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Developing Champions in Nursing

Perpetua Latta Nurse Manager Clonlee Private Nursing Home Hutchinson Care Homes

nursing in care homes - HCH Logo.1Established in 1990, Hutchinson Care Homes (HCH) is a family owned company which has grown substantially over the last 17 years.  It consists of 7 nursing/residential homes caring for 330 residents and includes an At Home Care Service which caters for the needs of the local community in County Antrim, Northern Ireland.

Recruitment and retention of staff that are aligned to our organisational values is paramount to HCH success.  This ensures that values of caring, respect, integrity, diversity and inclusion are cultured within our organisation.  HCH has a track record of good people management practice.  Our recent recognition of Investors in People Silver Award has been built upon in 2017 and we are the only care home in Northern Ireland to achieve the European Foundation for Quality Management Award (EFQM).  The EFQM Excellence Model is a framework used by organisations for achieving sustainable performance and excellence.  It can be used to describe the attributes of an excellent organisational culture whereby ‘succeeding through the talent of people’ is one of its eight key concepts.

HCH values the talents of our team and aims to create a culture of empowerment enabling the achievement of both organisational and personal goals across our specialities of care including; dementia, elderly/frail, under 65 years, physical disabilities, rehabilitation, delirium, intermediate care and community care.  Nurses in our primary care settings are trained and supported to deal with complex care needs across a diverse range of specialities.  They must have a sound knowledge base and be highly skilled to deliver a wide variety of interventions such as urinary catheterisation, venepuncture, intravenous or subcutaneous fluids, supra-pubic catheter or palliative care and be competent managing risk around falls, tissue viability and infection control.  Nurses in secondary care settings may find themselves getting deskilled in some of these areas as they are often managed by a dedicated specialist nurse or team across their organisation.

There have been opportunities for HCH to develop ‘Champions’ in various specialist areas* through the support of our local Healthcare Trust In-Reach Project.  These roles enable HCH nurses to enhance their skills and competences in clinical practice with the overall goal of reducing hospital admission.

Box out:

  • Wound Management*
  • Male catheterisation*
  • PEG Management*
  • Tracheostomy management*
  • COPD management*

HCH currently employees 69 nurses who have a cumulative total of 566 years experience (mean of 8.2 years per nurse)** (see pie chart).  This experience includes specialist knowledge, skills and values and is the foundation of our organisational culture.  It is shared with new recruits as part of their induction and training with the aim of supporting them to achieve competencies of care thereby standardising the high quality of care expected and delivered at HCH.  Our clients are often the best judge of the effectiveness of our efforts and this quote is heart-warming;

“This is not just a place to put your head down, you know you are really cared for.”

We hope our culture of supporting and valuing our team will attract and retain staff within our organisation that enjoy making a positive difference to the lives of our clients.  The EFQM Excellence Model has been a worthy framework to evidence our efforts against and achieving ongoing recognition is our aspiration.


For more information about our organisation please contact us via;



“When employees are attracted to organisational values they find their job meaningful, which enhances their well-being.  This impacts on outcomes such as increased motivation, staff retention and exerting discretionary effort.” (Otken & Erben, 2010)


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