Southern Healthcare

Southern Healthcare has four Nursing homes in Devon, providing general, nursing, residential and dementia care. The Homes are situated across Devon; from the cities of Plymouth to the west, Exeter in the centre and at the seaside locations of Dawlish to the south and Seaton to the east of the county.

Updated:
10 February 2016
Location:
South West, National
Sectors:
Health, Care
Local Alliances:
Crediton Dementia Action Alliance, Exeter Dementia Action Alliance (EDAA)

1. Action Plan

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?

Southern Healthcare is a small group of 4 Nursing Homes in Devon, generalising in a range of Residents needs, of which the number of residents with a form of dementia is increasing in number, partly in line with a the general trend, and partly because the company has chosen to spcialise in dementia.  

The organisation is highly committed to supporting people with a dementia and attaches a high level of priority to people's specific needs, moving away from the historical precedence that physical healthcare needs have taken in our Health and Social care system in priority to conditions such as a dementia. 

Whilst we also appreciate people wish to remain in their own Homes as long as possible, we are committed to ensuring that Residential care with us can become a positive choice by creating a caring, fulfilling and enriching environment and one where Residents wish to be, their families feel confident and appreciate what we do and that the caring, nurturing and sensitive nature of our culture helps us to meet the needs, preferences and aspirations of our Residents.    

We will continue to work with county care home managers to encourage and develop the objectives above.

2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

There are challenges to delivering these outcomes.

Historically, healthcare commissioners and healthcare professionals traditionally perceived that physical healthcare needs took priority to matters of psychological, emotional and spiritual well-being although this is changing slowly.  Healthcare commissioners, care managers and other care professionals are not always universally agreed upon the essential components of a high quality of life within the context of dementia care. In that respect, the external driving forces in Care settings sometimes may have different aims to the people living in those settings themselves, especially in regard to issues affecting quality of life, upon which much more could be done.   High quality social and dementia care is sometimes either unrecognised, undervalued, and / or unappreciated. Sometimes this is for historical reasons, sometimes related to old age prejudice, and sometimes simply down to finance.This is something that we are aware of but simply work around.  That skilled social care staff and dementia care staff themselves are not always recognised, valued or appreciated as the key professionals that they often are.  That there are in these times general and specific issues related to funding in terms of limited and diminishing resources overall, differences as to what is required for dementia specifically for example in terms of staffing levels, input and  possible outcomes and differences  as to what is affordable and / or sustainable by those commissioning or funding care.

There are competing national and other priorities, and there have been many reports, royal commissions and headlines that have shocked and lead to calls for change, but historically, after the headlines die down, the status quo often persists.

Therefore visionary leadership, robust planning and meticulous follow through at every level is essential. 

In the group, the leadership is passionate about developing people, enhancing quality of life and developing a culture that embraces the works and influences of pioneers in the work of person centredness (the late Carl Rogers), person centred dementia care (the late Tom Kitwood) and making those visions a reality in terms of following and implementing the works and teachings of David Sheard, who has written many innovative works on dementia for the Alzheimer's Society that have become highly successful in real dementia care environments.  

2. Actions

  • To continue to develop a person centred culture

    To continue to develop a person centred culture, an environment in which "unconditional positive regard" is the norm and that the quality of relationships between people is at the heart of what we do, is universally understood and embraced in practice.

    Status:
    Implementation

    2012 - Second Quarter Update

    In progress

    2012 - First Quarter Update

    In progress 

  • Attain recognition of our dementia work

    Attain recognition of our dementia work with the South West Dementia Partnership Kite Mark and further to attain similar recognition with the 360 Standards Framework kite-mark.

    Status:
    Implementation

    2012 - Second Quarter Update

    In progress

    2012 - First Quarter Update

    In progress 

  • Members of our organisation and training team

    Members of our organisation and training team continue to study dementia and implement advanced practice. The MD of Southern Healthcare has attained a Masters degree in dementia studies and with others continue delivering (and appraising the effectiveness of) training in dementia, relationship-and-person-centredness and positive cultural development.

    Status:
    Delivery

    2015 - Second Quarter Update

    We have been joined by Paul Courtney RGN a dementia specialist who has been a national finalist in dementia Care and building dementia teams and is helping to take our capability to the next level.   

    2012 - Second Quarter Update

    In progress

    2012 - First Quarter Update

    In progress

  • Fulfill on the intended outcome

    To fulfill on the intended outcome of building an environment whereby every person, irrespective of their condition, role or status is shown unconditional positive regard, unconditional kindness and affection, and an understanding, knowledge and sensitivity which is knowledge based upon their individual circumstances, biography and personality

    Status:
    Implementation

    2012 - Second Quarter Update

    In progress

    2012 - First Quarter Update

    In progress

  • Commissioning authorities

    To work with commissioning authorities in partnership to support the development of effective social and dementia care priorities.

    Status:
    Implementation

    2012 - Second Quarter Update

    In progress

    2012 - First Quarter Update

    In progress

  • Develop effective training strategies

    To work closely with other providers to develop effective training strategies that work, avoid wasting resources on those that don't and share examples of best practice that make a difference to people's quality of life.

    Status:
    Implementation

    2012 - Second Quarter Update

    In progress

    2012 - First Quarter Update

    In progress

  • Networking with dementia community

    Networking with our own dementia community, through workshops, local memory cafes (one of which we host) and local dementia working groups to continue to learn, share and develop effective strategies that support people with dementia, their carers and their families.

    Status:
    Implementation

    2012 - Yearly Update

    In progress