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NHS seeks care home stories from nurses and patients to inform practice

The NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement have announced that it is looking for experiences and stories from nursing staff and the public about changes, improvements and innovative new ways of working within care homes which will inform a new programme of work it is undertaking.

The care home sector is large with over 400,000 residents in approximately 18,500 homes and a similar number of staff.

Most care home residents have multiple health and social care needs. In particular, recent research from the Alzheimer’s Society has estimated that two thirds of residents suffer from dementia. In addition, residents are significantly more dependent than 10 years ago according to research by the Commission for Social Care Inspection.

Care homes remain an important place of care for a significant number of very frail older people, with 21% of the UK population aged over 65 dying in care homes new research shows.

Given the complex nature of delivering effective care to vulnerable people, the NHS Institute have requested experiences and stories on what work has already been done and is currently happening to improve care homes.

To submit your ideas and stories visit institute.nhs.uk/carehomes

Liz Ward and Sophie Cowley are Programme Leads for the Care Homes Programme, NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement.

Readers' comments (3)

  • I work in a Bupa care home, but I am sure the issues I have are going ot be similar to ones faced by any care home, and the top one is a lack of adequate staffing. An over complicated health provision procedure and a convoluted job description for nurses.

    If I am on a weekend shift, and a resident is taken ill, I have to call for the out of hours GP, I then have to hover by the phoe waiting for the to ring me back, and 'convince' them to come out to see my resident.

    We then wait another 2 - 3 hours for the doctor, who doesnt know the person at all, to come and see them and leave me with a scrip for antibiotics. I then have to call a taxi to come and pick up the scrip, take it to the pharmacy and come back with the tablets.

    I then have to spend more time documenting every single aspect of the debacle. Meanwhile my other work is being neglected.

    I am on my own 8am - 8pm with 14 people with severe dementia, I have three carers, but every single person on the unit is immobile and doubly incontinent and some, due to their size and propensity to lash out, require three people to perform care interventions.

    I do enjoy my job, dont get me wrong, but I regularly get frustrated by the often - to my mind anyway - over complicated processes I have ot go through, and the fact that I feel I could be giving the residents a lot more personal attention if I didnt have to do so much pointless paperwork.

    I truly and fully understand the importance of documentation, I do, I have been qualified for 8 years, and taught nursing practice in the third world, and I researched all the rationales for documentation, however, I do feel, very strongly, that it could be streamlined somewhat.

    I find that the panic of nurses to 'cover themselves' is beginning to rise above the motivation to administer person centered care, and it saddens me greatly.

    Working with elderly people with severe dementia is probably the least 'glamorous' aspect of nursing, but it is one that is going to increase the most due to the aging population. It is also one that I think is actually very rewarding and interesting, and I think a little bit more support is needed so we can really make a difference.

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  • care of patients with dementia can be very interesting, challenging and rewarding with adequate training and resources and in the right properly adapted surroundings.

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  • michael stone

    I am very pleased they are asking for this input.

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