Aim for Hartlepool care providers to be the best

Councillor Stephen Thomas
Councillor Stephen Thomas

A council chief said he wants care providers in Hartlepool to work towards being outstanding.

Councillor Stephen Thomas, who is chair of Hartlepool Borough Council’s Adult Services Committee, said that was their aspiration for the various organisations that provide care to elderly people in their homes and to residents with disabilities and mental health needs.

An update of ratings by the Care Quality Commission watchdog of care providers in Hartlepool that are contracted by the council recently went to councillors.

It showed that out of 18 providers, 16 are rated ‘good’, the second highest rating possible.

Just two are classed as ‘requiring improvement’ and have action plans in place.

Services commissioned by the council cover domiciliary care; support for people with a learning disability or mental health issue in their home or the community; care homes for adults with learning disabilities and mental health needs; and purpose built extra care schemes including Hartfields and Laurel Gardens.

Coun Thomas said: “We certainly do aspire to have excellent care provision so would be looking to care providers to work towards outstanding at all times.

“It is something this committee will be encouraging and keeping an eye on at all times.”

He added: “One thing to stress is that new domiciliary care contractors have been let in line with Unison’s ethical care charter which I think is extremely positive.”

Jeanette Willis, the council’s head of strategic commissioning – adult services, said: “Every care home manager talks about wanting to be outstanding, they really do try to do it.

“Our homes that are rated good work really, really hard to be good.

“We always aim for outstanding, but good solid homes across the board which a lot of our homes are, I’m really happy that we are achieving that, it’s a really positive outcome for residents.”

Ms Willis said only a very small percentage of care homes and providers, less than 2% nationally, were rated outstanding.

She said they tended to charge significantly higher fees meaning staff are able to give more one to one care.

Ms Willis said that although residential care providers My Life: Burbank Mews and Seymour House require improvement, both are rated good in the care and domain categories.