Outstanding: Care Quality Commission praises North Yorkshire Horizons

Clinical care in North Yorkshire Horizons, the specialist drug and alcohol service for the county, has been rated “Outstanding”, with outcomes that were above the national average, in a report published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

In November 2018, a two-day inspection by the CQC found that clinical support provided by the substance misuse service excelled in all five key areas, ensuring that care is safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led.

The inspectors said, “Clients were truly respected, valued and empowered as partners in their care, practically and emotionally, by an exceptional service. Staff went above and beyond to support clients’ and carers’ emotional and social needs.”

The report also states: “Outcomes for clients were better than expected when compared with other similar services. Staff worked with partner organisations and external services to provide holistic care… Services were tailored to individuals’ needs and delivered in a way that ensured flexibility, choice and continuity of care.” In the year to August 2018, the clinical service had not received a single formal complaint.


North Yorkshire Horizons

North Yorkshire Horizons offers specialist recovery support for adults affected by drug or alcohol misuse. The service is provided by Humankind, Spectrum Community Health CIC and CGL on behalf of North Yorkshire County Council.

Linda Harris, Chief Executive of Spectrum, said, “Putting clients at the heart of their own care is our founding ethos and we are delighted with feedback from the CQC. Most clients told inspectors that there was nothing they would change or improve about the service –  a great testament to our commitment and values.”

Ted Haughey, Executive Director at Humankind, added: “We are proud to see this report recognise strong leadership, governance and collaborative working across North Yorkshire Horizons. As a partnership, we aim to provide a seamless experience for service users and we’re pleased to see that reflected in feedback.”

The CQC found that clients were supported to stay safe and any risks were managed proactively by the service: “Leadership, governance and culture were used to drive and improve the delivery of high-quality, person-centred care. Leaders at all levels were compassionate, inclusive and highly experienced.”

Staff were also praised for their efforts in engaging with hard-to-reach populations, including conducting outreach in befriending sessions for older people and attending LGBT Pride events across the region.

The CQC report also states that the Horizons service had seen an increase in clients accessing for support with alcohol dependence – in sharp contrast to national trends observed and reported recently by Public Health England.

Dr Lincoln Sargeant, Director of Public Health for North Yorkshire, said on behalf of service commissioner North Yorkshire County Council: “We are very pleased that the CQC has provided validation of the excellent quality of care delivered by North Yorkshire Horizons.

“The service continues to offer hope to people and their families who struggle with addiction to drugs and alcohol. The results achieved are a tribute to the strong partnership that is totally committed to helping people regain control of their lives.”

 The full report is available online.