A care home which provides supported accommodation for people with mental health needs has been described as ‘Good’ overall by the Care Quality Commission.

Rivacre House on Seymour Drive, Ellesmere Port, was also found to be outstanding in one aspect, the responsiveness of its service, by the independent health and social care watchdog.

The 12-bed home, close to the town centre, was recognised for the high quality and personalised care it provides to a mix of short and long-term residents.

Only four years ago the watchdog told charity Making Space, which runs Rivacre House, that it must take action to improve to meet national standards of quality and safety as it was not complying with seven of the essential requirements.

Inspectors made an unannounced visit to the purpose built two storey home this October and found safe surroundings for people to live and staff to work in and a ‘warm atmosphere’.

'Kind and caring'

Residents were able to come and go as they wished and staff supported them to make arrangements for appointments or social events.

They said they liked living at Rivacre House and the staff were ‘kind and caring’ and provided the support they needed to encourage them to be independent. The inspectors believed staff had an understanding of disability and residents were encouraged to discuss their health and worries with them.

There was access to community based health professionals and opportunities for occupiers to take part in group activities whilst also being encouraged to develop their personal interests.

Records were comprehensive and kept up to date and support plans contained detailed information on each person and how their care and support was to be delivered.

The information was regularly reviewed with the person who used the service which meant they received personalised care in line with their wishes and preferences.

Staff were knowledgeable about the people they supported and knew all about their social, physical and mental health needs and had the appropriate knowledge, skills and qualifications to do the job.

The management team was said to be approachable and responsive and encouraged feedback from people who used the service. They also monitored the service provided in order to improve on its quality and effectiveness.

'Testament to the team's dedication'

Commenting on the report residential manager Dreena Davies, who took over the reigns in 2013 after coming out of retirement from a 27-year career with Cheshire County Council’s learning disabilities team, said: ”I was never going to spend my retirement in front of the TV and so had been doing some occasional shift work at Rivacre. When the residential manager position came free, I decided to go for it.

“I already loved the place and saw real potential for improving things further.

“We’ve done so much in two years from major refurbishments and completely overhauling the garden to staff training and most importantly focusing everyone’s efforts on providing individualised care for every resident. It’s testament to the team’s dedication that we’ve received this top rating.”

Gaynor Chisnall, director of operations at Making Space, said: “The team has done a superhuman job in transforming Rivacre House into a first class facility.”