AN Oldham company specialising in home-based care for older people has been awarded an "outstanding" rating by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for the second time.

The couple who own Home Instead Senior Care for Oldham and Saddleworth, Mick and Jenny Sheehan are celebrating as only three per cent of all care companies receive the much-coveted award once, let alone twice.

Inspectors spoke to clients, relatives of clients and Home Instead staff members before producing their recent report, which states "everyone we talked to, without exception, spoke very highly of the service, its staff and how it was managed."

It goes on to say: "we did not receive any negative comments about the company".

Home Instead was praised throughout the report for helping older people to live independently.

One caregiver told inspectors: “It's about the little things, making sure they feel safe, having everything close to hand and making sure it's how they want to do things – I like them to lead the way.”

Inspectors reported how clients told them "staff helped and encouraged them to be as independent as possible".

“The caregiver will say, you wash and I'll wipe, when cleaning up in the kitchen, which is great” one client said.

Home Instead's caregivers told inspectors that they were "matched" with the client they supported and this helped them develop genuine friendships.' Wonderful connections between clients and their caregivers are cited throughout the report. One client is quoted as saying: “They couldn't have matched me up with a better person.

"She's a gem. You've no idea how nervous I was in contemplating having this type of service but the moment we met, we both knew it was just right.”

Another client said of their regular caregiver: “She knows all my likes and dislikes. I love her to bits.”

Another commented: “All the staff are kind and caring. They listen to me and act on everything I ask for. They would do anything for me, which gives me comfort.”

The Sheehans say the level of service is made possible by the uncompromising focus on person-led care that is part of the Home Instead ethos.

Mick said: “Jenny and I have always known that our team was outstanding but to have that confirmed and now reconfirmed by independent inspectors means an awful lot.

“We all do this because we genuinely care. When we hire someone, the question we ask ourselves is would we trust them to care for our own parents? When we find those special people that we trust, we train and support them to really take the time to care with compassion.

“For me the stand out comment of the report came from a client who told inspectors 'It's a very personal service and it seems to be more than just a job to them'. That sums up everything about Home Instead”