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The Fremantle Trust 

Comments from Steve Flanagan, Chief Executive of The Fremantle Trust regarding the approach that secured an Outstanding CQC rating at The Heights and Downley Lodge:

“As anyone in the care sector will appreciate, preparation for CQC evaluation is not a single ‘event’ as such – it is deeply embedded in day-to-day operations and culture. 

Understanding the criteria of the five key questions and fundamental standards means translating these into a top line strategy for management and ensuring they are embraced by the whole team across their specialist areas. 

CQC inspections aren’t solely the responsibility of senior management, operations and quality specialists – they are relevant to every single member of our team who play a significant role in bringing it all together, creating a safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led service.

While seamless processes and operations are of course essential, equally important is how we deliver our care. It is about the calibre of leadership. Under the management of Blesson Thomas, the team at The Heights and Downley Lodge has flourished and been encouraged to grow, take responsibility and be innovative. They’ve also gone above and beyond by really putting their residents at the heart of everything they do, with personal gestures and thoughtful initiatives.

Internal quality audits are standard practice. The important aspect of our approach to compliance is, ironically, that it’s not simply about being compliant. It’s more about asking ourselves, ‘how can we do this better?’ which instils a commitment to continuous improvement. With this kind of mindset we won’t be complacent about our rating but will  focus on the important task of maintaining an ‘Outstanding’ service.”

Founded in 1992, The Fremantle Trust is a registered charity providing first class care and support services that enhance quality of life for older people and adults with a learning disability. 

The Trust’s services include care homes, day care, supported living schemes and domiciliary care in 58 locations across Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Milton Keynes, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and North London. Its 1,850 highly skilled employees are dedicated to helping people live life to the full. 

The Fremantle Trust is committed to safeguarding the independence, rights and lifestyle of every individual and believes that those who use its services should be genuinely consulted and fully respected. The Trust’s services are informed by its values: celebrating the uniqueness in everyone, putting care and kindness at the heart of everything we do, exceeding people’s expectations and acting openly and honestly. These values are embedded in the organisation, which fully supports its people and is committed to continuous learning.

The Trust is the largest single supplier of care services for older people in Buckinghamshire, with 793 registered care beds. More widely it supports the individual lifestyle choices of almost 2,000 residents, tenants and people attending day care services.

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