Food & Drink

Bite-sized nutrition at Peverel Court Care

There are two things everyone knows about food. Firstly, it is intrinsically linked to health and wellbeing. Secondly, it is unquestionably linked to happiness and contentedness for most people. For these reasons, the food we feed our residents has to be two things in order to keep them happy and well – tasty and nutritious.

Every day, our residents are given a menu from which they can choose one of several healthy and delicious options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They can choose whether they want to eat this food in their rooms or in our dining room, where they can socialise with other residents.

Some of the vegetables we use in our meals come from our very own gardens and are prepared in our very own kitchens. Our gardeners are becoming so good at growing them that we often have vegetables left over, which we offer to the families of our residents.

But because of the happiness food provides, occasionally we have to give our residents the opportunity to eat some more indulgent as a treat. We host a fun activity called Resident Of The Day, in which each resident can choose what they want to eat – even if it isn’t on our menu. We’ve had some marvellous requests including Hungarian goulash, grilled seabass, fish and chips (specifically from the chip shop), and chicken shaslik and popadoms with chutney, which we had delivered from a local Indian restaurant. One of our residents even requested lobster, though he changed his mind in the end and settled for something else. We ask our residents what they would like in advance of their special day and then take the necessary steps to make sure they get it. They can even order puddings.

Nutrition has a serious side, so we do weigh our residents to make sure that they remain within a healthy weight-range. If any of our residents lose 2kg or more in a month, which is extremely rare, we take several immediate steps to make sure they move back into their healthy weight-range, including monitoring their weight weekly and referring them to GPs, dieticians and speech and language therapy for swallowing assessment as soon as possible. Weight-loss is usually nothing to do with a dislike of food, so we have to work quickly to work out if there are any underlying illnesses or issues. We can then work towards making our residents feel better.

But it’s all mostly good news. We get great reviews about our food in our resident’s surveys. We think this is because we work so hard to make sure our residents likes and dislikes are noted in their care plans, as well as working hard to accommodate their dietary requirements. We will do our research to meet the needs of any food requirement our residents have, both pre-admission and in an on-going, evolving care plan.

Food is a big part of life for all of us. There is no reason our love for it should end when we move on and live in a care home environment. We would like to thank our kitchen staff, who work tirelessly to make sure our residents are kept healthy and happy through delicious, nutritious menus – and for making sure they’re kept satisfied with the odd treat, too!

Leadership & Management

Good leaders and managers transform care

Every member of our team is highly valued and essential to our day-to-day activity. They’ve helped us to build an impeccable reputation for delivering high quality care. Across our three sites, we have employed a team of highly skilled and attentive leaders and managers, whose job it is to guide and influence the rest of the staff. All of this is in place so that we can make sure that we’re providing safe, efficient and person-centred care.

Of all of the categories that the Care Quality Commission investigate when they inspect a care home, the ‘well-led’ category is the one that is most closely aligned with the other categories. Care homes with great leaders and managers get a higher rating in the well-led category, and care homes with a higher well-led rating tend to get a better rating overall. This is because leaders and managers are pivotal in the overall performance of a care team team. They directly influence the quality of care provided, which is exactly what the Care Quality Commission is there to inspect. At Peverel Court Care, we not only invest in our current leaders and managers, but in staff we know have the skill and aspiration to become leaders in the future.

In 2001, Mibell Hernandez began her career as a carer with us. We saw something in her immediately, so we assisted her with the adaptation process for overseas nurses so that she could acquire a nurses pin in the UK. From there, we funded a whole series of training for Mibell, both externally and internally, including the Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care. Mibell went on to become the Deputy Manager at Stone House Nursing Home, the Registered Manager at Merryfield Nursing Home and then the Registered Manager at Bartlett’s Residential Care Home.

We continue to invest in her. Mibell is a valued member of our team. She knows our organisation and our aims and ethos incredibly well, and this is what we want from our leaders and managers – people who know the exceptional care level we strive to provide and are dedicated to maintaining those standards. Because of this, we continue to invest in her development – we recently sent her on a course about successful people management and team leadership.

The elderly care sector is notorious with high staff turnover rates, but Mibell has been with us for fifteen years now. We have staff members working at all levels of our organisations who have been with us for many years. We pride ourselves on our staff retention rates, especially within our leadership and management teams. We know that the key to great care is a strong team headed by capable leaders and managers who are passionate about the organisation they work for. The best way to grow a team like that is to invest in your individuals, something we promise we’ll always do.

Community

World’s Biggest Coffee Morning

Last Friday, like so many other organisations around the country, we took part in the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning with Macmillan Cancer Support.

Merryfield Nursing Home and Bartlett’s Residential Care Home hosted a coffee morning each, bringing staff, residents, families and community members together to enjoy that most quintessentially British tradition of a cup of tea or coffee with a piece of cake.

It would be rude to limit the fundraising to tea and cake, we thought, so our residents and our volunteer Bev made some beautiful flower arrangements to place on our tables, so that people could enjoy them whilst they ate.

Then we brought everyone together to eat cakes made by one of our staff members Barbara and scones made by Sharon’s parents. We even invited our close neighbours and members of our local church.

One of our residents Len compiled a wonderful quiz, which lead to an impromptu rendition of ‘It’s a long way to Tipperary’. The atmosphere was playful, fun and happy, just as it always is when we bring together our staff, residents and community for events like this.

The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning by Macmillan Cancer Support is one of our favourite events to participate in. Not only is it an excuse for us all to eat nice things, but it raises money for a cause that is incredibly close to our hearts.

Macmillan are a wonderful organisation who give support to people who have just been diagnosed with, or are currently fighting, cancer. They’re also there for those who have won their fight. They’re a caring organisation and are there for people in every stage of vulnerability when needed. As a care provider, that resonates with us.

We were incredibly proud to raise £367 pounds through our coffee morning activities. We hope that it will go some way towards helping our friends at Macmillan Cancer Support, who we would like to thank for doing such a wonderful job.

We’d also like to thank everyone who baked for us, as well as everyone who attended our coffee morning and donated.

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