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CQC rates our North Yorkshire Horizons service Outstanding

North Yorkshire Horizons is now officially rated as “Outstanding” overall by the Care Quality Commission.

The adult drug and alcohol recovery service, commissioned by North Yorkshire County Council, received the coveted accreditation following an inspection in August of the Humankind-led element of the service.

The clinical component of the service, run by Spectrum Community Health CIC, was rated outstanding in February.

Dr Lincoln Sargeant, Director of Public Health for North Yorkshire and Angela Hall, Health Improvement Manager,  said in a combined statement: "We’re delighted for the team, and are proud that the achievement celebrates the excellent partnership approach that we’ve nurtured between North Yorkshire County Council, Humankind and their sub-contractors Spectrum CIC and Changing Lives over the last five years.

“We’re looking forward to building on and developing the service with the team over the next five to ten years".

Mark Vidgen, Humankind Director for North Yorkshire and head of the North Yorkshire Horizons service said: “I’m absolutely thrilled by this news. It really is a reflection of how our staff constantly strive to go the extra mile and to find ways of improving how we can help people in North Yorkshire receive the help they deserve.”

Ted Haughey, Executive Director of Humankind in the North East and North Yorkshire, said: “This is excellent news and every single member of the North Yorkshire Horizons team – staff and volunteers - can be justly proud of this achievement. 

“This inspection result validates that the support provided for people who use the service is of an incredibly high standard.

“We hope this news will give people in North Yorkshire even more confidence to come to us for treatment or for help for a family member or friend.”

The inspection took place between 6th and 8th August this year. The CQC team visited our hubs in Scarborough, Northallerton and Harrogate.

In its report, the CQC, which is the regulator of health and adult social care in England, said it spoke to 14 people who use the service and received 26 comment cards from other service users.

It explained: “All gave consistently positive feedback about their experience of the service. Those who had previous experience of substance misuse services told us that the service provided by North Yorkshire Horizons was significantly better.

“Staff were described as caring, non-judgemental and kind and clients were always treated with dignity, compassion and respect. Clients told us that they were supported to make informed decisions about their care and were involved in recovery planning. Clients felt staff went above and beyond expectations.

The inspectors wrote: “We were told the service was flexible and, during times of crisis, staff could be contacted by phone. The services were accessible, clean and tidy. Clients that were unable to access the hubs were met at home or in the community and spoke positively of this. No clients stated that appointments or groups had been cancelled or delayed.

“Clients felt able to raise concerns without fear of reproach and had been able to influence service changes and developments, such as the introduction of text reminders for appointments. Most clients said they would not change anything about the service given the opportunity, one client said they would like it to be available seven days a week.”

The inspectors also noted:

·         Staff took a proactive approach to engaging new and existing clients within the service, developing outreach clinics in rural areas, visiting community services to engage prospective clients, facilitating evening hours and visiting client’s home addresses.

·         The service also has links with the Breaking Free online app to support clients outside of the service.

·         The service has conducted pioneering work with their approach to addressing the needs of the military community and produced Mil-SMART as a tool tailored to the needs of the community, producing results of national significance.

·         The service is also making developments within the horse racing communities.

·         The service has created pathways and initiatives to address a holistic range of client’s needs; introducing couch to 5K in Harrogate (and recently Scarborough) and a clothes swop in Scarborough.

·         The service supports clients in accessing external services, taking them to appointments when necessary and supporting a client’s pet to become a registered emotional support animal.

·         The service has consistently higher proportions of clients in effective treatment than the national average reported through the National Drug Treatment Monitoring System and were involved in a Public Health England enquiry into alcohol treatment as a result.

Humankind began a new five year contract on October 1st, 2019 to provide the North Yorkshire Horizons service in partnership with Changing Lives and Spectrum. The rating is published here, under the registered address of the Humankind element of the service.