Care home reaches the gold standard

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A Skelmersdale care home has scooped a national award in recognition of the quality of its services in end of life care.

Birch Green Care Home, part of the Springhill Care Group, has been awarded the Gold Standards Framework (GSF), a systematic evidence based approach focusing on the care for people nearing the end of their lives.

The Birch Green Care Home end of life team comprises of lead clinician Jean Ali, Head of Communications Jenny Green, Family Support lead Emma Nelson, Lifestyle Support Team Leader Karen House and General Manager Catherine Shawarby.

Catherine Shawarby said: “This is a great team effort from everyone at Birch Green and is just reward for a lot of hard work. We are continually looking at ways to improve and our commitment to best practice doesn’t stop here.

“We want to ensure that all of our people and their families benefit from the skills and experience we have put together in our team at Birch Green.”

GSF aims to improve the quality, co-ordination and organisation of care in primary care, care homes and acute hospitals. This aims to ensure people receive the type of care they want, in their preferred place, with greater cost efficiency through reduced hospital time.

Birch Green provides a range of services for adults and older people with a range of needs including nursing, residential and respite care, and specialist care for people with dementia or complex healthcare requirements.


Medical Students Learn from Riversway Nursing Home

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A group of Bristol medical students received a masterclass on communicating with people with dementia thanks to Riversway Nursing Home.

Jan Wilkins, General Manager at Riversway, pictured, was invited to address a group of first year students keen to learn about dementia care.

The occasion was a success, so Jan was recently invited to speak to a second group thanks to Wellspring Surgery, the GP practice which attends to the Nursing Home’s residents.

Following the presentation, focused on communicating with people with dementia, the students spent time with a dementia massage expert at the home, seeing her at work.

Jan said: “It was a real pleasure to be invited to speak to a group of students again.

“An occasion like this is often the first time that students will come into contact with a care environment and it was great to be able to introduce them to Riversway.

“It can be difficult for a person with dementia to communicate properly. We regularly invite a massage expert to the home who can interact with residents and perhaps help them to relax a little and by doing so improve communication.

“It is always fascinating to see her work, and I’m sure the students learnt as much as the staff do.”


Award shortlist for Springhill group

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Springhill Care Group has been shortlisted for a total of four categories in one of the region’s best known business awards.


The Red Rose Awards are designed to celebrate Lancashire business, commerce and industry, and features 21 awards up for grabs in various sectors and business sizes.


After two days of judging featuring more than 200 candidates and 30 expert judges, Springhill Care Group has been shortlisted in three categories, and Springhill’s supported living service, Affinity, in a further category.


Springhill has been shortlisted in the Carer Friendly, Commitment to Skills and Large Business categories, and Affinity in the Not for Profit category.


The judges were impressed with the standard of entry. Ruth Connor, Marketing Lancashire, said: “I was impressed with the passion and ambition of the entrants in wanting to be a recognised Lancashire business success.”


Donna Briggs, Managing Director of Springhill Care Group, said: “Everyone at Springhill Care Group has worked so hard to make the business the success it is, and I’d like to thank them all for their commitment.

“To be shortlisted for just one award is an honour, but to be recognised in four categories is something we never expected.”


This year the winners will be announced on Thursday, March 14 in the Empress Ballroom at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens.



Birch Green leads the way

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Staff from Birch Green Care Home in Skelmersdale – including General Manager Catherine Shawarby – have recently attended specialist training courses to ensure they maintain the highest quality of care.

Catherine took part in the recent Palliative and End of Life Care Visioning Project, held at Lancashire Football Association in Leyland.

The course was open to those involved in palliative care – a specialist area of caring which focuses on a multi-disciplinary approach to relieving and preventing suffering.

The course looked at industry best practice, needs of sufferers and how best to change services for the future.

Meanwhile, the lifestyle support team at Birch Green attended a series of workshops held at the Museum of Liverpool’s House of Memories.

The training programme, which included 200 social care professionals, is designed to demonstrate how a museum or other community facility can provide the care sector with practical skills and knowledge.

It provides care staff with skills and resources to assist their practice and support of people with dementia.

Catherine Shawarby, General Manager of Birch Green, said: “At Birch Green we are proud of our staff and the quality of the care they provide, but we can never rest on our laurels.

“It is important to keep up-to-date with the latest developments in care, and both the palliative care event and the House of Memories in Liverpool have been invaluable.

“Our staff can rightly claim to be at the forefront of care in the region, and we’re all looking forward to sharing what we have learnt and putting it into practice.”

For further infomation and downloads click on the House of Memories logo  to be re-directed to the education and communities page featured on the Liverpool Museums website that features 'The House of Memories'.


Our Chairman Ken Nolan named among top care industry leaders

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Ken Nolan, chairman of Accrington’s Springhill Care Group, has been named one of the top care professionals in the UK.

Ken, founder of the award-winning Group, which operates three care homes in Lancashire and Bristol along with a supported living service, was shortlisted for the 2012 UK Social Care Top 30, run in conjunction with industry magazine Care Talk.

The top 30 list, designed to showcase ‘real leadership and excellence’ in the sector, included representatives from across the industry.

Ken is also chair of the Lancashire Care Association and a founding member of the Social Care Partnership in Lancashire.

He was shortlisted alongside major names in the national care industry including the chief executives of the Care Quality Commission and English Community Care Association.

The winner was chosen at an event in London hosted by the BBC’s Jeremy Vine and attended by hundreds of people.

Ken said: “I was surprised and flattered to be shortlisted for the top 30 award, particularly as I was nominated by colleagues and the shortlist was decided by our peers in the care sector.

“I am privileged to work alongside such exceptional people at Springhill, who consistently go the extra mile to ensure the best possible care and quality of life for those we support.”

 The overall winner was Jane Ashcroft, chief executive of national care organisation Anchor Trust.


Awards & Accreditations





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