Hospital to home scheme is rated best in country

John Cooper, a service user at the Reablement Service run by Wigan Council, with Jo Whittaker
John Cooper, a service user at the Reablement Service run by Wigan Council, with Jo Whittaker

A community care service giving Wiganers the skills they need to live in their own homes again after a trauma has been named the best in the country.

Wigan Council’s Reablement Service was given the top rating of outstanding by inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The local authority says this makes the borough’s service the only one of its kind in Britain to be so highly rated.

Reablement staff work with people who have recently been in hospital or have suffered serious illness or disability to ensure they can continue to live independently.

The CQC judged Wigan’s reablement team to be at a good level for delivering safe, effective and caring services and to be outstandingly well-led and responsive to people’s needs.

In the report the inspectors said: “People told us they felt safe receiving support from the service. The feedback we received indicated there was good communication. Care staff we spoke with were experienced and knew how to respond in an emergency or when to offer assistance for a person’s well-being.

“People who used the 
service and their relatives told us they always felt involved and were able to ask questions, say how they wanted to be supported, and felt valued as a result. They said they were treated with kindness and care and comments we received about the service were very complimentary.

“Visits to people’s homes were not time-limited, which meant that staff could remain with people as long as necessary on each individual visit, demonstrating their approach was very person-centred and not simply task-oriented.”

The reablement service is currently helping more than 60 people across the borough to re-use lost skills or learn new ones. Service users are referred from hospitals or community teams and staff then link them into local activities and encourage them to use their skills to help the community.

The CQC said in interviews that staff were clearly able to show their extensive knowledge of safe care and patients’ rights and the service benefitted from proactive management.

John Cooper, who has used the reablement service, also spoke positively about his experiences.

Mr Cooper said: “The team have been fantastic. The support and encouragement they gave me; it was like having members of my own family coming in. They’re a credit to their profession, the council and the leadership. They’ve given me the confidence to carry on and the ability to do the things I now do.”

Senior politicians at Wigan Council have also praised staff in the wake of the CQC report, which was prepared following an inspection in May.

Coun Keith Cunliffe, lead for adult social care and health, said: “Enabling independence and ensuring an improved quality of life, thereby reducing demand on social care, is a key element of The Deal. I am proud that in this borough we have the only reablement service in the country to be rated as outstanding by CQC. It is a fitting reward for a team of staff whose commitment, dedication, and belief that they can make a difference to the lives of our residents, shines through day in, day out. They truly are a credit to the council.”