[prev] …go into a lot of nursing homes – even new ones – there’ll often be a really nice living area, beautifully furnished, but the minute you come out of it there’s what looks like a hotel corridor with lots of doors off it. It always reminds me of The Shining…’ Not quite the association anyone wants.
The right choice?
Choosing Eagle Wood for a relative is part of an intensely personal journey, which is assessed by all involved using a careful, step-by-step process. ‘It all starts in pre-screen assement,’ explains Karen. ‘When a referral comes through, we don’t know anything other than what’s on the paper, so we send a clinician out to do an assessment, and from there we build the assessment around the admission criteria we have in place for the residents. Sadly, some of our residents don’t have any family, but if they do then they are involved in the assessment process as we try to build a picture about the client, not just what’s happened to them in the here and now, but about their likes and dislikes, that will make their quality of life better.
‘We do encourage people to come and visit before they make any decisions,’ stresses Karen. ‘You can read a nice glossy brochure, but that doesn’t enable you to feel what a place is like. We really do encourage people to see the unit where their loved one will go, and we like to involve family every step of the way. One example: we have someone who can’t tell us what he likes to eat and drink, so we’ve worked with the family to build a menu plan. Our Family Liaison Officer, Andy Kelly, sits at the front of the building in an office by reception, so he’s accessible – even for families who are just popping by for five minutes and want to catch him, he’s there.’
The staff at Eagle Wood are continuously looking to the future, and always making plans to ensure the centre maintains its reputation for excellence in specialist care. ‘All units have incredibly experienced unit managers,’ says Karen. ‘The structure has changed over to clinical management of the units. We’ve also got an incredibly robust education and training team – they really are fabulous. I’ve moved from a very big corporate company, and we didn’t do anything like the training that is offered here. And I’m talking about much more than simply mandatory training – it’s proper clinical training for the staff, that they want and need in order to work better.
‘For the residents, we do a lot of work around activities. We’ve just appointed an Engagement Co-ordinator, and from that we intend to have activity champions on each unit; we deal with such a diverse client group, and we know that not just one activity will suit all.’ Anyone thinking Eagle Wood’s services are the preserve of the rich would be greatly mistaken. In fact, it is actually cheaper than the NHS. ‘What has happened over time is that the NHS has taken on more and more, healthcare has improved, people are surviving longer, surviving accidents they maybe would not even have survived five years ago,’ explains Neil. ‘It’s creating more and more of a strain on the NHS, and is costing them more and more to manage what they’ve got.’ ‘The vast majority of our residents have what are called continuing healthcare needs, so are fully funded by the NHS. The care is free to the end user. We have one or two who are here for their social needs, who don’t quite tick all the boxes for continuing healthcare. In their cases, either Social Sevices pay, or the families pay themselves, with a proportion paid by the NHS.’ The centre has previously provided a number of beds that acted as overflow for Peterborough Hospital.
Eagle Wood offers an impressive, high-tech hydrotherapy pool, gym, therapy room, and a ‘skills kitchen’ – fully kitted out to allow residents to cook for themselves and re-learn basic skills. Small groups of large bedrooms open directly onto flexible multi-purpose communal areas, with an emphasis on light and open spaces, creating smaller living areas within a larger setting. The multidisciplinary team works with residents and their families, the NHS and… [cont]