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The Care Quality Commission rates Links Lodge Care Home, Blackpool, as Outstanding

29 April 2016
Links Lodge
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A care home in Blackpool, has just been rated as outstanding following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission in December 2015

The Links Lodge Care Home is operated by Karen Bradley and is registered to accommodate up to 10 adults, with a learning disability who require assistance with personal care.

The service has been rated Outstanding for being effective, responsive, well led and caring and was rated Good for being safe. Links Lodge was rated Outstanding overall.   A full report of the inspection has been published.

The home provided excellent and innovative care and support to people to enable them to live fulfilled and meaningful lives in a way they wanted. Staff were skilled at ensuring people were safe whilst encouraging those who wanted to enjoy adventurous activities to have as much independence as possible.

Relatives were extremely positive about the care their relative received. One relative said, “The staff are fantastic, couldn’t be better.” Another relative told us, “I wouldn’t want [family member] to live anywhere else. The care is excellent and the activities are amazing.”

A variety of home-made food and specially produced soft diets was provided to people. Mealtimes were flexible and were relaxed and enjoyable. Staff used a number of different methods to increase people’s appetite, where people were underweight or reluctant to eat. Where people were watching their weight staff provided appetising low calorie food.

The home had a clear management structure in place. The registered provider, Karen Bradley, worked in the home on a day to day basis and routinely monitored the care provided. Karen and her team were experienced, knowledgeable and familiar with the needs of the people who lived at Links Lodge.

Debbie Westhead, Deputy Chief Inspector for Adult Social Care in the North, said:

“This is an exceptional service that puts the service user at the centre of everything it does. There were many examples of outstanding care. For example, when inspectors looked at staffing levels it was evident that they were exceptionally good and were geared around individual’s needs.

“People had personalised one to one care at a time that suited their needs. This ensured people had frequent and individual activities in the home and in the community. The registered provider increased staffing when people were deteriorating in health or at the end of life. This allowed people to remain ‘at the home’ to be supported by skilled and well trained staff.

“We observed positive interactions from staff and people’s enjoyment in response to this. Relatives were very pleased with the care and support their family member received. They said that staff were passionate about the care they provided and their family members were treated with kindness, respect and dignity.

“Staff were exceptional in supporting people with their communication needs. Where people communicated in other ways such as by makaton and their own individual signs to express themselves, staff were trained in and were familiar with these. It is for this and many other reasons why the service has received the highest rating we can give and I congratulate them.”


For further information please contact CQC Regional Communications Manager David Fryer on 07901 514220

Journalists wishing to speak to the press office outside of office hours can find out how to contact the team here. Please note: the press office is unable to advise members of the public on health or social care matters. For general enquiries, please call 03000 61 61 61.

Last updated:
29 May 2017

Notes to editors

Since launching its new programme of inspections using specialist inspection teams, CQC has published ratings on more than 12,000 adults social care services.   Of those, less than 15 have been rated Outstanding.

Providers must display their ratings on their premises and on their websites so that the public can see their rating quickly and easily. This should be done within 21 days of publication of their inspection report. Further information on the display of CQC ratings.

About the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England.

We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.

We monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and we publish what we find to help people choose care.