Our Care Team Won an Award!

Here at Country Lodge, our care team are an amazing team of individuals passionately dedicated to care, beyond both medical and personal care needs, but extending to companionship and mental health.

Last month we were thrilled to be awarded the Care Team Award at the annual West Sussex Care Awards. There was some tough competition: the awards recognised 18 individuals and 3 care teams who have gone ‘the extra mile’ and made a significant difference to the lives of people accessing care services across the county. It was a tremendous boost to staff to win and wonderful to have external recognition for all that staff do for residents.

Today, we want to share why WSPIC chose our care team for this unique award.

Going above and beyond:

Taking their own time to help a resident:

Our Care Team frequently go above and beyond the required care duties and in their own time do things to support and enrich the life of residents. A fantastic example is when we have a hospital admission who arrives without clothes or belongings and a staff member will take time out to purchase a new wardrobe and any items they may need – from a phone charger to their favourite cereal or chocolate – staff just want to help.

Joining in the celebrations

Of course, this isn’t the only thing they do. Everyone at our nursing home in West Sussex loves a celebration, so when there is a resident’s birthday the chef will create a personalised birthday cake, the staff will all gather to sing happy birthday, and a bouquet of flowers or a personalised gift is given.

If you follow our Facebook page or regularly read our articles, then you will know we also throw special events for our residents and their relatives to enjoy throughout the year. Our care team attend special calendar activities to ensure residents have the best time possible, even when not scheduled to work. Our Garden Parties will be attended by numerous staff not working to ensure residents and their families have the happiest of days. And the Christmas Party often has staff members voluntarily giving their time to sing karaoke and dance with residents, especially those with mobility issues, either using a wheelchair or sitting next to them swaying their arms. We truly create a family with every one of our residents and staff, which is why our care team choose to join our activities and events when off work.

Just like in many other homes across the country, Christmas is a big deal in our nursing home. Our residents waking up with us on Christmas Day shouldn’t stop them having a present to open on Christmas morning. Our Senior Care Team always enjoy voluntarily shopping for personalised gifts for each resident at Christmas, ensuring each resident receives at least one gift delivered in a hand-sewn stocking to the end of their bed!

Their family is our family

Staff also encourage their families, especially those with children, to attend activities to interact with residents. The residents love to sit and talk with the younger generation and create arts and crafts with them. Residents benefit from sharing their stories with younger children and the children often learn a thing or two from our residents.

We all muck in when needed

We know the toll that Covid took on the care industry, and our nursing home in West Sussex was no different. But we had an incredible team who got stuck in to help cover when we needed it.

When several carers unfortunately contracted Covid, the Registered Nurses and Home Manager became Carers and the owners became part of the domestic team. The comradery among the team ensured residents were always looked after to the highest standards. While tensions were high and there were a few stressful minutes, the resident’s care always came first and we delivered care with a smile and always spared a minute (or hour) to chat with the residents and make sure they had everything they needed.

Adapting our service and practices for the best care:

Our care processes and systems are constantly adapted and reviewed to ensure that we are providing the best care possible to our residents. This is only made possible because our team are adaptable and open to the changes we implement.

Adopting technology into our work

We recently implemented the Nourish Electronic Care Plan System in the Home which documents a detailed care plan, medical information, and risk assessment, as well as a biography of each resident and their ‘circle of care’ (Dr/Spouse/Children) to every member of staff in a handset form that they carry in a pocket. The use of Nourish provides up-to-date information to the user allowing them to provide a better service to the residents. Our team embraced this technology and enjoy sitting with residents so they can document their biography. The stories are always fascinating.

We also installed the Nexus silent call bell system as residents found the previous call bell system disturbing at night. Once again, this system was fully embraced by the staff and now each member is notified via the handset they carry when a resident requires help. This system is much less intrusive to other residents, ensuring their comfort and speedy assistance when they need it.

Setting up new activities

Upon the arrival of an artist to our nursing home in West Sussex, he requested to be able to start an Art Club within the home. With the help of the staff, this was quickly implemented and both the artist and other residents are enjoying it immensely. The club is held for about 2 hours every couple of weeks thanks to our Activities Ambassador and the types of art that our residents complete varies from pencil or pen ink sketching to watercolour painting and colouring in colouring books.

We have now extended the art club to include staff’s children with whom the residents love to interact.

You can learn more about our art club in an article that we share recently.

Our home extension

Last year, an updating of the home occurred allowing for a larger lounge and dining room. This has meant that a lot more varied activities can be pursued in this area at one time. For example, one person may be hosting their relatives in our dining room overlooking the garden, another may be sitting doing a quiz with a staff member in the lounge, whilst another watches television. The room naturally allows multiple activities to occur without interference from one to another.

Staff are enjoying this larger space and are fully using it to enable all residents to pursue their individual requests and requirements.

All staff members embrace any opportunity that presents itself to ensure the resident’s needs are not only met but excelled upon.

Delivering excellent care:

Allowing residents and relatives time together

When a long-term resident’s husband became ill with terminal cancer and was admitted into Country Lodge, the whole of the care team ensured the time they had left together was as fun as it could be.

They were given a personal dining area and spent time together in the orangery and garden. The staff worked hard to ensure that all these situations, and many more, were facilitated so that their life together was personal to them at the end.

After the loss of the husband, numerous staff volunteered on their own time, to be personal assistants to the wife at the husband’s funeral. The member of staff chosen treated it as a privilege and ensured the resident had the best support possible.

Saying goodbye to residents

Our staff view the residents as an extension of their families. So when a resident passes away the staff will often attend their funerals in their own time. It is an opportunity for staff to say goodbye to the resident and family.

Practising person-centred care:

Everything we do at our nursing home in West Sussex is built around person-centred care, and our staff truly know the value of this approach to the care we deliver.

Using our technology

The Nourish system enables a staff member to have all information at hand to ensure they know all the resident’s likes and dislikes. We ensure that the system is constantly being updated by staff so residents do not have to repeat themselves.

Staff prioritise the care of their residents, even learning which style mug or cup they like to use, and which perfume or aftershave they like to wear daily.

Nothing a resident requires is too much, from meals being adapted to their likes, to ensuring the resident’s bed always has a favourite bed cover or cushions on it.

Key worker approach

Our home uses a ‘Key Worker’ list which means each member of staff spends time with their allocated resident. This may mean talking to the resident, playing a game, or taking a stroll outside.

However, this doesn’t mean that our residents are attended to by just one staff member. All our staff will help each resident when needed and they will always take time to talk to every resident when they are attending to their needs.

Support at the end of life

End of life is a part of working at our nursing home in West Sussex. Our staff are trained to deal with it and always want to make the period of time as comfortable as possible for the resident and their families.

Families are allowed to stay in residents’ rooms and participate in home-cooked meals provided by our home. Staff will spend time talking to families to assure all religious and personal needs are met. During these times, families obviously have a lot of questions and time is spent, by staff, with the family to ensure they understand their relative’s needs and any questions are answered with compassion and sympathy.

Helping residents stay independent:

Ensuring their health

Residents always lead what care and activities they would like or require. All arrangements are made by the care team to ensure the resident has that ability.

All residents are seen by dentists, ophthalmologists, and audiologists regularly, and any changes in their health are assessed and acted on. By looking after their health in these ways we hope to enable our residents to remain as independent as possible.

Providing knowledge, choice, and a range of activities

At Country Lodge, there is a very active social calendar. Staff members take the time to ensure each resident is made aware of the activities for each day allowing the residents to choose if they would like to be involved.

We hold weekly gentle exercise classes which a lot of our residents choose to attend. This is an important part of maintaining independence as residents’ movement is being stretched and exercised.

Outings are arranged for those residents who would like to attend them, suggested by the residents at the monthly residents’ meeting. We like to think that nothing is impossible for staff to arrange. The latest request is a trip to Sainsbury’s to go shopping and visit the café. Visits to Haskins Garden Centre and the Beach at Goring Gap are also popular. At Country Lodge, if a resident would like to do something, we always work to enable this The Art Club is a great example of this.

Respecting dignity and privacy:

The implementation of the Nourish system helps our staff ensure that residents’ privacy and dignity are protected.

We carry out simple actions such as closing the door when providing personal care and giving the residents a lock and key for their personal items. But that isn’t all we do.

Giving even more personalised choices

Residents who use clothes protectors are asked to select which pattern and style they would like to use.

Lighting is adjusted to residents requirements and doors are left open or closed as required. Residents are woken at a time of their choice, this being altered when appointments and visitors are due.

Privacy policies

All resident information that is in paper form is kept locked away and all computer-accessible records are password protected.

Residents sign a Privacy Policy Document stating who might be told personal information about them in the home. And a Consent Form is completed as to whether the resident would like photographs taken and a social media presence for their families to view. This form also covers whether the resident would like to see a hairdresser, chiropodist, and other additional well-being activities.

A GDPR officer is employed to ensure all personal data is protected at Country Lodge.

Accessing religion

Staff enable each resident to access their faith in their way; assisting to find ministers to administer communion, or ensuring a resident is given personal time for reflection. Services can and are held in the home when requested and attended by residents and staff together.

Impressed and wanting to visit us?

The above are just some of the reasons why our care team won the award at the West Sussex Care Accolades. Not only does this award show prospective residents and their families how great our care team are, but it also recognises our staff and the effort they put in daily to make our nursing home in West Sussex a home from home for our residents.

If you would like to learn more about the care we offer and meet some of the team, then we recommend you book a visit to our nursing home in West Sussex.

Give our Registered Manager, Debbie Spokes, a call on 01903 830 600 option 1, or email her at manager@countrylodgenursing.co.uk.

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