I have worked in the care industry for over 23 years and in that time, I have come across many outstanding homes. It’s wonderful to see more care homes achieving this coveted rating and I’m very proud of the fact we currently have three outstanding facilities at Hallmark.
To me being outstanding is standing out and people who are outstanding stand out from the crowd! In order to be outstanding, you must exceed expectations. Being outstanding is not without standing problems, it’s how you deal with problems and learn from the situation to put things right.
At Hallmark, we aim to be outstanding by making people feel special and putting residents and relatives at the heart of everything we do as part of our relationship-centred care approach. Our team members are also very much included in this as you can’t deliver outstanding care unless your team are outstanding. If you enable care workers to do their roles and if you provide them with good leadership, structure, motivation, the right equipment, resources, and training, this helps them to be the best version of themselves and creates a positive ‘can do’ culture in the home.
This ‘can do’ culture needs to come from the top and it’s important that team members understand the vision and mission of the company. We have a clear vision at Hallmark which is ‘to be recognised as the leading provider of relationship-centred care for all’ and this is supported by our Charter. The Charter is a statement about how we, as a business, operate on a daily basis. Within our Charter, Hallmark’s timeless values; ‘integrity’, ‘quality’ ‘innovation’ and ‘relationships’ are communicated. The Charter is instilled throughout the organisation and seeks to positively influence the behaviour of our team members.
Outstanding care at Hallmark also starts with the environment we create. We have been building care homes for over 20 years and have won eight Pinders Healthcare Design Awards in that time as well as special recognition for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Care Home Design.’ We have found that when you design a home to the highest level, from the infrastructure to the design elements, the team love to work there. This is because they are able to deliver the right services and care because they have all the resources they need inside the building.
At Hallmark, we never stand still as an organisation and are always striving to innovate. We are constantly evolving our dementia strategy, and our lifestyles programme, we invest in our services and we welcome ideas internally and externally to take our care provision to the next level. We also do our very best to collaborate with others. Most recently, we have partnered with Marie Curie to implement our End of Life Care Strategy. We are so excited about this unique collaboration which will see Hallmark and Marie Curie share learning together and will ensure outstanding care at Hallmark extends throughout a residents’ life journey.
As I and others in the care sector look ahead, I feel it’s important that we also look back and consider the many outstanding practices that have come from the Coronavirus crisis.
Firstly, we have a new understanding of infection control which will leave us in good stead for the future. Through adversity, our team members and residents have also become closer than ever and it’s been incredible at Hallmark to see the strong bonds that have been developed. It’s also been very clear that across the sector we have an amazing, caring and committed workforce who need to be applauded for their contribution no matter their role.
At Care England and also through my work with Hallmark, the Care Workers Charity and Championing Social Care I will do my very best to ensure that care workers are valued for what they do. The whole of the care profession must be recognised as a skilled sector and rewarded appropriately.