West Leicestershire Clinical Commission Group (CCG), the organisation which buys and commissions healthcare services in West Leicestershire, has completed an innovative piece of research to help improve the care that people receive in nursing and residential care homes.
Working with over 20 homes from across West Leicestershire they interviewed 188 staff, residents and their families, exploring what matters most to them and listening to their experiences of care and caring.
This is part of the CCG’s work to look at how services are being delivered and if there are improvements that can be made in order to make sure that people living in care homes in the area live and die well.
Dr Liz Hepplewhite, a local GP and clinical lead for West Leicestershire CCG said. “We’ve spoken to a wide range of people, including residents of both residential and nursing homes as well as their families. At the homes visited we were able to talk to a great cross section of staff, not only nursing and care staff, but everyone who works in the home and contributes to making care homes run safely, so we could make sure that the experiences of all of those who support residents were represented. We also spoke to staff in primary care including GPs and district nurses who visit care homes. It was important for us to listen to and deeply understand people’s experiences in care homes, in order to design better services which wrap around the person and deliver better care.”
The findings of the research showed the majority of care home residents remain connected to their families and have positive relationships with the care home staff. Residents said that having their own room was very important to them and they value the opportunity to get out and about and go on trips.
Families appreciated being involved in their loved one’s care as much as possible and being kept informed about changes or developments in their condition.
Care home workers were positive about their role in supporting their residents, and mainly found the job itself rewarding. They particularly felt that they do a great job of supporting residents and their families at end of life.
However the work also highlighted some high impact changes that are now being looked at by the local authority, care homes and the CCG. These include the need for personalised care planning to improve outcomes and quality of care. New thinking and innovation to preserve mobility which is important to residents as often they lead a sedentary lifestyle, as well as supporting home to create variety of activities, so that resident can enjoy both the home and being outside. Also, introduction of improvements to nutrition and hydration as this impacts directly on how well residents keep.
Dr. Hepplewite continues “The high impact actions tells us that we need to do more to support our local care homes to deliver care for residents which means that they can live well and, when the time comes, die with dignity. Care home staff are often the unsung heroes who make a difference at a time when people are at their most vulnerable and in need of care. By committing to actions to support them and, over the next year trialling new ways of delivering services, we believe that we can improve the lives of older people, their families and the staff who care for them across West Leicestershire.”
To find out more about the work, the next steps and how the CCG with partners plans to make a difference in care homes, people are invited to attend an interactive workshop, where CCG staff will team up with care home staff to explain more about the findings, and some of the innovative plans to improve lives for care home residents in West Leicestershire. This workshop will be held at the CCG’s Annual Conference, which is on Tuesday 20 September at Burleigh Court Hotel in Loughborough. The event starts at 5PM with an exhibition of local health services and also include the Annual General Meeting.
To register to attend people can visit www.westleicestershireccg.nhs.uk/agm2016 or phone 0116 295 4183.