What is good practice?

Best practice themes

Our vision is based on a review of best practice carried out by the National Care Homes Research and Development Forum. Over 60 academic researchers worked in partnership with care home practitioners, independent advisors and voluntary groups to examine evidence on the quality of life of older people in care homes. Based on this review, our team put together a programme of ongoing research and development to help staff deliver quality of life in care homes.

The research identified eight “best practice” themes - our vision for care homes in the 21st century

Personalisation

  1. Maintaining identity
  2. Creating community
  3. Sharing decision making

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4.  Managing transitions

5.  Improving health and healthcare

6.  Supporting good end of life

Transformation

7.  Keeping the workforce fit for purpose

8.  Promoting positive culture

Learn more about the Eight Themes >

The eight ‘best practice’ themes can be applied to the experience of care home residents in the following way: 

Personalisation

1.  Maintaining identity

  • Does the home give priority to residents’ backgrounds and histories?
  • How is this information used to improve their care?

2.  Creating community

  • Is the home linked with local community organisations?

3.  Sharing decision making

  • How are residents, relatives and friends encouraged to participate with the home?
  • Is there a choice of meaningful activities for residents and how often do these take place?
  • How can residents and their relatives express their views and preferences about the way the home is run?

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4.  Managing transitions

  • How are new residents welcomed and encouraged to participate in the life of the home?

5.  Improving health and healthcare

  • How does the home ensure that residents receive the best quality healthcare from staff and from external agencies?

6.  Supporting good end of life

  • How does the home deal with dying, death and bereavement for residents, relatives and staff?

Transformation

7.  Keeping the workforce fit for purpose

  • What is the resident to staff ratio?
  • What training programmes are in place for staff?

8.  Promoting positive culture

  • What makes the home special?  In what ways is it a “home-from-home”?

One Comment

  1. Gloria Haynes
    Posted 2 May 2012 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Care work has a poor status in this society. This is at odds with the reality of the work care staff do, and the skills they must adopt, in order to do their job.
    Supporting an older person to live their life with dignity and comfort requires considerable skill and energy. Understanding the difficulty someone faces when they have to move into a care home; the impact and stigma of losing ones own home, independence and autonomy requires a care worker to develop communication skills which will help the person through this traumatic period of their life. This comprehensive piece of care work is required for each person moving into the home.
    Because we are individuals a different care approach is required for each person. It isn’t possible to treat everyone the same. As well as different personalities we each have different preferences regarding comfort, entertainment and occupation, different health care needs, and particular mental health conditions. The care worker must learn to manage all of these issues in order to properly care for each of the different people in the care home.
    Although we have driven up the quality of care in care homes, by demanding high standards and good outcomes, we haven’t yet addressed the difficulties experienced by the people who deliver care. The reality for a care worker is that they work in a sector that carries low social standing and little value. The quality of training available in each organisation and the level of pay are both factors which influence people’s decision about working in care homes. We often struggle to attract the right kind of people into care work. Professionalising care work, in a similar way to nursing, would do justice to the level of skill and learning required of the care worker and attract people who are dedicating to develop their care practice.