A service based in Lewisham which provides care for people with learning disabilities in the borough - and in Southwark and Bexley - has been rated Outstanding overall by the Care Quality Commission.
Aurora Options, was rated Outstanding for being responsive and well-led. It was rated Good for being safe, effective and caring, following the inspection in October 2018.
The service, which was previously rated Good overall, provides care and support to people so they can live in their own homes as independently as possible. Inspectors found that the service was outstanding in empowering people to have as much control over their lives as possible and to achieve their maximum potential.
During the inspection, CQC found multiple examples to demonstrate the staff and management team were passionate about providing an innovative and excellent service, which was continually being developed to meet each person’s needs in a holistic manner. Relatives felt the care was highly personalised and that staff worked well to deliver an excellent level of care. People were set realistic goals to improve their independence and they were supported by staff to achieve key outcomes. People were supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives and staff supported them.
Inspectors found that Aurora worked with each person to establish their strengths. People were empowered to make day-to-day decisions for themselves and to make their own choices about how they would like to live their lives including where they lived and people they lived with. People were supported through regular key worker sessions to identify specific goals in their lives and progress reports detailed outcomes until people had achieved their goal.
The service had a strong sense of promoting social inclusion. The service had established good links in the local community and had worked in partnership with key organisations including local authorities and other agencies that provided social care services to improve people's opportunities and experiences. People were supported to find either paid or voluntary work with various organisations and Aurora had its own social enterprises which included card making; where people designed, made and sold cards and crafts in local shops and their own allocated market stall at the town’s shopping centre.
People were supported to access meaningful educational courses they had shown interest in to enhance their knowledge and skills and to make them employable.
A staff member was nominated by a relative and won a local authority ‘Caring at its Best’ awards 2018. The relative stated, “The staff member takes emotional support and physical support to the next level and puts my mind completely at ease about the care provided. I cannot imagine my (loved one) being in better hands.”
Debbie Ivanova, CQC’s Deputy Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, said: “At our last inspection at Aurora Options we rated the service as Good overall. Now the service has achieved our top rating of Outstanding, which is a testament to the passionate leadership and staff at the service. I was delighted to read how the service has focused on making sure each person is empowered to have a full and meaningful life, based on their choices ”