CQC: Trust’s pandemic response effective in all areas

3rd August 2020

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has said Whiteley Homes Trust is managing the COVID-19 pandemic effectively in all the areas it reviewed recently. Although the CQC’s new report does not provide a rating, inspectors commented on the Trust’s timely actions prior to lockdown, how it kept people safe by maintaining staffing levels and securing sufficient PPE, and used technology to help prevent isolation.

The CQC Summary Record report followed a recent monitoring meeting with the Director for Care & Community and senior care staff (as part of the CQC’s COVID-19 Emergency Support & Engagement for providers). Inspectors reviewed their response to the pandemic in four key areas: Safe care & treatment; Staffing arrangements; Protection from abuse and Assurance processes, monitoring and risk management.

The CQC are organising meetings with providers to assess how they have managed during the pandemic, how they continue to manage the risks posed by COVID-19, and what support they may need. It is also enabling the Commission to gather examples of best practice and wider learning which will help inform the UK’s response in the event of a second wave of the virus, or a future pandemic.

Director of Care & Community, Kevin Humphrys said: “To date, Whiteley Village’s care areas have only had two confirmed cases of COVID-19, and the two residents made a full recovery after being nursed by our staff.   Within our Village community, we had one person sadly die of CV-19 in hospital after contracting the virus there.

“Obviously the pandemic is far from over, and the reasons for its minimal impact at Whiteley to date are complex, but as the CQC noted: “The provider (Whiteley Homes Trust) implemented measures to reduce risk at an early stage in the pandemic”.  This included stopping visiting in mid-March and the introduction of strict infection control processes, including daily temperature checks for everyone entering our premises and designated Infection Control Champions across our care service. I have no doubt these timely actions helped save lives and continues to protect our residents and staff”, he said.

Elsewhere in their report, the CQC note that the Trust ensured there were “..sufficient staff available to provide people’s care safely”, and that “Staffing levels were not affected by absence due to staff illness or isolation”. Also, crucially that “… staff had access to appropriate PPE at all times”.

Inspectors commented on how staff used technologies such as Facebook Portal to enable residents to communicate effectively with their friends and family and access medical advice from health professionals. They were also impressed at the work of the Trust’s Wellbeing Coordinators and care staff in spending time with residents on “… a one to one basis to prevent social isolation”.

A relative of one of our residents said recently: “The video portal calls have been an absolute lifeline for us. To see (mum’s) face once a week is very reassuring and makes such a difference. The Wellbeing Coordinator Kirstien repeats what I say so Mum understands, and she’s thrilled to see us! We are very grateful to the staff for enabling this to happen”.

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