Notes from recent Relatives meeting held on 16th November 2022
William Godfrey, Mrs Palmer, Sue Kightly, Judith Fatibene, Mariya Petkova, Adrian Johnston, Sara Neaves, Luke Cook, Anju Anthony, Shainy Mathew, Bev Contaoi, Jo Monaghan, Kerrie Whytock, Aliyyah Nasser, Elissa Macdonald
Introductions and Welcome
All attendees introduced themselves and their connection to Askham
Our regulator the CQC are reviewing the way they inspect and are becoming more data driven in their approach. This assists them in monitoring from afar and prioritising homes that would require an in person visit. We have not had a formal inspection since before Covid times, and continue to be rated ‘Good’ across Askham. We received ‘monitoring’ emails from the regulator on a monthly basis confirming that they have no reason to review the current rating based on the data available to them. This data would include data we submit daily to the Local Authority, formal notifications relating to Safeguardings and other quantitative and qualitative data they collect from hospitals and other stakeholders connected to Askham.
In addition, without necessarily performing an on site inspection the CQC may reach out family members of our residents with a survey or to seek feedback. We encourage you to participate in this as much as you feel comfortable to. In Askham Grove we have recently been part of a monitoring call which comprised a video call between Luke and the inspector, along with a survey that went to relatives of residents in Grove. This did not impact the rating but we received confirmation from CQC that they had no concerns.
We are in the process of completing the PIR forms for all services and we are expecting a visit from the local authority to Hall and House imminently.
Thank you for those of you who responded to the survey which was circulated in September. The feedback was wonderful and heartwarming. Two areas we continue to need to work on are our phone communications (specifically enabling callers to get through to the correct home easily) and also ensuring that the correct linen is used for making beds. On both these points staff are aware and we are working on them.
We are pleased that we have resumed our Day Care offering in Askham House. We used to welcome a small number of visitors to Askham House for Day Care before Covid hit and we have been cautious about re-opening up this service. As are doing so now, and remain with small numbers to keep things manageable.
Outpatient Rehab service
We have also recently commenced an outpatient service to enable members of the community to access the rehab facilities on site. This is again starting small and building up slowly. We have a collaboration with the MS Society who come to us for exercise classes on a weekly basis on a Tuesday.
We implemented an electronic care records system called Nourish in August and staff have been working hard to embed this into their ways of working at Askham. Some staff have found it easier than others and all staff have tried their best. We have had great feedback. If you see staff walking round with mobile phones please be assured these are the Nourish handsets and not personal mobiles. The system is set up to ensure data protection principles are met – the security of our care records remains paramount. This does make us more reliant on technology and our business continuity plan has been updated to reflect this. We are seeing some real benefits to the system for example recently a social worker requested some information and we were able to provide it instantly without having to look through paper notes, make copies etc. We are continuing to embed this in our ways of working.
We have been very lucky to have had a large number of new joiners start working with us – the vast majority of these staff have come from overseas. We are working hard to support them as they settle not only into a new job, but also a new country and a new culture. Please be patient as we may need to provide overseas staff a slightly longer induction period. All staff have access to resident care plans from their handsets now which makes it easier for them to reference the plans.  JM to check on this as simple things like closing the bathroom door are not being done by some new staff.
We would also like to inform all relatives that Adrian is sadly leaving Askham. He is moving house and will be too far from Askham to do a daily commute. We will miss him and we wish him well. We are pleased to share we have appointed Mavrick to take on the role of Ops Manager in his place.
We are working hard with staff to support them individually and collectively in light of the cost of living challenges people are facing. We have given all staff a one off payment of £150 as a thank you and as a gift to help ease the pressure of winter fuel costs and Christmas. This has been gratefully received by all. We are also subsidising café items by 50% for all staff – again trying to do what we can to help staff during these times.
Things have been busy of late with large numbers of staff being inducted to Askham. We are also looking at recommencing our training offering for relatives – please look out for more information on this in due course.
In light of turmoil in the energy markets, we are exploring if and how we can have generator on site as part of our back up procedures. There are also a small number of projects that we hope to undertake in the new year including a refurbishment of some parts of Askham Centre to increase our staff accommodation, connecting Askham Place and Askham Court buildings, and refurbishing Askham Place internal rooms and bedrooms.
Lots going on as always! Various boat trips, trips out to the crocodile farm, to Sandringham to pay respects, and our recent remembrance service. There is also a church service taking place in House on a monthly basis which is open to all. With Christmas coming up there is lots planned, all the dates are here on out website. Visitors are very welcome to come for any and all of these. We ask please to be informed if you are coming so we can be prepared for numbers and we ask for relatives to wear masks. Where events take place in communal areas we would ask for an LFT to be performed prior. In addition to the internal events, residents are going out shopping, to the pub and to see the lights switch on.
We also are looking forward to our first Christmas Fayre in a few years – it will be a smaller affair however still suitable festive and fun!
There will not be any restrictions on visiting this year, however we do ask relatives to please inform us in advance of when they are planning to come. Due to the need to keep masks on, we will unfortunately not be offering relatives the option to join us for Christmas lunch.
We are super pleased to share that Askham was recently awarded the regional winner for the Outstanding Contribution to Social Care at the Great British Care Awards. This is testament to the team effort across Askham that all teams have consistently shown.
Benwick Road will be closed for a week from 28th November to through traffic. Visitors and staff to Askham will be given access.
EM feedback: thank you to the team for looking after her as well as IM during a recent tough period
WG: Mum attended both outings and loved them!! Also a recent interaction with the social worker – gave glowing feedback!
AP: How long will we be required to wear masks? At present this is the guidance for Health & Social Care; there is no plan at present for this to be removed or reviewed
SK: Post has been left out on reception recently, can this be addressed. Yes absolutely. (Since the meeting Saturday deliveries have been stopped so we will only receive items during the working week when post can be sorted and distributed safely)
SSG: Congratulations to ABN for the completion of her masters
Café is open to visitors and members of the public, currently only the working week however soon this will be weekends as well. More to follow on this.