12 Apr 2024

Homecare provider investing to enrich lives of clients

A homecare provider is investing in specialist training and going the extra mile to support its clients and enrich their lives.

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Staff at the Lancaster and Morecambe branch of Westmorland Homecare have taken part in a variety of training programmes, a host of social events have been organised and staff are ready to go out of their way to help clients take part in activities they have always wanted to do.

“We are determined to help all our clients remain in their own homes and live their lives to the full,” said Registered Manager Daniel Stainer.

The branch, which covers a large area from Silverdale to Galgate, including Lancaster, Morecambe and Heysham, provides care to enable vulnerable and often frail people over the age of 18 to live independently in their own home. Its services include homecare, such as help with housekeeping and meal preparation, and personal care, which includes help with medication, dressing, bathing and living their life to the full.

It employs just over 70 staff, including Homecare Assistants, Team Leaders and office staff.

Around 15 staff have just completed specialist percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) training. “We take on packages of care with some clients who have complex medical conditions, including those who have a PEG feeding tube,” said Daniel.

“Giving our staff PEG training, inclusive of administering medication through the tube, enables clients to be cared for independently within the comfort of their own homes, instead of having to move to a residential or nursing home or hospital setting. This is the level of quality service that we would expect, so why shouldn’t every client of Westmorland Homecare?” said Daniel.

Daniel explained that one client required oxygen throughout the night so, for the first time, five staff have just completed specialist training to manage the oxygen effectively and safely.

“We also have some clients who cannot move at all, but who generate a lot of saliva in their mouths,” said Daniel. “Staff have undergone training to use suction machines to effectively stop clients choking or even drowning and to live at home safely.

“We have also taken on our first client who is non-binary and so does not identify as being either male or female. We have sent a small team of carers on a specialist training programme to ensure they know how to provide the best and most appropriate care for their individual needs.”

Dan said client social events were held every three months. The most recent was an Easter-themed event, attended by around 25 clients, which included refreshments and cakes and the opportunity to decorate Easter bonnets and make bird feeders.

Previous socials have included a Westmorland Homecare dog show, where clients and staff brought along their pets, including a Frug and Cocker and Springer Spaniels. At Christmas around 50 clients attended a social, which included 42 children from Slyne-with-Hest St Luke’s Church of England Primary School performing carols.

The branch continues with its ‘Make a Wish’ scheme, in which clients are encouraged to tell staff about things they have always wanted to do but have not done before.

“It might be a trip to the theatre, going up in a hot air balloon or visiting the Lake District for a boat trip on one of the lakes,” said Dan.

“We try to cover the cost of the activity and staff will accompany the client on the visit. If we have the power to make these things happen for clients, we shall do so.

“I think all these examples shows that, as a team, we are really living out our values to be kind, innovative, trusted and enriching and doing our best to provide the best quality of service for our clients.”

Meanwhile two of the branch’s homecare assistants, Damien Whittam and Charlotte Blackshaw, have just been promoted to be Team Leaders.

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