By developing staff skills to facilitate the provision of resident-centred care, Barchester has created an ‘outstanding’ care home for older people.
Less than 2% of all the 20,853 care by the Care Quality Commission receive an overall ‘Outstanding’ rating, so it takes something pretty special to achieve this pinnacle in an elderly care home. The whole team at Barchester’s Lucerne House in Exeter were therefore delighted to receive an overall ‘Outstanding’ rating in their recent CQC inspection.
The report commented that, “The continuous training and development of staff has embedded a culture within the home that places people at the heart of all they do. During our conversations with staff, they demonstrated they cared immensely for the people they support.”
Joanne Burchell, Deputy Manager and Clinical Lead at Lucerne, is delighted at the outcome and explains why she believes the report was so positive. “One of our key principles is to ensure we recognise each resident as an individual. Nothing is too much trouble for us to help our residents maintain or achieve their independence. Walking around our home, you can see our team talking and interacting with the people in their care. Everything is about giving the residents and their family choices and, most importantly, a chance to offer their opinion on how they would like to live their life.”
Joanne goes on to say: “We put our residents first, but the only way we can do this successfully is by putting our team first too. Empowering our team and valuing their opinion is one of the most positive things we do. This not only enables our staff to work well together as a team, but to also take ownership of their responsibilities. It’s all about listening to your team; and that is something I am proud to say we do very well.
“The team are encouraged to make suggestions on how we can improve our home, and the support we provide. One of our nurses had some wonderful ideas around improving our end-of-life care. We have acted upon the suggestions and now work closely with, and take referrals from, our local hospice.
It’s all about the little things too. “We have three distinctive units in our home – dementia, elderly frail and young disabled – but we encourage residents from each unit to interact with each other. Keeping safeguarding in mind, there is nowhere in our home the residents can’t go. We have had sisters in different units; one had very limited time with us, but we made sure they got to spend quality time together. One of the team highlighted that residents would like some nibbles between meals, so we’re installing fridges with fresh vegetables for our residents to access. We have even had a couple of our residents get engaged!”
To enable the high quality of care in the home, the team is offered ongoing training. Some of the senior carers in the home have now become care practitioners and implement clinical procedures. Joanne explains the benefits: “The care practitioner role has been a huge benefit to our home. Not only does it give our carers career development opportunities and a greater understanding of the person-centred care plan for each resident, it also means the nurses have more time to focus on the clinical needs of our residents.”
Personal qualities are key to an outstanding home. Joanne laughs, “We are a determined bunch! We don’t give up until we get the result we want for our residents. We have great support from the wider clinical community, but if we feel we aren’t getting the best outcome for a resident we will persist until we do. “This means we have to be great communicators, but believe in sharing the knowledge we have and appreciating there is still more to learn. Every resident and team member that walks through the door can teach us something new.”
John Bayliss, General Manager at Lucerne said: “I’m very proud of the whole team. Everyone plays their part and every person is equally important. I really believe that delivering this standard of care is all about having great people who are passionate about their role and strong leaders who lead with enthusiasm. We will be celebrating our success with a party for the whole team. Everyone has given so much of who they are to make this happen. It’s hard work, but it’s by believing in what we do and by only ever offering the best care, that we have got to where we are.”