A SERVICE which helps people return to living independently at home after a hospital admission or following illness or disability has been rated "outstanding" again.

The Reablement service at Wigan Council was praised for its "excellent care and support" in an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

In 2016 the service was the first in the country to achieve the top rating, making it the best in the country.

The service aims to help people continue to live at home while also finding opportunities for them to reuse a lost skill or learn a new one.

Most of the referrals to the service come from the hospital or community teams.

The service was praised for its person-centred approach with inspectors reporting people were "truly respected and valued as individuals; and empowered as partners in their care in an exceptional service".

Staff are trained to link people into activities and to encourage them to use their skills to help others in their community.

The inspectors found that the team worked well with partners to provide an efficient service and received a number of positive testimonials from health professionals including the integrated discharge team at the hospital and district nursing team.

The report also highlighted there were robust procedures in place for safeguarding people using the service and regular training was given to staff.

The people who used the service and their families told inspectors they felt safe and cared for by the team.

One resident said: “The staff are brilliant, they listen to me and encourage me. They are wonderful.”

Cllr Keith Cunliffe, cabinet member for adult social care and health, said: “I am proud that we are among the few reablement services in the country to be rated as outstanding by CQC.

"It is a fitting reward for a team of staff who have the commitment, dedication, and belief that they can make a difference to the lives of our residents, shines through day in, day out.

"They truly are a credit to the council.”