Castle Brook residents welcome Minister for Care to their Kenilworth home

Caroline Dinenage MP, Minister for Care, visits Castle Brook

Residents at Castle Brook welcomed the Minister for Care to their Kenilworth home, as part of a whistle-stop tour around care homes in the West Midlands.

Caroline Dinenage MP spent time touring the home on Common Lane - run by Warwickshire-based charity WCS Care - which has 84 ensuite rooms for older people and people living with dementia across six households, each featuring open plan living and dining, as well as a domestic-style kitchen. 

The state-of-the-art home, which opened in December 2016, also features a café, pamper salon, shop, traditional launderette, deluxe cinema, therapy table tennis, and a side-by-side bike-for-two and cycle track within secure gardens.

As part of the visit - organised in partnership with the National Care Forum - on 05 November 2018, the minister also experienced WCS Care’s Innovation Hub.

Set up in a dedicated room at Castle Brook, the hub is a unique space full of the latest technology and approaches the charity already uses in its homes or is planning to use in future developments.

It features a recreated bedroom with night-time acoustic monitoring that automatically alerts staff to unusual sounds, so they can respond quickly when needed. A visual prompt is also being trialled as part of the system to give carers more information on which to base their care decisions.

Electronic care planning, that means carers spend more time with residents instead of extensive paper recording, and an advanced nurse call system that alerts staff through handheld devices rather than by disruptive call bells, are some of the other technologies that feature.

WCS Care has also installed circadian rhythm lighting into the hub that mimics daylight in the day and creates biological darkness at night, keeping the body in a solid circadian cycle, helping to improve sleep and daytime alertness, which has positive impacts for people with dementia.

But the hub is not just about new technology – it’s also promoting creativity in care and investigating new approaches to existing ways of doing things, that can improve people’s experience of living in a care home, and ensure safe, effective, and responsive care.  


Ed Russell, WCS Care’s Deputy Chief Executive, said: ‘Residential care has a really important role to play in giving people a good experience in later years, so we’re pleased that the minister was able to get a glimpse into daily life at a WCS Care home.

Our approaches and use of technology are designed to provide people with the opportunities to enjoy what they’ve always done, as well as have plenty of chances to try new things - and we see great examples of quality care every day.

However, what we’ve shown the minister is not rocket science and could easily be achieved by other organisations in the care sector.

By sharing our learning and best practice through our Innovation Hub, we’re inspiring others to also challenge traditional ways of working that can improve the lives of people in care homes across the country.’

Caroline Dinenage MP, Minister for Care, said: ‘It was a pleasure to visit Castle Brook and meet residents.

I was particularly inspired by their Innovation Hub and their commitment to harnessing the power of innovative new technologies to improve life for residents and allow carers to spend more time with them.  

Technology plays an increasingly important role in helping us stay independent and healthy as we grow older, and they are setting a great example for the sector.’