How to be an ‘Outstanding’ care home provider
Mark Lloyd, Managing Director at Avante Care & Support highlights the importance of a community when providing outstanding care
Not enough is written to celebrate the importance and value of registered care for older people in our society. Most of us, given the choice would not wish to end our final days within registered care away from our home and family members, recognising even the best of homes are still perceived as institutions. However, over the past decade we have seen both ‘stepped up’ regulation and a shift in the type of referrals with people entering care homes far later in life with greater complexity of need (usually a dementia) and nearer end of life which is how it should be timed, as families recognising the time has come to find a good care home. Unfortunately our current care system still presents an incredibly stressful experience for so many families in terms of funding and finding a suitable local home.
Considerable airtime and debating by politicians, academics, and professionals has seen the questioning of the registered care model over recent years with alternative options including care villages and extra care promoted particularly for the advent of the retirement of the baby-boom generation which is now upon us. Despite the initial concerns regarding the new regulatory CQC framework grades we are also seeing positive reports emerging from CQC on the improving performance of many of the homes previously rated ‘inadequate’, a high volume of homes rated ‘good’, and the emergence of ‘Outstanding Benchmark Clubs’ for some providers to join. This is a positive message and certainly as a provider who has achieved an ‘outstanding’ grade the local benefits have been evident to see through attracting new employees, strong interest from local families to use the home and for us a new contract with the local health trust to provide intermediate care and stroke beds, all of which have strengthened our community links.
In practice, registered care provides a daily positive experience for thousands of individuals and their family networks in providing care with dignity and respect in the final days of their lives. Often families have reached the end in terms of their energy to support loved ones at home and certainly the feelings of guilt which are often associated with placing a partner or parent into a care home is self-evident and understandable. So often the initial contact for a family member with a care home will be the most important; giving reassurance that this is the right home as well as viewing the CQC report and gaining a sense of the reputation of the home with the local community. Indeed many home managers increasingly find themselves acting as advocates to support families to navigate through the funding maze and placement requirements of local authorities.
Something that is not often mentioned is the importance a care home plays in the life of a local community. I was struck and amazed at a recent experience of one of our care homes situated within a local village community. The Home Manager instigated inviting the local church to hold a Sunday morning service at the home with some of the local congregation attending with the local Priest. The engagement and joy this brought to people living at the home many with complex dementias was self-evident with many joining in the hymns and taking an active part in the service including the playing of musical instruments. Likewise any potential barriers or prejudices held by the visiting congregation were visibly dispelled. The service concluded with tea and cream cakes for all! One consequence of this church service are plans for an annual service to now take place for staff and relatives to remember those people who have passed away.
Registered care can provide wonderful daily stories such as this one to highlight the importance of our care homes in our communities and the links generated.
Mark LLoyd, Managing Director of Avante Care & Support, recently spoke about how the organisation became only one of 18 in the UK to achieve an ‘Outstanding’ care home.
For more information about Avante Care & Support and our homes please call us on 01795 597400.
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