In celebration of Care Home Open Week, two members of the Care England team were lucky enough to pay a visit to Maples Care Home in Bexleyheath, part of Canford Healthcare. The service provides residential, nursing, respite and palliative care for older people and those living with dementia. The visit showed first-hand the incredible work done by those on the front line of care and provided many lessons to be taken forward in our ongoing policy work.
Upon arrival, the Care England team was welcomed by Tony, Home Manager, and Wendy, Operations Manager. After explaining a bit about the service and the values driving their work, Tony and Wendy gave the Care England team an extensive tour of the setting. A stand-out feature was undoubtedly the in-house hair salon, which gives residents the opportunity to look their best while enjoying the company of friends and family. Another touching feature was the wall dedicated to the ‘Above and Beyond Award’, a monthly prize to recognise the outstanding work of the staff in the care home. Tony explained the value of recognising the efforts of staff, who dedicate so much to support the lives of those they support. Residents at Maples are also able to enjoy an expansive outdoor area, which had been the heart of the Jubilee celebrations just a few weeks before Care England’s visit. The outdoor area also features a memorial garden, a space where friends and relatives can remember residents of the care home who have passed.
After seeing the facilities, the Care England team had the opportunity to speak with staff members and hear their accounts of working in the care sector. Suard and Lily, two of the care staff, explained just how much they enjoy their roles and supporting the residents at Maples. Suard, who has worked in care for a number of years, outlined the impact that her late grandmother had on her career, whom she had cared for in her old age. The pair spoke about the importance of being recognised for the physically and emotionally demanding work that they do, something also noted by other staff members and management. As well as the joys of their respective roles, the staff at Maples outlined some of the challenges facing the sector. The high turnover of staff, for instance, was highlighted as something that can have a disruptive impact on the delivery of care. All of these points provided valuable insight for the Care England team.
Finally, the Care England team met the activities coordinators at Maples, Kay and Peter. They outlined their exciting schedule and many of the wonderful ways in which they engage with residents. The Magic 360, a portable device with seemingly infinite interactive games, appeared to be a particular favourite. After going through the photos of the Jubilee celebrations, a weekend which will live long in the memory of everyone involved, the Care England team met with some of the residents. A mix of veterans and those relatively new to Maples, they shared their experiences of the home and the things they enjoyed most about being there. A common feeling was the ‘homeliness’ of Maples, something which had become apparent to the visiting Care England staff within hours of them being there.
Care England would like to place on record their gratitude to Tony, the other staff members and, of course, the residents of Maples for welcoming us into their home. It was a fantastic experience and we look forward to our next visit!
Care Home Open Week 2022, hosted by Championing Social Care, ran from the 27th June – 3rd July 2022.
This year’s campaign highlighted the importance of building connections with your local community and offered the public an opportunity to discover the care home on their street and learn more about the adult social care sector.
You can get involved next year by visiting Championing Social Care website.