21 February 2019
Together Dementia Strategy – our 10 biggest achievements so far!
In September 2017, we launched our Together Dementia Strategy, a three-year strategy outlining the actions we will undertake to achieve our 2020 vision.
Our vision is ‘to be recognised as the leading provider of high-quality relationship-centred care for all residents’ and the strategy outlines 11 key outcomes to help our team members deliver outstanding dementia care, training and support.
The strategy was developed following extensive consultation with 100 residents, 75 relatives and 100 team members and has been supported by a £250,000 annual investment to identify the outcomes which would have the most positive effect on our communities. Every one of the outcomes puts relationship-centred care at the heart of everything we do.
Our care team have been hard at work implementing the actions into each of our 18 care homes and we have already seen some fantastic results. Once they have achieved the outcomes, the homes will be presented with the Hallmark Care Homes ORCHID award. ORCHID stands for ‘Outstanding Relationship-Centred Home in Dementia.’ We’re very proud of the team at our ‘Outstanding’ care home, Bucklesham Grange in Ipswich, who have achieved all 11 outcomes and will be presented with their award in March.
Below is a summary of our 10 biggest achievements so far, and we welcome your ideas and support in taking our strategy to the next level.
1: One of the outcomes of the Together Dementia Strategy is to ensure that all team members are supported to implement the strategy with strong leadership to help translate ideas into action. One year down the line, 56% of our homes have already met two or more of the objectives of the strategy with the support of their senior teams and heads of departments.
The Together Dementia Strategy seeks to ensure that team members are supported to achieve the 2020 vision under the leadership of passionate General Managers and a Dementia Care Co-ordinator in our larger homes. At this moment in time, 77% of our homes have a Dementia Care Co-ordinator in post. The Dementia Care Co-ordinators role is to lead the home to implement the outcomes within the strategy in a way that’s meaningful for the residents, families and team at their individual homes; one size doesn’t fit all!
2: One of our 10 biggest achievements as a business has been changing the recruitment process to enable us to recruit team members based on their relationship centred attributes. To support this, we have developed a dementia questionnaire and several scenarios which are now part of the interview process for all care home-based employees.
This questionnaire includes 19 statements relating to people living with dementia and their families and helps us to understand the candidate’s attitudes towards people living with dementia.
3: We have developed an in-house ‘Living Positively with Dementia’ training session for all team members, regardless of role. This one-day course led by our internal trainer enables team members to understand how to positively impact the lives of those living with dementia and we are aiming to have 85% of our team trained by 2020. Currently, the number of trained team members stands at 84%, taking us one step closer to achieving our vision and making this one of our biggest achievements to date.
4: Outcome four of our Together Dementia Strategy is that team members are enabled to transfer learning into relationship-centred care. This is being supported by the introduction of the FITS (Focused Intervention Training and Support) into Practice – Developing Dementia Specialist Care Homes. This training programme was developed by the Association for Dementia Studies at Worcester University and commissioned by the Alzheimer’s Society. FITS uses resources which are evidence based to support practice in a very hands-on way. Team members from every home are represented on the programme.
5: We are keen to explore a variety of methods of supporting people living with dementia, and four homes are currently piloting and evaluating the Montessori Approach to dementia care. The Montessori Approach is a model of care, which focuses on supporting the person living with dementia through the creation of enabling environments. The approach focuses not on what the person cannot do, but rather what they can, and introduces activities that provide meaningful occupation, interest and fun!
6: We have formally introduced our homes to The Herbert Protocol, a scheme that was launched across police forces in England and Wales in 2016 to bring a consistent approach and process that can be used in the event of a resident living with dementia going missing from a care home. Since launching the Together Dementia Strategy, 82% of our homes have introduced the Herbert Protocol which means that we and the police can act quickly to ensure the safety of the residents. Outcome six of our strategy focuses on helping to reduce the challenges of transition for people living with dementia. To help us do this, we’ve drawn on support from the local community, and The Herbert Protocol is a great example of working in partnership with other services.
7: One of our greatest achievements to date is the introduction of the Thomas Tool. The Thomas Tool, created by Kirsty Thomas, Lifestyles Team Leader at Bucklesham Grange, our care home in Ipswich identifies residents at risk of social isolation, assesses their level of risk and then considers how to support each individual through activity in a way that’s right for them. The Thomas Tool has been implemented in 85% of our homes so far, with plans to roll out to our remaining homes in 2019.
8: Over the past year, we have implemented a company-wide intergenerational programme, which involves inviting children into the homes to interact with the residents in a variety of ways. Since its introduction, our homes have worked hard to create strong ties with local schools, nurseries and colleges and many now include this as a regular feature in their activities calendars.
9: As a next step, in September 2018 we joined forces with the Together Project. The Together Project is a not-for-profit social enterprise that runs creative activities to unite different groups and tackle loneliness. Through its weekly Songs and Smiles sessions, residents are encouraged to sing and socialise with 0-4-year olds and their parents from the local community. The project has so far launched at Lakeview, our care home in Lightwater and Bucklesham Grange, our care home in Ipswich with a gradual roll-out plan scheduled to take place this year.
Watch a video about our partnership with The Together Project below.
10: Having a loved one move into a care home environment can present challenges for families and friends. In order to support families through change and to maintain relationships, all Hallmark care homes have pledged their support for John’s campaign and recognise everyone who is important to a person living with dementia as partners in their care.
To find out more about our Dementia Strategy and how you can work with us to deliver outstanding dementia care to the residents read the abridged version of our Together Dementia Strategy and watch our video below.
Click here to find your nearest Hallmark care home.