Enabling the South West care home sector to work and improve together, and learn and share across our region.
Uniting care homes through our South West Care Home Network.
Celebrating care homes through our South West Care Home Awards.
Piloting Safer Administration of Medicines interventions in care homes across the South West.
Detailed Programme Information
Enabling the South West care home sector to improve, learn and share together.
The South West AHSN is working to enable the care home sector to work together through its South West Care Home Network and quality improvement methods.
We have been working with the NHS England and Improvement Safety Improvement Programmes for Managing Deterioration and Medicines Safety to reduce deterioration and medication-related harm in care homes in the South West.
We have also supported the care workforce by hosting an Inquiry and delivering free music training.
South West Care Home Network
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, many care homes were working in silo. The South West AHSN established the South West Care Home Network to unite care homes on a virtual platform.
The Network meets quarterly to provide care home staff with opportunities to improve their care and services through learning and sharing good practice as well as exploring solutions to common issues.
In 2021-22, over 400 care home staff and wider support staff from the social care setting attended our events.
South West Care Home Awards
The South West Care Home Awards are hosted by the South West Care Home Network to celebrate good practice, improvement and innovation in care homes across the region, in categories including ‘safety culture’, ‘exceptional leadership’ and ‘COVID heroes’.
The awards have provided recognition, appreciation for the sector, and highlighted some of the extraordinary work that care homes are carrying out to support their residents, families and the NHS.
Visit our Vimeo channel to watch videos about our care home winners.
Reducing adverse medicine administration events in care homes
Medication administration errors can cause avoidable and unnecessary harm to residents, and impact their families, as well as create additional challenges for staff to overcome.
As part of the NHS England and Improvement Medicines Safety Safety Improvement Programme in 2021-22, the South West Patient Safety Collaborative worked with care homes across Devon, Cornwall and Somerset to improve the safety of medicine administration by carrying out tests or change in a range of areas, including:
- Managing interruptions
- Three-way communication
- Safety huddles
- Learning from events
In Langley House care home in Somerset, an innovative pilot resulted in a reduction in the number of interruptions on medicines rounds. Read the case study here.
Improvements from the pilots were fed into a national programme, determining their impact and success.
“As I became involved with the pilot I became very aware that [managing interruptions] could have a major impact upon our service. I was able to engage my staff team enthusiastically as it didn’t add pressure to their roles, and they could see the positive development within the service.”
Deputy Manager, Langley House, Somerset
Recognising deterioration in a timely manner can help prevent or minimize the need for escalation to hospital settings among care home residents. Spotting deterioration has been particularly pertinent during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The South West PSC is supporting the training of care home staff in the use of valuable managing deterioration tools RESTORE2 and RESTORE2mini. Learn more about RESTORE2 and RESTORE2mini.
By the end of March 2022, over 2,100 care home staff in 374 care homes across the South West had been trained in RESTORE2, with 226 homes using the RESTORE2 and RESTORE2mini tools.
We are capturing this local adoption and spread of RESTORE2 training and usage in our impact dashboards and maps, which we produce with training teams.
LoveCare: Supporting the care workforce
In December 2021 we hosted Devon County Council’s LoveCare Appreciative Inquiry to explore recruitment and retention within social care, attended by local MPs as well as many care workers and providers. The Inquiry is part of a wider LoveCare programme to find new ways to address the workforce challenges facing adult social care. Watch a video on the Inquiry.
Improving dementia care
In 2021, in partnership with Musica (Music and Wellbeing CIC) and the National Academy for Social Prescribing, the South West AHSN delivered an online music course, Press Play to Rewind, to over 200 care home staff in the South West, free of charge. The course supported the local delivery of the NHS England Enhanced Health In Care Homes framework, building staff skills and knowledge in using meaningful music as part of their care of people living with dementia.
Get in touch
For more information about our work with care homes, please contact our Programme Lead, Nikki Taylor.
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