Coventry University

Evidencing improved care

WCS Care and Coventry University are working together on a number of PhD studies which will investigate the impact of a range of factors on the health and wellbeing of residents. This first-of-a-kind research could help us, and other care providers, develop their approaches to care ensuring residents enjoy life to its fullest - after all, just because someone lives in a care home doesn't mean every day can't be well lived.

Studies will cover a range of topics including sleep, nutrition, the benefits of time outside, self-management and responsive care, and the use of robotics and digital technologies. 

PCS

Electronic care planning - making more time for care

At WCS Care, we use Person Centred Software's electronic care planning to record our care. Using handheld devices, carers capture the care they deliver in the moment quickly and effectively, building a detailed picture of each resident's care. And for managers we've a suite of reports that give them instant access to everything they need to know about their residents' health and care. 

We're also using PCS's Relatives' Gateway - giving relatives remote access to care notes 24/7 from anywhere in the world.

CLB

Acoustic monitoring - a better night's sleep

WCS Care is the first care home provider in England to install CLB's acoustic monitoring system. Using discrete monitoring, the system, which comes on at night, detects sounds in residents' rooms and sends an alert when the sound level in a room exceeds individually set thresholds. Because the alerts are constantly monitored, we've no need to do hourly door checks and can leave people to sleep if they don't need us.

The system has other benefits too - from providing staff with back-up when they're lone working in a room to talking residents to sleep, we're supporting team members and residents in ways we simply couldn't before. We've even seen a reduction in falls in one home - could this be because people are having a better night's sleep?

Apetito

Stimulating appetites by cooking food in the household

At WCS Care we're trying a new dining experience for residents. In our latest home, we've done away with the central catering kitchen and are, instead, cooking food in the ovens on each household. Using Apetito's range of meals and preparing food in this way means we're able to enhance residents' dining experience in a number of ways - not least of which is the fact that people can smell food being cooked, stimulating their appetite and preparing them to eat. We can also offer a wider choice of hot meals at each sitting and be more flexible about when residents have their main hot meal of the day. 

 

GHM Care

Supporting care with technology

So many of the systems we now use at WCS Care rely on a foundation of reliable wifi and telecoms technology. We've worked with GHM Care to configure our requirements - from handhelds for our carers to update the electronic care system and receive nurse call alerts on, to being able to port a resident's own telephone number (while blocking nuisance calls etc) to their room when they move in. We've installed wifi across all of our homes - even the older ones - because it gives us the platform we need to put in place enhancements to improve the experience of our residents and staff.

 

Allied Drinks Systems

Providing a cafe destination

Most people are used to popping to a café for a cup of tea or coffee and a slice of cake. It's a nice way to meet other people, read a newspaper or magazine, or simply watch the world go by. It's a destination and an excuse to get out. We've installed cafés into several of our homes and have plans to bring this concept to our other homes as well. Choosing a machine that residents could use themselves was important for us - this provides choice and independence - and of course we wanted a machine that was low maintenance and easy to clean. If you pop into a WCS Care home cafe, take the time to enjoy a drink and try out the machine for yourself.

 

 

Alpine HC

Thinking ahead so residents have the right bed

Whilst we need to ensure our beds provide all of the safety and health benefits that our residents may need, from rails to a range of positions, we don't agree that beds need to look institutional. At our latest home, Castle Brook, we've matched the colour of the beds to the other furniture, giving residents more control and choice over the look of their room. And we're also putting the latest Opera bed to the test for residents who might need a bed which can lower right down to the floor, or at least go lower than other standard profiling beds.

 

Reval

Making bathing an experience

With ensuite rooms now the norm in our new homes (and being fit where possible in older homes) and people showering to get clean, we've realised that baths are used for a more relaxing, pampering experience. With this in mind, we've introduced luxury spa baths in our new builds and have a programme of replacing our assisted baths with spa baths across the group as they come up for renewal. These new baths provide a more immersive experience, tipping gently back so residents can relax under warm, bubbling water. Combine this with the lights, aromatherapy scents and music, and bathing becomes a truly pampering experience.

 

ACC

Engaging training

At WCS Care we use ACC's training materials to support our in-house training provision, but as with most things, we like to bring our own twist to the way we use their content - in particular bringing our value of 'play' into the training environment to make every session memorable through fun, interactive moments. 

Oomph!

Exercise and activities

Oomph!'s activity and exercise classes form a core part of our daily lifestyle programme ensuring residents get mental and physical stimulation every day of the week. And now we're also helping residents to get Out & About with Oomph!'s minibus service which provides two trips per month for each of our homes to local attractions, shops and places of interest.

PhotonStar

Improving sleep, improving lives

Just 12-15 minutes of natural daylight can help to set our body's circadian rhythm, or in other words, our internal body clock which controls our sleep/wake rhythm. When this clock is running smoothly we can be active, productive and eat well during the day and sleep well at night. A lack of sleep, sundowning and seasonal affective disorder, as well as dementia, lead to a range of health and wellbeing concerns including a poor immune system, memory problems, confusion, depression, over eating and mood changes. Circadian rhythm lighting mimics natural daylight, combating these symptoms, which is why WCS Care is working with PhotonStar Lighting to trial the use of circadian lighting. 

National Care Forum

Promoting quality care in the not-for-profit sector

WCS Care is a member of the National Care Forum (NCF) which offers us the opportunity to connect with other not-for-profit providers in the care sector, as well as those from the wider health and care sector. WCS Care believes that sharing best practice offers us and other care providers the opportunity to learn and improve the care we provide to residents. The Innovation Hub is just one of the tools we use to share our experience, learning and innovative approaches to care with members of the NCF and the wider health and care sector.