Bartletts, Leadership & Management, Workforce Development

Our Very Well Deserved Staff Awards

We’re lucky enough to have teams staffed with dedicated and driven individuals, and we know that we must be capable of offering them more than just a job if we want them to stay with us. We spend an incredible amount of time developing our employees in the knowledge that we’re encouraging them to progress personally and professionally. For anyone who wants to stay at Peverel Court Care and work hard, there is a wonderful career to be had. A number of our employees have been with us for many years, progressing through the ranks and up into management positions.

We’re incredibly lucky to have our staff. Our recruitment teams do an excellent job at spotting the passion and talent we require when we’re looking for new people to join our teams. Those who work with us have a difficult job to do but, like most people who work in care, they often tell us that the sense of contentment they get from helping other people makes the more difficult parts of their job well worth the extra effort.

For us it’s really important that we’re able to give back to our employees, and one of the ways we do this is through our quarterly awards, in which an employee from each of our three care homes is nominated for their outstanding service. We know that these awards remind our employees how much we appreciate the work that they do and the commitment they show us.

When we give our awards to our employees, we also present them with something we know that they’ll appreciate, trying wherever we can to involve their family in all celebrations. Cecilia was this quarter’s nominee from Merryfield Nursing Care Home, and we rewarded her achievements with something we’ve been told she sincerely enjoys; a movie night at the cinema and a meal beforehand in Witney for her and her daughter Teresa.

At Stone House, our residents had given excellent feedback about the care three of our nurses were providing, so we rewarded them all with a quarterly employee award, a box of family chocolates and vouchers towards their Christmas shopping.

Our managers at Stone House said, “They were chosen because of their hard work and dedication to their job. Even when the carers have a full hand they still ‘muck’ in and help out to the best of their ability. They have been very flexible and have led by example. Their communication with the carers is second to none and even though we are experiencing a period of high dependency amongst the resident group – all of the residents are really thriving under their care. We have had a few residents who have passed away and they were able to do so with all of their dignity intact and wishes adhered to.”

We gave the same reward to Arlene at Bartlett’s, who was nominated for her hard work and dedication.

The care sector has difficulty holding on to its staff. The national average turnover rate for staff is 15%, but the care sector often struggles with a much higher rate of 32%. We’re proud to say that our own turnover rates are nowhere near this number. We believe this is partly due to making sure our recruitment processes are correct in the first instance, partly due to the training and development we give our staff, and partly due to the efforts we make to give our staff the recognition they deserve and make sure they know they’re appreciated. The job we all do can sometimes be a difficult one, and so we thank them for the excellent care they provide. Too often across our sector, a sector that relies so heavily on the competence and dedication of people, the extra effort staff make is not recognised. We’re happy to be one of the providers that gives as much back to it’s staff as it does to those we offer care and support to.

Bartletts, Merryfield, Stone House

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Christmas is most people’s favourite time of year. Everything just seems better at Christmas. The season is a great opportunity to bring families and friends together, enjoy more food than one normally would, indulge in the odd party and get involved in the local community.

We love welcoming Christmas into the Peverel Court Care grounds. Our atmosphere, already cheery and peaceful, becomes even more enjoyable as our staff go out of their way to encourage the good tidings.

So far this Christmas we’ve had a musical visit from the wonderful Launton Handbell Ringers, as well as children from Stone School, who came to sing us Christmas carols.

We’re heading out and about, too. On the 16th of December some of our residents are visiting Aylesbury town to see the Christmas lights and do some shopping. Others have already visited the Methodist Chapel in Stone for their Christmas party.

Christmas is also a time for doing as much as you can for others. We’ve already made soup for the community on one occasion this December, and we’ll be doing the same again before Christmas. So far this has raised £216. Last week we held a Christmas shop and raised £225.50 for the Alzheimer’s Society by selling arts and crafts made by our residents whilst we listened to festive music. We’ve also donated some of these items to the Florence Nightingale Hospice so that they can sell them and raise money through their arts and crafts fairs.

There’s only just over a week to go, but we still have lots to look forward to, including a Christmas party on the 19th of December.

Our staff will work tirelessly between now and Christmas, often postponing their own personal preparations to make sure everything is perfectly festive for our residents. On Christmas day some of those we give care and support to will be joined by their relatives, who’ll be having their Christmas dinner with us at the home. This dinner will be specially provided and prepared by the staff of Bartlett’s Residential Care Home. In the afternoon, some of our residents will leave the grounds and spend a few hours with their families. Other relatives have told us they’re coming to visit us at our premises on Christmas morning instead.

It’s always a busy time, but it’s always the best time. Our staff go out of their way to make sure that every one of our residents has a jolly festive period, full of all the delights you’d expect to find in any home at this time of year. We’d like to extend a special thank you to our staff, who’ll be working to take care of our residents all across the Christmas period, and to wish you and your family a very happy Christmas from all of us at Peverel Court Care.


Bartletts, Landscaping and Dementia

Coming Soon to Bartlett’s – A Completely Unique Dementia Friendly Garden

Dementia is a difficult and uncomfortable truth. Unfortunately, many of us will experience it in our lifetime, if not because we must live with it ourselves, then because someone we love will find they have it.

Luckily, there is much research happening around dementia – how to prevent it, how to cure it and how to live with it. It’s this last part of the research we’re particularly interested in at the moment, given that many of the people we take care of are living with dementia.

Back in August, we wrote an article about our brand new dementia garden at Bartlett’s Residential Care Home, a pioneering new project in this area of Buckinghamshire, which was co-designed with the input of our residents. We’ve now sifted through those ideas, as well as the evidence and research around dementia friendly spaces, and development on the new Bartlett’s landscape will begin shortly, for completion next year. The dementia friendly elements of our garden will be subtle, but will have a massive impact on the way our dementia sufferers feel about our outdoor space. If you’re interested in which elements are specially developed, you’ll want to look for some of the following when you visit our new landscape;

The outdoor space will be an extension of the indoor space

For people struggling with dementia stark changes in scenery can be confusing and frightening. Our new garden will be complete with visual and physical access between the inside and outside, a transition between indoors and outdoors that is even under foot, an entrance to the home that is homelike and displays no confronting signage, and pathways that are consistent in colour. All of these elements should make the outdoor space easier to navigate and less confusing for those living with dementia.

Opportunities for walking

There’ll be a continuous looped path, with destination points but no sharp, sudden ends to pathways – as these may confuse or alarm dementia sufferers. The space will be long enough for meaningful exercise and therapeutic benefit, with lots of simple routes to take around the garden and many interesting journeys to have, offering a variety of different activities along the way. There’ll also be motion sensor lighting so that the garden is usable at nighttime.

A new chance for social interaction and engagement with the environment

The gardens will create a variety of new environments and give our residents places to socialise or rest within whatever their mood. There’ll be areas that catch the sun and parts of the garden that are set in the shade, raised flowerbeds to look at, sheds to explore and spaces for animals and children. The garden will be made up of large and small mixed spaces that allow for privacy, whilst also offering the ideal space for engagement with the surrounding community.

Sensory stimulation

The research behind sensory stimulation and dementia is vast. Those living with dementia are calmed and comforted by a range of sensory stimulants in the form of colours, smells and things to touch. Our new gardens will be bursting with flowers, colours, water and textures. There’ll be vegetable gardens and scented plants to stimulate memory. The gardens will be built to seasonal variation, so they’ll look, feel and smell different in the autumn than they do in the spring. The essential core elements will remain, but there’ll always be something new to look at and experience.

We already know that our new gardens are going to be an aspect of Bartlett’s we’ll be very proud of. There’s nothing like them in our local area within care home facilities, they’ll be beautiful, stimulating and easy to access. They’ll give our residents a sense of freedom and an opportunity for engagement with one another and with nature.  We hope they’ll become a favoured area of our care home and be a space where people want to relax and interact. We’d like them to host community and care home events, and witness many special occasions. We want them to provide joy, happiness and comfort to residents and visitors of Bartlett’s alike.

Our new garden will be complete in the spring. There’ll be more information and pictures on our garden transformation on our Twitter account, @PeverelCourt.

Bartletts, Future of Care, Property Development

Making lives better – The expansion of Bartlett’s Residential Care Home

Bartlett’s Residential Care Home has a great Care Quality Commission rating and gets wonderful reviews from current residents and their families, but we always feel there is work to do and room to improve. For a long time we have been talking about how we can add additional facilities for our residents to enjoy.

So we’ve decided it’s time we extended our premises, our capacity and our already excellent service by building an extension. This new part of our building will be specially designed to fit comfortably with the classic, traditional setting Bartlett’s sits within and will add 12 new bedrooms for new residents.

But it will give back to existing residents, too. We’ll be giving them three new communal rooms to utilise at their leisure – a cinema room and library, a private dining room and a brand new general communal room.

We had originally planned on building 14 additional bedrooms, but in the end we decided to forfeit two in favour of offering our current and new residents a much larger communal space. The private dining room will give residents a special place to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries with their family and friends, whilst enjoying bespoke, specially prepared food for the occasion.

Our cinema room and library will provide them with an additional space to socialise in and provide an added source of entertainment.  We decided that this type of room was the best use of our additional space after careful research revealed that libraries in care home can improve mood and memory, and that movies can improve quality of life for older people – especially those with dementia. Visiting the cinema is not something those who need care and support get to do very often, so we hope that this addition to our care home will significantly improve the happiness of our residents. We can use it to screen all sorts of entertainment, from current blockbuster hits to old classics.

Whilst we were working on the premises, we thought it would be worthwhile landscaping the garden in line with the wishes and wants of our residents, so we’ve been working on this at the same time. We asked the residents earlier this year what they would like to see in the Bartlett’s grounds, and we’ll be using some of those suggestions as we develop the garden. A large part of this work will involve moving the car park that some of our rooms overlook and changing this outside area into a much prettier view.

Overall our plans have one aim, to make the lives of the people we take care of better. We’re building something unique and special. We want our residents to thrive in the active, entertaining and homely community we’re building at Bartlett’s, a place where they can live comfortably and be taken care of, and have plenty to do and lots to look at. There’s plenty of work to be done over the next few months, but by this time next year our Bartlett’s community will be completely transformed for the better. We can’t wait to show you our new space, and we hope you are as excited about it as we are.

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