Care, Compassion & Companionship

Archive for the ‘Staff Development’ Category

Barbara, the whole story

I will be sharing a few videos. The aim is enhance knowledge of staff and families.

Below is a very powerful video showing the experience of a resident who has dementia from her perspective.

I personally found it very moving and emotional. While the movie is based around experiences in a hospital, but it has lessons that carehome staff can learn.

In the Person centered training course that I do, I cover many aspects of dementia care that I learned from Tom Kitwood when I did my Dementia Care Mapping course.

Our aim should always be to ensure in every shift that you work to bring light into the lives of all of our residents. Ensure meaningful and positive interactions so that they want to live, achieve, enjoy the next phase of their lives in this care home.

Please take time to watch this video. I watched in many times to learn as much as I can from it.


Mr J Singh,


Relationship Centred Care – What It Is and Why It’s Important

At Vicarage Court Care Home, we provide Relationship Centred Care. We believe that this is hugely beneficial to the quality of life of not just our residents, but their loved ones too. Read on to discover more about our unique approach to care.

So What Is Relationship Centred Care?

Relationship-centred care is a personalised and collaborative approach of forming and maintaining important relationships. Within Vicarage Court Care Home, there is a web of relationships between our team, residents, families, and the local community. Each of these connections allows for effective exchanges of information, and is vitally important for maintaining a good quality of life on a day to day basis! Relationship Centred Care means recognising that meeting residents’ needs and wishes is essential and that this is a partnership approach based on strong and positive relationships:

Positive Environment and Positive Engagement

Our relationship-based approach to care ensures an environment in which our team share a philosophy, they value care, involve residents and their families, and focus on people not tasks. Our team members have been chosen not only for their qualifications and experiences, but also for their compassionate and caring natures. Therefore our team’s day to day engagement is genuine and this can have a great impact on the atmosphere within the home, and it develops trust between residents and staff.

Don’t Shy away From Emotions!

Rather than remaining detached or neutral, our team at Vicarage Court empathise with and get to know our residents on a personal level. We believe that being emotionally neutral is not beneficial to the wellbeing of our residents, and empathy has the potential to help residents experience and express their emotions. Although many people are staying at home longer, there is evidence to show that some of the factors that are linked to declining health and depression include loneliness and isolation. In response to this, our residential communities have fantastic communal spaces – lounges, library, dining rooms, courtyard and garden. Spending time in these areas ensures that residents are communicating with others, and consequently their emotions are lifted.

Authentic Mutual Respect

“RCC emphasises the importance of authenticity, in the sense that staff should not, for example, simply act as if they have respect for someone; they must also aim actually to have (internally) the respect that they display (externally).” – National Centre for Biotechnology Information Having respect for one another is a fundamental part of our care home.

Practicing Relationship Centred Care ensures acts of respect are real. The principles of RCC emphasise that team members ought to respect residents and colleagues, and appreciate the contributions that people from other disciplines bring.

One way in which we put this respect into action is with our “Life History Work” in our careplans, door signs and memory boxes. Janet has now started a life history books on some residents. In our eyes it is crucial that our team get to know the individuals in our care, so we ask that every staff reads life history in careplans and encourage their family and friends complete them in more detail. Not only does it help residents reminisce, which is particularly beneficial for those living with dementia; but the life history also helps us build with a whole picture of our residents and their incredible lives. ‘Life History’ also helps with planning appropriate, engaging activities. For example, if the team know a resident is a keen gardener, they can make sure that gardening is a key part of that person’s life in the home. We feel that if we practice respectful relationships, and embed teamwork into our care, all parties will have greater enjoyment of life!

A Sense of Belonging!

Relationship Centred Care ensures all parties feel significant. Residents feeling that they matter, within the home, and within the wider community is a priority; and the loved ones of a resident should feel a sense of belonging when visiting the home too. We encourage friends and family visits here at Vicarage Court, and we understand that it’s important for many families to bring along younger relatives. To ensure this is a positive experience for all, each of our care homes has lots of communal spaces with flat-screen TVs and areas where families can sit privately. We want to encourage use of our Wii games console to make our homes a welcoming environment for the grandchildren as well as the grandparents!

Belonging in the wider community is of great importance for us here at Vicarage Court. Janet, our activities co-ordinator scheduled events to appeal to every taste and involve the outside community. Examples include tai chi, dance classes, gardening classes, ‘movement to music’ nights, and visits from local schools, choirs and amateur dramatics groups! The communities around our homes are dedicated to supporting our residents and our team, and we value this greatly. We want to now start film nights for residents and many other ideas.

Why We Love Relationship Centred Care

Keeping relationships central in our daily lives means us, as a team, at Vicarage Court can provide the best possible standards of care. For all of the reasons above, and more, Relationship Centred Care can benefit the lives of us everyone within and around Vicarage Court Care Home. We prioritise involving and communicating with the families of our residents, as well as involving and engaging the wider community, and we’re sure it is because of our fantastic web of relationships that our customers’ minds are put at ease, and gaps are bridged. By practicing Relationship Centred Care helping a new resident transition from semi-independence within their own home, to moving to one of our care residencies has never been smoother.

Become a Dementia Friend

We wish to encourage all residents families and staff to become Dementia friends.

Below is link to the website. Please watch the video and start using the resources to improve your understanding of dementia.

Wakefield College Awards Vicarage Court Care Home

Local Care Home Scoops Employer Award

December 18, 2014  |  Tags: Press Release, Awards Ceremony, Event, Services to Business

Wakefield College Principal, Sam Wright presenting Jagjit Singh, Director of Calsa care with the Employer of the year award

Wakefield College’s commercial training arm, Services to Business have announced Calsa Care as the recipient of this year’s Employer of the Year award at a glittering awards ceremony last week.

Calsa Care, based in Pontefract was set up in 2006, when it bought Vicarage Court Care Home, a 30-bed dementia care home in North Featherstone. They developed the care home making it ‘excellent’ rated.

Now in 2014, the care home is triple its original size and now provides nursing care, residential care, dementia care and day care. It can cater for specialist areas such as obesity care, rehabilitation and brain injuries. The care home had 30 staff in 2012 and now employs 73 staff including 7 nurses. Once the care home achieves full occupancy, it will employ over 100 staff.

Services to Business Market Development Manager, John Turner said: “Calsa Care have work very closely with Wakefield College and Job Centres to run a number of sector-based work academies in the community. They provide the opportunity for people to gain qualifications in the health and social care sector and have resulted in the creation of over 20 permanent jobs within the company. They are worthy winners of this award and we look forward to continuing working together.”

Calsa Care Director, Jagjit Singh added: “It was a pleasure to work closely with Wakefield College and Job Centre Plus. Far too many people do not see care work as a professional career, however we have developed staff successfully to a high standard to ensure the care delivered is of a very high standard. We have staff who came to us on work experience and within 4 years, we have developed them into managers. Other care staff are training to become nurses. We support staff to maximise their potential.”

The annual awards ceremony, which takes place at the Waterton Building, recognises and celebrates the hard work, dedication, and achievements of learners.

Employer of the Year 2014 Award !

Mr J Singh, from Calsa Care ltd, owners of Vicarage Court Care Home were honoured to be awarded “Employer of the Year 2014” by Wakefield College.

The award is for the innovative recruitment techniques used by the company and staff training and development. The Carehome has increased its staffing from 30 to 73 in 2014. Working closely with Wakefield College and Job Centre Plus, the care home was able to offer opportunity to local people to train and develop long term careers in Health & Social care.

“In 2015, we will have more opportunities for staff who wish to provide high quality long term residential and nursing care for local people in our district. ” stated Mr J Singh.

The Principal of Wakefield College, Sam Wright, presents the award to Mr J Singh at a glittery event at Wakefield Museum.

Employer of the Year 2014



Happy Birthday Cheryl !!


Dignity in Care Week

Starting from Monday the Staff at the Vicarage Court care home will be holding a dignity week. This has been organised by Janet (activities co-ordinator) and the Dignity Champions from the staff. Below is the breakdown of the Events.

Monday – 10.30am (Dementia Unit) – Vintage Academy Entertainment and Drama Group.

Afternoon – Cheese & Wine Session for all residents.

Tuesday –  Special Therapies from Maria. These include Bowen therapy, reflexology, aromatherapy, massage & Reiki. These will be done in the morning on the residential and nursing unit. Then in the afternoon on the Dementia Unit.

Wednesday – Hairdressor & manicures of the residential unit.

Thursday – Hairdressor & manicures of the dementia unit. Then there will a special Entertainment Drama Group for the residential unit from 1.30pm.

Friday – Coffee Morning for all staff, residents and family. This will be followed by One to one activities with the residents.

Everyone is welcome to come and participate in Dignity in care week.


In addition, staff are doing dignity challenges to improve how they interact with residents while providing care so that the staff always work to best practice. This includes feeding sessions for staff who are blindfolded, so that they know how a visually impaired residents feels when eating. Staff being hoisted in slings and many other special challenges.


Residents have made a dignity display board which is pictured below.

For more information or to get involved, please ring the home.


DSCF5010 DSCF5011 DSCF5003




Dignity in Care Champions !!

The Vicarage Court Care home supports the Dignity in Care campaign. The care home now has numerous staff who are Dignity in Care Champions. The aim is to ensure best practice in care and enhance the dignity of the residents.

After the Easter party, plans are in place for a Dignity week, which will include a series of activities to enhance the Dignity of Residents and allow the residents to celebrate their many skills and talents in a fun and educational format.

More details to be released soon….




Courses! Courses! Courses!

Congratulations to Natalie Thorpe, Jan Howes and Carol Askew,  who passed their courses on “Caring for People affected by Stroke”.

Congratulations to Linda Cadman who passed her course on “Dementia”.

Congratulations to  Jean Chilton and Claire Hennessey who passed their course on “Palliative Care”.

Congratulations to Maritess and Ronalynn who passed their course in “Medication”.

Congratulations to Maritess, Ronalynn and Christine Snowden, who passed their courses in “Food hygiene”

Congratulations to Natalie Thorpe, Sue Hodgeson, Kayleigh Ratcliffe, and Denise Poole, who have passed their “Health & Safety”.

Health & Safety Inspection

Yesterday we had a health & safety inspection from Wakefield Council (WMDC). It is a regular occurance which happens every few years.

The care home passed with flying colours. Special mention was made of the “impressive documentation and training program”.

Completed Courses

Congratulations to Claire, Sue, Linda Cadman, Natalie, Stacie, Carol, Emma, Ronalyn, Maritess, Janet, Jan, Kayliegh and Michelle who have just completed their Continence Course.

Congratulations to Linda Southall

Linda getting her City & Guilds Award

Congratulations to Linda Southall who has been awarded more qualifications. She has just been awarded a City & Guilds in Multi-Skilled Hospitality Services. Linda has worked at the Old Vicarage Care Home for 20 years now.

She already has a NVQ level 3 in Care, and City & Guild qualifications in Personal and Professional skills. She also has further qualifications in Intermediate for environmental health in kitchen, Certificate in healthy eating, diabetes awareness, etc.

It goes to show regardless of long service, our staff are dedicated to professional development.

Trainer of Trainers

Congratulations to Mr J Singh, Jean Chilton and Claire Hennessey, who all updated their “Trainer of Trainers” awards in Manual handling today.

We do alot of training in the carehome. Mr Singh is a “trainer of traniers” in manual handling, adult abuse awareness, fire safety, team work,  and many other subject areas.

Congratulations to staff who have just passed their courses!

Congratulations to all staff who have passed courses.

Jean Chilton (manager) and Claire Hennessey (deputy manager) have just passed the course – “Caring for people affected by Stroke”.

Linda Southall (cook) has completed her NVQ in Catering & Hospitality

Janet Steeper (night carer) has completed her NVQ Level 3 in Care.

Pontefract & Castleford Express

Excellent – Highest rating for The Old Vicarage Care Home

The Old Vicarage Residential Home in North Featherstone recently had an unannounced inspection from Care Quality Commission, the regulator for care services. It awarded the care home its highest rating of Excellent.              

The inspector was highly impressed by the hard work, dedication and high standards at the Old Vicarage care home. The report specifically mentions the quality of management, quality of staff, excellent facilities and high level of activities. Special mention was also given to how clean the care home is kept. 

This achievement is the latest recognition from a long line of awards. Wakefield Council awarded the home, 5 out of 5 stars, Excellent rating for it “scores on the doors scheme” from Environmental Health, earlier this year. The Department of Health recognises the care home as a “Dignity in Care Champion”. Last year the care home achieved a very high score when it renewed its Investors in People. It is now being considered for a Champion in People award. 

The care home has always maintained high standards with its goal as being the “best care home in West Yorkshire”. It has a warm welcoming environment and lives by its ethos of “care, compassion and companionship”. The home now offers day-care for all elderly residents, in addition to its specialist residential care for dementia. Next year it will be offering supported living and possibly nursing care.

Below are pictured from left to right, Claire Hennessey (deputy manager with 10 years experience), Linda Southall (Chef with 17 years experience), Jean Chilton (Care manager with 15 years experience) and Carol Askew (deputy manager with 12 years of experience). The majority of the staff have over 10 years care experience, with 32 staff looking after 30 residents. All of the staff have gained all of this experience while working at the Old Vicarage Care Home, which prides itself on the enjoyable family atmosphere at the home.

5 star “excellent” rating for Old Vicarage Care Home

The Old Vicarage Residential Home in North Featherstone recently had an unannounced inspection from environmental health department from Wakefield council. It was part of the annual inspection programme.

The inspector was highly impressed by the hard work, dedication and high standards at the Old Vicarage care home, and awarded the home, 5 out of 5 stars, “excellent” rating for it “scores on the doors scheme”.

The care home has always maintained high standards with its goal as being the “best care home in West Yorkshire”. It has a warm welcoming environment and lives by its ethos of “care, compassion and companionship”. The home now offers daycare for all elderly residents, aswell as its specialist care for dementia.

Below are pictured Jean Chilton (Care manager with 15 years experience), Linda Southall (Chef with 17 years experience) and Carol Askew (deputy manager with  12 years of experience). All of the staff have gained all of this experience while working at the Old Vicarage Care Home, which prides itself on the enjoyable family atmosphere at the home. The kitchen is also complimented by two other chefs, Stacy Askew and Christine Coe.

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