Housing 21, a leading not-for-profit provider of Retirement Housing and Extra Care, has achieved its fifth ‘Outstanding” from the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The organisation’s Extra Care Living court, Oakley Gardens in West Bromwich, had an ‘Outstanding’ report published this month, making Housing 21 one of the most highly rated providers of Extra Care services in the country.
Housing 21 is committed to providing the highest quality of care for its residents and, as a result of an ongoing commitment to improving its services, has already exceeded one of its strategic goals of having at least 5% of Extra Care services rated ‘Outstanding’ by March 2021.
As part of the drive towards achieving and maintaining high standards of care, the organisation strives to lead by example by investing in its Care Workers. In April 2018, Housing 21 introduced guaranteed hours contracts, hourly pay which is at least 10% more than the National Living Wage, better opportunities for progression and increased management support for Care Workers on a daily basis. The measures have since helped the organisation to attract and retain the best people, reducing turnover to well below the industry average.
In October 2019, Skills for Care research  found that those paid more were less likely to leave their role and employees with zero-hours contracts, as a number of Care Workers are, were significantly more likely to leave. Since investing more into the growth and progression of their Care Workers, Housing 21 turnover has reduced to 20%.
Housing 21 is also rated ‘Gold’ by Investors in People and earlier this month won the Investors in People Third Sector Award at a ceremony in London.
The residents are noticing a difference too with 97% satisfied with the care service Housing 21 provides.
Kris Peach, Director of Extra Care at Housing 21, said: “Two years ago, we started talking about making changes within the organisation to ensure we are providing services that are of the highest standard. 18 months on from starting to implement these changes, which included developing a dedicated quality assurance team, working on continuous improvement and reviewing our approach and policies, we are starting to see the results of our time and effort come to fruition.
“Extra Care can have a vital role to play in people’s lives and the difference the services make is truly amazing to see. As I visit the schemes and hear stories from residents and their families about the impact Extra Care has had on them, it’s impossible not to feel proud of the difference we are making. None of this could be achieved without the local staff at each scheme and I do believe they are the real heroes in seeing the quality of both housing and care services improve over recent years.
“However, we are not complacent and realise there is still more to do to ensure we continue to develop and maintain this high-quality standard of care. This involves our commitment to improve resident engagement, and working with residents, family and friends to continue to improve our services over the months and years ahead.”
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