Bracken celebrates outstanding success!

3 April 2018

Bracken celebrates outstanding success!

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Staff and customers of a residential care home in Staffordshire are celebrating this week after the independent regulator of health and social care in England, awarded the service an outstanding rating.

Accord’s Bracken House, in Burntwood, is home to up to 30 adults over the age of 65 diagnosed with dementia. Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) visited Bracken last month in an unannounced inspection, and have this week published their report. Whilst Bracken House has maintained its overall ‘Good’ rating, the management team are delighted with an ‘Outstanding’ rating across one of the five inspected domains.

Helen Brown, Registered Manager of Bracken House, said:

‘The CQC inspection measures us across five domains – is the service safe, caring, effective, well-led and responsive. I am thrilled that we were upgraded from good to outstanding in how responsive the service is at Bracken.”

She added:

“This means that CQC were impressed that our residents enjoyed a wide range of activities supported by staff who used innovation to provide them with new experiences. Customers were encouraged to share with us what is important to them and we work with them to achieve their desired outcomes. We empower our customers and their families to raise any concerns with us and they know they will be listened to by all the team here at Bracken House.’

The CQC report highlights how the staff go the extra mile to ensure that customers’ needs are catered for and gives the example of the reminiscence room at Bracken, referred to as the 'show and tell' room, equipped with an early model television, record player and war memorabilia where customers could go and talk about past events and the items in the room.

The inspectors were also impressed that Bracken House was involved in a pilot study using virtual reality technology to help them recreate familiar scenes for people, such as a beach. Customers wore special glasses and could see a 360 degree view of the beach with sand, sea, a donkey, seagulls and an ice cream van. They could hear the sea and join in with singing, 'Oh I do like to be beside the seaside'.

Maxine Espley, Executive Director of Health, Social Care & Support, Accord, said:

‘There are so many ways that the team at Bracken House go over and above to support our customers to maintain their diverse cultural, gender and spiritual choices – from the decorated sweet trolley that does the rounds, to spontaneous karaoke, from baking together to online memory games – the enthusiasm and innovation the Bracken House team show towards the care of their customers is truly outstanding. I am so proud that the service, and the wonderful team there, has been recognised by the CQC as outstanding in its responsiveness to customers.’

Bracken House also uses the Eden Alternative, an approach that focuses on improving the ageing experience by engaging customers with plants, animals and children.

Less than 2% of care schemes in the UK are awarded an overall outstanding, and the outstanding domain rating for Bracken House puts an overall outstanding very much within reach.

Cllr. Alan White, Deputy Leader and Lead Cabinet Member for Health, Care and Wellbeing at Staffordshire County Council, said:

“Having the best quality of care is really important, and gives relatives the peace of mind that their loved ones are being looked after in the best possible way.  Everyone at Bracken House should be proud of what they have achieved, and the difference they are making to people’s lives as they cope with dementia.”

For more details on Bracken House, please contact Registered Manager, Helen Brown on 01543 686850 or

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