Page 1


INSIDE Listening to you... Results of the 2009 staff survey Page 2

Rika at the Russets We welcome the new care home manager Page 3

Future proof The benefits of joining the Trust’s pension scheme Page 4

The people person Meet Julie Haydon head of human resources Page 6

Sandford Station Trust celebrates the Royal opening Pages 7

In the HOT SEAT Inside Story talks to trustee Rebecca Slinn Page 8

Record retirement for Andy Bott Full story on page 7

The Staff Newsletter of the St Monica Trust Issue Eleven May 2010

Do you know of any stories that could feature in a future edition of Inside Story? Please contact Mark Thomas or Rachel Baker at Head Office on 0117 949 4004 or email us at

Listening to you… Director’s Update

More than 300 responses were received in the Trust’s third, 2009 staff survey. The results are consistent with previous years with slightly higher levels of satisfactionfrom last year. a dedicated health, safety and sustainability co-ordinator. Now, just two years on, 92% of staff agree that the Trust is taking adequate responsibility for improving its environmental impact.

I’m sure I’m not the only one enjoying the arrival of spring, albeit a bit later than usual. The warm weather is all the more welcome after such a tough winter. Although, in the sunshine, the snow seems a distant memory, the amazing resourcefulness and resilience of Trust staff in dealing with the difficult conditions certainly won’t be forgotten. Thank you again to all you many ‘snow heroes’. You were really exceptional. Just as the sunshine raises our spirits, so has the excellent progress at Sandford Station. It feels as if we have really turned a corner. In the Russets, we are now caring for 54 residents living with dementia. With 73 beds in total, we’re on the way to a full house. We’ve also gone past the halfway mark on sales of lease purchase apartments, 46 out of a total 88. It’s a really excellent effort which reflects the quality of the service and facilities, but also the commitment of the sales team, who have achieved this despite a difficult time in the housing market. We are also looking forward to the opening of Sherwood, the 30-bed general needs care home at Sandford. It’s a fantastic design and will be a lovely place to work for the new team who are already preparing for our first new residents, nine so far already on the waiting list, set to move in when doors open in June. With the winter blues over, I’d like to wish everyone a healthy and happy spring. Let’s hope that 2010 finally brings that barbecue summer.

Responses to whether the work of the Trust makes a positive difference to people have also seen significant change over the last three years. It’s now one of the highest scoring statements. 97% of respondents now support the statement, 68% strongly, compared to just 38% in 2007.

This year’s survey asked staff to agree or disagree with seventeen individual statements covering leadership, management, team working, personal development, well-being, the rewards we receive, and whether the organisation is perceived to be giving something back. Taken as a whole, the overall ratio of positive to negative responses has risen slightly to 87.9% from 87.2% in 2008. It’s the key factor used in

the Trust’s Milestones framework to assess how well we engage with our staff so it’s an important trend. Individually though there have been some significant changes that highlight just how much your views really do count. Back in 2007 a large percentage of staff showed their concerns about environmental issues through their responses in the staff survey. As a result, the Trust began a change in direction with the appointment of

On the less positive side, fewer of us are as happy with our work and home life balance in 2009. It has been a year when the development of Sandford has undoubtedly impacted on many staff, and others have managed pressures such as the norovirus at Cote Lane. Changes to working practices in some teams during 2009 may also have been a factor. While these factors are unavoidable, this issue will continue to be monitored through all forms of staff and management feedback. Thank you to everyone who took the time to feed back their views and complete this survey.

78% of us agree that we earn reasonable pay for the responsibilities of our jobs. 96% enjoy working with people in our team and have confidence in our abilities. 98% of us agree that we m ake a valuable contribution to the organisation. 91% agree that the Trust offers us opportunities to learn and develop our skills. 88% agree that ‘this place m otivates m e to give my best ever y day’. 85% agree we receive the support we need from our m anager.

Gerald E Lee | DIRECTOR


INSIDE Editorial team: Rachel Baker (Head of Marketing and Communications) Mark Thomas (Sales and Marketing Manager) and Jo Foster (Wide Blue Yonder)


Why don’t you... find out more through the staff consultation group. It’s an opportunity for representatives across all sites to discuss future developments and issues that arise in and around the work place. It’s been running for many years but head of human resources, Julie Haydon, is hoping to give it a revamp.

Explains Julie, “When the group started, its aims were to share ideas, to consult about working practices, health and safety. More recently, sustainability and promoting better communications have been key elements. These issues are still important but there are now all sorts of other ways that we communicate. This means that the staff consultation group can play a different, and important role.”

Julie hopes to make the forum more proactive, tackling new issues such as plans for a staff recognition scheme and ways to encourage and implement staff suggestions. Want to be involved? Talk to your staff representative or give Julie a call on 0117 949 4105 if you don’t know who it is. You never know, there may be a vacancy!

Page 2

What the letters say Every year, the marketing team receives letters, emails and other forms of communication from residents, relatives, staff and visitors, much of it positive. Every item is used to assess performance against the Trust’s Milestones critical success factors along with the staff and service user surveys. In 2009, 80 comments came into the Trust ranging from ‘thank yous’ for work experience to praise for services and staff including those in the care homes, physiotherapy, maintenance, catering and the portering teams. Conferencing earned ten commendations, particularly about the quality of the catering. Says head of marketing and communications Rachel Baker, “This feedback identifies discreet issues that wouldn’t necessarily emerge in a survey, important because someone has made a specific effort to communicate them. We aim to respond to everything, change things where we can and, where we can’t, provide a good explanation as to why. Thank you to everyone who has sent us their views.”

A brand new way of measuring up In December 2009 the Trust tested a new sort of questionnaire designed to measure peoples’ perceptions. As such the results are not necessarily a reflection of what we actually do but what we are perceived to be doing. It looked at six key areas that together hold the clues to defining the St Monica Trust brand. We asked questions about the strength of feeling about the organisation; about how we behave and treat others, how we communicate, our social image and what people think of how we present ourselves in our logo and our imagery. 265 questionnaires were returned by residents and non-residents, some new on our mailing list and others with a deeper knowledge of the Trust. Once again the responses showed consistency and were largely positive, but there were some issues to address with the clarity and consistency of our corporate identity and messages. How we can address these perceptions will form a key part of future communications activity.

Rika at The Russets Following the departure of Rejáne as she heads back to join family in Australia, Rika Mienes has been appointed as care home manager in Sandford. It’s been a hectic first few months. Rika joins the St Monica Trust from Leonard Cheshire Disability, where she has managed a care home for people with physical difficulties for more than four years. With a wonderfully diverse and varied background, she’s had the opportunity to experience a wide variety of care facilities since she qualified as an RNLD, (Registered Nurse Learning Disability), some 20 years ago, supporting the needs of young and older people. Says Rika, “I was inspired to apply for the post at The Russets because it’s

Page 3

Along with her busy induction schedule and specialist St Monica Trust dementia training, Rika launched straight into the large recruitment drive that took place in March at Sandford, choosing new staff in readiness for the opening of the

Encore and Sherwood houses, a full five days of interviewing in her first two weeks alone.” “Well, I knew it would be busy,” she laughed. “It’s great to start with that sort of project and get an immediate sense of achievement. Now I’m looking forward to getting to know all the staff, the residents, who will soon be up to 60, and all their relatives, not just the names and faces but the individuals behind them, and that might just take me a few more weeks!”

We’re positive about dementia approaches being developed by our teams working to promote quality of life for people living with dementia.

CRB changes Please be aware that the CRB will be closed to all new applications for one month, from 28th June to 26th July.

such a fantastic new service. Having been lucky enough to be appointed, it’s everything I hoped it would be. It is truly innovative and the people who work to support it are wonderfully motivated. It’s a unique place to be.”

Positive About Dementia is an exciting new website just launched by the St Monica Trust. It’s designed to share the many achievements and the latest

Explains head of marketing and communications, Rachel Baker, “The site is packed with stories, examples and case studies. Through both sights and sounds, we hope to give anyone with an interest in dementia,

both families and professionals, a unique insight into what life is like for people living and working in our specialist dementia facilities here at the Trust.” Read all about it at then become a fan and share the news with friends and colleagues on Facebook or Twitter.

The Staff Newsletter of the St Monica Trust Issue Eleven May 2010

Prepare for your future, today Join the St Monica Trust pension scheme and you could secure an extra 7.5% of your basic pay from the Trust as a top-up towards your personal pension. Trust’s approach to dementia care reaches Parliament The St Monica Trust has taken its ideas for improving the quality care for people living with dementia right to the top, invited to present to Members from both Chambers at the Houses of Parliament at a Parliamentary Lunchtime session organised by Skills for Care, the employer-led authority driving forward training and development standards for the social care sector. Julie Drew, occupational therapist at The Russets and Jacqui Ramus, practice development manager, joined TV presenter Angela Rippon and Barbara Poynton as part of a team selected both for their expertise and their contrasting experiences of caring for people with dementia. Angela Rippon looked after her mother after she was diagnosed with dementia. Barbara Poynton’s experiences in caring for her husband Malcolm were powerfully presented in the TV documentary ‘Malcolm and Barbara.’ Julie and Jacqui shared the Trust’s recent experiences of establishing a new support team to care for residents living with dementia at The Russets. They highlighted the successful and alternative way in which support staff were recruited, focusing on attitude not just experience, as well as showing how good quality training can enhance the overall quality of care and support new staff. Following their success, Julie and Jacqui have been asked to prepare a document to provide guidance for MPs and policy makers. Says Julie, “It was a really positive experience because the Trust’s ideas were so well received.”


The St Monica Trust pension scheme, with Aviva, is currently helping one in three members of staff to save for their retirement at a time when the hardships faced by pensioners are regularly in the headlines and the state pension for a single person is little more than £95 per week. With the significant financial assistance it gives to all its members, should it be helping you? Says Trust accountant Rebecca Bojski, “Our pension scheme is one of the few ways we can involve our employer in saving for our future, giving us extra reward for no extra work. For that reason alone it’s something we should all investigate.” The St Monica Trust scheme is designed to be flexible helping you benefit from extra savings even from a small start. You can contribute as little as 1% of your basic pay into your pension and,

in return, the St Monica Trust will still pay 3.5%. If you want to pay more, you can, with the Trust increasing its contribution up to a maximum of 7.5% when you pay 5%. You can, if you want to, choose to pay more than 5%, but the Trust’s contribution is capped at 7.5%. “Right up to the point where you are contributing 7.5% of your pay into the fund, the Trust will pay more into your pension scheme than you do. That can’t be bad,” adds Rebecca. With a 2% pay increase awarded to all staff from the beginning of April, now is a good time to think about using some of this increase to start a pension. Adds Rebecca, “With that little extra in your pay packet, you may not even miss the money you save.” Contact Rebecca Bojski in the Finance Department 0117 949 4039 or email:

I joined as soon as I could. You don’t tend to think about these things when you’re younger, but it gets to be more of a priority when you get to a certain age. As time goes by and hopefully wages go up, I’m aiming to put in a little bit more. Peter Sim m onds, gardener, Sandford Station

Trevor Smallwood takes on leading role Trevor Smallwood has stepped up to become president of trustees for the St Monica Trust, taking a leading role in the organisation. A trustee since 2004, Trevor has already done much to develop and expand services throughout the organisation. He has been a key figure involved in the success of Sandford Station, just a few miles from his home in Churchill, North Somerset. Says Trevor, “I have had a fantastic few years working with the Trust and I am looking forward to this next stage as we all address the significant challenges of how best to support the changing needs of our ageing population. It is a genuine privilege to be able to meet

and get to know residents and to work alongside a fantastic team in a dynamic organisation that continually gains national recognition for its role in caring for older people.” Co-founder of First Group and Badgerline, and with a distinguished career in public transport, Trevor Smallwood OBE has a wide range of business and charitable interests. As well as his role as president of trustees at the St Monica Trust, Trevor was master of the Merchant Venturers last year. He is president of the Quartet Community Foundation and is chair of governors at Colston’s Girls School, supporting the recent transfer of the school to Academy status.

Page 4

Fiercely committed to how we talk Managers across the Trust are embarking on training which will help them engage in better and more productive conversations. Sponsored by the senior team and building on the work started in the ‘Aspire/Aspirations’ leadership and management programmes, ‘Fierce’ Conversations is an approach being led by Karen Findlay, with support from Jacqui Ramus. Karen visited other similar organisations, which have experienced real benefits from toughening up their attitudes to how they talk. “It’s a bit of a ferocious name, but it’s not about making us more aggressive. It asks our managers to be fiercely committed to the integrity of the conversations they have with their staff, to make every encounter count,” explains Karen. “It encourages us to make every conversation a successful conversation, not in a one-sided way, but in a way that really gets to the heart of the matter, where the manager commits to understanding the issue, listens attentively and takes personal responsibility for the impact the conversation has on the people involved with it,” adds Karen. Care and support manager Jeanette Iles (pictured above), has completed just two of the five modules on the programme and she is already using her new skills to challenge herself and the way she communicates. One of the modules focuses on improving team meetings. It’s a simple idea which, by comparing every person in the meeting to a segment of a beach ball, ensures each person has an equal segment of time to ask questions and put forward their ideas. Jeanette can’t wait to put that into action. “Get it right and it really encourages diversity, bringing forward many different and positive solutions to any one problem,” she says. “I am definitely now thinking about conversations differently,” adds Jeanette. “They are not so much about what I want to say, but more about ensuring the person I am talking to, be it colleague, resident or relative, gets the most from our conversation. No more lip service to what we say and how we talk.”

Page 5

Rika Mienes, care home manager and Dave Winslow, project manager, survey the work at Sherwood

Sherwood soon to complete in Sandford As another new cohort of nursing, care and support staff begins their induction training in May, the team at Sandford is looking ahead to the opening of Sherwood, which provides 30 brand new en-suite rooms and the opportunity for continuity of care for elderly residents at Sandford Station. Our new dedicated and professional team is busy preparing to provide the excellent level of support that is synonymous with all our St Monica Trust care homes, including privacy and freedom of choice, activity and engagement supported through positive personal care and regular opportunities for purposeful participation in discussion groups, therapies, events and entertainment. All that plus an opportunity to be part of a vibrant new village community. Says operations manager at Sandford, Shelley Bailey, “What’s so lovely about all the facilities here is the open airy

environment and the beautiful countryside that surround us. In Sherwood, every one of the 30 rooms has views of nearby hills and greenery.” A single storey facility catering for elderly residents in need of high quality nursing care and fully equipped with the specialist facilities needed to give residents maximum opportunity to enjoy their surroundings, Sherwood is an integral part of Sandford Station and an important and last piece of the jigsaw in the whole development. Adds Shelley, “The opening of Sherwood means Sandford Station

can now provide residents with continuity of care and the opportunity to remain within their new community even though their needs, or the needs of their partner, may change. The new care home will also be a valuable resource for older people in and around Sandford providing high quality nursing care right on their doorstep. Months before opening, we already had a list of local people keen to move in as soon as possible.” Twenty new members of staff have so far been recruited, ready to welcome the first residents when Sherwood opens its doors in June.

The Staff Newsletter of the St Monica Trust Issue Eleven May 2010

“There are some key challenges for staffing over the next ten years when, let’s face it, none of us are getting any younger. Amongst our existing staff group, over a third of us are already over 50. “Nationally only 12% of younger people work in the care sector. The under 25s are the smallest group. There’s a lot to be done to educate young people about the opportunities available in the care sector and the very positive aspects of care as a career.” To be successful, Julie needs to make sure the Trust attracts people from both ends of the age scale, understanding their individual needs and ambitions. Adds Julie, “We need to find ways to link with younger people. It’s good to see the fantastic work being done by our Care Ambassadors, promoting what we do, to students in schools and colleges.” Julie hopes to introduce apprenticeships for young people wanting to develop their skills in health and social care. Just as important as recruitment is staff retention and helping managers to work effectively with the people they manage. To achieve this Julie and her team are developing the HR business partnering role within the Trust. Their aim is to support managers in their day to day operations, offering expertise particularly in relation to the people management aspect of their role. “HR is about people, not paper,” adds Julie. “By introducing new systems, cutting down administration and working closely alongside management teams, we hope to add more value to what we can do for the whole organisation. Within our industry, staff are our biggest asset, so the way we attract and nurture our people is crucial to the high quality services that we deliver.”

The people person Julie Haydon is firmly focused on mastering the three ‘R’s, the right people, in the right place, at the right time. Head of human resources, she’s had a busy twelve months overseeing the Trust’s recruitment drive at a time when staff numbers have grown by almost 25%. Together with her team, she’s been at the heart of refreshing


recruitment campaigns, helping to bring in a new team at Sandford and supporting the innovative way that staff have been selected to support dementia care at The Russets, where the emphasis has been on temperament, flexibility and attitude as much as on

professional qualifications. Says Julie, “How effectively we recruit is hugely important in an expanding organisation, both to fill new jobs but also to ensure we continue to have the very best people supporting us right across the organisation.

After 15 years in the NHS, Julie brings a healthy sense of perspective to her role at the Trust. She says, “I know we need to be competitive, and I know it’s important to keep reappraising the total benefits package, finding ways to keep it as good, if not better, than anything else in our sector. “Having left the NHS, I haven’t looked back. St Monica Trust has an amazing staff team of which I am proud to be part of – the level of commitment I see amongst staff is incredible. I love the pace of change here and the fact that there is constant progression. I’m looking forward to the challenges ahead”.

Page 6

Record retirement for Andy Andy Bott is retiring from the St Monica Trust after a lifetime tending the plants and gardens both at Cote Lane and then Westbury Fields. Armed with his wheelbarrow, a spade, his radio and the occasional cigarette, Andy has worked for the St Monica Trust longer than anyone, a record 38 years, and right from the very first day, he remembers every little detail.

HRH The Duke of Gloucester

opens Sandford Station More than 75 staff, residents and invited guests celebrated a visit from HRH The Duke of Gloucester in February to mark the official opening of Sandford Station.

“Back in the 1970s we produced a regular supply of fresh produce for residents and I remember taking out soil for the melons we grew in the greenhouse,” recalls Andy. “We grew all sorts, tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbages, sprouts and broccoli, as well as plenty of fruit. We also had beds of delphiniums and chrysanthemums, keeping a supply of fresh flowers for inside the home.” Over the decades, Andy has kept the very best company, attending numerous royal visits, two by Princess Anne, two by Prince Philip and another by the Duchess of Gloucester. He’s seen the gardens and the Trust grow through the opening of the Garden House, built where the greenhouse used to be, Westfield House, Westbury Fields, Bedminster and latterly Sandford Station. Says Andy, “My favourite spot is the garden round the Cote Lane conservatory which was opened at the same time as I celebrated my 25th year. I dug the lawn all around it to prepare the ground for what are now flower beds and gardens. Fortunately for me, I really like a bit of digging! “It’s lovely to wander round the garden and see things growing and know that you’ve been part of making it happen. In the spring, down by the gate there’s a lovely display of snowdrops that we planted 34 years ago.” Although he’s retiring, Andy won’t be far from our thoughts or his friends or indeed giving up his digging. He’s planning to start straight away on the garden by his new home, an apartment at Westbury Fields. Accompanied by the Trust’s new president, Trevor Smallwood and Gerald Lee, the Duke met with Zara Ross (head of care), Shelley Bailey, (operations manager) and Helen Hill (care and support manager) as well as acting activities co-ordinator, Julie Sach and gym and pool manager, Lee Scott. The Duke made a special visit to The Russets, where, as a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects and with a passion for architecture,

Page 7

he was interested to see how the building had been designed in a way that supports the specialist needs of its residents. The Duke also inspected the restoration of the old station building, a rare piece of railway heritage refurbished for local enthusiasts and visitors by the Trust as part of the development. He tried his hand at giant chess and visited the many different facilities

available for residents including the computer suite and library. His visit gave 85-year-old new resident, Bridget Gallagher, a moment to remember. She managed to give the Duke a bit of a hug when he visited her new home. “He looked all round and asked me whether I did much cooking,” said Bridget. “We all met up for tea in the lounge later. It was a really special occasion. Lunch was wonderful, a lovely party for all of us.”

The Staff Newsletter of the St Monica Trust Issue Eleven May 2010


INSIDE Out and about


Forthcoming free events in and around Bristol

20th May W ildflower W alk Pam Millman from the Bristol Naturalists Society, identifying the wild flowers growing on the Coronation Road riverbank. Meet at 7.00pm at Vauxhall Bridge (Coronation Road side). Finish 9.00pm. No need to book.

Inside Story talks to Rebecca Slinn, who joined the St Monica Trust in 2009 A consultant psychiatrist working in Gloucestershire, Rebecca Slinn joined the Board of Trustees in January last year. In her professional career, she has a particular interest in understanding the mental health problems of older adults and in the assessment and diagnosis of memory disorders, insights that are valuable in enhancing well-being for residents at the St Monica Trust. Rebecca is an active and supportive member of the Care Committee. Four young children under the age of eight and a full time career keep Rebecca pretty busy, although, as someone who loves all sorts of music, she is trying to find a few spare moments to learn the trumpet by way of encouragement for her son. She attends Christ Church in Clifton, supporting many of the activities organised for and by the Christ Church community.

W hat is the m ost im por tant thing about being a Trustee? Being a Trustee does involve a lot of meetings but I must admit that’s not really what gets me excited. What I do enjoy are the many personal interactions I share with staff at all levels and with the residents. They are really rewarding and illuminating.

I think it’s important to be both objective and encouraging and I particularly want to be able to offer my encouragement to the already enthusiastic staff team, to find ways of understanding and improving residents’ mental health in the same dedicated way they do their physical health.

W hat attracted you to the St Monica Trust? It was recommended to me by a friend who worked for the Trust and spoke highly of it. W here do you feel you have m ade a significant contribution? Well, it’s still very early days but I hope my professional expertise has enabled me to make some contribution towards developing care around the mental health of residents, and will continue to do so. What’s so great about the Trust is that it listens to ideas and supports and promotes change. Very early on I made a comment about the need for hoists and I was so impressed with the responsiveness of the organisation in taking action. W hat positive im pact do you think you can bring to staff ? Most specifically, I hope to be involved in developing training for staff, improving skills in the management of mental

health difficulties, particularly amongst our nursing home residents. How do you know if you’re doing a good job? Well, fortunately I’ve had some positive feedback from other Trustees, which is lovely. The real test will be in the future, and even then I’m only one individual, just a small part of a bigger team who together are achieving so much and making the St Monica Trust such a success.

Until 21st May Treasures in Store Bristol Record Office - an exhibition of the archives of Bristol Cathedral and Diocese the culmination of a year long project to catalogue and conserve items many on public display for the first time.

31st May Sum m er Craft Fair A shton Cour t Estate together with a variety of activities in the Stables Block and Courtyard. 10.00am – 4.00pm.

W hat have you enjoyed m ost about your tim e as a Trustee? I’ve learnt a lot about the different services offered and how they are provided and most of all I’ve enjoyed meeting the staff and residents.

1st & 2nd June Hands On…Natural W orld, Bristol City Museum 10.30am – 1.30pm and 1.30pm – 4.00pm - a day of craft and handling activities dedicated to all creatures - great and small. Suitable for children aged 2 – 11 years. No need to book.

W here are the key oppor tunities for future? To be a real centre of excellence for the care of the elderly and to continue to innovate in models of care that maintain residents’ dignity and independence for as long as possible.

14th July Sum m er W alk Lamplighter’s Marsh, Station Road, Shirehampton 6.45pm – 8.00pm celebrating 2010 International Year of Biodiversity, led by Rupert Higgins to illustrate the variety of plants and animals on our own doorstep. Book in advance on 0117 922 3571.

Printed on material made from 80% recycled pulp and 20% virgin fibre which is FSC accredited and chlorine free. PLEASE REMEMBER TO RECYCLE THIS NEWSLETTER

The Staff Newsletter of the St Monica Trust Issue Eleven May 2010

Page 8

SMT Inside Story 11  

Internal newsletter