'Exceptional' healthcare staff praised for 'outstanding' support of people with special needs in Wakefield

"Exceptional" staff at a service for people with learning disabilities have been praised for giving an outstanding level of care.
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Choice Support, which is based in Horbury, offers support to just over 100 people across the Wakefield area in their own homes.

The service delivers care to those with special educational needs, autism and high-level mental health needs.

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It is now being held up as an "innovative" role model for similar agencies across the UK, after being given a rare 'outstanding' rating by the health watchdog.

Choice Support staff with service users.Choice Support staff with service users.
Choice Support staff with service users.

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) visited Choice Support in February this year, and praised it for the way it listens to the people who use the service.

In their report, the CQC said: "Staff were exceptionally caring. They all shared the same hopes and aspirations for people to continue to live the lifestyle of their choice. People's voices were of paramount importance in the service.

"We saw lots of interaction, laughter and joking between people and staff, with people's faces lighting up when staff entered the room.

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"People and relatives told us the teams had a very caring approach."

Inspectors quoted one family member as saying: "They provide loving dedication. Everything about it is lovely. I couldn't have chosen a better setting. There's a few staff that are especially brilliant."

The report described how one person's self-esteem had risen since joining the service and that one manager ran a successful LGBTQ support group for people with learning disabilities.

Choice Support was set up as a registered charity in 1984 and has offices across the country.

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Responding to the CQC's findings, the service's chief executive Sarah Maguire said: "We are proud of our staff teams in Wakefield who have worked so hard to achieve an outstanding rating with the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

"This isn’t just about doing well on the day of the inspection - it’s the result of a consistent effort by all staff over many years, all working together to provide the very best service to people we support.

"As the CQC report says, they are exceptional at placing people at the heart of their support."

Local Democracy Reporting Service