GP and broadcaster Dr Hilary Jones has a long-standing relationship with us. When he hosted an open day at our newest care home, Wellington Grange in Chichester, we asked him to share his professional perspective on elderly care. Here’s what he told us.
Q: What does good care look like?
A: Courteous and professional. People are treated with dignity in an efficient and well-run place they genuinely feel is their home. The care needs to take into account their individual needs. It must be personal. If you have a combination of good clinical care with a personal touch, that’s usually a sign of a good care home.
Q: What are the key things to ask for when you are looking for a care home?
A: Is the care tailored to the individual? Are residents allowed to feel like the person they’ve always been and want to be? You should enquire as to how care is delivered and what sort of training the team have – are they a cohesive unit? What do other residents and relatives think about the home? It’s worth canvassing their opinions to make sure everybody is happy, content and satisfied with the care that’s given. It’s important to understand how your loved one will mix with other residents and to be sure that personal tastes, dietary preferences and religious beliefs will all be catered for.
Q: What clinical training and experience might you find in a care home?
A: A good care home will have a team whose skills and experience are comparable to or better than the NHS. There will be continual professional development and training in-house. High standards will be expected internally and from outside bodies such as the care sector regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC). People can retain their own GPs. At all times residents and their families should be reassured there is excellence in clinical and nursing care and medical assessment.
Q: The CQC has said care home managers should consider whether they would be happy for their mum or another loved one to live in the home. Do you subscribe to the ‘mum’ test?
A: Yes I do. It’s the best yardstick of all. Whenever I visit a care home, I always apply it with my own mother in mind. She is a former nurse and is nearly 90 now. If the care isn’t suitable for my mum, it’s not suitable for others. I believe all staff at Colten Care continually set themselves the ‘mum’ test as they go about their work.
Q: What for you defines a Colten Care home?
A: A place that is always calm and welcoming. I’m hugely impressed by the fact that Colten Care is independent and family run and financed. To my mind, it is a beacon of consistency. Whenever a new Colten Care home opens, they really integrate with the community. That means residents can stay part of the community too. They can continue to go to the theatre, visit friends and relatives and have friends and relatives visit them. Also, the ‘one-team’ approach is, I think, unique to Colten Care. It means that all staff are pulling together for the resident. Staff may have different jobs but the common theme for all is that the resident is happy, healthy and has a feeling of belonging.
Watch the video
Dr Hilary Jones gives further thoughts on elderly care in a series of videos we have produced. To watch them, visit our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/ColtenCare