With about 40% of residents in UK care homes having significant depressive symptoms, researchers have questioned whether the design of the physical environment of homes could be contributing to the problem, and how this could be addressed.
New research led by the University of Warwick has found that although the physical environment alone is unlikely to negatively affect the mood of residents, poor access to gardens and outdoor spaces could. Procedural, staffing and physical barriers can prevent older people using outdoor spaces and the researchers at Warwick Medical School and WMG at the University of Warwick have found that access to the outdoors is significantly associated with depressive symptoms.
There has been a growing interest in the role of the physical environment on health. An early study found that hospital patients residing in rooms with windows looking at a natural scene had … Read More »
HC-One’s Rose Court care home in Radcliffe, Manchester, has received high praise for its role as part of a government-backed pilot scheme in the recently published Teaching Care Home Impact Report.
Rose Court was one of a group of services chosen to take part in the scheme, led by Care England and funded by the Department for Health. The pilot scheme aimed to improve the learning environment for care home staff, develop new undergraduate nurse apprenticeships and encourage nurses to join learning placements in care homes.
The impact report, launched at a Parliamentary reception in the House of Lords, highlighted how the pilot had helped staff at Rose Court to increase knowledge, skills and confidence in using reflective practice to improve their work, as well as increased confidence in their ability to carry out their work. The pilot built upon HC-One’s existing … Read More »
Caring Times, March 2017
One of the most senior nurses in the care sector, Professor Trish Morris-Thompson, currently Director of Quality and Clinical Governance at Barchester Healthcare, has announced that she is retiring on 28th Feb 2017.
During her 38 year-long career she has worked in high-ranking positions within both the NHS and the private sector and is a vocal ambassador for nurses and carers. She is a practicing nurse and midwife and has had a far-reaching impact across different areas of healthcare through her numerous professional and voluntary roles.
Positions she currently holds include: chief nurse and director of quality and clinical governance at national care provider, Barchester Healthcare; nurse advisor to Care England; trustee for the Florence Nightingale Foundation; and a position in the NMC Professional Strategic Advisory Group.
Professor Morris-Thompson is an established author, often published in professional journals, with an … Read More »
Caring Times, February 2017
The British Geriatrics Society (BGS) calls for everyone who commissions or provides healthcare in care homes to follow the principles of good practice set out in the guidance it published in January, so that every older person who lives in a care home in the UK has access to high quality healthcare which fully meets their needs.
Based on the clinical expertise of its members the updated BGS guidance sets out clinical and service priorities for how best practice can be achieved, and provides clear indicators of what successful delivery looks like for older people, their families and carers.
In the UK 405,000 people over the age of 65 years old currently live in care homes. This represents 16% of older people over the age of 85. Their healthcare needs are complex and the average care home resident has multiple long-term … Read More »
Caring Times, January 2017
Sarcopenia, the loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that accompanies ageing, has emerged as a key topic in geriatric medicine and represents a rapidly expanding field of research. Prevalence may be as high as 1 in 3 for frail older people living in care homes.
There is increasing appreciation of sarcopenia’s importance for an ageing population and a growing understanding of its causes. The condition is closely linked to physical frailty and detection of sarcopenia is beginning to be incorporated into clinical practice, and to undergo large clinical trials. To better represent this area the British Geriatrics Society has announced the formation of a new Special Interest Group (SIG) focusing on sarcopenia and frailty research.
In addition, to help raise the profile and aid the recognition of sarcopenia, a dedicated session covering diagnosis and treatment of the disease … Read More »
MARK McCARTHY, managing director of Sanctuary Care, talks about the intermediate care model and how Sanctuary Care is managing the practicalities.
Figures released by the NHS show there were close to 6,000 delayed transfers of care in March alone, and, as the number continues to grow, it’s clear a long-term solution to the problem is needed.
Sanctuary Care’s homes provide the ideal platform for an intermediate care offering. Their layout, which includes a collection of large bedrooms, wide corridors and communal areas situated in suites, enables us to use space flexibly, not only with intermediate care, but also residential and nursing care options. Over the years this design has allowed us to work with CCGs and trusts to provide intermediate care without an initial large investment to change the building or facilities.
Generally, our largest outlay is putting vinyl flooring down in the … Read More »
‘Give us better, more timely information about the patients you are discharging to us’, nursing homes tell hospitals
Nursing homes need better, more timely information from hospitals when patients are discharged or returned into their care, the Registered Nursing Home Association (RNHA) has said.
In its response to Care Quality Commission (CQC) recommendations for improving co-ordination between health and social care providers, the RNHA wants the NHS to review the way it interacts with nursing home staff on important clinical matters that can materially affect individuals’ recovery in the period immediately after their hospital discharge.
RNHA chief executive Frank Ursell said the whole system needed a “shake-up”.
“As the CQC has pointed out, care home staff often don’t receive even the most basic information about the people being discharged to them,” said Mr Ursell.
“They may not be told about the medication the patient has been receiving in hospital. Yet these details are vital when a vulnerable individual with multiple health conditions … Read More »
A complaint about the neglect of an elderly woman in a care home has led the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO)to issue its first joint investigation report into a care home and local authority.
In the first of its kind, the LGO is issuing a report covering the actions of both a private care provider and a council’s subsequent safeguarding investigation into that provider’s quality of care.
The investigation was prompted by a complaint from a man who said his wife was left severely dehydrated and suffering from oral thrush after a week-long respite stay at a care home. The woman, who had advanced dementia, required full assistance in all areas of daily living, and could not say when she was hungry or thirsty. She struggled to swallow and needed a thickening agent added to her drinks.
The woman’s husband privately arranged and funded … Read More »
NHS needs to work more closely with nursing homes, says RNHA in wake of National Audit Office report
Nursing homes can play a key role in helping hospitals discharge older patients as soon as they no longer need acute treatment, the Registered Nursing Home Association (RNHA) said at the end of May.
Responding to a recent National Audit Office (NAO) report which calls for radical changes to help tackle delayed hospital discharges of older people to more appropriate care environments, RNHA chief executive Frank Ursell called on the NHS to work more systematically with the adult social care sector.
“By working together in a more co-ordinated manner than is generally the case right now, the NHS and social care would ensure a smooth, swift and efficient transfer of older people from hospital into more appropriate care environments,” he said.
“This would help prevent the daily and progressive loss of muscle function and mobility that inevitably occurs when a frail older person … Read More »
A health and social care trust in Northern Ireland has commissioned a digital nutrition monitoring and advice service now being used by 14 care homes in the province.
The service, Health Call, has been commissioned by the Southern Health and Social Care Trust in Northern Ireland is said to allow a closer collaboration across the NHS and care homes through a secure web-based portal. Undernourished residents are closely monitored every one to two weeks by care home staff, who input the patient’s weight, appetite, and compliance to oral nutritional supplements (ONS) onto an online portal.
If any of the patient’s data falls outside of their pre-set personal parameters, a member of the dietetic team is alerted and will contact the care home to provide dietary advice. Previously the dietitian visited every patient every six weeks.
“The automated system offers great support to the … Read More »