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How to be Outstanding… Bupa’s Arbrook House

Colleagues and residents at Bupa Arbrook House celebrate their Outstanding rating

Each month we profile a care provider who has achieved an Outstanding rating with the Care Quality Commission and find out what they think it takes to be truly Outstanding. 

This month we feature Bupa’s Arbrook House in Surrey. The report noted how colleagues went above and beyond for residents – even arranging a handwritten note for Andy Murray for one particular tennis fan.

Jonathan May, Registered Manager at Bupa’s Arbrook House

This year Bupa has seen more care homes rated as Outstanding by the CQC. As the Home Manager of one of them, Bupa Arbrook House in Surrey, I wanted to share my tips on how to make the grade.

It takes a team

Having worked in care for 20 years, I’m a firm believer that all homes will have staff with the potential to reach Outstanding. But it’s not something anyone can achieve alone; the entire team needs to pull together with one goal in mind.

Regardless of whether you’re a home manager or housekeeper, carer or chef – you need to constantly ask yourself ‘am I doing the best for our residents?’ If the answer is no, rethink what you’re doing!

Colleagues who go above and beyond without being asked are worth their weight in gold – in fact we run a programme here called ‘One Step Beyond’ to celebrate just that!

As a manager, make sure you’ve got trust in your team and that they know this. By doing so, they’ll feel confident in using their initiative.

Acknowledge your role as a leader

It’s not about telling people how to act but showing them.  As a manager you set the bar for standards in the home. Setting it high for yourself is the first step for instilling an Outstanding mindset within your teams.

Take time in your daily meetings to remind people of the shared goals that you’re working to, and how their roles feed in to this.

Another part of running an Outstanding home is taking a zero-tolerance policy to bad behaviour. While there will be times when this needs to be called out – it’s better to encourage positive behaviour instead. As a manager it’s your job to celebrate the successes of your team and encourage them to recognise the work of others. Recognition is a great motivational tool.

Keep skills up-to-date

I cannot stress enough how important regular training is. Whether it’s keeping abreast of the latest changes in the care, or making sure teams are just nailing the basics, training’s vital to keep a home running well. What’s more it’s something the CQC always look for.

We’ve all seen times when busy colleagues push training to the bottom of their to-do list. As a manager though, it’s your responsibility to make sure people have the time.

Document everything

Like it or loathe it, paperwork is really important when reaching for an Outstanding rating. The CQC need to see evidence of great care – whether that’s through detailed resident care plans, or through formally logging feedback from residents and visitors. When it comes to feedback, you also need to show how you’ve responded to it – both positive and negative.

Make it personal

To provide Outstanding care for residents, you need to get to know them. By understanding their backgrounds and preferences, you’ll be able to do things that really make them smile. This is something that’s really encouraged in Bupa homes, and that really resonated with the CQC during our last inspection.

They don’t have to be time consuming either – the smallest of gestures can make a big difference. For example, one of our residents is a huge tennis fan and tuned into every one of Andy Murray’s matches at Wimbledon. Knowing her love of the sport, colleagues wrote to Andy’s team and arranged a hand-written note thanking her for the support. Needless to say, she was over the moon to hear from her sporting hero!

Edel Harris





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