Innovation is a key ingredient of outstanding care. People recognised in this category are those who refuse to rest on their laurels and pursue constant improvement through having the courage to take risks, try something new and learn from their mistakes.

We are delighted to announce that the 2019 shortlist includes the following names:

Jackie Pool, Director of Memory Care, Sunrise Senior Living and Gracewell Healthcare

Jackie is a leader in the field of dementia care innovation but she is also incredibly focused on putting the right strategies in place at Sunrise and Gracewell Healthcare to improve standards. This has included embedding her industry-renowned, activity based framework for people with cognitive impairments into Sunrise and Gracewell’s electronic care planning system, Care Connect. Jackie has also developed a Memory Care Training Pathway for team members in conjunction with the University of Worcester. As of July 2019, 32 leaders had attended the Association for Dementia Studies course. In addition to this, she has personally developed a Level 2 Foundation course in line with the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) for all staff. She initiated a company-wide roll out that has meant that, to date, 81% of team members have taken part in the course. Jackie’s further initiatives have included the roll-out of a Enriched Dining Initiative which have seen care home taking an activity based approach to mealtime engagement which seen a huge improvement with the level of social engagement with residents.

Quantum Care

Quantum Care is a not-for-profit elderly care provider with homes across Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Essex. From HQ to home level, a culture of innovation has been fostered to such an extent that ‘innovation’ is instilled as a core organisational value. Over the past year, Quantum Care has seen existing initiatives thrive and new ones successfully launch, with residents benefiting from a care team who are empowered to innovate in all things. Through long-term investment in innovative, technology-driven therapies, Quantum Care has a range of exciting initiatives designed to support residents irrespective of their strength, ability and personality type. This includes creating a bespoke virtual reality therapy that is personalised for each resident’s life history and interests. In clinical studies, 100% of residents achieved positive outcomes, and 70% achieved a reduction in their reported or observed stress levels. Further innovation investments have included: using the ‘Magic Table’, a ground-breaking interactive game; trialling exercise equipment that uses lights and sounds to improve people’s cognitive function; and partnering with the CCG to trial new ways of reducing the number of medications prescribed to residents.

Rachel Smith, Orchard Care Homes, Project Ragnarok

Orchard Care Homes has created an environment where innovation is encouraged. This has enabled Head of Business Systems & Management Information, Rachel Smith, to first conceptualise ‘Project Ragnarok’ and now make her brain child a reality. This bespoke software has been developed in partnership with Civica, a global IT-based services partner in digital solutions, software applications, and managed services. The Project consists of five parts being rolled out in stages over the last 12 months: the Electronic Employee Record (EER); Bank & Agency texting staff for overtime; Budget sets linked to resident dependency; Roster Optimisation; and Agency. These five segments ensure the core values of Orchard Care Homes are captured so a professional and positive environment can be enhanced. The purposes of ‘Project Ragnarok’ are: to reduce staff costs by staffing to resident dependency, reducing agency by ensuring the workforce is rostered effectively, to remove daily fluctuations in rostering and remove set rotas to allow for greater continuity of care, to create electronic staff files that can be tracked centrally, avoiding duplication of manual processes at Support Centre and in the homes, and to speed up HR Admin processes, allowing for more time to be spent with residents in the homes.

Wellburn Care, Workforce Matters

After observing two of Wellburn Care residents engaging in a keen debate over who got to serve tea from the drinks trolley, Nightingale Hall Home Manager, Mike Campling, realised that feeling useful and having a job was something that really resonated with his residents. The idea for Wellburn Care’s local volunteer initiative ‘Work Matters’ was born. The results have so far been nothing short of spectacular with residents queuing up to be involved, and their families and loved ones seeing significant improvements in residents positivity and outlook. Local businesses are signing up to the initiative on mass and Wellburn is currently rolling out Work Matters across all of our homes. The initiative involves sourcing work placements that in some way relate to a residents’ work and life experiences, allowing them to ease into environments and situations that they are already familiar with.

Paul Dixon, Mill House, Caring Homes Group

Paul Dixon is nominated for his innovative and inspirational, award winning work with Caring Homes Group in the area of activities provision. Paul’s outstanding contribution to forging closer links between care home residents and the local community has included a back to work initiative that matches care home residents’ interests and experiences with volunteering roles. This could include going back to work in the local school as a dinner lady, working on charity events at a local hotel or helping local teenagers prepare for interviews. Thanks to Paul’s other initiatives, Mill House has become the only care home in the area to be associated with the Duke Of Edinburgh Scheme, with the home having at any one time up to six 15 and 16 year old volunteers who are not just volunteering but are gaining their Duke Of Edinburgh award while doing it. Passionate about fighting isolation and loneliness, Paul has also created a buddy scheme for residents, set up a Facebook community and volunteer group, and launched a successful project that will enable people in the local community to spend Christmas at 14 care homes this year.

Tickets for the Leaders in Care Awards can be purchased online here.

For details of table purchases and unique sponsorship opportunities around the Leaders in Care Awards, please contact Josh Waddell on 020 3176 5458 or email [email protected]



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