‘Exceptional’ service helping people with learning disabilities

14 Aug 2017

The quality of community learning disabilities services in Northumberland have been rated as Outstanding by the independent regulator of health and social care services in England.
 
The community mental health services for people with learning disabilities in Northumberland were inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to ensure services meet quality and safety standards. 
 
In a report published this week, the services have been rated as Outstanding.
 
The report praised the services for their innovative approach and person-centred culture. Inspectors noted that one carer said the service they received was ‘exceptional’ and another told them she did not know where she would be without them.
 
The report highlighted that:
 
The services ensured that patients’ emotional and social needs were valued and listened to and their needs were catered for.
Patients and their families spoke consistently highly of the service and staff.
Patients were empowered to identify, understand, and manage their health needs. 
Staff use creative ways to overcome obstacles and ensure that patients had accessible information.
 
The learning disability community nursing service in Northumberland operates under a partnership arrangement between Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Northumberland County Council, to provide an integrated service to adults with a learning disability who live in Northumberland. The service is made up of registered learning disability nurses and support workers.
 
Northumberland County Council leader, Peter Jackson said: “Across the council our aim is to provide outstanding services for the people of Northumberland and we welcome such positive feedback about the services our residents are receiving.”
 
Northumberland County Councillor Veronica Jones, cabinet member for Adult Wellbeing and Health, said: “The report highlights that people’s individual needs and preferences are central to the planning and delivery of our services and that their needs are listened to and catered for. This is precisely as it should be and we would like to thank staff for their dedication to providing excellent care.”
 
Janet Harrison, clinical lead nurse for the learning disability community nursing service in Northumberland, said: “We are delighted with the findings of this CQC inspection report which highlights that staff offer care that is kind and promotes people’s dignity, and relationships between staff and service users and their families are strong, caring, and supportive.”
 
The CQC inspection included the North Tyneside community learning disabilities service for adults and young people delivered by Northumbria Healthcare which was also rated as outstanding.
 
Dr Paul Lelliott, the Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals (and CQC lead for mental health), said: “It is clear the community learning disabilities services are providing a safe, effective and caring service and CQC are pleased to be able to rate the quality of these services as Outstanding.   
 
“We saw an holistic approach to all elements of people’s care. It starts with the assessment and planning of people’s care right through delivery to the time when the patient is discharged or makes the transition to other services. We found that people’s individual needs were central to every decision made. 
 
“It is clear that staff that were proud to work at the trust. They spoke highly about the management and culture at the trust and this was clearly reflected in the positive things that people told us about these services.”