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Springhill Care Newsletter May 2017

*HR Update


*Up close and personal with Ken Nolan Pg4 Ken, who founded Springhill Care Group in Accrington more than 30 years ago, was named winner of the Oustanding Contribution to Social Care award at the recent Great British Care Awards

Ken Nolan, founder and chairman of Lancashire’s Springhill Care Group, has won a national award for his role in the care community.

A message from Donna During this last month, along with staff, relatives and residents I attended a dementia friends event held at Birch Green Care Home, presented by our friend Joe Sherville, a volunteer for the Alzheimer’s Society.

*Dementia Friends drive for Birch Green team Pg5 *Activity brings smells to life Pg6 *Dementia Café update Pg7 #CaringHeroes – Jo and Sam Pg9 *BLOG: Twiddle Muffs and Activity Aprons Pg10 *Brian’s gift for Riversway’s Easter Pg12 *Watercolours and flower delights Pg14 *Blog: Implications of Brexit on our workforce Pg17

The dementia friends programme is the biggest ever initiative to change people’s perceptions of dementia, it aims to transform the way the country thinks, acts and talks about the condition. Read more on page two 1|Page

#readme #pickmeup #engage #haveapeek #takemehome #flickthroughme

Continued from page one… You may be aware that Springhill’s core purpose is to provide care and support that puts the person at the centre of the care and support service they receive. Attending the dementia friends session, prompted me to reflect on what this means in practice across the services we provide and also to me personally in my role. In the health and care sector, we do often use words to describe a person’s behaviour as ‘aggressive’ and ‘challenging’, rather than referring to the actual cause of the person’s behaviour e.g. the person may be frustrated, lonely or in pain. Their behaviour may be the only way they feel they can communicate how they feel to those around them.

and they saw the resident as a heroine and not as an annoying resident, they arranged for the local Scout group to come into the Home and tap away in Morse code to her. It is likely this positive engagement made the resident feel more valued and empowered.

As care professionals, it is important that we take the time to listen, learn and understand the core reason why a person behaves in the way they do – taking time could make a real difference to the person. It is also important to be mindful about the words we do use and that we use positive words that are respectful of the person and their loved ones.

Joe shared with us the story about a care home in the North East who had a resident who constantly tapped her fingers on every surface ‘tap, tap, tap’. This was described as being ‘extremely annoying’ for staff and the other residents, and they couldn’t work out why and they became increasingly frustrated. One day her niece came to visit from Australia, naturally the first question the staff asked was ‘why does she keep tapping on every surface?” Unfortunately, the niece did not know. Three months passed when a phone call came from the niece to advise that after questioning her family, she had discovered that during the war her Aunt had worked at Bletchley Park and had helped crack the famous Enigma code. Maybe instead of ‘tap, tap, tap’ it was ‘dot, dot, dash.’ Morse code! People’s frustrations immediately faded

Thought of the day

There is no better exercise for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up – John Holmes. 2|Page

HR Update April saw the second successful meeting of the Investors in People (IiP) Steering Group with much of the focus centring on the proposed new organisational development performance model. The intended performance model, as explained in the previous newsletter, will capture performance, reward, recognition, supervisions and career progression. Despite the model being in its infancy, the IiP Steering Group have already agreed some key concepts to be proposed to the wider staff team around the structure in terms of going back to basics, for example what does an excellent Health Care Assistant look like in practice. We have commenced drafting a framework which will feature a performance rating score coupled with clearly defined stretching objectives. It is the Steering Group’s intention to introduce a clear set of stretching objectives unique to each role in the Home underpinned by the core values of Springhill Care and aligned to the operational needs of the business. The staff survey is to be cascaded in May 2017 to the wider workforce and you will notice a difference in its layout because the survey this year is not just a generic questionnaire but rather a carefully thought out document that will hopefully help us to respond to the challenges the care sector is facing internally and externally. We are aiming for a response rate of 100% so please do respond and have your say on the important topics that we aim to address with your help. I would like to thank you for all the feedback I have received from colleagues in relation to the type of questions posed and thank you in advance for your participation. By Virginia Perkins Head of Human Resources

Birthday Wishes Angie & Ali


Up close and personal with Ken Nolan As featured in issue 60 of Care Talk Ken Nolan is the award-winning founder and chairman of Springhill Care Group, which operates three high quality, purpose-built nursing homes in Lancashire and Bristol. Ken has spent most of his life in the care sector, and here gives Care Talk his thoughts on what must be done to continue offering high quality care in a tough environment. I founded Springhill Care Group more than 30 years ago, in 1983 here in Accrington, Lancashire. My intention was simple – to offer the highest level of personalised care and service, founded on the core principles of putting people first and treating everyone with kindness, respect, dignity and compassion. It was a big step for a recently qualified 23-year-old registered nurse to take, acquiring a former restaurant at the top of a hill and securing the funding necessary to open a care home with 23 residents. Back in 2013 when friends, family and colleagues gathered together to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the founding of Springhill Care Home, I had plenty of reflective moments, particularly when it came to examining how care has changed in the intervening years. This has been driven by factors including cuts to care funding, a widening skills gap, and care requirements changing as we meet the challenges of complex care and an ageing population.

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Springhill has changed in many ways to reflect this, with continuous investment in our staff and services, and significant investment in our nursing homes of dedicated specialist dementia care services for people living with a dementia and promotion of mental health and wellbeing. We employ some 450 staff and we recognise that good care can only be delivered by high calibre, well trained and motivated staff – as such we recognise our people are our most valued asset, and this continues to shape our business.

“We recognise our people are our most valued asset, and this continues to shape our business.” Nationally we read alarming statistics; England facing a shortfall of up to 825,000 care workers by 2025, closure rates of up to 25 per cent. At Springhill we like to think our approach is one that stands us apart as both an employer and care provider. When we recruit we place a great deal of emphasis on the values and culture of the organisation, choosing staff not just for their skills but their shared values, attitudes and commitment. Carers can join Springhill and enjoy genuine career development and progression opportunities. We encourage staff and support them to take a variety of qualifications including QCFs, and continue to invest heavily in staff training and support. Our recent Investors In People ‘Gold’ standard

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award recognises this approach and evidences our investment in our people, as an excellent employer and providing great places for people to work. In the last two years we have launched the Springhill Leadership in Care development programme, accredited by the Institute of Leadership and Management. With one eye on the future we are finding our own ways to plug the skills gap, and are supporting staff to train as assistant nurse practitioners, with the first cohort now qualified. They provide enhanced support to our RNs and are making a real difference. We always like to recognise the great work of our social care workforce and ensure we give something back. One example being our launch of the #caringheroes campaign which aims to shine a light on the often unsung heroes of the care sector. Now backed by two MPs and generating industry-wide support, #caringheroes is a chance to thank those staff members who selflessly put the wellbeing of other people before their own, who form close bonds with those they care for, who give up their free time without even being asked. I believe this is where the future of care lies – encouraging people into the profession by showing them what it’s really about.

“With one eye on the future we are finding our own ways to plug the skills gap.”

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‘Dementia friends’ drive for Birch Green team More staff from Birch Green Care Home in Skelmersdale have trained to become ‘Dementia Friends.’ The Alzheimer’s Society Initiative aims to help people learn what it is like to live with dementia then put that knowledge into practice in the community. Almost two million people have signed up to the programme so far, and management at Birch Green is committed to helping all new staff members become dementia friends. There is now just a handful of staff left to undertake the training and sign up, and the latest recruits are pictured receiving their dementia friends’ badges and certificates.

Donna said:

“The dementia friend’s initiative is such a worthwhile cause and it’s great to see everyone at Birch Green working so hard and be so committed. “Dementia is affecting more and more people and is one of the great issues facing the care sector. We are proud to do our bit and would encourage everyone who can take part in a local training session and put their knowledge into practise.”

Local dementia friends’ champion, Joe Sherville, led the session, which included Springhill Group managing director, Donna Briggs.

Celebrating St George’s Day in style A thoroughly British celebration was on the cards for St George’s Day. Birch Green Care Home celebrated the national day of celebration with tea and scones, fresh fruit and cakes, all displayed on a lovely picnic style mini bench. The home was decorated with red and white balloons among other decorations and we all came together for a right good old knees up.


Activity brings smells to life

Sensory stimulation is a great way to bring back fond memories and at Birch Green they recently held a special, ‘smelly’ activity. During the session, Birch Green had 12 jars with a range of different smells. Residents tried to guess the smell and share what it reminded them of. Many fond memories were shared – resident Mildred was reminded of her father who used to grow his own mint and make mint sauce to mix with new potatoes. Edna and Lilly were in agreement that even though they loved brass ornaments at home, there was nothing worse than having to clean it with Brasso. It was a great activity and one which made for an entertaining afternoon.

On their marks for ladies day Recently a number of our residents got into the spirit of the famous Ladies’ Day at the Grand National. Themed decorations, impressive hats and bubbly were the order of the day as we settled down to enjoy the horse racing taking place at Aintree. It’s a great event and a good excuse for a celebration at Birch Green!

Fun in the sun

At Birch Green Care Home in Skelmersdale we took advantage of a sunny day recently to play some games.

Giant hoopla and skittles were set up in the garden as our residents enjoyed trying out their skills and coordination. The morning was followed by afternoon tea and a chance to relax after the fun and games. Join us on Facebook


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Dementia café update Our latest dementia café was held in our Tea for Two Bistro recently and we’re already arranged a date for the next one!

do get in touch with us at Birch Green to find out more. Also if you are able to display a poster for us, please do get in touch - thank you

We had a number of visitors from the community who popped in to share their experiences of the dementia journey with each other. They also talked to Joe Sherville, our local Dementia Champion and discussed how to become a dementia friend. Our dementia cafe is a social get-together to give people the chance to meet new friends dealing with the same experiences as them, making sure nobody faces dementia alone. Birch Green Care Home aim to offer support and information in a welcoming and relaxed cafe environment. We are now looking at attracting even more people to the next meeting, advertising in locations including the local library and doctors’ surgeries. If anyone is interested in attending our next dementia café on Wednesday 17th May, please

Easter Fun at Birch Green On Easter Sunday every resident at Birch Green received a special gift for Easter, handmade by Shirley, daughter-in-law of our resident Audrey. Shirley made an Easter-themed card with a little chocolate treat for everyone, which was a lovely surprise for our residents to find on Easter morning. In the afternoon Birch Green took part in an Easter bonnet competition – Freda won first prize and Lily second. Well done everyone! What an egg-joyable day we all had


Upgrades for Birch Green’s dementia garden

Birch Green Care Home’s dementia garden is to receive a makeover. The colourful and quiet space, which also acts as a sensory garden for residents, is a favourite area for many people.

The grand opening of our garden is planned for Sunday 21st May 2017 at 1.00pm. Keep an eye on our website & Facebook page for future updates.

Such gardens are a valuable form of therapy for many people, particularly those with dementia, helping with relaxation and to use the senses to trigger memories. Fundraising has seen the money raised, used to install raised planters, and residents will be taken out to the garden centre soon to choose all the new plants. Residents have been consulted every step of the way on the plans, which include full wheelchair access. Relatives of one of Birch Green’s residents have also donated benches for the outdoor space. Work has officially started on the transformation of Birch Green’s dementia garden and workmen were on the scene recently, measuring up and beginning to carry out the first stages in the planned improvements. The first work to take place will be a new path constructed in the colourful and quiet space, which also acts as a sensory garden for residents.

Over the coming month the garden will see some wonderful changes, and visitors to our website and our Facebook page will be kept up to date through regular photographs.

Singing to celebrate Local singer Sophie Bennett visited Birch Green recently to sing in celebration of the Queen’s birthday. To mark the occasion we had plenty of flags to wave and instruments to play along with, whilst we enjoyed both a glass of bubbly and Sophie’s songs. 8|Page

#CaringHeroes – Jo and Sam We've another fantastic double Caring Heroes award for you this month! Our April Caring Heroes from Riversway Nursing Home are Jo Williams (Team Leader) and Sam Wagstaff (Care Assistant) and they have both been nominated by our Lifestyle Team. Jo and Sam have both been nominated as they are both are extremely proactive with our residents especially when the Lifestyle Team are busy elsewhere (planning and having fun with our residents), they always find a way to engage with our residents, going that extra mile with a smile, standing out as role models to others. They continuously reflect on how to improve the quality of life of our residents on a day to day basis (especially within activities and one to ones). It can be small things that sometimes can go unnoticed, but we do notice as they both shine through and that’s why Jo and Sam are both being recognised.

‘Thank you & Congratulations’ you are both #CaringHeroes 9|Page





Twiddle Muffs and Activity Aprons New Blog by Jakki Whitehead Admiral Nurse, Riversway Nursing Home

Jakki Whitehead, an experienced care professional, is training to become one of dementia care’s ‘beacons of excellence’ – an Admiral Nurse. This blog follows her journey and thoughts. Almost two years ago a friend sent me a picture of a Twiddle Muff and pattern asking for knitters to make colourful knitted muffs with trimmings of beads, ribbons, pompoms and zips on the inside and outside.

Pictures of fidget aprons were also sent through with worry beads, appliqué, pockets and velcro attached. These were to be given to residents in the later stages of dementia to assist them to touch items which may be familiar or give comfort. This kind of sensory input can provide a reassurance and help our residents to feel more safe.

I worked hard trying to find willing knitters and sewers to make these items for residents with dementia in Riversway. Initially one of the activity team and a GP student made Activity Blankets which had been made with the resident's life history involved. One blanket had a hand sewn atlas which showed the resident's globetrotting past, she also had stuffed birds put in a pocket to give a reminder of her love of birdwatching.

Unfortunately although beautiful and well thought out they were few and far between for our residents.

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Last January one of our relative visitors, Margaret and her friend Bonny, asked if her church's craft group could do anything for the residents.

apart from the two which I have kept for our office chairs they are used with residents who are unable to get up and need items to be taken to them. As well as for the more immobile residents, those at a certain stage of dementia need the sensory stimulation to be brought to them, they are no longer able to access it for themselves. The Twiddle Blankets, bright, reassuring and accessible give a comfort and maybe a purpose to those residents in need.

Soon after another group offered some knitted gifts too.

Another good deed that the group did for us was knitting with one of our residents.

A veritable production line of Twiddle Muffs and Activity Aprons appeared with all sorts of bright colours, textures, interesting additions such as cotton reels, pom-poms and zips. As there were so many I was able to lay them around our lounges in an organised but rumpled fashion. By their very colourful nature they did exactly what they were supposed to do by encouraging residents to pick them up and experiment. Many of our residents were housewives and the aprons, laid on the chair backs, were immediately picked up and put on. (I found six in one residents' room, a definite favourite!) For Laura it is one of the first things she does each day.

Michelle was a quiet resident who enjoyed knitting and being left to herself. I had asked her on occasion if she would mind us using her knitting for decorative purposes but she always refused until one day she surprised me by saying that she had changed her mind and I could use it. Michelle died soon after but her family let us keep the knitting and Margaret and Bonny sewed it together into long decorative strips which we hang around the patio to give colour on warm spring days. A lovely reminder of Michelle. All at Riversway would like to thank those who support the residents with their lovely, colourful gifts, they are very much appreciated.

I have seen the Twiddle Muffs used as muffs but also as hats, arm and leg warmers and rather surprisingly as slippers. These also vanish into people's rooms and one big fan seems to have her own collection. Margaret has made Twiddle blankets and 11 | P a g e







Enjoying nature & technology at Riversway Our residents enjoyed nature in a mix of traditional and modern ways recently. First of all they went for a walk in a local wood to enjoy the scenery, then our resident Betty used an iPad to add colours to a picture of a beautiful swan. There are no limits to the ways in which we can all benefit from therapeutic activity and at Riversway we love to embrace new technology while at the same time enjoying activities like walks.

Brian’s gift for Riversway’s Easter Riversway Nursing Home celebrated Easter in style this year with a range of activities. We’re lucky to have lovely residents with amazing relatives always keen to join in with the fun. This is perfectly reflected in Brian, who visits every day to spend time with his wife Mo and always brings treats – this time it was eggs donated for every resident, that’s 72 in total! We also ate hot cross buns, chocolate eggs, Easter biscuits and celebrated with homemade bonnets, flowers which had been planted by our own residents and a big raffle and games. It was a lovely social occasion, but residents also found time to think about their loved ones, and pick and write some colourful Easter cards.

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Fun in the sun in Bristol Residents at Riversway Nursing Home took advantage of the recent sunny weather here in Bristol. More than 20 residents joined us for fun in the sun, enjoying ice lollies and time in the garden. Some enjoyed a snooze in the shade while others played with balloons, and there were plenty of cups of tea ready and waiting for refreshments. A lovely afternoon in the sun was had by all.

Down on the farm A group from Riversway visited the Windmill Hill City Farm in Bristol recently to enjoy a taste of rural life. Our residents were excited to see animals including pigs, goats, hens, ducks and geese, along with many flowers and plants as they took a look at the colourful allotments. It was lovely to see children playing at the popular destination and we’re already looking forward to our return visit.

A day in the garden At Riversway we’re lucky to have a wonderful garden that our residents love spending time in. So recently, a group headed outside to seed some potatoes and other vegetables while our very own professional, Roy, cleaned the baskets of weeds. Resident Olive watered the garden’s flowers, and we even had time afterwards to create some Easter decorations. We are all looking forward to watching everything grow and bloom in the forthcoming summer months. Join us on Facebook


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Watercolours and flower delights Riversway Nursing Home was visited recently by a local Bristol artist, Roland, for a delightful creative activity. Roland led our group in creating pictures of some beautiful classical flowers. Everyone loved using the bright watercolour paints, and spent time chatting about their memories of gardens that they have enjoyed over the years and discussing our spring plans for the gardens at Riversway. A lovely afternoon was had by all and we're already looking forward to the next art task that Roland sets us.

Musical Memories

Time for sports and capturing signs of spring Sports were on the calendar at Riversway recently when residents and staff enjoyed a number of fun sports, including bowling, football and human basketball – with our own lifestyle team’s arms acting as the ‘net.’ The weather was delightful, so while some of us spent time with the sports, resident Dorothy asked to borrow a camera to photograph the colourful signs of spring.

A trip to Bristol Cathedral recently saw a group from Riversway Nursing Home listen to a recital from an American school choir. The group of residents and staff loved listening to the youngsters from St Paul School of New Hampshire. One of our group, Monica, is a former singer in the cathedral’s choir, and the trip brought back a lot of happy memories for her. The outing was rounded off with a cup of tea as the weather outside was cold.

10-pin fun Residents at Riversway Nursing Home in Bristol had fun learning to bowl indoors recently. There were lots of smiles all round as staff taught the group a few 10-pin bowling tricks behind getting a strike and a spare! Everyone had a really good time and cannot wait to play indoor bowling again.

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Crafty Fun at Riversway We find all sorts of ways to create fun craft activities for residents to enjoy here at Riversway. Recently a group gathered to create wonderful rabbits holding candy decorations – all made from recycled materials. Art can be a little messy, and residents and staff even teamed up afterwards to tidy up.

Bird houses and bubbles Residents at Riversway Nursing Home in Bristol had fun recently creating fantastic and colourful bird houses. The decorative houses – made to mark the coming of Spring – were also given their own ‘chicks’ to live in them. Meanwhile, resident Betty visited the activities team office and spent time blowing bubbles for fun.

Plates of fun Our residents here at Riversway Nursing Home are a creative bunch, and love trying new activities. Recently we spent time working on decoupage plates – the art of decorating plates with materials such as tissue paper. Our group of artists sat and enjoyed time together, whilst coming up with some wonderful designs.

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Implications of Brexit on our workforce by Virginia Perkins

Almost 12 months ago, in June 2016 we saw the UK voting to leave the European Union in an unprecedented referendum, so what are the implications for the Springhill Group’s workforce. After attending several employment law updates over the past several months, the real consequences of the vote are still very much unclear. Now the country gears up to vote in a snap general election scheduled to take place on 8th June 2017 due to claims that divisions within the Houses of Parliament are at risk of hampering the Brexit negotiations. So what does this all mean for our valued workforce, particularly bearing in mind that we have a significant number of European employees working across the Springhill Care Group. The good news is that there are strong indications that, after the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 that the government will grant a form of permanent residence to those who have resided in the UK for at least five years as a qualified person, i.e. as a worker, self-employed, selfsufficient, student or jobseeker before a cut-off

date is determined. This could be when we eventually leave the EU but it could be sooner. It is hoped that European employees who have been living in the UK before the cut-off date but have not yet completed five years as a qualified person will be given temporary permission to stay in the UK after Brexit and given the chance to complete the five-year period. To ease employees’ concerns across the Springhill Care Group and help us plan for the future, we will be conducting an audit of our European employees and inviting them to communicate with us about any concerns they may have or questions to pose. As an employer we can also offer access to credible Home Office immigration advice, so do please contact the Human Resources department for further information if you wish to discuss this area further. We value our diverse workforce and because at Springhill Care we have a diverse range of employees, we are well placed to understand the needs of a wide range of customers, and it also puts us in a good position to recruit and retain staff in an increasingly diverse and competitive labour market. We will endeavour to keep you updated as soon as we hear more news about Brexit but in the meantime please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any concerns or comments. By Virginia Perkins, Head of Human Resources 16 | P a g e







Photos from around the group

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Photos from around the group

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Our vision, mission and values

Our Vision

By putting quality first in everything we do for each person we support & for all our staff, we hope to be the service provider and employer of choice in the community in which we serve.

Our Mission Is to focus on improving & developing: The quality of care, support and hospitality we provide. Our staff, through training and mentoring. Our environment to be warm and homely. Our evidenced based practice and commitment to continuous improvement. Meaningful partnerships with the people we support, commissioners and stakeholders.

Our Values To fulfil our vision & mission, we are guided by our core values of integrity, trust, kindness, dignity, compassion & respect throughout all of our services, hence: We put people and their individual needs first. We actively listen and respond to the people we support. We support people to achieve their aspirations. We seek out, appreciate and encourage the potential in everyone. We strive to be honest, transparent, fair and ethical in everything we do. We learn when things go wrong. We encourage staff to have a work life balance. We celebrate success and try to make life enjoyable for all. 19 | P a g e






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. 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

Registered Office: 11 Cannon Street, Accrington, Lancashire, BB5 1NJ. T: 01254 304500 E:




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SCG May 2017 Newsletter  

Springhill Care Group Newsletter May 2017 Springhill Care Group Our May Newsletter is available to read now - ENJOY #GreatCareNews

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