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Let’s hear the good news about care homes

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Why do care homes only seem to appear in the papers when something goes wrong? I know the saying that good news is no news but is it possible the only things happening in care homes are bad or negative?

I visit many homes and daily see the good things happening and the care, love and effort that staff put into looking after residents. Maybe nurses and care staff are too busy to tell people what they are doing. In-house and care magazines are full of staff who have ‘gone the extra mile’.

I was impressed by the efforts of staff in my home when they were writing life history books on the residents. To obtain the information, staff were making appointments with relatives and coming in on their days off.

I was in tears reading the books. The sincerity and respect for the residents shone out.

I appreciate it is not earth-shattering that one of the residents said hello to the staff today but when that person has not said a word for six months, it is – especially to the staff who have been greeting, talking to and explaining things to that resident with no response for all of that time.

It is hard to explain the sense of achievement when something goes right after much effort and how small things mean so much. Introducing vegetable dishes to the table seems small but the emotion stirred when a resident with many problems took the time to serve chips to another resident was incredible.

It is not just the residents, of course. Care UK, like many other care providers, matches funds that staff raise for outside charities in their own time. In this firm we have matched funds for local hospices, sea scouts, a school in Kenya, Essex air ambulance and many large national charities.

So how can we let everybody know what we are doing well? It would be nice, just occasionally, to see a headline saying that we do get it right sometimes.

Nigel Jopson, nursing home manager, Surrey

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