Editorial

New Care England project to challenge care home prejudice

There is a widespread misconception that working in a nursing home is relentlessly hard and unrewarding. Now, a project being run by Care England has sought to challenge these prejudices.

Care homes rarely receive a positive press, and nurses working in the sector often report feeling undervalued and downtrodden.

There is a widespread misconception that working in a nursing home is relentlessly hard and unrewarding, with little on offer in terms of personal and professional development.

A project being run by Care England with support from the Foundation of Nursing Studies has sought to challenge these prejudices. Five pilot sites were designated as Teaching Care Homes, with the aim of creating a healthy learning environment, improving care outcomes and creating a sustainable workforce.

Part of the plan included moves to make a career in the sector attractive to undergraduate nursing students, who might otherwise be drawn to more traditional roles in the secondary care sector.

Positive stories 

One year in, and the results are encouraging.

At one of the sites in Northumberland, residents achieved healthier weights through a scheme that made changes to meal times, the heat of food served and even the type of tablecloth.

At another site in North Yorkshire, nurses recruited from overseas were given targeted help with language skills, leading to an improvement in communication.

It is refreshing to read positive stories about nursing in care homes. The sector is unfairly maligned, to the point where staff are understandably reluctant to show pride in their work. Yet without them, the NHS as a whole would be in even greater difficulty.

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