What does ‘outstanding’ mean in care?
Who doesn’t have their quirks, foibles and idiosyncrasies? After all, they make us who we are.
At Birkenhead Court care home on The Wirral, we make sure all our colleagues, wherever they work in the home, properly know our residents – know not just the big things, but the little things too such as how they like their cup of tea, which can matter just as much.
And we make sure we get to know their relatives as well. If a relative has a sense of guilt that their loved one is living with us due to not being able to care for them at home, it’s useful to know and enables us to respond to their feelings and offer them support when they come to visit.
In fact, some relatives have got to know us so well that they’ve come to work here as volunteers when their family member has passed away.
It’s this understanding that helped Birkenhead Court gain an ‘Outstanding’ rating from the Care Quality Commission in the ‘responsive’ element of their most recent inspection report this spring.
The report praised the quality of personal plans, communication and handovers, and our person-centred activities at Birkenhead Court. We always ask residents for their ideas on what could improve the home, and it’s led to some great developments. We’ve opened a fully-equipped mini cinema by converting a former lounge, we’ve got a sweet shop upstairs which we opened on Care Home Open Day back in June, and there are plans underway to open a pub…
Mentioning the pub always catches people’s attention! We had a vote at a Residents’ Meeting and a pub was what residents told us they wanted next. Since then we’ve found a suitable space in the garden for a wooden pub, marked it out and raised £1,000 during the summer towards it. We are currently speaking to a big local employer about their staff doing voluntary work with us to help us build it, so watch this space!
We also hold regular Residents and Relatives Meetings and our more recent one was a big success. We made punch and cake for attendees, both of which went down very well. We also do our best to help relatives who live abroad feel included and many have told us they love the activities and pictures we post on social media because they can see how happy everyone is here.
Mary Hardy is the Home Manager at Birkenhead Court care home on The Wirral