The Care Quality Commission is sharing examples across the industry of care homes that demonstrate Outstanding care.

It is hoped that this will increase awareness of the ways in which to achieve compliance as well as ongoing improvement and outstanding quality care for people using services.

Nursing Notes with Claire Bailey

As a nurse with a background in elderly care, I spend a lot of time reading CQC reports on care homes.

I have noticed care homes that achieve a rating of Outstanding share common traits.

These can be broken down under the five questions the CQC ask when performing an inspection.

Is the home Safe?

Outstanding homes ensure that they have enough staff to provide individualised and dignified care.

Staff have all received training to provide them with a thorough understanding of their roles and the needs of the residents that they are looking after.

Effective training equips staff with the skills to competently administer medication, assess and manage risks and plan person-centred care for each resident.

Is the home Effective?

Having a good knowledge of legislation and law is another quality that sets Outstanding homes apart.

Care homes need to understand and uphold the principles of the Mental Capacity Act.

They are able to care for people using the least restrictive methods, so as not to unlawfully deprive people of their liberty.

There is a collaborative culture where staff will involve others in making best interest decisions on behalf of their residents.

Is the home Caring?

People visiting the home will be able to witness excellent rapport between staff and residents. Interactions are positive and built upon trust and respect.

Promoting person-centred care at all times is where a care home moves from Good to Outstanding.

Rather than institutionalising residents with routine, care is provided in accordance with individual needs and preferences.

There is an underlying understanding that every resident is different. 

Is the home Responsive?

Homes that achieve Outstanding status understand the value of meaningful activities that allow residents to enjoy a better quality of life.

Residents are given opportunities to engage with their hobbies and interests in order to remain physically active and mentally stimulated. 

Being a responsive home also involves having a robust complaints procedure.

Promoting a culture of openness is crucial to allowing staff to feel confident enough to raise concerns and make suggestions for improvement.

In this environment, feedback from residents is valued.

Homes act upon negative feedback and strive to improve. 

Is the home Well Led?

Outstanding homes are led by strong management with an ethos to promote high-quality person-centred care.

A good manager is visible within their care home and makes themselves available to residents, visitors and staff.

Outstanding homes continually look for ways to improve their service through innovative ideas based on best practice. 

Ultimately, an Outstanding well led home has a culture that promotes excellence.

All staff work towards the common goal of improving the lives of their residents.