1

Lesley Andrew, a registered nurse and General Manager at Signature at Wandsworth Common, tells Retiremove what older people can expect from a high-end nursing home

What goes into creating exceptional care?

“Having a specialist, purpose-built environment is important but ultimately it is the people that create exceptional care. As such, our recruitment process and ongoing training programme is rigorous. We want passionate people who live and breathe care and genuinely want to make a difference beyond just talking the talk.

“Person-centered care is vital, where everything is tailored to the needs and wants of the individual. However, this only works in practice where there is enough investment in staff to resident ratios.”

How has Signature responded to the COVID-19 pandemic?

“We have independently procured personal protective equipment (PPE) at scale and have been conducting regular widespread whole home testing.

“We brought in specialist training, bespoke risk assessments and extensive new health and safety measures including temperature testing for all visitors, rigorous sanitisation and more recently restricted access in line with Public Health England guidance. Thanks to this, at the time of writing, we have had no Covid-19 cases at the home.

What has been the hardest aspect of the past few months?

“I think maintaining positivity and a sense of normality is the biggest challenge.

“The team is vital here. We have to look out for each other and support each other during the hard times. Maintaining a work life balance is also vital. We aren’t superheroes and we all need time to recharge.

We want residents to retain their independence as much as possible, so if they do want to go outside they are welcome to

“Thankfully, through the hard work of our teams, spirits remain high in the home and our residents are happy, healthy and engaged.”

What type of activities do residents get to enjoy?

“Our activities programme is varied and shaped by our residents and their own interests, which goes back to delivering person-centered care.

“Over the past few months we have had everything from a socially-distanced masquerade ball to ‘Wandsworth’s got talent’, murder mysteries, arts and crafts sessions and themed food events.

“We have also invested in a Medimotion bike which allows for low-impact exercise – it has been extremely popular!”

Is technology important?

“It certainly is. We have Zoom, Facebook Portals and Microsoft Teams on hand to help people stay connected and many of our residents have iPads – they are enjoying and embracing this new way of interacting.

“We have delivered fun online initiatives including a Knickerbocker Glory Facebook Live challenge with MasterChef’s Jane Devonshire as well as our Signature Dementia Choir which involves residents from all 13 of our homes.

“We also have our industry-leading Relatives Gateway, a 24-hour online portal that provides total transparency and reassurance to family regarding their loved one’s care. Every minute is logged and it makes it easy to increase or decrease care levels as requirements change.”

How do you balance health and safety with independence?

“While the health and safety of our residents is number one priority, they are adults and care homes are not prisons.

“We want residents to retain their independence as much as possible, so if they do want to go outside they are welcome to, which is why we undertake weekly testing.

“In light of the most recent lockdown status, we are also finding creative ways to facilitate indoor visits and are currently exploring how we can do this safely.”

Do you offer temporary respite care?

“Ranging from two weeks to two months, respite offers a physical and emotional break from caring for loved ones. Care receivers benefit from tailored care in a ‘home-away-from- home’ setting, with the opportunity to socialise with new people in a safe, secure and welcoming community.”

What is coming up at Signature Wandsworth Common?

“We are already planning for Christmas and are speaking with our residents to help shape the celebrations.

“We want them to reminisce about their favourite Christmas memories, which we will then try to recreate.

“We will have Christmas jumper days, games and activities.

“We’re also hoping to stream a nativity play with a local school and of course our specialist chefs will be preparing the perfect Christmas dinner. Ensuring we deliver fine food and beverage is a huge part of what we do here and Christmas will be no exception.”

Signature at Wandsworth Common is the group’s newest and most luxurious home, offering assisted living, 24-hour nursing and specialist dementia care.

Residents can enjoy a range of exceptional lifestyle facilities akin to the world’s finest hotels including a sky lounge with panoramic views across London, a cinema, café, hair salon, restaurant, private dining room, terrace gardens and even a chauffeur service.

To find out more about Signature at Wandsworth Common or other Signature homes, please visit www.signature-care-homes.co.uk

 

Signature at Wandsworth Common