Putting the Care of its Patients First
Abberton Manor Nursing Home provides nursing and residential care for 26 residents and is a magnificent Queen Anne Manor House set in 14 acres of gardens and grounds, just three miles south of Colchester. We invited Home Manager, Libby Pearson to tell us more about the facility and what techniques staff use to provide the best care possible.
Abberton Manor has an enviable reputation for providing professional nursing care in a happy and friendly environment. Abberton Manor is one of the Heritage Manor groups care homes. The company ethos is to provide excellent care in a warm and friendly environment. Abberton is rated as good with the Care Quality Commission and in 2017 was awarded the Gold Standard Framework for end of life care. The home achieved a commendation for this Award, which is the care equivalent of a Michelin star and reflects the dedication and commitment of its team. Furthermore, the home was also awarded the best community engagement award for Essex which recognises its strong links within the local community.
At the home, the team offer long-term, convalescent or short stay residential and nursing care to residents, and work with a patientcentered belief of listening and understanding the needs of each individual resident, and providing care individually.
Ensuring that every resident at the venue receives the best possible care, the team tailors its care methods and activities to suit the individual person, subsequently enhancing their health and happiness.
Throughout the manor, residents are typically elderly and often frail, whilst some have disabilities and others become residents after a stay in hospital, or have become anxious and lacking in confidence after a fall.
The home provides facilities and d’cor to the highest quality which suits the needs of each of its residents. Despite having three floors, all levels are accessible thanks to a lift and stairs, with the upstairs rooms possessing stunning views over the Roman River valley, and this is just one aspect which makes the facility attractive to residents and clients.
At Abberton Manor, the team’s previous experiences have helped them to learn and combine their experience to deliver the best personal care within the area. Libby kickstarts the discussion by explaining what her team’s particular focus is, and comments on how the team go to the extra mile to make sure that residents live a thoroughly enjoyable lifestyle.
‘Amongst the team, our focus is always on the highest quality of care and the health and happiness of each of our residents. Whilst based on the tenets of My Home Life, our objective is to provide a positive experience for all who live, work and visit Abberton.
‘Moreover, we want people to recognise that living in a care home is a positive, lifestyle choice. Here at Abberton, we go beyond the basic needs of keeping our residents fed, warm and safe. We give emotional, social and psychological support for both residents and their families. The compassion, warmth, love and friendship here is akin to family. We have a welcoming, open door policy, to ensure that all concerns of families are met and residents’ needs are central to our support and care.’
Outlining her team’s overall mission, Libby explains the importance of understanding each individual’s personal requirements and needs, and it is a real target of the team to provide the highest quality of care to everyone in a warm and friendly environment.
‘Important to us, understanding our residents’ needs is key, both their physical care needs and requirements and their individual higher needs. We always request a life story for each resident when they come to our home, and encourage them to personalise their rooms and tell us their likes and dislikes, hobbies and interests, favourite music, favourite foods, etc. We regularly review this to ensure we are accurately tailoring our activities and care. Also, we listen to our residents and really get to know them, recognising the importance of self-worth and being valued.
‘Something which is vital to our success is that we believe that the older generation have a lot of history, knowledge and wisdom to impart and by mixing with other generations, they have an opportunity to share this and give something back. We ensure that through our local connections, such as the FaNs Network in Essex, our residents are still active members of the wider community. The wish to nurture and contribute to the next generation is certainly felt by our residents, and these interactions give increased feelings of self-worth and selfesteem.’
‘Lastly, our social and activity program is organic and responds to the varied needs of our residents facilitated by a strong team of staff, volunteers and friends, as well as the mini bus that we fundraised for and use for regular trips out into the community.’
Operating within a vital sector such as the healthcare industry, Libby comments on what techniques the team employs to ensure that it is always available to offer the very best service.
‘Taking the utmost care of our residents, we have a longstanding team of dedicated staff, with many years of professional experience between them. They believe in our homes ethos, and our open-door policy extends to staff to ensure that their working needs and concerns are met. We have regular refresher training to ensure training is up to date and our message is on point. As a team, we are also members of and attend county and national forums to ensure that we are kept informed and updated on developments affecting our field – whether local, regional or national.
‘Self-assessment and reviews are essential in ensuring we are developing and growing in the right direction. Feedback is key. We encourage residents, their families and visitors to review us on Google, the care home website and the CQC website. Additionally, we are increasingly using social media to let people know about the activities and day to day goings on at Abberton and our Facebook page and website are regularly updated with pictures and news.’
Enabling the team at Abberton Manor to provide an exceptional service, the management team have fostered a brilliant internal culture which ensures that everyone within the home performs to the best of their abilities. Libby explains what values staff adhere to, and what points they follow which helps them deliver unrivalled patient care.
‘Importantly, we have an opendoor policy to ensure our team are happy, respected and fulfilled in their roles. The team believe that our residents do not live in our workplace, but we work in their home. We follow the 6C’s underpinning compassion in practice; Care, Compassion, Competence, Communication, Courage and Commitment. These values have been used in our Behaviour Framework, which sets out the culture we expect across all of our Heritage Manor homes. Also, we also follow the 10-point dignity challenge put in place by Dignity in Care, launched in November 2006 to put dignity at the heart of UK care services.’
Following on from discussing how she ensures her team are well-equipped to provide the best possible service, Libby refers us to the home’s approach to hiring new staff, ensuring that it retains the best talent on the market.
‘When considering appointments to our team, we have to meet high standards to ensure a robust caring workforce. We recognise that whilst we can teach anyone the mechanics of care, we cannot teach them to care. Working here, you need to be whole heartedly committed to care and a motivated team member.
‘All applicants go through a stringent interview process, which is based upon Heritage Manor’s core behaviours. These behaviours underpin the experience and expectation of each individual within our homes whether director, manager, staff member, client or visitor. By weaving these throughout all our interactions with staff, we are able to retain a competent, engaged and passionate team.’
Being based in Essex is ideal for the home, as Libby explains the benefits of being based in the region, including how there is unlimited innovation throughout the area, with new ideas and schemes constantly arising on a daily basis.
‘Essex as a county and council is frequently at the vanguard of new ideas, schemes and projects. As a provider, it is both exciting and challenging to be part of this. The county of Essex works hard on provider engagement, keeping channels of communication open. It supports homes practically, with programmes such as PROSPER and MHL leadership and management groups aimed at quality and retention within the care home market.’
In her concluding comments, Libby is keen to talk about the future of Abberton Manor Nursing Home, and she comments on the upcoming projects that the venue has planned in the pipeline, including establishing its accreditation and also developing its work in terms of research.
‘Ultimately, our future development is aimed at maintaining our Gold Standard Framework award/accreditation and developing our links with hospices and other local agencies. We are also developing our work around dementia care and therapies. As every resident is different, we often have new needs to meet. Part of the joy of working in a care home environment is that no day is ever the same, and we look forward to the times ahead at Abberton Manor Nursing Home.’
Abberton Manor Nursing Home Home Manager: Libby Pearson
Address: Abberton Manor Nursing Home, Layer Rd, Abberton, CO5 7NL, UK
Phone: 01206 735590