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‘The real ethos here is it’s a home’ - Care home manager on turnaround from inadequate to good

PUBLISHED: 17:03 20 November 2018 | UPDATED: 15:44 21 November 2018

Ailwyn Hall care home has been rated good by the CQC when it was previously inadequate From left to right, William Creed, George Joseph, Dinah Symonds, Greg Drew, Hayley Hirst, Kirsty McKail, Janusw Gwara, Pam Mitchell, Mabel Rose, Lucie Calcutt, and Muriel Tooke. Photo: Geraldine Scott

Ailwyn Hall care home has been rated good by the CQC when it was previously inadequate From left to right, William Creed, George Joseph, Dinah Symonds, Greg Drew, Hayley Hirst, Kirsty McKail, Janusw Gwara, Pam Mitchell, Mabel Rose, Lucie Calcutt, and Muriel Tooke. Photo: Geraldine Scott

Geraldine Scott

Bringing staff together was key in a care home turnaround which saw inspectors upgrade its rating from inadequate to good.

Ailwyn Hall, in Berry’s Lane, Honingham was placed in special measures in February last year when the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found a string of failings.

These included there not being enough staff on shift, a lack of first aid training, and residents at risk of malnutrition not being checked often enough.

At the time the CQC banned the home from taking any new residents while problems were fixed.

But determined bosses have now got cause to celebrate as inspectors returned in September and branded the home good in a recently released report.

Ailwyn Hall care home has been rated good by the CQC when it was previously inadequate. Manager Lucie Calcutt speaks with resident Muriel Tooke. Photo: Geraldine ScottAilwyn Hall care home has been rated good by the CQC when it was previously inadequate. Manager Lucie Calcutt speaks with resident Muriel Tooke. Photo: Geraldine Scott

Lucie Calcutt, Ailwyn Hall manager, said: “I think really the biggest thing was bringing the team together. We had a team of people who have worked hard but we’ve imporved our training and we’ve worked very hard with a training company.”

Ms Calcutt said after the inadequate rating some staff did leave but that those who stayed, plus new hires, were keen to up their skills.

“We’ve also had really good relationships with our families,” she said. “And we’ve given residents the opportunity of a support group, it’s run by a volunteer and it’s so residents have a place where they can speak openly.”

The latest CQC report found there had been “significant improvement” at the 39-bed care home, which houses people with dementia.

Ailwyn Hall care home has been rated good by the CQC when it was previously inadequate From left to right, Lucie Calcutt,William Creed, George Joseph, Dinah Symonds, Greg Drew, Hayley Hirst, Kirsty McKail, Janusw Gwara, Pam Mitchell, Mabel Rose, and Muriel Tooke. Photo: Geraldine ScottAilwyn Hall care home has been rated good by the CQC when it was previously inadequate From left to right, Lucie Calcutt,William Creed, George Joseph, Dinah Symonds, Greg Drew, Hayley Hirst, Kirsty McKail, Janusw Gwara, Pam Mitchell, Mabel Rose, and Muriel Tooke. Photo: Geraldine Scott

Inspectors said staff were “kind, caring, and compassionate”. They found Ms Calcutt “had instilled an open culture within the home where people were treated as individuals and were valued” and added she was “keen to continually improve the quality of care people received”.

Ms Calcutt said: “The real ethos here is this is a home environment. It’s a very happy home and residents here do have dementia so no day is the same.

“We do lots of singing with the residents and music and movement, it’s a homely feel here.

“I’m very proud, everybody’s hard work has been recognised and I’m determined to keep the momentum going. It’s an awful place to be in special measures, it does hit people hard, it’s not a place I would ever want to be.”

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