We are thrilled to announce that we have been rated as ‘Excellent’ for the second year by Milton Keynes City Council.
Every year, facilities looking after vulnerable people undergo a thorough inspection by their local authority, taking a detailed look at care plans, staff training, organisational administration, safeguarding and the quality of life for the residents. This year, the process was extended to include Camphill MK’s non-residential workshops and day services attended by Camphill residents and local disabled people.
Assessing our care for supporting adults with learning disabilities and autism in Milton Keynes, the PAMMS (Provider Assessment and Market Management Solution) report excels this year with many areas of care ranking ‘excellent’, focussing on care planning, resident activity, dignity, training, quality assurance, health and safety and leadership.
Councillor Emily Darlington, Cabinet Member for Adults, Housing and Healthy Communities, said: “Camphill is a unique and fantastic community which reaches well beyond those who enjoy living there. We are lucky to have such a facility in Milton Keynes and I love the time I spend there with residents.”
We’re home to 75 adults with learning disabilities and take such pride in the way we create a community and home for everyone on site with creative and horticultural activities, meal planning, trips and visits, as well as careful attention to the holistic needs of the person, from their medical needs to their spiritual and cultural needs. Our residents are encouraged to participate in meaningful work both in the Camphill settings and with external providers, which gives them the skills they need to live as independently as possible and recognise the effect of their contribution to their community.
Our team is so proud of our person-centred care, and the inspection reflects how our community offers care to our service users in the houses and workshops. Our new systems, Nourish and Camascope, were highlighted as particularly effective for evidencing our practice.
Tom Bridle, our Care & Support Manager and winner of Registered Manager of the Year at the National Learning Disability and Autism Awards in 2023, told us, “It’s amazing to be recognised again for the quality of care and support we provide and the difference that it makes to the lives of the people in our care. I sincerely appreciate everyone on our team who comes in daily to make a difference. I won’t ever pretend we’re perfect and will continue to improve wherever we can, but I think we’re pretty excellent.”
Our CEO, Tim Davies, said, “Our staff and managers have worked exceptionally hard to ensure that the people we support receive excellent care, and it’s reassuring to see that MK City Council also recognise the hard work and its impact. It is essential to us, as we are starting a major capital programme to build an additional 60 accessible bedrooms – it provides a strong foundation for us going forward.”
Our workshops were assessed and secured an ‘excellent’ rating for the first time. “This was a great opportunity to show off the talents of our residents and those who attend our day opportunity services.” Workshops Manager Julia Funge shared, “The talented workshop teams are proud to offer such varied opportunities to over 80 people across our main activities of craft, performing arts and media, horticulture and, of course, the public-facing café and bakery that supports employment skills.
Our workshops are such happy and creative places, and now to be recognised as excellent is the icing on the cake. We look forward to developing our offer and being ready to welcome new people in the coming months and years as our community grows. The team and I are extremely proud of what we do”.
The report stated:
“Staff were asked about respect and dignity, how they conduct themselves and their interaction with service users. Staff had a lot of positive characteristics: showing kindness – greeting people politely, asking how people are feeling, offering choices, being provided with snacks, building relationships, setting professional boundaries, getting to know the service users, following agreed ways of working (R/As, care plans), providing the right support, knocking on people’s doors, asking people if they would like support, respecting people’s decisions etc.”
“On observation, there appeared to be an adequate number of staff available in each area/location visited. The staff available were very knowledgeable and knew the service users well. The staff in the workshops have a particularly sound knowledge of the activity they facilitate; several staff have qualifications within their subject and can effectively pass on their knowledge and develop a positive learning and creative environment.”
Camphill MK is unique in its approach as every individual is recognised for the contribution they have to make according to their abilities. Staff live, work and celebrate alongside residents as part of an active community life. Being recognised as ‘excellent’, again, by the local authority is a firm validation of the benefits of this approach despite challenges in the broader sector.