Visitors to Lound Hall Nursing Home, Lowestoft, would never guess that the home has been through a huge transformation over recent years. In 2017, an unannounced inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) rated the home as ‘Inadequate’ and placed it in ‘special measures’. Four years later, the Lound Hall Care Team has recently been announced as the regional winners of the ‘Care Team’ award at the Great British Care Awards 2020.
The shock of an ‘Inadequate’ rating caused much worry and distress to the residents, their families, the staff and the owners of Lound Hall. However, rather than giving up, the owners decided that every effort would be made to turn the home around – the challenge of #MissionOutstanding was set and the team embraced this.
The CQC report and subsequent investigations resulted in many of the management and nursing team leaving Lound Hall. Most of the care team had been working there for many years, and it was clear that they had had been poorly led and let down, by their leadership team. They were determined to support any changes and “prove everyone wrong.”
Andrea Deakins (RN), the current Registered Manager, joined Lound Hall as Clinical Lead in June 2018, and successfully recruited a new team of experienced nurses to work with the care team. Everyone worked incredibly hard, resulting in the CQC rating the home as ‘Good’ in all areas in December 2018 – a fantastic achievement.
The care team continued to embrace the new open and supportive culture within the home, where ideas are welcomed and development is encouraged. Many of the original care team have chosen to stay at Lound Hall – others have returned, having left under the previous leadership. The recruitment and retention of care staff is strong, with the home having a very positive local reputation. Staff rarely choose to leave. However, some of the care team have now retired and three have left to pursue their RN training.
One word stopped the team in their tracks in early 2020 – COVID. Initially, it was impossible to comprehend the impact that this would have but again the care team rose to the challenge, putting the safety and wellbeing of the residents and each other first, despite their personal fears and anxieties.
The care team supported the decision of the leadership to ‘lockdown’ early, and were keen to implement new Infection Control measures. At the same time, they remained calm and reassuring for the residents, still smiling and sharing laughter. They chose to work overtime, sometimes in different departments, to cover sickness and absence. This meant that the home did not have to employ any agency staff, which again minimised the risk of COVID coming into the home.
The care team were determined to maintain the emotional wellbeing of the residents. They were supported to make phone calls to their loved ones. Birthdays, as well as Christmas, were celebrated in style. Sadly, some residents passed away during the lockdowns. The care team ensured that no resident died alone, often staying behind after their shifts to sit with them.
The Care Award judges noted that, “Staff that left have returned to see it transformed to a well led cohesive home. A shared sense of humour, values and purpose now means that they are proud to wear their uniforms rather than hide these under their coats. They feel that the management team had the recipe, but they were all the ingredients that mixed together has resulted in their success.”
The entire team at Lound Hall, part of KRG Healthcare, will not be satisfied until #MissionOutstanding is complete.