A home care company in Harrogate has retained its Outstanding rating from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) following a virtual inspection as part of a new pilot scheme.

Continued Care was inspected through a combination of virtual methods and online tools as the CQC looks at different ways of fulfilling its regulatory obligations in the light of Covid-19.

The two-day virtual inspection followed a comprehensive inspection in January 2019, which was carried out in person by a CQC inspector and rated the company Outstanding.

Continued Care’s director, Samantha Harrison, said:

“The virtual inspection was a very different experience for everyone! Only around four percent of registered home care agencies are rated Outstanding by the CQC, so we are delighted to have maintained ours.”

Samantha Harrison, director of Continued Care

The inspection team used electronic file sharing, video calls and phone calls to gather feedback from Continued Care’s staff, service users and their relatives, as well as from local authorities and health and social care professionals who work with the company.

Mrs Harrison added:

“It’s been a hugely challenging year for all of us working in social care, so to retain our Outstanding rating is a tremendous achievement for us.

“It is a real testament to the dedication of all our staff who have worked extremely hard to continue delivering our high standards of care, compassion and support for our service users.”

Published last month, the report praises Continued Care’s core values and culture, which it says puts ‘people at the heart of care planning and delivery.’

It states that service users feel safe, well cared for and supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives. The leadership team is praised for promoting “a positive culture that is person-centred, open, inclusive and empowering, which achieves good outcomes for people.”

Inspectors also highlighted the positive staff culture and the importance placed on developing people’s careers. They said service users and their families found staff to be exceptionally kind, caring and understanding.

The company’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic is described as “proactive”, with service users and staff kept well informed and offered both practical and psychological support throughout.

Read more local stories from Your Harrogate here.