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.

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

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

Homes rated ‘Good’ or ‘Good – Excellent’ in Headway interim assessments

Our three residential care homes that provide rehabilitation and care for adults with acquired brain injuries have all been granted Approved Provider status by Headway, the brain injury association. This status is subject to continued compliance with the terms and conditions of the Headway scheme, which are reviewed during interim assessments.

Unannounced visits to 144 Boughton Green Road and The Mews both confirmed that these homes continue to fulfil all standards required by Headway across all domains. Both of the homes were rated either ‘Good’ or ‘Good – Excellent’ in each of the domains.

Assessment standards
The six domains covered by the Headway assessment are; Communication, Culture, Development, Governance, Quality, Environment: Psychological/Emotional and Environment: Physical. Headway makes a detailed evaluation of all aspects of the care provided with the experience of the service user and their family or carer as its main priority.

During the interim assessments, Headway examined two domains in detail and reviewed any changes to the homes since the initial review when the Approved Provider status was granted.

Each domain is further divided into different elements, each of which is closely examined. For example, ‘Culture’ includes; the organisation’s philosophy, re-enablement approach, spiritual, social and sexual attention, engagement with families, external agencies and local communities, the home’s culture and adherence to the Mental Capacity Act, Deprivation of Liberty or equivalent. The ‘Governance’ domain includes person-centred care, privacy and dignity, evidence of special provision, appropriate management and staffing, philosophy and staff awareness.

We welcome Headway’s feedback and appreciate that we work in a very rewarding but also challenging environment. External assessment, as well as continual internal monitoring, is essential to ensure that we continue to deliver higher quality standards to the service users in our care.

Headway Approved Provider Scheme logo

Our homes at The Mews, 144 Boughton Green Road and 23 Duston Road are all Headway Approved Providers

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.

UK Director of the Year Awards 2013

I am delighted to be a finalist in the UK Director of the Year Awards run by the Institute of Directors. After winning the regional final, I have been shortlisted for the UK Family Director of the Year Award.

These awards recognise the best of Britain’s business leaders and specifically the challenges faced by directors in well-established family firms. I’m proud to represent The Richardson Partnership for Care and our strong commitment to providing a safe, stable and rewarding environment for the service users in our care.

The awards will take place in London on 11th October.


ABI, The Law and Where Rehabilitation Fits In

Here at Richardsons we are keen to stay up to date with the legal world in terms of how it affects how we can best guide our incoming and existing Service Users. Last month we invited the lovely Nicola Heales, solicitor and Head of Department (Head and Brain Injuries) at to come and meet the RPC Admissions and Referrals team (Sian, Bill, Diane and Louise) and give them some up-to-date insights into her field of experience. We also wanted the opportunity to fill her in on what we provide and the depth of our person-centred care and rehabilitation.

Nicola is a very experienced personal injury solicitor who has specialised in severe catastrophic injury claims acting for both children and adults. She has a particular interest in acquired brain injury, rehabilitation and “capacity” and is a firm believer that the early introduction of rehabilitation assists all parties to bring claims to a satisfactory resolution. Nicola adopts a multi-disciplinary approach (much like we do) – she ensures that she liaises with the medical team, case managers and the Court of Protection where necessary.

Accidents causing injury to the head can have a dramatic effect on a person’s life and the lives of their families. For this reason highly specialist solicitors who understand the needs, rights and wishes of the injured person and how their accident will affect their present and future social, employment and financial circumstances are needed. It is a complicated process and highly specialised experts are consulted in order that the injured person will receive the most compensation for the things they need. The kinds of specialised needs that would have to be provided for are things like care; therapy; accommodation; technology and aids; equipment and adaptations.

She spoke to our team about personal injury and the litigation process in rehabilitation and where rehabilitation fits. Nicola explained the elements that made up a personal injury claim, how the process works and the role of the professionals involved. This has really helped the Admissions and Referrals team better understand where we fit into the bigger picture of the experience of the injured person and the vital role we play as part of a longer term resolution of the person’s situation and their injuries.

We extend a big thank you to Nicola for her time and look forward to staying in touch – we have greatly appreciated the effort and time she gave us in sharing her knowledge and expertise with us.

If you would like to contact Nicola – you can connect with her via LinkedIn or call her Banbury (UK) office on + 44 (0) 1295 270 999. Brethertons is on Twitter – you can follow them here. You can also find interesting and useful insights on Brethertons’ other Twitter pages, why not follow @neurolawyer to see what Nicola and her colleagues are talking about? Visit the team pages on the Bretherton’s site  for more information on the Head and Brain injury legal process

Please note that Richardson Partnership for Care are pleased to have great working relationships with many legal professionals and are happy to raise awareness for the great work that they do. Brethertons are one of many firms we work closely with during the process of admission and referral of new Service Users.

World Congress on Brain Injury 2012 – Our Trip to Edinburgh

Wendy Coleman, our Homes Manager at Duston Rd, represented us at the World Congress on Brain Injury in Scotland last month. She really enjoyed the event and especially liked meeting many of the Delegates. Some of the types of people she got to meet and share ideas with were people from away (the international Delegates); neurosurgeons; rehabilitation physicians; psychologists; speech and language specialists; Occupational Therapists; physiotherapists; Social Workers; Legal professionals in the industry and Case Managers.

One of the main elements that caught Wendy’s attention was about the kind of research and care provided in different Countries. She got the impression that there seems to be a lack of services for After Care or Residential Care abroad (like the kind of service we offer at Richardsons). Obviously as part of attending an event of this magnitude on this specialist subject, it was a great opportunity to get to know the other exhibitor’s and network with the professionals in our industry.

On the first day, the seminar called “Rehabilitation of Challenging Behaviour” was really insightful and was delivered as a panel of experts chaired by Rodger Wood PhD. The speakers talked about:

  • the management of the confused-agitated patient in the acute phase of recovery
  • cognitive behavioural approaches in the rehabilitation of challenging behaviour
  • a community rehabilitation approach to managing challenging behaviour
  • a neurobehavioral approach to the management of serious aggressive behaviour.

On the third day, the session called “Long Term Survival and Life Expectancy After Head Injury” was a session where (for the first time) mortality and the cause of death were discussed and the findings from some long term case studies between the US and the UK were shared with the attendees. Thomas McMillian PhD (Professor of Clinical Neuropsychology from the University of Glasgow), presented his talk entitled “Mortality 13 Years after a Head Injury: A Prospective Investigation” which really hit home the full impact on a person who has an acquired injury…over an extended period of time – helping us to understand the nuances of the initial, short term, medium term and long term effects that carers or rehabilitation workers need to be (1) aware of and be able to (b) include this vital knowledge into their care/rehabilitation path.

As a nice close to the event, we received some great feedback as some delegates that Wendy got to speak to already knew of Richardsons. One Case Manager in particular, who has placed a Service User in our care, gave positive feedback on the progress we had made with this Service User and the standard of care we provide.

Since Wendy returned from Edinburgh, we have also received a positive lead from a lady who deals with catastrophic injury who didn’t know about us before Edinburgh. Over all – a superb event…very well attended and we got a lot out of being there.

Identifying, Caring and Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults

“The term “vulnerable adults” covers an extremely wide range of individuals, some of whom may be incapable of looking after any aspect of their lives and others who may be experiencing short periods of illness or disability with an associated reduction in their ability to make decisions.” – British Medical Association

Our definition of a vulnerable adult in practical terms is a person aged 18 years or over who may be unable to:

  • take care of themselves, or
  • protect themselves from harm, or
  • from being exploited by someone else.

In our business, the most common route to someone being defined as “vulnerable” is where they have a learning disability or they have an acquired brain injury which has rendered them with some kind of sensory, physical or emotional impairment.

We have a high level of continuous professional development amongst the staff in our homes who deal directly with our service users in their day-to-day lives and in the progress of their rehabilitation. During the induction period of a new service user and indeed throughout their stay with us, we need to have the skills inhouse to be able to identify when a service user should be qualified as “vulnerable” in order to ensure their own personal safety.

Jackie Mann, our Homes Manager at Kingsthorpe Grove, completed her  “Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults:(mandatory) Level 3, Investigating Skills & Chairing Safeguarding Concerns Meetings” course in February 2012.  The aims and objectives of completing this course are to understand the process of investigations (i.e. identifying and verifying evidence that someone is “vulnerable”); be aware of personal impact (of the investigator); create clear strategies for confidentiality and of course, in the end Jackie also had to demonstrate what she had learnt.

Jackie enjoyed the fact that one of the key aspects to the course was learning the structure of (a) establishing what has happened (i.e. evidence of the events/situations that have occurred), (b) identifying who was at risk and (c) collating information from all agencies involved.

“By the end of the 3 days I was able to have a better understanding of the process of the case conferences; be aware of my personal impact on this process; have an understanding of how to apply the principles of the mental capacity and decision making capabilities of the person; and demonstrate my skills of participating confidentiality and ability to contribute to effective planning. I have to say that this course will enable me to meet best practice within my role and working environment.” Jackie Mann

At the Richardson Partnership for Care we put the safety and wellbeing of our service users first. We are really pleased that Jackie has gone on this training to enhance her knowledge of the subject.  The feedback has been that our core values are complimentary to this legislation and our policies robust.