Sad news and tribute to Brian Richardson

Brian Richardson

Brian Richardson

This month we pay tribute to my dad, Brian Richardson, who has died after a short illness: He was diagnosed with Lymphoma in his brain in April this year. Brian was the driving force behind The Richardson Partnership for Care, which he founded with my mum, Jackie, in 1989.

Brian was an amazing man who touched the lives and hearts of so many people. He was born on Christmas Eve 1949 and grew up in humble surroundings in Northampton with his parents and two brothers. His entrepreneurial spirit was evident from a young age when he would devise enterprising schemes, which included repairing motorbikes on the lawn in front of the family home.

After leaving school Brian attended the newly opened Nene College in Northampton and qualified as a teacher, however he didn’t quite fit into the teaching world. Instead he came home with a teenage student who desperately needed short-term foster care and that was the beginning of his career as a carer.

Brian and Jackie started The Richardson Partnership for Care in their own home, caring for people with learning disabilities. In fact, two of the people that they looked after then are still residents in our care homes now, almost thirty years later. They built up the business with love, sheer hard work, determination and dedication; qualities that Brian also displayed in his personal and social life.

Brian and Jackie grew the business by buying up properties in Northampton to enable them to care for more people. They also recognised there was a need for specialist residential care and rehabilitation for people with acquired brain injuries, so extended the services to care for them too. I grew up in the business and have worked full time for The Richardson Partnership for Care since leaving school. Around 15-20 years ago, I was appointed a Director, and Brian and Jackie gradually stepped down from the day to day running of the business, handing over to me and my husband Greg.

The Richardson Partnership for Care is very much Brian’s legacy. He and Jackie established it to feel more like a family than a business. Brian was more than a boss to his employees – he was a true friend and a gentleman. He was known for his generosity, often helping people out when they didn’t expect it and investing in their personal development. He gave them the skills and the freedom to move on, but many of the staff chose to stay. This is still the case today.

Part of Brian’s legacy is also the ethos of The Richardson Partnership for Care and its commitment to providing a warm, friendly and positive environment for people with learning disabilities and acquired brain injuries. They are treated with dignity and respect and we aim to support them to realise their potential and live a fulfilling life.
Brian was a man who lived life to the full. He had many friends and a wide range of interests. As a youngster he would go to the Salon ballroom with his parents where he achieved gold medals for Ballroom and Latin American Dancing, and in later years he would love to Rock and Roll and Salsa with Jackie and Laura. He also loved the outdoors: he enjoyed walking and fishing, but his great passion was stalking and shooting. He was also a confident and extremely competent diver, as well as fast and enthusiastic skier. He was a risk-taker and had a reputation for a having a dare-devil attitude, which is perhaps why he was so much fun.

Brian was a warm and generous host and loved cooking for friends and family. He has been described as kind, caring, friendly, funny, a life-long friend, supportive, great company, interesting, intelligent, daring, obstinate and even, eccentric. We will miss him dearly, but we endeavour to maintain the ethos and vision for The Richardson Partnership for Care that Brian and Jackie established.

Homes gain high scores in independent assessments

Headway Approved Providers
Two of our residential care homes for adults with acquired brain injuries – The Mews and 144 Boughton Green Road – have been recently re-assessed by Headway, the brain injury charity. The assessment process requires the home to demonstrate the provision of appropriate specialist care for people with complex, physical and/or cognitive impairment due to acquired brain injury. Headway has identified six key themes, or domains, against which it assesses the level of care provided, as well as issues such choice and dignity of service users. The domains are; Communication, Culture, Development, Governance, Quality, Environment (psychological/emotional) and Environment (physical).

We are pleased to report that both The Mews and 144 Boughton Green Road scored well in all of the domains to retain their Approved Provider Status for a further two years. This is subject to passing unannounced visits from Headway assessors during this time.

Headway Approved Provider

Quality Checkers
2&8 Kingsthorpe Grove, our homes for adults with learning disabilities, were recently assessed by Northamptonshire Quality Checkers. This is an independent assessment by an ‘expert by experience’ who meets residents in the home and performs a standardised quality check from the service users’ perspective. They are then supported by a co-ordinator to produce a report of their visit.

The Quality Checker on this occasion was Paul, who was visiting the homes for the first time. He met two service users with learning disabilities who live in the homes. One of them answered a series of questions and Paul used their answers to form the basis of his report. He gave the homes a top rating of ‘Very Good’ for all of the categories assessed, which were; home and bedroom, support staff, activities, food and drink, friends and people in the service user’s life, the service user’s health and what it’s like to live there.

Paul then asked the support staff and manager questions about procedures and safeguarding. As he was so pleased with the home, he made no recommendations for improvements to be made.

Information about other independent inspections of our care homes click here

Benefits of independent care home ownership

Following the news that an independent specialist care company in Northamptonshire has been sold, The Richardson Partnership for Care is one of the very few remaining independent family-run residential care providers that specialises in supporting adults with acquired brain injuries or learning difficulties.

Independent ownership gives us the freedom to take a long-term view and invest in the future of the business. This means that we can provide a long-term sustainable environment for the service users in our care. It is particularly important for service users with learning difficulties who need a secure, stable home – some of whom have been living with us for over 20 years. It is also important to their families, especially their parents, to know that providing a secure, safe, long-term home is one of our main objectives.

In addition, some of our service users with acquired brain injuries require long-term rehabilitation and are making slow but steady progress after having lived with us for over 20 years. For people who come to us for intensive short-term brain injury rehabilitation, knowing that they can come back for top-up rehabilitation or respite care is also important to them, their families and their case workers.

As the owners and managing partners, we are accountable to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for the quality of care that the firm provides. We remain close enough to the day to day running of our care homes to ensure that we are delivering on our aims and objectives and are true to our original philosophy of providing community presence, choice, dignity and respect, community participation and competence.

As we are independent, we can focus on delivering high quality care at a fair price, we don’t have pressure from shareholders or private investors to realise short-term profits and raise high dividends. And we’d like to keep it that way.

Laura and Greg Richardson-Cheater

National Learning Disability & Autism Awards 2016

We are delighted to have been shortlisted as finalists in the National Learning Disability and Autism Awards 2016 in the Employer Award category.

In order for us to provide a consistently high quality of service to the people in our care, we recognise that we need to have skilled, caring and hard-working employees who are dedicated to their work. It is only fair that we support them as best we can and help them to gain the skills that they need to progress in their roles, and this is what we always aim to do.

What makes us different?
Dr Pedro Areias Grilo, a Consultant Clinical Psychologist has worked at The Richardson Partnership for Care since 2014 and has a substantial array of clinical experience, both in the private and public healthcare sectors. This allows him to have significant insight and awareness about the services that we offer to meet effectively the needs of individuals we cater for. He has highlighted what makes The Richardson Partnership for Care stand out against other care homes.

Supporting staff
The Richardson Partnership for Care (RPC) is on the forefront of care offered in the UK and is currently able to offer, meet and surpass the needs of all individuals they cater for. They strive to go the extra mile to effectively support people. How? They empower staff to strive and accomplish. They develop their staff through in-house weekly training sessions, weekly reflective practice facilitated by Consultant Clinical Psychologists, effective supervision and open-door practice. Likewise, staff feel skilled, supported, cared, involved and motivated to deliver outstanding care and to strive on their roles. The professional satisfaction, sense of belonging and ability to acknowledge what needs to be done to support individuals in need is immense. This impacts positively on the care being delivered. The individuals’ lives change immensely and they feel they are part of a family, rather than people just “living” in a place. They have a home, a family, a social network and happiness. This is what care is about: Enhancement of life quality. The Richardson Partnership for Care without any doubts, offers this and much more.

Multi-disciplinary team
RPC also employs a Multidisciplinary team (MDT), currently offering to the individuals they support an in-house Consultant Neuropsychiatrist, two Consultants Clinical Psychologists, one part-time and one full-time Assistant Psychologist, one Occupational Therapist, one Physiotherapist and one Speech and Language Therapist. I must say, this is extraordinary. As evidenced, RPC has the ability to offer in-house clinicians to immediately and efficiently meet all the needs of the individuals they support.

Innovations
There are also constant innovations. The MDT and Registered Home Managers meet frequently to evaluate the best treatment and intervention plans to support the individuals they cater for. In-house treatment directories were developed, based on NICE guidelines and clinical evidence, to effectively meet and support individuals’ needs. This makes a substantial difference in terms of care being delivered.

I believe RPC could offer what the majority of other organizations do. But no. They have decided to take the hard route. The route that requires an outstanding commitment, the route that might bring discussions, challenges, the route that brings changes, the route that takes people out of their comfort zone. However, this is the route to excellence, which RPC is and will continue to follow.

Greg and Laura are far ahead of their time. They have a clear understanding of the service they offer and where it must go. They have the individuals’ care on the centre of their hearts and the awareness and rationality to observe, analyze, discuss and establish action plans to meet individuals’ needs. This makes the difference and impacts substantially on the service being delivered. This brings innovation and positive changes to care services in the UK.

Dr Pedro Areias Grilo
Consultant Clinical Psychologist
Birmingham University Honorary Tutor

What makes RPC different?

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

Feedback from Service Users’ families

At The Richardson Partnership for Care we strive to provide an open environment, welcoming feedback from service users’ families about the care of their loved ones. We also complete an annual survey, which provides family members with a more formal opportunity to tell us about their views on the care, support and rehabilitation services that we provide for adults with acquired brain injuries and learning difficulties.

The survey is entirely optional and consequently the number of responses can be quite small. However, we are very proud of the feedback that we have received.

100% of respondents strongly agreed or agreed with the statement:
“I am happy with the care provided”

100% of respondents strongly agreed or agreed with the statement:
“I feel that my relative is treated with dignity and respect”

100% of respondents strongly agreed or agreed with the statement:
“I feel that their quality of life has improved since they arrived at The Richardson Partnership for Care”

100% of respondents said that they would recommend The Richardson Partnership for Care

93% of respondents strongly agreed or agreed with the statement:
“The home has a warm, non-institutional feeling.”

93% of respondents strongly agreed or agreed with the statement:
“The home has an inclusive or family environment.”

We scored less highly on updating service users’ families with information – only 69% of respondents strongly agreed or agreed with the statement: “I am regularly updated with information.” This is therefore something for us to focus on and improve upon.

We were pleased to receive the following comments:

“All staff are great and some exceptional.”

“His life quality has improved considerably over the last 11.5 years. He lives in a calm, comfortable, caring, clean environment where he is encouraged to relax – waylaying his self-harm and anxiety”

“His life skills have developed from him being nervous and frightened to a confident and happy man.”

“Our thanks as a family for our daughter’s care and treatment.”

“He is very well cared for by professional carers who not only meet his needs, but work to challenge him to develop his social skills.”

We would like to thank all of the family members who took the time to complete our annual survey. If you would like any further information about our services, please contact us.

144 Boughton Green Road regains Headway Accreditation

No two brain injuries are the same, as no two individuals are the same, so our specialist residential care homes need to cater for people with different needs. Service users may come to us several years after they have sustained a brain injury and after they have already had a period of acute rehabilitation. We continue their rehabilitation, working steadily and patiently with them to help them achieve their goals, recognising that it may take longer for them to reach their maximum potential.

Many of the service users at our home at 144 Boughton Green Road receive slow stream rehabilitation and long-term support. In 2013, the home received Headway Approved Provider status, following an assessment against a range of standards that reflect the specific needs of people with acquired brain injury. In June this year, Headway reassessed 144 Boughton Green Road and the home passed with flying colours. The accreditation has been extended by a further two years, subject to passing unannounced visits from Headway assessors.

Headway Approved Provider logoThe assessment process requires the home to demonstrate the provision of appropriate specialist care for people with complex, physical and/or cognitive impairment due to acquired brain injury. Headway has identified six key themes, or domains, against which it assesses the level of care provided as well as issues such choice and dignity of service users.

The domains are; Communication, Culture, Development, Governance, Quality, Environment (psychological/emotional) and Environment (physical).

144 Boughton Green Road received a rating of Good-Excellent in six of the domains, and a rating of Good in the seventh. Well done to all the staff who work very hard to continuously improve the service and support that we provide to our service users. They help them to maintain their existing abilities and to progress towards more independence, and acceptance, in a positive environment. The whole team at 144 Boughton Green Road contributes to providing long-term rehabilitation in a supportive and homely environment.

A living room at 144 Boughton Green Road

One of the living rooms at 144 Boughton Green Road

Care homes shine in independent feedback

At The Richardson Partnership for Care, we strive to have an open relationship with service users and their families so that they can tell us straight away if they are concerned about any aspect of their care or their home. We hold regular care reviews as well as completing an annual survey.

This year we have also encouraged service users and their families to provide feedback directly to the online directory carehome.co.uk. Our homes for adults with learning difficulties, 2 & 8 Kingsthorpe Grove, achieved a recommendation score of 9.6 out of 10 from the directory, and we are very proud of some of comments they received. For example, here is a comment from a parent of one of our service users with learning difficulties:

“Our son was taken in by Jayne Payne in 2009. He was in a terrible mental state, he’d been sectioned in Oxford in 2007 for violence, and he had always lived at home until then. Well, Jane and her staff worked and worked with him until he is almost like his old lovely self. They bring him home to us once a month on the Isle of Wight for two days and he looks forward to this as much as we do. We cannot say enough good things about the home: they saved our lives and our son’s. The medical care is fantastic and they are always loving and tolerant of our son, even on his bad days.”
Jane S

And this is what one of the service users had to say:
“I like it here, I am happy here and all of the jobs I do. I like the staff. I go out for drinks and meals out. I have had my bedroom painted. I like my bathroom. I like my lunches. It is a good place to live.”

Click here to see a summary of the survey results  or here to go to the carehome.co.uk directory

A collage created by service users at 8 Kingsthorpe Grove

A collage created by service users at 8 Kingsthorpe Grove

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.

Excellent feedback on residential care from service users’ families

Each year, at The Richardson Partnership for Care we send out a short questionnaire to the family members of service users in our homes. This requests feedback on the general care provision and the quality of the residential homes, and is in addition to specific communication about the service user.

We have combined the results from our homes for people with learning disabilities and acquired brain injuries and the results from the 2014 questionnaire show that:

  • 100% of respondents said they strongly agreed or agreed with the statement that they were ‘happy with the care provided’ for their relative
  • 89% strongly agreed or agreed with the statement: ‘the homes have a warm non-institutional feeling’
  • 100% strongly agreed or agreed that ‘the staff are friendly and approachable’
  • 100% said that they would recommend The Richardson Partnership for Care to others

We are always grateful to family members for their feedback and take all comments seriously as they help us to continually improve the service that we provide. We are particularly proud of the additional comments made by family members. These tell us more than the statistics can and we have included a selection of them here. All names have been removed to protect the anonymity of our service users.

“He has lived there for 20 years. It is a stable home and he is extremely well cared for. I would not want him to live anywhere else. I feel the home is a very well organised and caring place. Their clients’ well-being is paramount.”

“The Richardson Partnership for Care provides professional care with a warm heart”

“We admire the high level of dedication and care devoted to our son, and consider the care he is receiving to be the highest standard he has ever experienced.”

“My brother is very happy and contented at the moment, which makes us very happy. We never have any issues with his care as he is well looked after and loved by the staff. It always feels like we are going into his house, and not a care home. It has a very welcoming feel.”

2 Kingsthorpe Grove

A Richardson Partnership for Care home for adults with learning difficulties