Links Lodge for people with learning disabilities in Blackpool has been awarded an outstanding rating by the Care Quality Commission, following the inspection on 4 October 2018.
The home specialises in supporting people with learning disabilities who are living with dementia.
The CQC awarded Links Lodge outstanding on how effective, caring, responsive and well-led it is, and good for how safety.
CQC inspectors highlighted that staff used the 'Pool activity level' (PALS) and 'Living Well With' tools to assess the most effective way to provide the activities of the type and level most beneficial for each person. The systems used identified how to deliver an activity in a meaningful way which supported the person's well-being. This information encouraged positive responses and created 'golden moments' which preserved and promoted continued well-being. The staff described a golden moment as a moment that itself could quickly pass but the feeling of peace and happiness was retained for a much longer period, even in late stages of dementia. This gave the person a feeling of relaxation and well-being and encouraged engagement.
The management team spoke to CQC inspectors about their most recent initiative Hygge. Hygge is a Danish concept for creating happiness and well-being. They explained Hygge involved forming little cosy areas in the home, the use of natural materials, wood, stone, candles, blankets soft cuddly cushions and clothes and sweet and savoury treats. As the darker nights were drawing in staff felt this helped.
The staff team used a high technology lighting system where appropriate, to assist people with their sleep patterns, by altering their body clock. Research showed good sleep gave people with dementia better outcomes for health and well-being. However, where people's sleep patterns were different, the management team encouraged staff to provide personalised care and activities regardless of the time of day or night. They involved staff in developing a "Night Owl Club" environment where they were a friendly face to talk with, enjoy relaxing activities together, chat and have a drink and snack with people who could not sleep at night.
The exceptionally well managed and flexible staffing levels and skills met people's needs and wishes. Recruitment was thorough and effective in appointing staff with the right qualities to give exceptional care. Staff support and supervision was frequent, and training was in-depth, interactive and inventive.