As the New Year draws closer, North Yorkshire home care provider Continued Care is one of our excellent member organisations that is looking back on 2021 with immense pride and a sense of accomplishment.
Indeed, this year not only saw Continued Care retain its ‘Outstanding’ status with the Care Quality Commission, but one member of its home care team gained deserved recognition after picking up a prestigious accolade at the Great British Care Awards for the Yorkshire and Humber region, with several other team members among the shortlisted finalists.
The retention of its CQC rating came as an historic milestone, after Continued Care was among the first to be inspected remotely by the care sector watchdog through a combination of virtual methods and online tools.
The virtual inspection came as part of a wider pilot scheme rolled out during the pandemic, with the inspection taking place in November 2020 and the report being published in February 2021.
Despite its virtual nature, the inspection still delved deeply into Continued Care’s business and services, coming just shy of two years after its last comprehensive in-person inspection which took place in January 2019.
The CQC praised Continued Care for its “proactive” response to the pandemic and its “innovative practices and new ways of working”, which included an electronic system to enable staff to plan, record and monitor people’s care in real-time.
Visible to service users and their families, CQC inspectors said that the system “fostered excellent trust” and “enhanced collaboration and communication.”
Other areas earmarked for praise were Continued Care’s core values, culture and leadership, which “put people at the heart of care planning and delivery”, was “inclusive and empowering”, and “achieved good outcomes for people”.
Continued Care director, Samantha Harrison [pictured], commented: “It has been a hugely challenging year for all of us working in social care, so to retain our rating from the CQC is a tremendous achievement for Continued Care. Above all, it’s a real testament to the dedication of all our staff who have worked extremely hard to continue delivering our high standards of care, compassion and support for our service users.”
Later in the year, the success of Continued Care’s staff at the Great British Care Awards provided more cause for celebration, with home carer Nichola Noble winning the Putting People First Award at the Yorkshire and Humber finals of the awards.
Noble, who works full time at Continued Care in Harrogate, volunteers for several homelessness charities in her spare time. Her success in the Yorkshire and Humber awards saw her proceed to the Great British Care Awards national finals, and she was credited by judges for her “going above and beyond”.
Noble was also earmarked for praise by her boss, Harrison, who called her a “worthy winner”.
“I cannot think of a more worthy winner,” Harrison said. “Nichola’s kindness and compassion towards others and her local community in the volunteer roles she undertakes is remarkable.
“She absolutely deserves this recognition and is a true winner and we are delighted that others agree.”
Among Continued Care’s other shortlisted finalists were Anne Ingledew, Lisa Knight and Maddie Andrews. Ingledew was among the nominees for the Home Care Worker Award, Knight was shortlisted for the Care Newcomer Award - an impressive feat in her first ever care position, and Andrews was on the list of hopefuls for the Dignity in Care accolade.
As well as enjoying success at the Great British Care Awards, Continued Care held its own in-house Carer of the Year Awards across its three sites, with the accolade for the Harrogate premises going to home care worker, Maria Gibson, following a vote from clients and colleagues.
A delighted and grateful Gibson said upon receipt of the award that it provided something to look back on in a “hard” year, and paid tribute to her colleagues for “working in unison to provide clients with outstanding care despite the circumstances.”
At Continued Care's two other sites in Ripon and Settle, the Carer of the Year Awards went to Terrie Cass and Megan Ward, respectively.
Everybody at The Leaders Council would like to congratulate Continued Care on a successful year in trying circumstances, and we wish our members all the best for 2022.