A project to help drug users in Brighton and Hove to beat their addiction has won praise after an official inspection.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) listed several areas of good practice at the Recovery Project, run by Brighton Housing Trust (BHT), which aims to support people to give up drink and drugs.
The CQC said: “Without exception clients told us they felt safe at the Recovery Project, physically and emotionally.
“The service had a thorough assessment process in place prior to admission. Clients received a thorough induction into the project and a comprehensive handbook which contained information about the service, their rights, how to raise a concern or complaint and consent to share information.
“Clients had good and comprehensive access to a variety of psychological therapies either on a one-to-one basis or in a group setting.
“The provider encouraged volunteer and internship work placements for clients. Ex-clients told us they were well prepared for move on and had been supported to develop strong recovery support networks in the local community.
“All the clients we spoke with were extremely positive about the service, stating how supportive, caring and compassionate the staff were. We observed this throughout our inspection.
“Staff were enthusiastic, dedicated and motivated by their work. Staff spoke respectfully about their clients, at all times and demonstrated an excellent understanding of their issues with a non-judgmental approach.
“The atmosphere created at the project was one of recovery, hope and optimism.
“The provider carried out a satisfaction survey for every client individually as well as two additional surveys each year, one carried out by another organisation.
“In the most recent survey in December 2016, 100 per cent of clients were either satisfied or very satisfied that the service was meeting their needs and that the support offered was enabling clients to achieve their plans and aspirations.
“Clients’ risk assessments and care plans were robust, recovery focused and person centred.
“The assessment of clients’ needs and the planning of their support, treatment and care was thorough, individualised and optimistic.
“Staff considered and met the needs of clients at all times. There was evidence of client involvement in the care records we looked at and all clients had signed a copy of their care plans.
“Staff were person centred, highly individualised and recovery orientated. We also saw that clients reviewed their care plans regularly with their keyworker.
“The client successful completion rate for the treatment programme was 68 per cent during the preceding year.
“All clients received a thorough physical health assessment prior to commencing treatment and staff identified and managed risks to physical health.
“There were enough suitably qualified and trained staff to provide care to a very good standard.
“The provider employed many staff with lived experience of addiction which further enhanced the skill mix and diversity of staff available.
“Skilled staff delivered care and treatment. The staff were consistently and pro-actively involved in client care and everyone’s contribution was considered of equal value.
“Staff were confident in how to report incidents and they told us about changes they had made to service delivery as a result of feedback, following incidents.
“The Recovery Project had a strong focus on recovery, treatment, empowering clients and enabling client peer support.
“All staff were committed to the vision and values of the organisation. All staff had high morale and told us that they felt very well supported and engaged with a visible, highly experienced, skilled and strong manager.
“Staff were motivated to ensure the objectives of the organisation and of the service were achieved.
“Governance structures were clear, well documented, followed and reported accurately. There were controls for managers to assure themselves that the service was effective and being provided to a good standard.
“The manager and their team were fully committed to making positive changes. Changes had been made to ensure that quality improvements were made, for example, through the use of audits.
“The service had clear mechanisms for reporting incidents of harm or risk of harm and we saw evidence that the service learnt from when things had gone wrong.
“The project was clean and well maintained. The premises were comfortable with a large courtyard garden and clients told us the environment aided their recovery.
“However, we also found the following issues that the service provider needs to improve: the project’s risks were individually scored and rated but there was no local risk register, pulling all of the known risks together.”
The CQC said that accountable people were the registered manager Brian Sudway and Nikki Homewood, the responsible individual.
There was no formal rating. The CQC said: “We do not currently rate independent standalone substance misuse services.”
Anyone interested in receiving help and support from the Recovery Project can attend a weekly drop-in session at 10 Ditchling Rise, Brighton, from 3pm to 4pm every Monday.