What it takes to be an outstanding care home

At Melrose, we’re extremely proud of receiving an Outstanding rating from the Care Quality Commission (CQC). However, to many reading this, that accolade may seem like a vague one. What exactly is an outstanding care home? How does it differ from your average care home?

Well, what outstanding means to us is that, while we’re always looking for ways to improve, we can proudly and confidently claim that the quality of our care service is second to none. That said, a lot of different factors go into our care, so with that in mind, what does it take to be considered outstanding? Here’s what we view as being some of the most important elements.

1. A personalised approach

We thought it was best to start here because everything else we’re going to discuss also utilises this approach, and it’s a personalised one. We understand that everyone at Melrose Care Home is an individual. There’s no formula and no one-size-fits-all approach which will provide the best care.

We need to be able to work with the individual to make their time with us the best it possibly can be, which means learning and understanding everything from what they like to eat to which activities they enjoy. It also means having an appreciation for any conditions our residents have. On a more fundamental level, it’s about getting to know them as people and forging valuable friendships through this personalised approach to care.

2. World-class care services

We’re a care home and in order to be considered outstanding in general, our service has to begin in that most fundamental of areas. We provide person-centred care and this not only means we take the time to understand whatever help our residents need from a professional standpoint – whether that be for a medical condition or to help keep their mind active – but also that we work together to provide an optimal quality of life.

This is kind of like a partnership because we really do value the input of our residents in crafting the best personalised care plans. Ultimately, no one knows how a person is feeling or what would make them feel better than that person themselves. When we combine this with an experienced care service through a registered nurse on duty 24 hours a day, as well as specialised treatment through referrals, we think we provide care that can be truly considered outstanding.

3. Variety and flexibility

We can’t provide a world-class, personalised approach to care without both variety and flexibility. Take our selection of activities as one example. We try to provide as much variety as we possibly can because we know that we’re all different and we like different things. Some activities are more relaxed, some more active, some creative and some social, while some are a mix of all of these and more. Having a choice means we’re can cater for everyone’s interests and preferences.

If there’s something we’ve missed, then we’re flexible. As we approach our care in that individual way, we get to know what kind of things our residents are interested in and try to tailor our services to them as much as possible. This might mean getting something new on the menu, helping our residents achieve certain ambitions or provide a way to make their space that bit more cosy. Like we said, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach that will work here: the only way of giving the best care we can is by working as a partnership with our residents.

4. A focus on socialising

One of the biggest issues that elderly people face is loneliness. According to a 2016 study by the Campaign to End Loneliness, there were 1.2 million chronically lonely people in the UK. According to research by Age UK, that figure has since risen to 1.4 million. In the former study, it was also revealed that half a million people went at least five or six days without speaking or seeing anyone at all.

That’s why socialising is so important to us when considering our activities and how we operate generally. We’re also huge on celebrations, with regular parties where our cooks can put on a serious spread and we can really let our hair down. These events are also great for bringing generations together, with visitors being encouraged to attend too. One thing we really want is for both residents and their loved ones to view Melrose Care Home as an opportunity to spend more quality time together, with the emphasis being on quality.

We want to create an environment where our residents can socialise as much or as little as they want, because we know that having privacy is important as well. In other words, there’s plenty of opportunity to socialise, but no pressure to do so if anyone just wants some time to themselves.

5. An excellent reputation

Last but not least, what makes our care home outstanding is our reputation. Here, we’re talking about more than just awards and accolades – even though we’re very proud of them, having won awards for Care Home of the Year, the Gold Standards Framework Beacon Status and a Regional Winner award.

More important than that though is our reputation amongst our residents and their loved ones. It’s in seeing the difference we make to their lives and how proud we feel when we’re recommended based on someone’s positive experience.Awards are great, don’t get us wrong, but nothing can compare to the satisfaction we get from knowing we’re doing a great job for the people that matter the most: our residents.