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“I have never been happier in a job”

Affinity Trust have received ‘Outstanding’ for its responsiveness following a Care Quality Commission inspection in East Sussex.

The staff team were praised for ‘going the extra mile’ and for their passion in involving people in their support. The staff team, led by Support Manager Emma Morris, have embraced the ethos “every day is great” with a resulting positive impact on the wellbeing of the five people living in the home.

In the words of the Team Leader: “It’s about quality interaction with people every day, not just for big things. We all share the sparkle and want people to have an amazing life.”

‘There were always enough staff to meet people’s needs,’ said the CQC report, with staff knowing the people they support really well and inspiring trust from family members. One family member spoke to CQC about their ‘complete confidence’ in staff.

The CQC report highlighted the quality of life of those people living there, many of whom have complex health needs and communicate without speech. Innovative ways of aiding communication were recognised in the report, including the use of specialist technology. The staff team create high levels of engagement within the home, and CQC inspectors witnessed ‘laughing and joking’ amid a ‘positive atmosphere’.

Individuals supported by Affinity Trust in Rye are involved in regular house meetings with these becoming sensory experiences to aid their engagement and choice e.g. the use of feathers and chicken feed to ‘discuss’ the idea of having chickens in the garden.


The report shone a light on many examples of staff increasing people’s day-to-day involvement in their lives, from making breakfast and lunch to aiding decision-making, with one person creating a PowerPoint presentation of their Person-Centred Plan, capturing their wishes and future goals.

One person was passionate about gardening and, with staff support, had created their own recipe book, based on ingredients they had grown themselves.

Others have completed activities for the first time such as a helicopter ride and are fully engaged in their community, including going swimming, to wheelchair dance events, car racing and attending hot air balloon displays. Other events to meet people’s individual goals and ambitions are being planned, such as river cruises and fishing trips.

Within the ‘Outstanding’ responsiveness category, CQC inspectors recognised the ongoing fundraising efforts that the staff team are doing to enable one person to use eye-gaze technology. In a trial, they were able to tell their relative they loved them for the first time. The relative told CQC: “It was wow. Amazing. I can’t put the emotion into words”.

A health and care professional also commented: “I have been very impressed with the level of passion shown for getting this person a high-tech communication aid. In my opinion, they (staff) are outstanding in the care that they provide.”

The report consistently highlights the high training levels of staff, including specialist training specific to the needs of each person they support.

The CQC report also says ‘staff told us they felt part of a warm, supportive, team-working culture, that centred around people’s quality of life every day.’ One member of staff summed this up by saying: “I’ve found my niche. I have never been happier in a job. This is just so rewarding, especially the people we support.”

Read the full report on CQC’s website
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