National social care charity Community Integrated Care celebrated a major refurbishment of its St Luke’s Care Home in Runcorn, part of a pioneering partnership with Halton NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Halton Borough Council, on Friday 19th June.
St Luke’s is a specialist dementia care home in Palacefields, Runcorn, which supports 60 people with dementia. Just two years ago, the home was at real risk of closure – with it needing modernisation and facing major occupancy issues.
Instead, the provider of the home, Community Integrated Care – came together with Halton CCG and Halton Borough Council, to not just save it but to make it one of Britain’s best care homes. Together they have transformed the environment at the home and introduced a specialist approach to care, which has been recognised at the National Care Awards and Great British Care Awards.
St Luke’s has a unique approach to care, which has been described by esteemed care sector publication, Journal of Dementia Care as “the vanguard of best-practice in dementia care”. The approach sees Community Integrated Care’s specially trained support staff work side-by-side with clinical specialists from the local NHS every day – including GP’s and the local mental health team. By having this clinical input in St Luke’s, residents are supported to stay in the home through challenges with their health, avoiding the need for hospital admissions.
This innovative integrated approach keeps local people who live with dementia enjoy happier, healthier and more independent lives. As a result, the home now supports people with the most complex and advanced dementia needs in Halton. It has also reduced demand on local health services and hospitals – helping the local NHS to use its resources more effectively.
The celebration event marked a major refurbishment of much of the home, which was funded by the CCG and council securing a £100,000 grant, as well as a £150,000 investment by the charity. The refurbishment has created a more comfortable, dementia-friendly environment. It includes unique areas for residents and their loved ones to relax in and enjoy – including a pub, cinema, seaside area, 1950’s kitchen and indoor gardens. These areas will support the stimulation, reminiscence and relaxation of residents.
The refurbishment was officially declared open by Neil Matthewman, Chief Executive of Community Integrated Care; Dr Cliff Richards, Chair of Halton CCG; and Cllr Ellen Cargill, Mayor of Halton. They were joined by Mark Ivory, Editor of the Journal of Dementia Care – the social care sector’s most esteemed dementia publication.
The celebration event took place on National Care Home Open Day – a national celebration of the best of UK care, which aims to create lasting bonds between care homes and their local communities. It also featured on ITV Granada Reports.
Cath Murray-Howard, Deputy Chief Executive of Community Integrated Care, led the project for the charity. She says, “St Luke’s is a model for modern dementia care. By working closely with Halton CCG and Halton Borough Council, we have been able to create an innovative approach that ensures that people receive all the support they need in a comfortable and caring home, rather than the unfamiliar surroundings of hospitals. This has not only changed the lives of residents, but made a significant impact on the local community as a whole.”
Sue Ashcroft, Home Manager of St Luke’s says, “For two years, we have been working hard to transform St Luke’s into a genuine centre of excellence for dementia care. My team are always focussed on promoting the dignity, independence and wellbeing of residents, and by working closely with local clinical professionals they have been able to make an even greater difference. This new refurbishment will transform our home, making it a more fun and comfortable place to live, and I am excited for our residents to enjoy it.”
Dave Sweeney, Director of Transformation for Halton CCG and Halton Local Authority, says: “NHS Halton Clinical Commissioning Group and Halton Local Authority provide an integrated approach to health and social care, pooling £42m of funding and working as one team. This has reduced the need for bureaucratic discussions, allowing us to have one conversation, one offer and one plan. This approach has supported St Lukes, providing them with clear support and the resources they need to provide excellent care. In turn, the team at St Luke’s have worked really hard to improve their service.”
He continues, “The regional and national interest in St Luke’s is easy to understand, as it looks fantastic and its colleagues are dedicated to its residents. Dementia is a very complex condition and an area where we need compassion, quality and consistent care; St Lukes and Community Integrated Care are leading by example with their ambitious approach.”