As Proprietor of Nazareth Lodge, Camilla Trimble is a respected and notable figure in social care. Care Talk caught up with Camilla and asked her thoughts about the current challenges to the industry and how the government can better support care providers.
Passion has sadly become an overused word in the care industry over the last few years. However, I do believe that tremendous commitment, understanding and dedication driven by passion is required to be able to maintain the services that we offer to our residents.
When Nazareth Lodge received its “Outstanding” rating in 2015 it was clear confirmation to me of the amount of hard work that my staff put in day in, day out, every day of the year for our residents. Since then we are even more determined to try and maintain the “Outstanding” rating and have continued to widen the vision of how this can best be achieved. For example, we sought to increase our links to the community by hosting both lent and advent lunches in the home.
Some months ago we were sent an email to see if we could help a young lad with learning difficulties. After careful consideration and discussion with his mentor he visits the home on a weekly basis and is thriving in this environment and his self confidence has increased. I understand we were the only company who bothered to respond to his email.
I am a firm advocate in apprentices and this year’s apprentice, on completion of her studies, will be joining the staff on a permanent basis and her successor is already in the pipeline.
Over 20% of my workforce has worked for me for more than 10 years. I hold a very strong belief in supporting staff whether it be through a personal problem and/or ensuring that they have the right skills and supervision to enable them to carry out their role. I do not ever employ agency staff as I want to ensure continuity of care, a familiar face and consistency in the team.
With the increasing complex issues of residents we have improved the experience of our management team by bringing in a trained RGN who is helping to improve the care plans. She is also invaluable with regards to her knowledge of medications.
After 30 years in the care industry, I have witnessed incredible changes. Sadly, I do have concerns for the future with increasing numbers of elderly people needing residential or nursing care. There is a paramount need for some very clear vision for social care but that can only come from an integrated approach from all parties concerned. There are some brilliant initiatives developing around the country. There must be a solution soon to the long term funding and now is the time for action and not words.
Following the “Outstanding” rating from the home, I was keen to be able to develop a relationship with others who have achieved this rating – and so was born the Outstanding Society. It is a real pleasure and interest to meet other operators whose establishments have an “Outstanding” Rating and learn from them. The Outstanding Society will shortly be opening a web page on the Care England Website for exclusive use of all “Outstanding” operations to share best practice and disseminate information in the 5 KLOES.
My vision remains close to that when I first started in residential care – to be able to offer excellent care, delicious food and drink and lots to do in a stimulating environment. We continue to strive to make life worth living for our residents by working in close collaboration with their families and friends.