CQC rates Headway Suffolk outstanding at first inspection

Published: 30 September 2022 Page last updated: 30 September 2022

A Domiciliary Care Agency in Ipswich has been rated outstanding by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) following its first inspection, undertaken in July and August.

Headway Suffolk provides personal care to adults living in their own homes, and also runs a community hub where people affected by brain injuries and neurological conditions can access support.  

Feedback from those using the service and their loved ones was extremely positive, and staff went the extra mile to ensure people received tailored care and support to promote their independence and wellbeing.

As well as being rated outstanding overall, it was rated outstanding for being caring and well-led. It was rated good for being safe, effective and responsive.

Louise Broddle, CQC head of adult social care inspection, said:

“The care provided by Headway Suffolk was tailored to people’s wishes and staff regularly went above and beyond to meet people’s needs and ensure they felt respected and valued.

“Staff were dedicated and committed to their roles, and people using the service told us they felt well supported and looked forward to their carers’ visits.

“This was all underpinned by a dynamic leadership team, who worked collaboratively with staff, the people they cared for, relatives and other professionals to deliver high quality, person-centred care.

“Headway Suffolk is clearly an important part of the community and other services can look to it as an example of how to deliver outstanding care and support.”

The inspection found the service was well staffed and people received care from staff they knew, at the time they expected. This consistency meant that people were kept safe as staff knew them well and were skilled at recognising and responding to any changes in their behaviour or demeanour, which might suggest they needed more support or medical treatment.

Referrals were made in a timely way and staff ensured people could access healthcare appointments.

We were told by people using the service and their relatives that staff were kind, compassionate and attentive. One person described them as ‘heroes’ who had made a real difference to their lives, while another said, ‘they couldn’t ask for anything more.’

Staff had received all the required training to safely carry out their roles and had a good understanding of supporting people with brain injuries and neurological conditions.

People were encouraged to be as independent and have as much choice as possible. Care records were clear about people’s preferences, what they could manage for themselves and where they needed support.

Through the facilities at the community hub, people could take part in activities and pursue interests, helping them to develop life skills and improve their wellbeing. The ‘eat well’ cookery club taught people how to prepare nutritious and balanced meals, while sensitively considering the limitations of their conditions. Other activities included sports, cognitive games, arts and crafts, fishing and an allotment.

One person at the service told us that the continued support and encouragement from staff ‘makes me more independent and happier’ while another said their confidence had increased as they had become less reliant on others and ‘more in control of my life’.

The culture of the service put people at the heart of the care provided and this was embedded throughout by a strong leadership team, who led by example.

Contact information

For enquiries about this press release, email regional.engagement@cqc.org.uk.

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.