Care home managers offered tool to personalise dementia care

A self-assessment tool has been produced to help care home managers measure how well they are progressing towards personalisation.

Care home managers are being invited to test how personalised their support for people with dementia is with a new self-assessment tool designed to embed person-centred practice in residential care.

The tool aims to help providers make progress on personalising the way they support people, work with families and manage staff. Its objectives for personalised care include knowing and acting on what matters to the person, supporting them to make choices and decisions every day and supporting them to maintain friendships and relationships.

On staffing and management, it says all staff should have knowledge, skills and understanding of person-centred practices, staff should be thoughtfully matched to residents through personalised rotas and the home should have a positive and enabling approach to risk.

The tool has been produced as part of the Progress for Providers programme to help care organisations adapt to personalisation and has been produced by In Control, consultancy Helen Sanderson Associates, North West care provider the Alternative Futures Group, and representatives from Lancashire Council, NHS Central Lancashire and NHS Stockport.

Personalisation tool in action

The tool asks managers to assess their organisation’s performance on a one-to-five scale against 33 objectives for personalised practice by deciding which of a set of five statements most closely describes their level of progress in each area.

For example, the first objective is, “we see and treat the person with dementia as an individual, with ginity and respect,” for which the five statements are:-

  1. We only have very basic information about the person and their needs. Staff struggle to describe the person in a positive way.
  2. We see the person as an individual as much as possible, but we only have information about their care needs. Most of the time people are talked about respectfully.
  3. We see the person as an individual with strengths and qualities. People are consistently described and treated with dignity and respect.
  4. Staff describe people positively. We have recorded information about the qualities and strengths of each person we support. We don’t just record this, we try to use it in our day-to-day support and in our conversations with the person. Dignity is seen as everyone’s business and every staff member sees themselves as a ‘dignity champion’.
  5. We know and have a record of each person’s gifts and qualities. We use a variety of ways to communicate how we value each person. We use the information about what we value about individuals in their day-to-day support. People are described and treated respectfully and positively, as individuals, by all staff. Staff feel comfortable expressing positive feelings to people.

After completing the self-assessment, which takes about 40 minutes, managers should set out how they plan to improve across all 33 objectives and develop an action plan setting priorities for action, a template for which is included in the tool.

Mithran Samuel is Community Care’s adults’ editor.

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