Many people with experience in the field would argue that the most important factor in ensuring UK care homes are up to a high standard is listening to the people who experience the sector first hand. In our own experience, here are the top 10 features the best care homes will have.
The values held by the care home as whole will be vitally important, whether this is a small company or a larger organisation. People at the top should genuinely and honestly want what’s best for patients and staff, and if this happens it will trickle down and create the necessary positive culture.
It is the responsibility of the government as well as authoritative bodies such as the Care Quality Commission to ensure these people on the front lines are listened to, and any necessary changes to the system as a whole are implemented. This allows individual care homes to follow the necessary guidelines properly and enjoy the benefits of having a framework in place, rather than following bureaucratic rules for the sake of it, and at the expense of residents.
3) Good managers
The people in charge of a care home on a daily basis need to be confident and capable, with the ability to lead effectively whilst having a great understanding of staff and patients’ needs. The right manager will be a positive influence on everyone they deal with.
4) Support for staff
All nurses, medical professionals, cleaners, assistants and everyone else employed by the care home need to be appropriately supported and feel that someone is there for them. Pay and job security is just as important as in other industries to keep staff motivated and ensure high standards of work.
5) Focus on community
Rather than focusing exclusively on the capacity of the care home and the daily work required to maintain standards, although this is important, it should be just as important to consider the people living in the care home as a real community. People live and work together 24/7 in a care home and some effort needs to be undertaken to ensure this is a positive thing.
6) Cooperating with families
In the best care homes, residents’ families are happy with the staff and the standards, and comfortable in the knowledge that the best care is always being provided for their loved ones. Ensuring these relationships are built and maintained is crucial for the success of a care home in the long term.
7) Being part of the wider community
Local people and businesses should also be able to support a good care home, with good working relationships all round. Sharing responsibility with GPs and nurses from local practices is very important, as well as being a welcoming and engaging place for anyone who is willing to help.