ONLY one care provider in the area has received the highest rating from the government's official inspection body.

Of the 24 services looking after the elderly in Epping Forest, Home Instead Senior Care came out on top with a glowing 'outstanding' rating picked up in October last year following an inspection from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Eighteen of the others were deemed 'good' - the second highest ranking.

Four providers 'required improvement': Epping's Ashlar House, Buckhurst Hill's Foster Place and Loughton's Beechlands and Woodland Grove.

Only Treetops in Epping earned the CQC's lowest rating of 'inadequate', subsequently closing in October last year.

Home Instead is one of just two per cent of adult social care providers nationwide to have been rated 'outstanding' since the CQC began using the system in 2015.

When asked about its success Victoria Rigby, who opened the in-home care service with her mother in 2013, said: "We only employ people who we would want caring for people in our own family.

"We employ very, very lovely people. The CQC report said that they were particularly impressed with our staff and the way that they are with clients.

"We also don't use agency staff. The big thing is building long lasting relationships between carer and client.

"For us this means care that it is companionship led and built around each of our client's individual needs, and the wishes of their families."