Opinion

How care homes are becoming learning hubs

The five centres in England chosen to showcase excellence and innovation in nurse-led care have made an impressive start, four months after their launch

The five centres in England chosen to showcase excellence and innovation in nurse-led care have made an impressive start, four months after their launch

For too long the care sector has received a disproportionate amount of negativity from the media and health professionals.

But now the ground-breaking pilot programme Teaching Care Homes (TCH), launched by Care England and funded by the Department of Health, offers an opportunity to re-profile care homes as great places to work, learn and receive care.

Many years ago teaching hospitals were regarded as centres of excellence for education and research, places students of medicine and nursing would aspire to train at and where patients would expect the best and most up-to-date treatment.

So what can the modern take on such a concept offer?

...

The five centres in England chosen to showcase excellence and innovation in nurse-led care have made an impressive start, four months after their launch


Nurse-led care is a focus of the Teaching Care Homes programme. Photo: Getty Images

For too long the care sector has received a disproportionate amount of negativity from the media and health professionals.

But now the ground-breaking pilot programme Teaching Care Homes (TCH), launched by Care England and funded by the Department of Health, offers an opportunity to re-profile care homes as great places to work, learn and receive care.

Many years ago teaching hospitals were regarded as centres of excellence for education and research, places students of medicine and nursing would aspire to train at and where patients would expect the best and most up-to-date treatment.

So what can the modern take on such a concept offer?

Flagship homes

The TCH pilot programme aims to create care centres that demonstrate excellence and innovation in nurse-led care, and learning environments that benefit staff and students. 

The Foundation of Nursing Studies (FoNS) is privileged to be a partner in this work, leading learning and support to help five care homes become recognised as ‘flagship homes’.

The homes will offer person-centred care and continuous learning. TCH will be supportive places for staff to work, where they feel valued and confident to take responsibility for care, learning and innovation.

The five homes in England nominated to take part in the pilot are:

  • Millbrook Lodge in Gloucestershire.
  • Rose Court in Bury.
  • Berwick Grange in Harrogate.
  • Lady Sarah Cohen House in Barnet, North London.
  • Chester Court in Bedlington.

Three representatives – the home manager, a registered nurse and a carer – lead the work for each home.

Using its extensive experience in practice development, FoNS has designed a programme to support participants in developing their skills and confidence to work in the homes with their colleagues, strengthening the culture of care and the learning environment.

Learning and support

The programme includes six workshop days when participants will work with FoNS facilitators to co-create the vision for a teaching care home, focusing on areas such as person-centredness, leadership and teamwork, learning, innovation and improvement. Participants will also benefit from one-to-one coaching and on-site support.

Having visited all the homes before the launch, we were tremendously impressed with the staff and the care quality.

It has been important for us to work with the teams and enable them to build on the great work they are already doing.

Inspiring stories

We are now four months into our work with wonderful people, who deserve much greater acknowledgement and reward for the work they do in our communities.

Through our time together so far, participants have shared inspiring and at times emotional stories, illustrating how they are providing a home with person-centred care for residents and their families. Together they are creating a vision for a teaching care home that will set the standard for the future.

This is an exciting opportunity for the care sector to show what it can offer residents, families, staff and students. I feel proud to be working with inspirational people who are passionate about their work and keen to be the best they can possibly be.


About the author

Theresa shaw

Theresa Shaw is chief executive of the Foundation of Nursing Studies

 

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