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Brain injury charity Headway Suffolk lauded in Care Quality Commission report

A charity supporting people with brain injuries and serious neurological conditions has been praised for its services by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Headway Suffolk - based in Ipswich - was visited by CQC officers in July and August.

Overall, on the strength of those visits, the inspectors awarded Headway a coveted 'outstanding' rating.

Headway CEO Helen Fairweather said she was 'extremely proud' of the CQC's rating
Headway CEO Helen Fairweather said she was 'extremely proud' of the CQC's rating

In particular, the quality of the organisation's care and leadership was recognised as exceptional.

In three other categories - safety, responsiveness and effectiveness of service -, Headway was rated 'good'.

The report singles out Headway staff for their practical approach to delivering care.

It states: "Staff were skilled at recognising and aiding people including their families and support networks when they may need additional help and emotional support within their daily lives.

"For example, signposting them to advocates for independent advice and other stakeholders that could be of assistance.

"One person shared how staff had sensitively encouraged them to speak with a bereavement counsellor and how this had helped them with coping with their loss."

Headway has specialised 'hubs' in Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds, through which it provides advice and administers care.

Among its patients are stroke and trauma victims, as well as people with other complex neurological disorders.

The group's last CQC inspection was in 2018.

This awarded the charity a 'good' rating in all five assessment categories.

Headway Suffolk's CEO, Helen Fairweather, said: "We are extremely proud of being rated as outstanding, especially after a pandemic.

"We have worked so hard. Being acknowledged for the work that our caring staff deliver to our very vulnerable clients is fantastic.

"The inspector took the time to look at the whole charity and not just regulated to service.

"She realised the impact that our minibus drivers, Brainy Dogs scheme and free shop, as well as our amazing hub, has on our clients.

"We are indebted to our fantastic staff team, who on a routine basis go the extra mile and don't even realise that they're doing it as it is the norm."