More than 60 registered general and mental health nurses employed by family-owned Colten Care discussed topics they themselves had put forward for the agenda.
Represented were all 20 of the provider’s homes in Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire and Sussex, including its five dedicated dementia care settings.
The conference, at AFC Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium, was designed to celebrate nursing and consolidate professional development and learning through presentations and clinical workshops.
Leading the day were Clinical Managers Lindsay Rees and Lisa Barnes-Metcalf.
Lindsay said: “This was a chance to restate our commitment to invest in nursing despite the recruitment challenges facing the whole healthcare sector.
“It showed that we really do value the contribution that our nurses make and we understand the clinically challenging situations they deal with each day.
“Care homes are not some kind of ‘back water’ where you go to wind down to retirement.
“Rather, they are settings where you absolutely need your clinical wits about you.
“You will routinely be making sound clinical judgements in the absence of a doctor being immediately available.”
Agenda topics requested by the nurses centred on an improved understanding of clinical governance, the importance of record keeping and medication administration.
Among the external speakers were representatives of the West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group while delegates had the chance to view trade stands from local and national care home suppliers.
Elaine Farrer, Colten Care’s Operations Director, said: “Investing in our nurses has helped us to achieve our first ‘outstanding’ ratings from CQC and consistently high scores on the independent review site Carehome.co.uk. We will continue to stage team conferences on our good-to-greater journey in residents’ care. Days like this really set us apart from other care home providers in showing our commitment to nursing care through the delivery of clinical excellence.”
In a feedback survey, 99% of respondents said the conference had exceeded their expectations and 96% said the topics discussed were “interesting, helpful and relevant”.