There was justifiable pride and delight at the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust (BIRT) centre, Thomas Edward Mitton House in Milton Keynes, when they heard that they had been awarded their first ‘Outstanding’ star from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in the Responsive domain.

The service was found to be ‘Good’ in the categories Safe, Effective, Caring and Well-led and therefore received an overall ‘Good’ rating in its recent report.

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The service was commended for ensuring that ‘people receive exceptional personalised care that fully met their rehabilitation needs’. Service users reported that ‘the staff have a brilliant understanding of my needs and have really supported me to improve to the point I am now very independent’, ‘we have a lot of input from staff and they push us that little bit every day so that we improve. Without them I don’t know where we would be’.

Staff, including Rehabilitation Support Workers, Team Leaders, the Head of Care and Clinicians in Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Speech and Language Therapy and Psychology, were praised for being “dedicated and passionate” and the culture within the team was “open, encouraging and empowering.”

The report found that: “People’s needs were comprehensively assessed and intervention and treatment plans gave clear guidance on how people were to be supported. The whole focus of people’s care was individual to each person and focused on promoting their independence and meeting their rehabilitation needs. A highly skilled, multi-disciplinary staff group, whose ethos centred around the person or each individual, provided support for this.

It was recorded that care was taken with a group of people from the same European country; appointing a key worker from that country, translating timetables and generally encouraging them to celebrate their culture

A clear bond was noted between staff and those they supported, with one staff member saying, “The best thing about working here is how you see people making so much progress and then go home. That’s the most rewarding part of my job.”

One person who had returned home still goes back to volunteer and see staff. Another has fundraised for the service.

The inspectors saw written feedback from family members which included, “We wish to express our gratitude to all the staff who were involved with (name of person) care. Thank you very much, you will always hold a place in our hearts. Each and every one of you made (name of person) happy … Words are not enough.”

Service Manager, Tina Tupper, who was praised for “..a clear management structure that passionately promoted a person centred culture and commitment to promoting independence and social inclusion” expressed her happiness at the report: “The staff team are great. They would do anything for people and go above and beyond to deliver that little bit extra which makes a massive difference to people’s rehabilitation and their lives.

The centre was the first for BIRT and recently celebrated its 25th anniversary with the very first service user and his family as guests of honour. It provides specialist assessment and rehabilitation programmes for up to 16 people with acquired brain injuries, neurological conditions and strokes; supporting them to regain their independence and to return to live at home or in a community setting.

For further information read the full report.

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