Gold standard – unique double for Wrexham-based care pioneers

A ground-breaking care organisation has struck gold.

Wrexham-based Pendine Park has become one of only a handful of social care companies across the UK to receive the coveted Investors in People Gold Award.

The IIP success marked a unique double for the organisation.

It’s believed Pendine Park is the only care organisation in Britain to achieve the accolade while also having the ISO 9002 quality assurance accreditation.

Pendine Park was the first nursing home in the United Kingdom to be awarded ISO 9002 exactly 20 years ago, or  British Standard 5750 as it was known then.

The IIP Gold Award was presented to proprietors Mario Kreft MBE  and his wife, Gill, at a special ceremony by Wrexham AM Lesley Griffiths, who is also the Welsh Health Minister.

The event was attended by residents, relatives and staff representing all their seven care homes.

Lesley Griffiths said: “It’s always fantastic to hear about a good news story like this in the area and I was delighted to have the opportunity of presenting this richly deserved award to Pendine Park.

“I was previously Deputy Minister for Science, Innovation and Skills for 16 months and IIP was part of my portfolio so I know how much hard work and dedication is involved in achieving the gold standard.

“IIP Gold is a rare accolade and is recognition of the constant quest to innovate and raise standards.

“This is a tribute to everybody who works at Pendine Park because this award could not have been achieved without their commitment to developing a framework of best practice.

“Upskilling our workforce and developing them is really important if we want to provide the best possible care and the fact that Pendine Park has attained gold shows they take that very seriously and I’m delighted a Wrexham firm is once again at the forefront.”

Among those joining in the celebrations was residents’ representative Alan Hassall.

He said: “The Investors in People Gold Award shows that people are really getting cared for at the top level, no matter how disabled or enabled they are.

“The residents are helped to do things that they wouldn’t have been able to do on their own, and I think it’s lovely.

“When people mention care homes, you just think of old people going in there to sit in their chair all of the time – that’s not the case here because there are so many activities.”

It was a sentiment echoed by relatives’ representative Malcolm Crosbie whose beloved wife Audrey passed away recently.

Mr Crosbie added: “It’s yet another accolade for Pendine Park and it’s well deserved because I doubt you’d find a better place anywhere.”

It was a proud day for Mario and Gill, who was the main architect of the detailed IIP strategy which took in the whole organisation.

As part of the process, more than 80 members of staff were interviewed privately by the independent IIP assessor.

Mr Kreft said: “We’re absolutely delighted because it’s been such a team effort. It’s been a long journey, but we think it is exactly the right thing for care organisations to aim for and then hopefully to succeed in.

“To get the gold award you have to meet at least 165 of the 200 criteria and the team met a 178 of them.

“This is not about having a kite mark, it’s about creating an ethos and a structure that all of the team can believe in so that we can actually translate this to better services through better training and development opportunities for our people.

“This is a very rare accolade and we’re extremely pleased to be joining a very elite group of organisations in the UK.

“I would encourage all those involved in the social care sector to invest time in securing Investors in People accreditation.

“It naturally follows that achieving IIP recognition and sustaining it will ensure that standards in social care will continue to improve and will be consistent and that’s got to be good news for the customers, for the people who receive the services and their families.

“Our clear purpose and vision is very simple. It’s about ensuring the best care for people, the best possible development and training opportunities for our staff, being a stable and sustainable organisation and importantly being a sector leader, and I think today has shown that we are delivering on all of those for objectives.”

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