The programme has been developed in the North West of England, to enhance and support organisational change, and develop staff working in care homes, in end of life care. It is based on the six steps described in the Route to Success: a guide to improving end of life care in care homes (2010) produced by the National End of Life care programme. The aim is to ensure all care home residents receive high quality end of life care that encompasses the philosophy of palliative care.
Nominated care home representatives have a pivotal role in facilitating organisational change in their respective homes to achieve measures set out within the Care Quality Assessment Criteria, Department of Health Quality Markers for Care Homes, and the Route to Success for Care Homes. Care homes provide the best end of life care by having a co-ordinated approach to caring for their residents with regard to planning for the end of their lives and providing their care when they reach that time.
This is achieved by involving their residents and families in expressing their wishes and preferences for future care; respecting the choices they have made even if they are no longer able to make their wishes known; collaborative working with primary care and palliative care services, and training and educating their staff to care and communicate well. The Six Steps programme is also a catalyst to building a stronger team of staff in the home.
The programme is open to all nursing and residential homes within the West Lancs, Southport & Formby area and is currently provided with no monetary cost to the care home. However, the home is expected to contribute the time of their staff to be educated and to be fully involved in the programme.
Acceptance onto the programme requires the commitment of the care home owner and manager in supporting staff to undertake the programme and releasing them for training. Many nursing homes in West Lancs, Southport & Formby have successfully completed the Six steps to Success and have been accredited by the programme. All have changed their practice in some way to improve the care they provide and are proud to be associated with the programme.
Some have developed new policies and processes to streamline the care they give, others have concentrated on the care they give to families and the bereaved, some have introduced advance care planning to their residents as a way of making their wishes known, and all have noticed that their efforts have resulted in better working relationships with other services outside the home.
Care homes benefit by knowing that the staff are giving the best possible care at life’s end, and are able to demonstrate this to current and potential patients, families, and statutory inspection bodies such as CQC.
The care home has links with the Terence Burgess Education Centre at Queenscourt, who support staff through the programme.
Staff feel increased confidence and motivation due to the opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills. They are empowered to have better and more meaningful conversations with patients, families and health professionals, and more able to satisfactorily co-ordinate the care of the sickest of residents who want to remain in ‘their home’ and yours to the end of their days.
Please contact the Terence Burgess Education Centre to find out more on 01704 517920 or visit the www.sixsteps.net
Successfully accredited homes:
Southport & Formby Nursing Homes
Eventide Care Home
Southport & Formby Residential Homes
Acacia Court Care Home
Avalon Care Home
Garswood Care Home
Peacehaven Care Home
The Promenade Care Home
Rosebank Care Home
Southport Rest Home
Thomas Henshaw Care Home