Team members at Canford Chase in Poole took part in a year-long programme run by the Point of Care Foundation, an independent charity, called ‘Living Well to the Very End’.
Despite already offering highly regarded care, staff at the home had said they wanted to do more to support families in the early stages of bereavement.
Canford Chase, run by family-owned Colten Care, was the only non-NHS setting to complete the programme which culminated in an awards ceremony in London.
The home won the gong for ‘Best Application of Methodology’, recognising how well coaching, mentoring, webinars and interactive team exercises have informed the approach to bereavement support.
Specific actions include reflective practice, shadowing and observation of colleagues, more practical support for visiting families, and a remembrance day.
Among those involved in the programme were Theresa Sales, Clinical Lead, Charlotte Wilson, Home Manager, and Karen Wadey, Senior Care Lead.
Working in partnership with Canford Chase during the programme was Dr Saskie Dorman, Consultant in Palliative Medicine at Forest Holme Hospice, part of Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
Saskie said: “We met regularly throughout the project to focus on progress being made and reflect on the experience of residents who had died or who were receiving care towards the end of their life, and that of their families.”
Charlotte added: “We really hope to build on this achievement and continue working with Saskie to improve the service we offer but also perhaps focus on the relationship in general between the NHS and care homes at the point of end of life.”
In a letter to Canford Chase in February 2018, one daughter of a resident wrote: “Thank you all for looking after and caring for my mother. You all treated her with such compassion and respect. She was very happy at Canford and, likewise, we were very happy she was receiving such superb care.”
Writing on the Carehome.co.uk review site, another relative wrote: “This was a very difficult time for the family as my mother was at the end of her life. From day one all the care she received was exceptional from all staff we encountered. Her care plan was developed to meet her changing needs and ours. Staff clearly enjoyed their work and showed integrity, care for our family and true professionalism. I would have no hesitation recommending Canford Chase, the standard of care is truly excellent.”