Updated: Nov 19, 2019
The infirmary was rated outstanding for being effective, caring, responsive and well-led and good for being safe, following the inspection in June 2019.
The team had worked hard to improve effective from good, to outstanding, since the previous inspection in September 2016.
The Margaret Thatcher Infirmary provides accommodation for up to 68 people who require nursing or personal care within the Royal Hospital Chelsea, the home of Chelsea Pensioners. At the time of CQC’s inspection there were 58 people living in the infirmary.
Residents and their relatives were extremely positive about the caring nature of the staff that supported them.
One relative said, "The staff are wonderful and go over and above what I would have expected. They have built up a wonderful rapport with all the pensioners."
People were cared for by dedicated and passionate staff who felt appreciated and privileged to support people who had served their country. Staff spoke positively about the working environment and the support they received to help provide high standards of care.
One staff member said: "This is our own village in Chelsea and is a wonderful community. Listening to the stories of the pensioners is the best thing about working here."
Throughout the inspection CQC inspectors observed staff treating people with kindness. Staff knew how individuals liked to be spoken to and CQC saw many instances of people and staff laughing and joking with one another in a relaxed atmosphere.
One residentemphasised: "We have a laugh and a joke with each other. If you can't get a laugh out of life, what's the point?'
Residentsgained from an excellent variety of activities, events and trips out. Activities included art classes and pottery, Tai Chi sessions and other types of exercise, music and sessions to speak about their younger days, film screenings and pet therapy sessions. There were also clubs available including bowls and a choir.
The report highlighted that the health and wellbeing of people was the priority of the service and the provider's values were rooted across the infirmary. Values of belonging through comradeship, respect, committing to high standards and encouraging people to lead happy and fulfilling lives ensured people received excellent care.
Alison Murray, Head of Adult Social Care Inspection in London said, “I am very impressed with the standard of care at Margaret Thatcher Infirmary. People we spoke to were full of praise for the staff and management at the infirmary.”