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Bluebird Care (Herefordshire)

Covering the whole of Herefordshire, we are an independently owned office which is part of the Bluebird Care network. We provide high quality care to enable adults to live independently in their own home for as long as possible. Our visits are tailored to the needs of our customers and may last from 30 minutes to full time live in care. Based on the ethos of providing the sort of care we would like for our own family members, we recruit care staff who have a passion for making a difference to the lives of those they care for. We believe in recruiting only those who share our values and are committed to delivering high quality care by treating our customers with dignity and respect.

18 August 2017
West Midlands
Local Alliances:
Herefordshire Dementia Action Alliance

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?

As a local care provider, based in a rural setting we have a particular interest in providing a service to people with dementia in the rural areas of Herefordshire. Because of the logistics of providing a service in these outlying areas, such individuals often fail to get the consistency and quality of service that they deserve and which then enables them to live well with dementia. We feel we may be in a position to collaborate more with other agencies involved in supporting people with dementia and their carers thus highlighting their sense of isolation and uniting to combat the difficulties they experience once diagnosed.

We would like to identify the agencies involved in our local rural area of Golden Valley in Herefordshire so that we can work together more productively to assist people to live well with dementia and improve the quality of their life.

We would like to engage more with the local communities so that we can all harness our particular skills and knowledge and benefit those with dementia so that they feel more supported and part of the community.

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

The challenge to us as an organisation is that our care workers come from a variety of backgrounds and do not necessarily have the skills and experience to deal with customers facing the challenge of dementia.

2. Actions

  • In our Induction all recruits will become Dementia Friends and be expected to wear their badge with pride

    Our Director is a Dementia Friends Champion and it will be part of our induction training that all new recruits have the 40 minutes Dementia Friends session and will wear their badge to demonstrate to their customers and their carers that they are supportive.


    2017 - Second Quarter Update

    We now have every new recruit signed up as a Dementia Friend and another session will be held towards the end of september 2017. Employees understand the importance of commitment to this initiative and how it can be a conversation opener not just with our customers but with their family as well. They all wear their badge with pride.

    2016 - Fourth Quarter Update

    This has been delivered on an onging basis

    2016 - Third Quarter Update

    This has been ongoing

  • All staff within our business will undergo Dementia Awareness training

    We have purchased from the Alzheimer’s Society their Dementia Awareness training for homecare staff and all our staff will be training in this and on completion will obtain the Foundation Certificate in dementia awareness.

    Being implemented

    2017 - Second Quarter Update

    We are continuing to deliver this training as new recruits join us. We are also using Skills for Care videos and other resources to enable us to broaden care assistant's experience of dementia.

    2016 - Second Quarter Update

    We have now modified the type of Dementia Awareness training we deliver. We use Mill House Training for a dementia awareness session which involves more active participation of the group and is a practical guide to helping work with our customers and their families with dementia. We have so far put two groups of employees through this training and a third session will be held shortly. We will still deliver the Foundation Certificate but find that an intense afternoon session is a very helpful way of supporting our employees as they look after dementia customers. 

  • Encouraging and support service users to maintain their independence and interests

    All our staff will be trained in using supportive language, and to deliver high quality care which enables users to feel they are leading valuable lives, maintaining their independence to the maximum. This will involve encouraging our customers to remain active in their communities, maintaining their hobbies and special interests and cultivating new friendships.   

    This will be a progressive training, which is carried out through practical assessment and observation by supervisory staff at regular spot checks and reviews.


    2017 - Second Quarter Update

    We are providing more information for customers with dementia and their families at the point of signing up for care. This will help to reduce their sense of bewliderment especially if this has been a recent diagnosis where often families do not know where to start looking for advce. 

    2016 - Second Quarter Update

    We are making great progress with customers with dementia who often used to turn carers away at the door.

    We are using different techniques to encourage them to leave their home, even just for a stroll around the neighbourhood or going to a local community centre for a cup of coffee. There are those customers who used to lie in bed and refuse to see us, who are now happily being accompanied to community events.

    The carers feel very motivated when they make a break through like this. Families who have been fairly desperate are also relieved that we are able to encourage mixing in the community.

  • Seeing it from a relative's point of view

    We understand that families who are main carers for a parent or relative with dementia often exerience extreme frustration and stress from the day to day responsibility.

    We feel it would be helpful to invite a relative of one of our customers along to a team meeting so that they can tell us what the experience is like. We can then empathise more with their situation.


    2017 - Second Quarter Update

    We haven't yet managed to arrange this but we are still working on it. We have planned some interactive training for carers so that they experience dementia themselves firsthand albeit briefly. We thought it would be beneficial to invite along families of our customers with dementia so that they can benefit from the experience themselves.

  • Supporting families with information

    We feel we could be more supportive at the point of assessing a new package. We are starting to prepare packs with dementia specific information to support a customer and their family with as much information as possible and sources of support right from the point of starting to provide a service. People are often confused and lonely after a diagnosis and we feel we need to expand our knowledge of what local support is available and then share it with the families concerned.  .

    Being implemented

    2017 - Second Quarter Update

    We are working with staff at apprentice level to involve them in this level of detail to ensure that we are providing sufficient  signposting to resource and help available to both customers and their families.