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Grace Muriel House, St Albans

Grace Muriel House in St Albans, Hertfordshire, a residential home for adults over the age of 65 was rated outstanding for being effective, caring, responsive and well-led following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), 29 November 2017.

It achieved the score of good for the safe category.

The CQC report highlighted that relatives, visitors and professionals felt that staff were exceptionally skilled in meeting the needs of people at the service and spoke highly about the care and support at the home. One person said, "Staff are well trained, there is no muddle."

Residents were keen to point out that there were no restrictions in the home, and they could have visitors or go out any time they wished. One resident said, "I'm allowed to go out any time as long as there is someone to push the pram. In other places I couldn't go out at all if a relative or friend couldn't take me. I wasn't allowed to get up and walk around. Here, they help me to be independent."

Residents receiving end of life care and their families were treated with exceptional care and compassion. The service had strong links with a local hospice who had provided training and support for staff to provide high quality care for people nearing the end of their lives. Staff received training and achieved end of life champion qualifications. This meant that the service focused on quality standards and offered a high level of palliative and end of life care for people.

CQC inspectors looked at end of life care plans, which were devised between residents and their relatives. These detailed how people wanted the end of their life to be and records showed that where people did not want to be taken to hospital at the end of their life, this was honoured.

People's spiritual and religious needs were also documented and respected. Staff and the management team attended funerals, and this was greatly appreciated by families.

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