Milton Keynes Council has dubbed Camphill MK ‘excellent’, recognising the highest level of care.
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 lives for the residents.
Camphill MK is home to 70 adults with learning disabilities and takes such pride in the way it creates 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. Camphill residents are encouraged to participate in meaningful work which gives them the skills they need to live as independently as possible and recognise the effect of the contribution they make to their community.
The charity showed that it takes safeguarding very seriously, with not just staff understanding how best to look after, support and report safeguarding but also the residents who undergo annual training so they can play a role in protecting themselves and their fellow community members.
Tom Bridle, the Care & Support Manager told us "I am so proud of all of the team here at Camphill - we have an exceptional staff team. Staff really care about the quality of lives for our residents and in my mind have been providing an excellent service for years. Camphill is more than a job to most of us- it's a home, a community, a purpose and our way of improving the world in difficult times.
CEO Tim Davies said, “We have worked exceptionally hard to ensure that the people we support have excellent care, and it’s incredible to see that MK City Council also recognise that too. It is particularly important 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 forwards.”
The community were also praised for their robust approach to ensuring the quality of care and support through their auditing and compliance systems. This includes ensuring that residents have positive outcomes in their lives; examples including residents who’ve been supported to get married; residents who have found employment; or residents who’ve developed their skills and moved onto independent living elsewhere.
The report from the council stated: “Staff all stated they can approach all management levels and that they are confident that action will be taken following their feedback. Staff are able to raise concerns and commented on the Registered Manager having an open-door policy and that their views are regarded as important and welcome. Management are available on site and will cover shifts.
No agency has been used in over a year and there are no current vacancies. Within each ‘house’ depending on size we met with or observed different numbers of staff, volunteers and social workers who were all actively encouraging residents to be independent while explaining all interactions appropriately to the individual. Planning for more accessible facilities is currently underway meeting the requirements of those individuals who now have a higher level of need.”
Camphill Milton Keynes is unique in their 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” by the local authority is a firm vindication of the benefits of this approach despite challenges in the wider sector.