Welcome to 2019 - New blog by Mike Lakins

With the Christmas holiday season over for another year, my thoughts focus around up and coming events for 2019 at the Springhill Care Group.

There are lots of exciting training opportunities scheduled to take place this year, in addition to the mandatory training conducted annually.

Learning and Development coordinators are always busy identifying new courses and carefully considering the methods used to train those courses, to ensure that as a function, we offer the very latest training opportunities delivered in the most appropriate way, to our workforce. 

We welcome your suggestions and we are happy to discuss any future training opportunities with you.

Developing new methods for the delivery of training is also essential; to seek out and encourage the potential in everyone - new innovative ways of working are crucial.

Later this month we will be piloting the Virtual Training Room (VTR) which aims to deliver training from a central point and cascade it to a number of trainees via video link. I am looking forward to accessing the VTR and providing an update.

E-learning is another concept for the delivery of training and whilst not my preferred method of training style, I think ‘blended learning,’ a mixture of both e-learning and face to face, is probably a good compromise. I think it gives the participant chance to answer questions on their own and then explore their own understanding with the trainer.

2019 will see the introduction of the Nurse Apprenticeship at University of Central Lancashire and this is an exciting prospect. I am looking forward to building on our current collaboration with UCLan and developing our own business further by putting our people and their individual needs first.

Work continues on our academy and this is also due to be rolled out in the first quarter of next year. The planning and development stages are always the longest parts of any new venture.

In all, it’s a year of new opportunities, putting our people and their individual needs first, developing NS building upon, an already resilient workforce and creating a learning environment that will be unrivalled in this sector.


by Mike Lakins

Head of Learning and Development




Variety is the spice of training

In previous blogs I have discussed the importance of mandatory training underpinning daily practice; this month I would like to have a look at the other courses that we offer across the Group.

Positive holding has been a successful course that we have offered for a number of months now; it equips staff with the relevant skills to support some of our residents – this course is popular and the feedback received is good.

Our Admiral Nurse, Jakki Whitehead from Riversway, Bristol is also supporting us in developing staff by providing a deeper understanding of dementia. This has been rolled out in Riversway and Birch Green already and Springhill has a number of staff who following training with Jakki will be dedicated Dementia Champions. 

Medication training is ongoing across at three sites for all our medication administrators, we are working hard to consolidate the policies and procedures.

We have seen a lot of clinical training rolled out across the Group recently from venepuncture to catheter care to sepsis awareness to wound management – it is vital that our nurses remain skilled and employ up to date techniques; we recognise the need for ongoing clinical training and are keen to source the very best quality training available.

Oomph is a great initiative that is sweeping the 3 sites and this is proving to be very successful. It’s an activity based approach which is person centred and involves not only the activity team but the wider staff team too – the staff are fully engaged and ‘on-board’ recognising the value this brings to the organisation and more importantly the residents we are supporting.

As a learning and development function, the coordinators and I are passionate to bring new training opportunities to the organisation. Mandatory and clinical training must always take priority but we are always happy to discuss all aspects of training, funding dependent. We recognise the importance of supporting staff to achieve their aspirations and we continue to seek out and encourage the potential in everyone through appropriate learning channels. 




by Mike Lakins

Head of Learning and Development 



The Springhill Care Admiral Nurse Service Evaluation Report - Blog (Part two) by Jakki Whitehead

The Details


In this second blog about the Admiral Nurse Service Evaluation Report I will look more closely at the details such as demographics within my caseload from Jan 2017 - April 2018.

34 residents and 55 relatives were on my caseload during this time.


Residents were mainly women: 20 women and 14 men                                                      

Age range: was mainly 85-94                                                                                                      

Ethnicity: was mainly White British (33) Black British (1) 

31 residents had their family involved.

Family members were mainly female: 34 females and 21 males, with sons and daughters being the major type of relatives with whom I worked.                                   

Families needed support for: adjusting and understanding the relative's dementia and/or changes in their behaviour; End of Life support; understanding the continuing health care funding system etc.


Diagnosis: Vascular dementia and non-specific dementia were the most common diagnosis and all 34 residents had other medical conditions present (co-morbidities) as well as other existing factors such as mobility issues; reduced ability to communicate or delirium.                                                   


The top three reasons for the involvement of an Admiral Nurse were:

  • Distressed reaction - referring to a range of behaviour that may be complex for the carers to address including aggressive behaviour; refusal of personal care; reduced social inhibitions
  • Mental health needs
  • Co-morbidities - such as cardiovascular problems, neurodegenerative diseases or diabetes

All of the residents on my caseload had been diagnosed with co-morbidities and also a number of additional co-existing factors, the full statistics are available in the report (below). It is the presence of both of these which are known to increase complexity in the clinical presentation of a person with dementia.


Care Fit For VIPS Audit (see previous blog)

3 audits have been completed during this time. The baseline audit (done in April 2017) showed that the home was already largely providing good care although there were areas that required improvement to bring the practice to a higher level. The latest review (April 2018) shows how the practice has shifted in the home with more statements with which we strongly agreed and less statements with which we disagreed. An action plan has been drawn up on the basis of the last review to support continuous improvement.

It has been hard work collecting all of the data and producing this report but it has been an enjoyable 18 months working as an Admiral Nurse at Riversway Nursing Home and I think the report illustrates the fruits of our labours very well


by Jakki Whitehead, Admiral Nurse


The Springhill Care Admiral Nurse Service Evaluation report 




















Positive Leadership Behaviours - Blog by Virginia Perkins

Throughout my career it has been key to understand that positive leadership behaviours are crucial to the success of any organisation, as not only do these behaviours shape the culture of the business but they are crucial to creating the conditions for success.


Leaders that embrace and promote the values of a business, understand and make objectives clear,together with creating transparency and trust, are more successful than those leaders who do not do this.  A leaders attitude and approach to leading people can be the difference to making or breaking a team which consequently can be detrimental to the overall business and staff retention


In order to create a transparent approach to the organisation’s leadership behaviours, Springhill Care Group actively promotes the leadership and management standard.  This standard clearly articulates the expectations of leadership behaviours and acts as a guide to all employees with a supervisory responsibility in terms of how they should behaveand present themselves.


At Springhill Care we consistently coach our leaders to inspire people and to be a role model that encourages people around them to improve.  We expect our leaders to lead by example and be trusted by people in the company because they display the core values, are approachable and possess exceptional communication skills.   Our leaders embrace change and view this as ‘business as usual’ where mistakes are accepted and valued, as an opportunity for learning and improvement. We encourage our leaders to give and seek meaningful and constructive feedback whereby our workforce feel valued for their performance, and expect leaders to feel confident challenging something that is far from aligned with our vision, mission and values.


As part of our management development programme, we continue to coach our senior leadership team and frontline leaders around the seven key areas of what we have identified as contributing to a high performing care business.  We consistently strive to lead the way to achieve our vision of becoming an employer and service provider of choice, and this has to start with leadership behaviours to motivate and develop the workforce.  


A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.



by Virginia Perkins 

Associate Director of People and Orginisational Development 




It’s good to reflect - Blog by Mike Lakins

Reflecting back over the past few months it’s incredible to think of the number of links we have forged, in relation to learning and development, and how we have raised our company profile within the community in which we serve.


Only last week I was advised by a new member of staff that one of the deciding factors for applying to work at Springhill Care were the opportunities we have on offer to further their career, in addition to the usual Level 2 and level 3 qualifications in health and social care, which is surely an accolade to the work and commitment that goes into making our business so successful.


Our links with Accrington and Rossendale College ensuring that our staff are supported to achieve their career aspirations, networking has been successfully achieved with Chesterfield College which have equipped our frontline leaders with essential team leading qualities to take the business forward.


We have a strong partnership with the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) which is valuable in every aspect of succession planning here at the Springhill Care Group; they are taking a percentage of dedicated staff through the Assistant Practitioner Apprenticeship which is fundamental in supporting our business, not only in the practical sense but in developing and improving our staff competencies through training and mentoring.


Further links have been created locally in Accrington with Cramond House Dental Practice in Clitheroe, Samantha Hedley Barrett dental hygienist there has developed a robust training package around oral hygiene, this is something that is imperative within the care sector and can have a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of the people we support.


As with all our business links this is an ongoing opportunity for us to access training that enables us to build on our current practices. Links are in place with Riversway in Bristol and Birch Green in Skelmersdale to replicate this training with local dental providers and University of West England.


Lianna Champ from Champ Funeral Homes was also invited into Springhill Accrington to provide an insight in to grieving and coping with loss again this was another example of some excellent training and information sharing which enables our staff to build on their current practice.


All the networking opportunities we have seized provides a good foundation on which to build, we are certainly not complacent as an organisation, but are committed to continually improving and understand the importance of seeking out and developing new partnerships and nurturing the ones we have already established.   


It’s good to reflect as it is clear that Springhill Care Group offers many exciting initiatives and ongoing opportunities for staff development; we are committed to continually looking at innovative ways of working, taking our business to the next level of excellence. 


By Mike Lakins

Head of Learning & Development 




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