Meeting Minutes

Notes from recent Relatives meeting held on 7th March 2023



Since we last got together there have been some new members of the management team – many of you will have already met which is grand.

  • We welcome Esther Johnson to the management team as Head of Care and Nursing in Askham Hall and House. In the short time she has been at Askham, she has shown a strong commitment to quality care and excellence and is working hard with the team to maintain high standards across the services she is responsible for.
  • This was also the first relatives meeting since Mavrick Feast joined our team as Ops Manager. He oversees a number of non-clinical aspects of Askham, including the refurbishment and building works mentioned below plus various other matters which are often invisible to many such as archiving, recruitment, equipment safety servicing and more. Thus far he has demonstrated a laser sharp focus on ensuring 100% compliance in these areas.

We are very pleased with these additions to the team and are excited about working together into the future.


All Askham homes were visited by the ICB (Integrated Care Board, new incarnation of the CCG, Clinical Commissioning Group) in January. The ICB observed wonderful interactions between staff and residents across all areas of Askham and they expressed their comfort with staffing levels as well. They highlighted some areas that required our prompt attention including our record keeping related to staff as well training compliance. All staff put in a mammoth effort to attend all expected trainings, and on the ICB return visit last month they commented on how impressive it was to see staff respond positively to the feedback provided.

We have also had a visit from the Meds Optimisation team for Cambs and they offered some advice which we have taken on board. We have also liased with our pharmacy supplier to ensure there are sufficient Quality checks taking place across the supply chain.

It has been a long while since we have had this level of external review at Askham and it has been a very useful learning experience – we find fresh eyes helps identify things that day to day we may not pick up on and to this end we have welcomed the input.

HR: Recruitment and Training

We have welcomed large numbers of new staff from overseas in recent months and most are settling in well. We are supporting them to get comfortable not only with the work they are doing but also the life change they have undertaken in order to work at Askham. As a result of this recruitment drive, we have been able to reduce our use of carer subcontractors and we expect this to continue to reduce in coming weeks and months.

Training continues at pace, with a new required training for all staff coming into play on the topic of Autism. We also benefitted from training from the Local Authority on the topic of the Mental Capacity Act. At a future relatives meeting we can share more on this topic.

One role that unfortunately we have thus far been unable to fill with a suitable candidate is Lead Nurse in Hall. We thank Esther and the whole team for filling the void. There has been some rebalancing of responsibilities in Hall partly due to this. Staff are responding well and are being offered greater degree of support from the Manager than previously would have been the case. Having said this, we humbly ask for the support of families in coming forward if you have any concerns or feedback. We invite the open dialogue.


There are a number of projects underway at Askham which we would like to keep families informed of:

  1. Nourish – the implementation of electronic care records has been a step change in how we work. Staff for the most part have taken to it well and are engaging with the system as ‘normal’ now.
  2. Extension – we have submitted a planning application for an extension which will see Askham Court and Askham Place connected by a further three bedrooms. We will keep families informed of this as things progress.
  3. Refurb – we have commenced a fairly extensive refurbishment of Askham Place which will include communal areas as well as new wet rooms for each en suite. We are excited about seeing the finished product and we thank all residents and relatives at Askham Place for bearing with the works as they progress.
  4. Tech in care and rehab – we are working with Neuromersiv, an Australian company, to pilot their VR equipment with a selection of our rehab residents


This is front of mind for most people at the current time, and the same is true at Askham. We are facing a tough period financially with costs going up significantly. Of course the ~10% increase in minimum wage will affect our pay grading approach at Askham, alongside the >40% increase in utilities costs and rapidly rising food / consumable costs.

We recognise we are not alone in experiencing these challenges. We are in close contact with our funding bodies on this matter, both in terms of the current cost of living changes, as well as the fair costs of care exercise that was recently conducted on a national scale. We have also been in touch with families of all privately paying residents on this matter.

Activities and events

We are seeing our community events really accelerate and we are excited about this. We host the MS Society every week at Askham for exercise classes, and we are hosting a Mediumship Night on 24th March away from Askham in Manea. There are many more activities and events planned – please keep an eye on our Facebook page for more information.

For copies of previous meetings, please liase with your Manager as these can be made available to you on request.