South London Care and Nursing Homes Network

The HIN is committed to working with care and nursing homes in South London to disseminate innovation and best practice in the sector and provide a support network for smaller care home providers. In May 2014, the HIN re-launched The South London Care and Nursing Home Network, previously hosted by the Health Innovation and Education Cluster (HIEC). The network is currently made up of approximately 350 care homes for older people.

Why is this important?

The independent care sector was identified as a priority area for the Dementia programme when it launched in 2014. It was felt that despite the high profile of dementia in national policy, the independent care sector, and care homes in particular, were a neglected area. Given that an estimated one third of people with dementia live in care homes and approximately 70 per cent of people who live in residential and nursing homes experience memory problems, our members felt strongly that the HIN had a role in driving up the quality of care in residential and nursing homes.

Aims

The South London Care and Nursing Homes network aim is to raise standards in the sector by:

  • Supporting adoption and spread of best practice
  • Facilitating homes to support each other and problem solve, especially the smaller homes which have fewer resources and limited capacity
  • Connecting industry (new technologies) with care home providers, as providers tell us they are ‘bombarded’ so are grateful for the introduction. Start-ups struggle to engage with care homes.
  • Supporting research through encouraging network members to sign up to ENRICH (research ready care homes), and Join Dementia Research (link these to relevant website)

Achievements so far

Care home providers are encouraged to use the network to share the good work already going on in their homes, and frequently present their work via regular network events and newsletters. All 12 boroughs are represented at our events which are typically attended by 50 – 70 people. Below are some of the examples of the focus of our previous events:

  • Nutrition and Hydration with Caroline Leko – Patient Safety Lead at NHS England
  • Dementia awareness training using Barbara’s Story, from Dame Eileen Sills – Chief Nurse, Guy’s and St Thomas
  • Getting the most out of your GP
  • Digital solutions in care homes developed at City University
  • Meeting CQC requirements for person centred care
  • Using Patient Opinion to gain customer feedback
  • Music Mirrors – Heather Edwards

Next steps

The HIN is committed to further develop the network and optimise its relevance and value for members. We will continue to establish links with statutory and other sectors, building effective relationships that facilitate adoption and spread.

For more information please contact Don Shenker, Project Manager for Healthy Ageing, at don.shenker@nhs.net.