Birch Green Care Home links up with surgery

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Birch Green Care Home in Skelmersdale has committed to a new collaborative working scheme with a local GP surgery to enhance the services it offers.


The scheme means that residents at Birch Green receive regular visits from nurses and doctors as part of the enhanced care home scheme with Beacon Primary Care practice which covers the area.


The partnership includes regular case reviews and "ward rounds" by senior clinicians to review care, joint training and update sessions which all helps to prevent unnecessary admissions to hospital and address current problems.


Vicky Sudworth, General Manager of Birch Green, said: “Care of the elderly can be complex and this scheme means we have regular checks from qualified clinicians which can prevent an admission to hospital being necessary and provide a wider care service with qualified clinical support when we need it.”


The GP surgery has full electronic access to medical records at Birch Green which makes its network available with the surgery providing IT hardware. This means safer prescribing, no paperwork, instant access to results and less lost information.


Other features of the service being planned include video consultation, shared roles between the practice and care homes, online medical record access and wider integration and real time advice with hospital specialists, mental health team and social services.


Birch Green Care Home was recently assessed by representatives from Healthwatch Lancashire to gather the views of residents, staff and relatives on standards of care and services and gave it the highest rating of Green possible in its traffic light system.


It follows a rating from the industry assessors Care Quality Commission which awarded the home a ‘good’ rating, with inspectors making particular note of the commitment of staff.


Questions & Answers with Wellbeing lead Victoria Huntriss

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Victoria Huntriss, Wellbeing Lead at Springhill Care Home Accrington answers a series of questions on her new role..


Please describe your background/previous job role.

I have worked in a variety of settings, supporting and empowering vulnerable adults with varying support needs to help them to achieve their full potential.

This has involved lots of community link work, creative delivery of developmental workshops, linking in and working in partnership with medical professionals, mental health professionals and educational organisations to name a few.

I also spent a number of years working for a national charity advising people affected by memory problems and dementia and supporting them with to create and establish support links within their community.

My passion is for supporting and empowering people to improve their sense of wellbeing to ensure they get the most out of their life that they possibly can.


What do you like the most about the job?

My job satisfaction comes from those wonderful moments when you see people really connect with their own identity, with the staff and when you see individuals interacting and building meaningful relationships.

I also love working with the lifestyles team to encourage them to develop their own strengths and creativity to help build a diverse and interesting activity plan that meets the needs of the residents.

The team are very passionate about their jobs which is a pleasure to work with and it is exciting to see them develop within their roles. They are a real asset to Springhill.


What do you like the least about the job?

That I have lots of ideas and cannot develop them all at once! I am working on a new and innovative approach which requires careful planning and consideration and is very exciting to see changes happening already.


Springhill are Investors in People. So with career development, where do you see yourself in the future?

This is a very new role and currently I am developing this and have lots of passion and enthusiasm and the future for me is about making a difference to people’s lives and putting a lot of thought and consideration into this new and exciting role.

I feel there is a lot of fulfilment to be had in developing this role and that is my main focus currently.

There is a fantastic Learning and Development programme in place at Springhill and I look forward to accessing some of the many training opportunities available that will enhance my role and development.


How do you tailor your sessions to the residents’ needs?

We are currently developing Life Story Workshops to find out about residents’ lives and about their needs, likes, dislikes, hobbies and what they would like to get involved with here at Springhill.

This will be incorporated into our development of individual personalised plans. We will also be looking at evaluating current activities and encourage people to make suggestions and express any wishes for future development.

We will also be encouraging people to attend or take part in residents’ meetings and promise to listen what people want. I look forward to being creative and bring new ideas and activities to the home.

We have also begun our Winter Wishes where we are encouraging people to hang “wish stars” on the Wish Tree to look at aspirations and wishes for the year ahead.

I will also be on the lookout for new ideas and hopefully inspire the residents to try new things.

We are currently working in partnership with an organisation called Oomph (which stands for “Our Organisation Makes People Happy”). Their mission is to positively change the impact of ageing for older adults in care homes and the community.

They provide training to staff to deliver high quality, evidence based fun activities that incorporate physical, mental, creative emotional and spiritual needs.

This is a very inspiring collaboration and I am looking forward to seeing this develop further in the future.


Anything else you’d like to add…

I would really like to see Springhill not only as a place where people can lead a fulfilling life with fun, engagement and meaningful activities but also as a part of the community to further improve the quality and meaning to people’s lives.

This I feel will also help to acknowledge equality and diversity and improve inclusion. I am already working on building links within the community and will ensure to update you with news when I start actioning plans with this initiative.



Happy Chinese New Year!

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2019 is the Year of the Pig and at Springhill Care Home Accrington they've been busy preparing!

Residents recently took part in a creative session where they made papercraft pigs and pig faces to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

They made facts, myths different designs with stickers and paints and it was an enjoyable craft session.

Chinese New Year (or Spring Festival) officially begins on February 5th and ends on February 19th and they will be celebrating the day by discovering traditions and by having fun.

One tradition is for firecrackers to start off the day followed by greetings and blessings and one superstition is that it is forbidden to sweep and clean on this day, else good fortune will be swept away!


 For more facts and myths click HERE 



Cheese and wine got us feeling fine at Riversway

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Last week Riversway Nursing Home, in Bristol had a lovely cheese and wine themed evening.

Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves as they listened to music, whilst eating and chatting about all the different types of cheese they liked and have tried over the years.

They discussed how cheese is made and also played a ‘guess the cheese game’.

Residents and staff team had a try of the blue stilton cheese, the mature cheddar cheese and a soft cheese, accompanied by two types of crackers, one salted and one with salt & black pepper - all topped off with green and red grapes, a little bit of pickle and a glass (or two) of wine.

The evening went down a treat and they are all looking forward to holding another cheese and wine event again very soon!


To view more photos on Riversway Nursing Home's Facebook page click HERE



Sensory room at Birch Green Care Home

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Birch Green Care Home in Skelmersdale has a great sensory and relaxation room.

It's an extremely popular location for their ladies and gentlemen, and occasionally staff team to go and relax in tranquil surroundings. 

The sensory room is full of beautiful colours and you can also listen to the rather calming sounds of the outdoors and nature.

There’s also plenty to do to help keep residents fingers and minds stimulated.

If you would like to find out more about the sensory room please ask a member of the Lifestyle team at Birch Green.


  To view more photographs on Birch Green's  Facebook page click HERE




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Springhill Care Group Limited
Head Office
11 Cannon Street
Accrington, Lancashire
United Kingdom BB5 1NJ

Tel: 01254 304500
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