand experience of what it is that we do at Richardsons. Needless to say we were pleased to have them all attend and to get their direct feedback on the work that we do as well as the quality of our facilities at The Mews.

We also presented a talk during the day (morning and afternoon)  which was entitled “Fast Flowing, Slow Stream: Rehabilitation and Psychological Therapies at RPC” – to give some further insights into our approach to rehabilitation. Look out for a blog post on this to come!

Our table top displays were laid out to give a focus on the holistic approach we offer our service users. The different displays showcased the specialist areas of Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy, Physio, Beauty Therapy, Art sessions, as well as various other trainers from our team giving glimpses and insight into the person-centred approach we choose to take with our service users.

Not to be outdone – we also provided a musical element to the day! We had Martin-The-Music-Man play during the day, as well as Simon Moxman, our saxophone player. It provided a great backdrop to the day. We strongly believe in the power of music in the rehabilitation process and our visitors got to meet and hear our musical team first hand. We regularly have Simon and Martin play for our service users as part of the repertoire of activities which the services users are free to choose to engage in during the year.

Lastly, we would like to thank all of our staff and support teams in helping make the day such a success. We had a wonderful time talking to everyone and really enjoyed having the opportunity to showcase all the work we have put into getting The Richardson Mews’ doors open – its been a long 5 year development project that really has been one of the most rewarding and ambitious dream projects that we have ever embarked on at Richardsons.

And now…we are back doing what we do best – providing the best all-round residential care for adults with acquired brain injuries or learning difficulties.

If you didn’t manage to come and see us on our Open Day – we are more than happy to speak to you at any time or give you a personal tour whenever is convenient for you, so please do call us on 01604 791 266. For more information – please visit our website at