Swindon home care provider achieves repeated Outstanding report despite pandemic challenges

By Anita Jaynes on 6 December, 2021

Following a week-long inspection with seven inspectors scrutinising the business, First City Nursing Services, Swindon’s lead provider for community care is celebrating maintaining its Outstanding rating, the highest overall, from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) – the regulatory body that inspects health and care services. 

Only 4 per cent of community care providers are awarded an Outstanding rating and First City is amongst the largest providers to have been awarded this rating, not once but now twice.

In the latest CQC report, First City’s tireless work in providing safe and effective care to their customers, as well as ensuring staff are well trained, enthusiastic and motivated were highlighted for praise.  The report hailed the company for ensuring ‘People were supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives and staff supported them in the least restrictive way possible…’ and that ‘people’s independence was actively promoted improving people’s well-being and reducing social isolation’.

First City delivers a lead provider contract for the town, co-ordinating care for the whole community, and is responsible for working with the Swindon Borough Council, the NHS and other community support organisations to ensure people are supported. The CQC were particularly impressed with how First City had worked with partners despite the huge challenges faced across the town as a result of the pandemic.

Stephen Trowbridge MBE, Managing Director of First City Nursing Services said, “This rating is excellent news, not just for us and our wonderful team who have worked so hard to achieve this, even with the ongoing challenges with Covid and workforce pressures. 

“It’s true to say that the pandemic has made all of our lives harder over the last two years however this Outstanding rating is testament to the endurance, strength, resilience and determination of our team.  But this team, as many other in the same position as us across Swindon and wider afield, desperately need more people to sustain it and provide quality care to our communities, with an ever increase demand for services.”  

Home care companies, such as First City, underpin the NHS by providing care in people’s own homes, so that pressures on hospitals and the rest of the NHS can be relieved. However, like all areas of healthcare, the domiciliary care sector is currently feeling the pinch with more funding needed from central government and numerous vacancies needing to be filled across businesses. First City works closely with partners, including other community care organisations, to maintain a sustainable local care marketplace and to encourage people to enter any organisation within the care sector.

First City Nursing is involved directly in the care of over 650 people across Swindon, plus thousands more indirectly, and so is uniquely positioned to see the challenges of the sector. However, as an independently owned family business, can be flexible and adaptable to balance the needs of its workforce with the needs of the community, working closely with other providers, the local council and other organisations to be able to make an impact where it will be felt most.  

Stephen added, “There are plenty of opportunities out there for people looking for a way to give back through their job – both for those new to the industry and those thinking of returning.  Not just at First City Nursing, but at the hundreds of struggling care companies across the region.

“A career in care offers flexibility and job satisfaction that often can’t be found elsewhere, and if you’ve got even just a few hours of time spare a week and want to make a difference, I’d urge anyone to consider one of the roles currently available in the town.”

For more information on career opportunities at First City visit www.jobsincare.org or call 01793 313044.

Pictured above from left to right: First City Nursing Outstanding staff Samip Gurung, Ruth Ndungu and Sonya Brewer.