Care home ‘angels’ help deliver outstanding inspection

staff at Heathside and Council officials

A care home in Leigh which offers support for people living with dementia has been rated outstanding after relatives of residents spoke about the ‘angels’ who cared for their loved ones.

Heathside, owned by Wigan Council, has been commended for its ‘exceptionally high standard of care and support’ by inspectors from the Care Quality Commission.

Since 2014 the home on Plank Lane has been transformed through The Deal.

End of life care was applauded by the CQC with an emphasis on personalised support to ensure people were not left on their own at any time.

This was evidenced by a letter sent to the home by a relative, which stated: “Care staff sat with [a relative] on a 24/7 basis, ensuring they were never left alone, even though they were not conscious. They showed, love, care, compassion and dignity throughout. I do believe in angels and they work at Heathside.”

Following an inspection five years ago when the home required improvement, Heathside manager Natalie Jones describes how the team began its journey to outstanding.

She said: “Initially we looked at our recruitment and picked staff on their values and principles, rather than policy and procedure.

“The staff we have in place now are so passionate about making a difference to residents’ lives, they understand this a home for life and they do everything they can to make sure everyone is happy to be here.

“It doesn’t even matter if it’s out of hours, staff are always happy to support residents in any way they can.”

Staff going out their way for residents is epitomised by one example in the report in which inspectors note how a staff member accompanied a person to a close family members wedding.

The employee remained with them throughout and due to the individual’s support needs, this would have been impossible without the staff member selflessly giving up their own time.

A number of events have been put on throughout the year with the home turned into HMS Heathside for five days. Residents were taken on a trip around China, Mexico and America as they got to sample foods from around the world and experience different cultures.

Heathside has welcomed reindeers and donkeys to the home as the service got into the spirit of Christmas and summer.

The report also highlighted how those living there felt safe and this was a sentiment shared by relatives who described staff as kind, caring and respectful of people’s privacy and dignity.

Councillor Keith Cunliffe, cabinet member for adult social care and health, visited the home this week to speak to everyone involved.

He said: “I am incredibly proud of what staff at Heathside have managed to achieve and this latest report reflects the dedication and passion that staff have in their work.

“Inspectors have highlighted the caring, kind and hard-working attitude demonstrated by all members of staff so families can be assured their loved ones will benefit from an exceptional standard of care around the clock.”

“It was a pleasure to attend the home and talk to residents and staff. The ‘outstanding’ result delivered by CQC is a fitting reward for a team of staff who are truly committed to making a difference to the lives of our residents.”