The Close Care Home in Burcot, Oxfordshire, providing personal and nursing care for people with a range of conditions was rated outstanding for being safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), 16 October 2019.
The CQC report highlighted that The Close used innovative ways to manage risk and sought out new technology and other solutions to make sure residents lived with as few restrictions as possible. The service had actively sought out new technology to make sure that safe practices are discreet and free from restrictions. This new technology monitored people's movements and vital signs when staff are not present during the day or at night. This meant people were safe at night, or when otherwise alone, but were free from disturbance caused by physical checks by staff.
As part of the providers dementia strategy they had recognised that there was a need to adapt innovative methods to encourage residents living with dementia who got up in the night and slept longer during the day to maintain a well-balanced nutritional diet.
Therefore, they introduced a way for residents to make their own microwavable TV dinners. The provider told the CQC that "I was out shopping late one evening and purchased a TV dinner from a supermarket. It dawned on me that we could do the same quick convenient foods for our residents 24 hours a day with a balanced and nutritious meal if we just made our own. That way if someone wakes up at 3am wanting a good meal and thinks its lunch time we can." The service then went ahead and sourced the correct packaging and sealing equipment. They then made many tests runs and after further consultation with people and relatives put the TV dinners into production. This meant the service had identified people's individual preferences and patterns of eating and drinking and was flexible to meet their needs.
Since the last inspection the service had introduced 'Butterfly Time' which involved the provider, leadership team and staff spending time with people to ensure a consistent focus was maintained on people being treated and valued as individuals. This approach was exceptional at helping people to express their views so that staff and managers at all levels understood their experiences, preferences, wishes and choices. For example, during a person's 'Butterfly Time' they expressed a wish to try Mexican food as the had never tried it and enjoyed spicy food. The provider who was present for this time arranged for the person to be taken by themselves to a well-known London Restaurant the following day.
Following the trip, the provider tasked the chef to re-create the meal that they had for everyone else at The Close as a meal choice. This demonstrated that regardless of seniority, staff in all roles were highly motivated to provide care and support that was exceptionally compassionate and kind.