Celebration time again! - Blog by Jakki Whitehead

We have just completed the Dementia Champion training at Springhill Care home,  looking at the Bio-Psycho-Social model; Dementia, Depression and Delirium - the differences;  good communication; the importance of families and also meaningful activity for our residents amongst other topics.

The term Springhill Dementia Champions is well deserved as they have had a lot of obstacles to overcome in getting their badges due to unplanned events; however five carers: Janet Cornthwaite, Justyna Majcher, Denise Walkden, Julie Stevenson and Donna Greenhalgh have managed to achieve this accolade.

The Dementia Champions had to present a case study to Directors; managers and trainers with the home.

These presentations should not be under-estimated; a huge amount of planning, writing and practise goes into them. Permission to work with the resident and family is sought and then the Dementia Champion has to identify and explain how the Life story of the resident; the families; the process of either dementia care, or in one case mental illness; and the social care environment come together to make up the resident for whom they care.

The presentations went remarkably well, the case studies were extremely moving and highlighted the amount of compassion and empathy with which Donna, Julie, Denise, Janet and Justyna work.

Donna Briggs, managing director, spoke of the ‘moving and excellent care’ which the presentations captured.

Bernadette Bennett, deputy manager, agreed that the ‘excellence of good dementia care in practice at Springhill’ was shown and said that the presentations ‘really allow you to see the whole person’. 

Curtis Bennett, general manager, said that he was proud of all of his staff.

I was also very proud as I knew to what extent the new Dementia Champions had had to work to achieve this standard. So I was very pleased to see Donna Briggs present the certificates and badges to the Dementia Champions to recognise this excellent work.



I have heard that they are wearing them with pride.



Jakki Whitehead

Admiral Nurse



Transformational journey- Blog by Virginia Perkins

We are delighted, extremely excited and proud to announce that Springhill Care Group has achieved their strategic goal of being recognised by Investors in People as a ‘PLATINUM’ organisation.

We are overjoyed by this latest achievement. This award is testament to all of the hard work undertaken by the Investors in People Steering Group, the leadership team and the wider workforce.

We have been on a transformational journey over the course of the past few years in a bid to strengthen our performance to achieve a position where we are now viewed as a high performing care group.

By consistently driving continuous improvement not only through our internal performance management system and organisational development model, but also embracing innovative practices for example, the Teaching Care Home programme and Admiral Nursing programme, we have embedded and continue to build a transformational culture.

We are now officially recognised as a high performing organisation because we have adopted high performance working practices and continue to develop high performance teams. Our leadership standard with stretching competencies is clearly aligned to the company values and desired behaviours which has equipped leaders with the skills necessary to build workforce capability to create a high performance organisational culture.

Our results have indicated that Springhill Care Group as part of the Investors In People on line assessment process exceeded both the Investors In People average and care sector benchmarks, again another huge success.

This achievement demonstrates we really do care and invest in our workforce and recognise that without our people being developed, engaged and supported we cannot achieve our vision of becoming an employer and service provider of choice in the communities which we serve.

Congratulations to team Springhill.


Virginia Perkins

Associate Director of People and Organisational Development



Team work - Blog by Mike Lakins

This month I would like to look at the importance of team working and what better way than by looking at our newest accolade and success, Investors in People Platinum status.


This great achievement was gained by positively engaging with each other and being committed in our desire to reach our ultimate goal. Everyone within the Springhill Care Group has had a part to play in this success.


So what does team work mean to us at the Springhill Care Group?


Well it’s a way of working and it’s something that we do particularly well – we constantly strive for results and outcomes and we succeed because we are all eager to drive the business forward, to develop not only our practices collectively across the Group, but to excel in everything we do; we are passionate and ultimately believe in the company’s Vision, Mission and Values.


If we reflect back over the past few months, we have achieved a tremendous amount and without team work across the Group, this would not have been possible. I’d like to look at a couple of achievements in addition to Investors in People, Platinum status.


We were successful in reaching the Finals of The British Care Awards and our nominated colleagues who were from across the Group, were supported on the night by the entire Board. It was a fantastic achievement and without team work this would not have been possible.


Our recent success in securing a place on the Teaching Care Homes Programme, a prestigious programme based on working collaboratively for shared outcomes, was massive. We were able to showcase our award winning organisation during the selection process, supported on the day by all the Board members and I believe our team working culture, contributed to the positive results we wanted.


As we can see from the examples above, teamwork flows from the top down; we all recognise the importance of working together; everything that is achieved is always as a result of successfully engaging our colleagues and stakeholders.


On our journey forward we must continue to support each other and remember that teamwork is crucial in maintaining our place as market leaders in the care sector.


by Mike Lakins

Head of Learning and Development



Health and Wellbeing - HR Blog by Virginia Perkins

Health and wellbeing is becoming more and more important in the world we live in today.  We receive so much advice from a variety of mediums on the way we should take care of ourselves and generally how we should look after each other in a variety of ways including emotionally, physically and mentally.


Good health is about the mind as well as the body and staying in good health is important to all of us, but is particularly more important in later years.


As an employer we are keen to continue improving and providing support to our workforce to ensure our health and wellbeing programme benefits all of our employees health. Due to our approach in promoting healthier eating and exercise amongst our staff teams together with health check days, we can help to minimise the risk of health concerns.


Many of you will know that addressing mental health has been high on the agenda for Public Health England who have been running a campaign designed to help people assess their own mental wellbeing and learn techniques to reduce stress and improve their emotional resilience.


The leadership team recently received valuable training on increasing their mental resilience with a view to sharing their techniques with their wider staff teams. With this in mind we are looking to develop mental health champions in the future to help address some of the issues experienced by individuals, so if you are interested and would like to help your colleagues, please contact a member of the Human Resources team for further information.


Our ethos on health and wellbeing is clear, by simply promoting good health among workers through our various initiatives, we can create a more positive environment for work; increase morale; increase performance and increase employee engagement.


For more information on our health and wellbeing benefits, please refer to the staff notice boards or contact a member of the Human Resources team.


Virginia Perkins

Associate Director of People and Organisational Development



Level 2 Dementia Care Training - Blog by Jakkli Whitehead

In March 2019 Riversway held a Raising Dementia Care Awareness Month which focussed on giving Level 2 Training to Managers, nurses and other senior leaders within the home.


Eight nurses completed the Level 2 Dementia Care Training at Riversway, this consists of 14 hours CPD training and training in

  • Understanding the role of the Dementia Champion and supporting them in their role
  • What is Dementia? Numbers and Statistics
  • Different types of dementia and their presentations
  • Overview of the Bio-Psycho-Social model and how it has developed
  • Importance of an Early Diagnosis
  • Delirium, Dementia or Depression
  • Pain and Pain tools
  • Medication and poly-pharmacy
  • Legislation and other drivers
  • Complexity in Dementia Care
  • Bio-Psycho-Social model - Kitwood
  • Importance of good communication
  • Meaning of Distressed Reaction and treatment strategies
  • Person centred care and Relationship centred - the difference
  • The importance of the Family
  • Sexuality
  • Meaningful Activity
  • Life History and Life Stories development of This is Me and the Golden Ticket
  • Physical activity


Eleven out of fifteen identified leaders have completed day 1 and, as mentioned, eight nurse have completed the whole training.


I very much enjoyed the whole process and was so impressed with the amount of commitment, engagement and enjoyment which the nurses seemed to get out of the whole experience.


So far all nurses have attended, some of whom see each other very little. They benefited tremendously from sharing experiences and we spoke of shared residents and the intricacies of meeting their needs.


One resident’s dementia presentation in particular is causing concern and so 5 nurses, who know him well, and I discussed his presentation in the light of Kitwood’s Enriched Dementia Care Model


Dementia = neurological impairment + health + biography+ personality+ social care environment


and drew together a formulation with which we could work, identifying that most of his behaviour seems to come from feeling threatened and the need for safety. All nurses felt that they could improve his experience of care.


In the Meaningful Activity training Marilisa and I presented the renewed training and spoke in detail about the need to write the golden tickets from Oomph both to have a chance to win £150 but also to highlight that some very special care goes on with Riversway.


There are 4 people to do the whole training and managers to do day 2 and Meaningful Activity. I am thoroughly impressed with how well this training has been accepted and have already seen results with the support service lead telling me that a night nurse had picked up a shift in dementia care area quite willingly (as opposed to being rather reluctant before!)


I thought that this model of training nurses is very validating and productive and they responded remarkably well to it.


More level 2 sessions will come in May along with another training session of Riversway Dementia Champions.





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