The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has found the quality of care provided by Middleton Care Limited in Barnard Castle, County Durham to be outstanding following an inspection on 26 April.
Middleton Care is registered to provide care to people in their own homes and provides care and support to around 60 people.
The service has been rated outstanding for being caring, and well led, and was rated good for being safe, effective and responsive. Middleton Care Limited was rated ‘Outstanding’ overall. A full report of the inspection is available.
The service was an active part of the local rural community, and we saw and heard how staff provided information for people not just on the work of its service but on a variety of services and opportunities for older people in the local rural community. The office was more of a 'hub' for the local area, with lots of information regarding services for older people which members of the public could access.
The service won a local business innovation award in 2015 for its work to support older people in its community. We saw staff were highly committed and motivated to support people to remain in their own homes including the provision of exceptionally dedicated palliative care. The commitment shown by staff included using neighbourhood support and ensuring the service could get to people in isolated areas in extremely poor weather conditions.
Everyone we spoke with told us the registered manager, who was also the registered provider went 'above and beyond' in terms of their role and ensuring people were supported. They led by example in providing care that was person centred and making people lives better. We heard examples of them taking people's ironing home with them, looking after people's pets by taking them to the vets and going to see people to offer support when they had received difficult news.
Staff members told us they felt part of a team, were proud to work for the company and said the registered manager put the people who used the service and their needs before anything else.
Debbie Westhead, Deputy Chief Inspector for Adult Social Care in the North, said:
“This is a fantastic domiciliary care service and there are many examples of staff going above and beyond their normal duties to ensure people are safe and have everything they need to stay in good health in their own homes.
“We found a real sense of community across this service, with the registered manager leading by example, often going the extra mile to make the lives of people easier.
“I was also impressed by the management’s commitment to ensuring the right staff worked for the service. The registered manager told us that employing the right people was paramount to the quality of the service they wished to provide.
“Currently the service had a staff vacancy that they were covering themselves and we were told that the service had advertised twice but had not received the calibre of applicant it wanted. Staff told us; ‘We are a little stretched at the moment but we help each other and want to get the right person to join the team. The wrong person could destroy our reputation so we want to get it right.’
“It is for this and many other reasons why the service has received the highest rating we can give and I congratulate them.”