Keeping a finger on the care pulse

Owner Steve Bowe and manager Carol Almond in front of the area at Annacliffe Care Home (Newton Drive, Blackpool) where the new extension will be built.
Owner Steve Bowe and manager Carol Almond in front of the area at Annacliffe Care Home (Newton Drive, Blackpool) where the new extension will be built.
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MANAGEMENT at a care home say they expect to benefit from new proposals to improve health care.

An independent survey run by 13 operators for 850 care homes will be sent out to residents this week as part of a push to restructure the way care is provided.

Carole Almond, care home manager at the Annacliffe Residential Home, on Newton Drive, Blackpool, says the surveys will help the business to improve.

She said: “It’s a good idea because we are looking after people and their views are very important to us.

“We do try to sit down with the residents and their family but it’s very hard to get documented evidence of what’s wrong, so anything which improves care is a good thing.

“Not everyone’s needs are the same but residents don’t voice their concerns.”

Almost 50,000 people living in care homes will be asked to rate their experience as operators look to improve the way they provide support to residents.

Blackpool’s Tudor Manor care home on Clifton Drive and Amber Court on Warley Road could both be asked to complete the survey after they were part of a takeover deal last year.

If homes fall below the standards set out by the Care Quality Commission watchdog, inspections will be carried out and checks intensified.

But Mrs Almond claims good practice by staff in homes will always help residents and may take away the need for a survey being introduced.

She added: “If you are a good care home and someone isn’t happy they should know about it anyway.

“We do our own surveys once a quarter and keep our fingers on the pulse and have meetings with residents.

“It might be something simple like a resident not wanting to be in the same room as someone during meal times, but if there is no contact with residents then a home will never know.

“There will never be Utopia and you learn something new every day, but you can never be complacent.”

Coun Kath Rowson, cabinet member for Adult Social Care at Blackpool Council, added: “It’s an excellent idea to consult the people who are using any service and ask them what they think.

“We have some excellent care homes in Blackpool, but throughout the country you do hear about some bad ones.

“I hope it’s a proper exercise and providing homes take notice of the concerns when they are raised and acted on quickly and thoroughly, it will be a good idea.”