Page 30 - TalkingCareMagazine_Online Issue4
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  Leadership at Freeland House rated ‘Outstanding’ by CQC
  The leadership of Freeland House, the minster­run care home in the picturesque town of Freeland, has been rated ‘outstanding’ in a recent inspec on by the Care Quality Commission. As well as commending the home’s management team (including registered manager Frances Payne) and leadership prac ces, the report praised the overall standards of care at the home, including the home environment, the safety of the services provided and the emphasis placed on individual care.
The CQC report a ributed the high standards and con nuity of care at the home, in part, to the experience and length of  me that management, and other staff, have worked there. It was observed that having longstanding members of staff throughout the home means that teams work effec vely with each other, residents become familiar with staff and that the benefits of inves ng in con nuous training and development are realised.
Manager Frances Payne explains: “Most of our staff have been here for more than eight years. The stability of the management team and good reten on rates means that everyone works well together and we can invest in training to cri cally improve our standards of care and ensure current best prac ce is followed. Everyone here holds an NVQ level 2 or higher in their field, many are working towards level three or higher.”
The report said that the experience of management and other staff is complemented by good communica ons and support systems. Mee ngs are held regularly and staff communicate well with each other. For example, kitchen staff work closely with care staff to ensure residents’ dietary requirements are catered for; a simple, but important, factor that makes a real difference to residents’ day to day lives.
Another aspect of leadership highlighted in the CQC report as contribu ng to the high standards of care at Freeland House was the ‘Champions’ roles, where staff nominate themselves to hold an area of exper se, such as nutri on, exercise or demen a care. Champions are supported to undertake training specific to their area of exper se in order to drive forward standards of care in these areas.
The management at Freeland House take feedback seriously too. Residents and their family members, healthcare professionals and staff are given ques onnaires to fill in about the service and their feedback is acted upon. Frances also operates an open­door policy, so people know they can come and raise issues any me.
CQC inspectors were impressed with the overall safety and standards of care at Freeland House. It was noted that there was a high number of care staff per resident and their systems for monitoring the safety of care were highly effec ve. The report said that residents received their medica on as prescribed, care plans were detailed and personalised and risk assessments were updated regularly.
The culture at Freeland House was also praised. Inspectors remarked upon the friendliness of staff and the genuinely caring rela onships formed with residents. The commitment of everyone to improving standards of care was recognised, and it was noted that residents’ dignity and privacy were paramount, along with their choices about all aspects of their care.
A rich and varied ac vi es programme is also a key feature at the home. This includes weekly exercise sessions, visits from musical entertainers and excursions, such as trips to the theatre. Ac vi es like these keep residents physically and mentally s mulated, contribu ng to their overall health and allowing them to express their personali es.
Significantly, the report highlighted the impressive facili es at the home, including the communal areas and gardens. The Minster Group has recently invested considerably in the home, renova ng the home’s public areas en rely, purchasing new equipment and furnishings and crea ng a new tea room.
Frances is always looking for ways to bring further improvements to the home. “In the next twelve months, we are aiming to make the home paperless by expanding our use of ‘Nourish’; an app based system that allows staff to update and maintain care records on smartphones and tablets. It means care records are easier to access and staff can update them in real  me” she told us.
“We are also empowering staff to take control of their training, so further to the mandatory training they receive, they will be able to request training in areas they think will addi onally improve their ability to care for residents and enhance our overall service.
“By the end of the year, we are aiming to commence Gold Standards Framework accredita on. The training involved in this will provide our staff with the knowledge and skills to deliver the highest standards in end of life care.
“Finally, we will be keeping up­to­date with guidelines that ensure other areas of our care far exceed minimum standards, such as NICE guidelines, which cover a wide range of clinical care and are updated regularly based on research and best prac ce.”

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