Oxfordshire Brandon Trust care service greeted by guard dog

A CARE service supporting people with learning disabilities in Oxfordshire has been praised for its ‘caring and kind’ staff in a report from a watchdog.

Brandon Trust, an assisted living service that provides personal and nursing care to people with learning disabilities at home across the county, has been rated “good” by the Care Quality Commission, the independent body regulation of health and social services in England, following an audit.

Inspectors visited 40 people in 15 assisted living facilities over four separate days and spoke with 21 staff and 25 relatives about the care provided to their family members.

At the time of the inspection, 134 people were using the service in 47 separate assisted living facilities.

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The report says: “People were supported to have maximum choice and control over their lives and staff supported them in the least restrictive way possible and in their best interest.

“Staff was attentive and kind. People and loved ones told us that the staff was patient and understanding. Staff were motivated in their role and understood the principles of promoting people’s privacy and dignity by treating them with respect.

“Staff supported people to ensure they had the right equipment in place to live safely in their own homes. This included wheelchairs, lifts, hospital beds and mobility aids. The staff were proactive in making sure the equipment was suitable and safe for people to use.

People told inspectors they were ‘pleased’ with the care and support they had received and were ‘comfortable’ raising issues with staff if they had concerns.

Relatives of people using the service also told inspectors that their family members received “safe care”.

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Comments included, “He is well cared for and in a safe environment” and “He is safe. The difference is amazing from where he was before. This is the best place possible.”

Another relative said: “She suffers from anxiety and can be quite demanding and obsessive, I think they know how to calm her down, she is much better.”

Overall, the report found relatives were happy with staffing levels, but five felt the use of high levels of agency staff was a problem.

One person told inspectors, “They use a lot of agency staff. Recruitment [of permanent staff] is now a very big problem.”

Inspectors were also told that staff had a good understanding of detecting non-verbal cues when people were unable to vocally express that they were in pain or anxious and in need of medication.

A relative said: “The staff are reliable and caring [around medicines management]. He will not voluntarily say that he is suffering; the staff take clues and ask him.”

This story was written by Anna Colivicchi, she joined the team this year and covers health stories for Oxfordshire newspapers.

Contact her by emailing: [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter @AnnaColivicchi

About Antoine L. Cassell

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