How to inspire credible positive ideas in care homes

Featured article - 28 June 2016
Care home owner George Coxon on the Devon Care Kite Mark

Head-shot of the author, Care home owner George Coxon on the Devon Care Kite Mark

The story so far of the Devon Residential Care Kite Mark

In 2012 a small group of care home owners formed a steering group to create a new cooperative movement of care homes in Devon recognising the value of ‘sharing to learn’. Likeminded provider led initiatives are rare in social care – there is a greater tendency to have external people advising, directing, teaching and scrutinising 24/7 care work often with little experience and certainly always without ‘real time’ expertise of the nature and pressures upon us in how we are maintaining positive high energy quality care to those we look after.

Our journey has generated a lot of local sign up, as well as wide national and international interest in how we have grown progressive values and instilling these in member homes through:

  • Construction and Design Workshops to form a model of evidence and language
  • 4 day Masterclass Training Programme – Owners, managers and senior staff giving us a 60 plus residential care membership
  • Introduction of regular Skills Academy Events for senior staff addressing topics such as engaging with NHS
  • The commitment to bi-monthly Peer Reviews in one another’s homes
  • Regular larger events and Exposure Showcasing Events – upcoming our large ‘Caring About Dementia’ event on the 1st July with Andrea Sutcliffe from the Care Quality Commission
  • An annual Christmas jamboree event
  • Special interest groups and guideline development work 2016 addressing end of life care, long term conditions, and fall prevention
  • A strong partnership working approach - Working with NHS and other organisations.

All in all we are feeling upbeat about our journey - but we’re not there yet! We have lots to be proud of however but there is still much to do. Our momentum is robust and resilient in balancing the challenging times health and social care are experiencing with positive noise, values and an ethos of happy lives for both those that live in and those that work in residential care.

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