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Springhill Care Newsletter

* Caring heroes’ campaign wins charity support pg3 * Riversway celebrate 20 years of care pg4 * Donna’s message


* HR update


* Smiles all round at Birch Green’s summer fair pg8 * Goodbye to Jean


* Creating a culture of

Continuous Improvement


* Back to nature


*Poetry in motion


* Two trips, two castles pg14 * Feathered friends pg15 * Twiddle mitts and teddies pg17 * Photos from around the group pg18&19

‘Employer of the Year’ nomination for Springhill Care Springhill Care Group has been revealed as a finalist in the prestigious Investors in People Awards 2017. Springhill will compete for the title of Gold Employer of the Year, for organisations with 250-4,999 staff, drawn from Investors in People holders from around the world. Read more on page two

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Continued from page one…

Earlier this year the care group, which operates three homes in Accrington, Skelmersdale and Bristol, became the first care provider in the north of England to achieve the Investors in People Gold award. As a holder of the Gold standard, the award-winning group was eligible for the Investors in People award category. Other finalists include Lancashire-based luxury holiday park Ribby Hall, Vision Labs Ltd, part of the Specsavers Group and the award-winning construction company, Beard. Many entries have also been received from businesses which hold IIP status and are based overseas. By becoming a finalist, Springhill has already won a trophy, and the winners will be announced at a ceremony on November 23 at Old Billingsgate in London. Judges for the awards include representatives of a top university and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Donna Briggs, Managing Director of Springhill Care Group, said:

Being recognised as a holder of the Gold IIP award was a great honour and to be nominated for this category really is the icing on the cake. “There is no doubt that gaining IIP standard at this level is a mark of real commitment on the part of an employer and its staff, so all shortlisted businesses have done extremely well for their work to be highlighted in this way. We’ll be looking forward to the awards event and wishing everyone good luck across all categories.”

Great British Care Awards 2017 2017 Regional nominations NOW OPEN Nominate online at 2|Page

Caring Heroes campaign wins charity support A leading charity providing support for care workers has added its weight to the campaign to highlight the growing crisis in the sector led by Springhill Care Group. The Caring Heroes initiative led by the group based in Accrington, Lancashire, has gathered support from MPs and leading organisations Care England and Skills for Care. Now The Care Workers Charity - dedicated to helping current, former and retired care workers who find themselves in hardship - has added its voice to the growing campaign which highlights the increasing shortage of people and skills in the sector to manage an ageing population. A report by Skills for Care estimates that 340,000 social care employees leave their jobs each year and that vacancy rates for social workers have jumped from 7.3 per cent in 2012 to 11 per cent in 2016. More than 2,800 manager jobs remain unfilled at any one time in care homes across England. Alex Ramamurthy, CEO of The Care Workers Charity, said: “We are acutely aware of these figures and the difficulties they present care staff with every day. We need to act now.” Accrington MP Graham Jones is supporting the initiative by the national care group to highlight

the sterling work that is carried out by the industry despite funding cuts. The MP has met with senior representatives from Age UK to discuss the adult social care crisis, written to David Mowat MP, the Minister responsible for social care, and has tabled a question in Parliament. Donna Briggs, Managing Director of Springhill Care, said:

“We see the deepening issues every day at our care homes, and while investment in our staff is a priority for us we see problems ahead in terms of availability of the number of skilled employees needed. “The only answer for us at Springhill is to commit to training our own workforce, and we are committed to Investors in People and developing our own staff to the levels we require.”

Springhill Care Group is asking people to join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #caringheroes.

The adult social care sector in England faces a gap of 200,000 care workers by the end of this Parliament. The Association of Directors of Adult Services estimates that there is a current funding gap of £1 billion a year, while the King’s Fund estimates this gap could rise to £3.5 billion a year by 2019.


20 years of care at Riversway Bristol’s Riversway Nursing Home opened its doors to friends and family recently as it celebrated its 20th anniversary. The purpose-built nursing home, which offers care for people with a wide range of physical needs, including younger people, has spent two decades at the forefront of quality care in the region, and a series of special activities took place to mark the milestone. Musical entertainment included an accordion player, singers, an acoustic duet and brass band. A magician also visited to demonstrate some tricks. Visitors to the Crews Hole Road home included senior staff from Springhill Group, with Founder and Chairman Ken Nolan giving a speech looking back over 20 years in business. Residents and staff took part in activities outside and inside the home, throwing sponges at staff members in one particularly popular game. The home was decorated with garlands for the day and funny photo opportunities were available, with photo slideshows telling the story of Riversway’s history so far. Jan Wilkins, General Manager, said: “It’s fantastic to see so many people celebrating this milestone in Riversway’s history and enjoying themselves so much. “Our staff have played such an important role in this success and we can’t thank them enough for their support over the years. “The care sector has changed so much in 20 years, and we’re looking forward to the next 20 with excitement and enthusiasm.”



A message from Donna

On behalf of the Springhill Care Board of Directors, I am delighted to announce the appointment of three associate directors for Springhill Care Group Limited.

Springhill Care employs around 400 people, all who make a valued contribution to the service we provide to the people in our care every day.

The purpose of the associate director role, is to support the Managing Director, the Board of Directors and our care home services on our ‘excellence’ journey in their respective specialist area, as we strive to achieve our Springhill vision to become the provider and employer of choice in the communities in which we serve.

As managing director of Springhill Care Group, I am seriously interested to hear what you think about being part of our Springhill family, to learn about your role and to listen to any ideas you may have on how we can further enhance our service to the people in our care and our offer to you as your employer. I would also like to hear your thoughts and ideas of how we can further improve and enhance the service for the people in our care and their loved ones, as we strive to achieve our vision of becoming the provider and employer of choice in the communities in which we serve.

With effect from the 24 July 2017, I am thrilled to announce that the people appointed as associate directors are: Virginia Perkins appointed Associate Director of People and Organisational Development Shirley Waling appointed Associate Director of Finance and Development

I would therefore, like the opportunity to meet with you informally and in this regard I will be visiting each Home over the next few months to meet with you, I have set out a few dates and times which I hope are convenient.

Christine Stevens appointed Associate Director of Communications and Development

Springhill Care Home Thursday the 31 August 2017 - 2pm

I am sure you will join me in congratulating Virginia, Shirley and Christine on their achievements and to wish them the very best in their enhanced roles.

Riversway Nursing Home Tuesday the 5th September 2017 - 3pm Birch Green Care Home Friday the 8 September 2017 - 2pm I look forward to seeing you then.


HR Update Further to my previous article concerning the Employee Voice meetings, one of the main themes that has been observed has been in relation to employee uniforms across all job roles. Many regular attendees have requested that the uniform policy be revised to encapsulate a more consistent approach across the whole group. As a responsive employer, the Board have authorised a consultation to commence with immediate effect on this issue. This being the case, Christine Stevens and I will be sharing with you many of the different ideas we have gathered from specialist care uniform suppliers to consult with you on your preferred choice. We will then gather your choices and present the findings to the Board in September 2017.

We encourage all staff to participate in this process, so if you are unable to attend the Employee Voice, brochures will be left in the Reception area during my visits in order for staff to view the range of staff uniforms available.

As you are well aware we are an Investors in People Gold employer in relation to how we support and develop our leaders and workforce respectively, I am delighted to share with you that we have now been selected as one of the top ten Gold employers in the whole world. We have outperformed the care sector average in every measure and are firmly still the only care organisation in the North of England to have achieved the Gold accreditation under the new version 6 standard. This is a huge achievement for Springhill Care Group and we are only as strong as our valued workforce. There will be an award ceremony in November 2017 where we find out which position out of ten employers we have achieved in the global community.

Well done to our amazing workforce.


Smiles all round at Birch Green’s summer fair Skelmersdale care home Birch Green threw open its doors recently for its annual summer fair. The colourful event featured a range of activities for residents, friends and family members, and the local community. Among the activities on offer were a raffle, stalls, and a range of exotic food, face painting and a professional singer, Sophie Bennett, who entertained the crowds. A group of young local dancers joined Birch Green to show off their skills, and a barbecue was enjoyed by all. Phillippa McGrath, General Manager at Birch Green, said;

“We’re proud of our links with the local community, and our summer fair is a great opportunity to meet people and get to know them. “It’s always a popular event, and everyone pulls out all the stops to make sure there is plenty of entertainment for all.”


Dancing for joy There wasn’t a dry eye in the house recently following a visit by North West charitable organisation DanceSyndrome. DanceSyndrome was founded to provide community dance workshops to allow people of all abilities to train and express themselves. The group holds performances across the region and recently visited Birch Green Care Home in Skelmersdale. During the visit, residents watched performances and were encouraged to take part in armchair exercises themselves. When the group carried out a performance piece to the famous song Hallelujah, we were all swept away by the emotion in the dancing and music. We hope that Dance Syndrome will now be able to visit with us once a month, and we can’t wait to see them again.

Supporting our local school When Birch Green Care Home heard that Woodlands Community Primary School in Skelmersdale had been broken into we knew we wanted to help. Pupils and staff from Woodlands School have been regular visitors to us at Birch Green, with the school’s Glee Club stopping by to entertain us. We even had a visit from 300 children last year when they set up in our car park to sing songs for the Olympics. When we heard about the break-in, staff Donna Matthews and Claire West, who have children attending the school, organised a collection and we recently handed the funds over. So we were very touched indeed when the school presented us with a plant to say thank you. It’s now planted in our remembrance garden where everyone can enjoy it.

Goodbye to Jean Long-serving and popular member of staff Jean Ali bid us farewell recently when she retired after 16 years with Birch Green Care Home. A much-loved nurse, Jean is very popular with residents, their friends and families, and of course among her fellow staff. She will be missed by us all but we hope she enjoys her retirement – starting with a long-anticipated holiday and road trip!

View more photos on our Facebook page


Wedding Cards for Jean The close relationship between our care staff and our residents is great to see, and we all love to help each other celebrate important occasions. Senior carer Jean, who works on Birch Green’s upper floor, is marrying her fiancé Dave, and our residents have been busy working hard all week to create individual cards to wish her well on her special day. Once complete, the bundle of cards was tied with ribbon and presented to her on her wedding day. It was a great activity for us all, and our residents had many happy memories to share of their own wedding days.

Choir raises voices at Birch Green The ever-popular Raised Voices Choir visited Birch Green Care Home recently. Part of the Learning Stars organisation, a group of people with learning disabilities, the choir got us all singing and even helped us to learn to sign one of the songs. Thanks for visiting, and we’re looking forward to singing along with you again soon.

A day in the garden at Birch Green A few of our residents decided that the plants in Birch Green’s garden needed a drink in the hot weather. So we headed outside for a day in the sun, spending time on our garden furniture and watering our fabulous planters filled with colourful blooms. We had a really blooming afternoon.

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Creating a culture of Continuous Improvement at Springhill Care At Springhill Care Group the passion to develop a culture of continuous improvement has really started to gather momentum. This has particularly been evident through the latest Investors in People (IiP) Steering Group meetings where discussions to improve the business and provide fantastic career opportunities for our valued workforce are very much part of our long term ambition. It is evident that all of our leaders strive for continuous success and more notably, as a care organisation that does not become complacent, the senior leadership team want to further empower our leaders to build on recent achievements by aiming for the next level as we embark on our journey to lead the care sector. As identified within the IiP assessment we already outperform the care sector on every measure but we want to build on that success to achieve the Platinum standard by the next assessment. Furthermore, our leaders are being supported and encouraged to prepare to work and operate within the outstanding arena of the CQC framework. There is a lot of work to do to achieve our vision of becoming an employer and service provider of choice but

nevertheless we continue with our drive to be as successful as we can be. In order for our workforce to understand how they fit into the bigger picture, the IiP Steering Group is busily working to create a set of stretching competencies for each job role within the organisation. We had to start by understanding and identifying what excellence looks like for Springhill Care Group, for example putting our customers first and providing a life not just a service; CQC outstanding accreditation for each of our Homes; putting our people first; IiP Platinum for the workforce; financial viability and data integrity. We now have to start developing our front line leaders, for example our registered nurses, assistant nurse practitioners, senior health care assistants and supervisors across the

Group. The purpose of this area of development is to build their competence in taking ownership, understanding what is possible and supply them with the power to produce the desired effect in managing their staff teams effectively. With everybody understanding how they contribute to the vision, mission and values of the organisation, Springhill Care Group will continue to improve as a business, as an environment where our residents are provided with a life and how we as a business can grow and become an employer of choice. This is not only an extremely exciting time but also very much rewarding as every valued employee will actually understand how they contribute to achieving excellence across every area within the organisation.

Strive for continuous improvement, instead of perfection. Get a little bit better every day. By Virginia Perkins Associate Director, People and Organisational Development 11 | P a g e

You can read all Virginia’s blogs on our website -

Back to nature

Our residents like nothing more than getting back to nature on our regular trips out to enjoy the fresh air. Recently we headed out to a lovely nature trail not too far from Riversway itself. We saw boats, threw stones in the water and met some friendly dogs on the trail. The trip was a lovely way to enjoy the peace and quiet, and stillness of the water and picnic area.

A full day at Riversway A busy day for residents of Riversway Nursing Home included a relaxing stroll along the river. The group headed out to see herons, and try some tasty blackberries and mulberries. Later on in the day people also had a chance to get their creativity flowing with some landscape painting. A wonderful, relaxing day for us all.

Pamper session fun A group at Riversway Nursing Home spent time getting pampered and enjoying some make up. A number of residents treated themselves to facial mud masks, creams and even some colour. A pleasant time was had by everyone reminiscing about times they wore makeup in the past, and enjoying the feeling of being pampered.

View more photos on our Facebook page


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Poetry in motion We put our creativity to the test recently at Riversway Nursing Home when we challenged ourselves to come up with some poems. After enjoying reading limericks and rhymes we decided to put pen to paper and write our own. It was a lovely activity that kept us focused and busy reminiscing about old memories. You can see the poems we came up with below, titled Swishy Sea, Daydreaming and Hop Scotch Memories.

Swishy sea Sand and seashells at the beach Sunny sky ice cream and pie Playing catch trying to reach, at the beach. If you've got a fin, it’s easy to swim. Building sand castles, we carry everything in a bag, with lots of flag. Relaxing sea breeze, make us feel cool, refreshed and at ease.

Day dreaming I always liked, riding my bike, go and see all the sights. Salt, mustard, vinegar, pepper leapfrog like a leopard. Bouncing, dancing and prancing, skipping and cartwheel flipping. Swing high in the sky and daydreaming I fly.

Hop scotch memories A lovely walk through the snuff mill park "Go back home before it gets dark!" Catching fish in the tinkling stream... Splish, splash, splosh and still feeling posh. I think I am going to lose my marbles, everybody sing Seesaw Marjorie-Daw! See-saw Marjorie-Daw Johnnie shall have a new master, he shall have but a penny a day, because he can't work any faster

Sparkling golden sand blue, grey and white, only one thing left to say: what a delight!

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Two trips, two castles Recently residents from Riversway visited not one but two castles! One a pub not too far from Riversway Nursing Home called the Black Castle, was our port of call on a very rainy day and everyone was delighted to report back that the Black Castle has beautiful interiors, a good selection of drinks and tasty grub. The second, Blaize Castle House Museum, is a treasure trove of wonderful and interesting items which show how people in Bristol used to live. The castle is set in acres of stunning parkland but due to the rain we spent most of our visit in the house museum looking at old toys and a very old school room. The rain did however manage to hold off whilst we visited the ice cream van in the park. Shelby and Doris really enjoyed this part of our day! The rain may have changed our original planned day out, but in the end we came out winners!

We’re lucky at Riversway Nursing Home to have some wonderful attractions nearby. Recently we visited Weston-Super-Mare to enjoy fish and chips and the sights and sounds of the lovely seaside town. Also on the agenda was buying sweets, feeding seagulls, touching the the sand and enjoying the fresh breeze and sunshine.

A day at the beach

Lentils, pulses and seeds were put to great use recently at Riversway as some of our resident’s crafted mosaics. The artistic activity saw our group use pictures from old tiles and classical mosaic patterns as inspiration.

Mosaic inspiration It required some intense concentration, focus and precision, and we achieved some amazing results.

Well done everyone. 14 | P a g e

Feathered friends visit Springhill Care Home

Residents at Springhill Care Home in Accrington got up close and personal with birds of prey recently after a visit by local organisation Gary’s Feathered Friends. The activity saw a number of owls brought to the home by the Wigan-based company for residents and staff to hold and get to know face-to-face. Residents loved the experience, including Annie and Mary, who were delighted to spend time with Kizzy the African wood owl.

Springhill’s sewing club Springhill Care Home’s popular sewing club put its skills to good use in a recent activity. The group gathered together in one of the home’s lounges to continue with projects they have been working on this year or, in Irene’s case, finish a project! It was a lovely way to spend the afternoon and we really do have some creative residents.

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Twiddle mitts and teddies We’re very proud of our links with the local community at Springhill, and we were over-themoon when a local lady popped in to give us some thoughtful gifts. Our very own ‘superknitting lady,’ who asked to remain anonymous, brought in some lovely hand-made twiddle mitts and teddies for our residents to enjoy. The gifts took her several weeks to make, and she’s now volunteered to make some more for Springhill and our sister care home, Birch Green in Skelmersdale. We’d all like to thank her very much – your kindness is appreciated! If anyone would like to donate any well cared for children's baby dolls, our 'super knitting' lady would like to make knitted clothes for them and donate them to various homes. Contact Paige at Springhill Care Home on 01254 387179 or email

Irene and her paintings We have some very creative residents at Springhill Care Home, and we’re always delighted to see their work. A case in point is Irene, who recently spent time showing us a number of paintings that she created herself a few years ago. The pictures are truly stunning and include some lovely landscapes. Irene and her husband, Colin, used to enjoy travelling and the paintings include picturesque Padiham, Pendle Hill and a lake in France.

Pizza on the menu Pizzas were served up as the dish of the day at Springhill Care Home recently. Residents gathered together to select toppings for their own Italian creations, including tomato sauce, cheese, ham, peppers and sweetcorn. The group enjoyed making their pizzas, and enjoying their creations for tea. 16 | P a g e

1940’s brought to life at Springhill Staff all dressed for the occasion and the home was decorated with flags draped across our living rooms. Themed food and entertainment were also on hand to recreate the era – spam butties, spotted dick pudding, malt loaf, cake buns and jam roll were on the menu, with music by Doris Day, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Billie Holiday providing the entertainment. Everyone had a really good afternoon.

Makeover Monday Life at Springhill Care Home means keeping up all the activities and passions our residents loved before. To this end, we have regular pamper sessions for our residents and recently it was Ann and Irene’s turn for some hair salon pampering. The pair enjoyed a relaxing hair treatment and they were very happy with the final results.

Where on Wednesday? A recent ‘Where on Wednesday’ session was held at Springhill Care Home, with residents enjoying Scottishthemed activities and food. We ‘visited’ Scotland with a range of treats including shortbread, IrnBru, whiskey, potato scones, Aberdeen Angus beef, scotch eggs, oatmeal cake and crowdie. The home rang to the sound of wonderful bagpipe music and we learned some fascinating facts about the country including that Edinburgh Castle was built on top of a volcano!

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View more photos on our Facebook page


Photos from around the group

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Photos from around the group

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Join our growing online community and engage with us *Facebook *Twitter *Instagram *Google+ *Pinterest *Tumblr *YouTube Please support your Social Media pages. You can like, love, share, pin, follow, +1, comment = ENGAGE See what’s happening throughout the group. Go on, Spread the word.

Are you a resident a resident’s family or a friend or one of our staff members? We would really like to hear what YOU have to say about the way WE work, and importantly, How we act upon your comments or concerns. Please ask at reception for further information on how you can feedback your thoughts to us. Many people already provide us with valuable comments and feedback through letters, e-mails and cards which we are proud to receive, and we have also been encouraging people to add comments to the website, a ‘Trip Advisor’ for the care home sector or through NHS Choices. ( review cards are in the reception area) We have also used regular surveys, focus groups and various meetings to gather feedback on what is working well and what can be improved.

This newsletter is by Springhill Care Group Registered Office: 11 Cannon Street, Accrington, Lancashire, BB5 1NJ. T: 01254 304500 E:


The Care Quality Commission (CQC) have also introduced a new inspection process which will collect survey data from residents, relatives and staff and social and healthcare professionals prior to an inspection visit, you can visit the CQC website for further details

To ensure you never miss our monthly newsletter, sign up to receive our newsletter via email. Just email with the subject ADD ME and you’ll be added to our20 mailing |Page list or ask at reception for further

Springhill Care Group Newsletter - August 2017  

Our August Newsletter is available to view NOW, go on, make a brew, take a seat, take a look and enjoy .

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