Firstlings Residential Home

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Firstlings Residential Home's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Firstlings Residential Home is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

www.sohal.healthcare/locations/firstlings

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
48 | FIRSTLINGS RESIDENTIAL HOME
A truly unique building for
residents
Serving the elderly population of
Maldon and surrounding areas
Firstlings Residential Home is a care home which focuses
on the elderly in Maldon and the surrounding area. Based
in an early 20th-century vicarage, a recent extension has
allowed the home to double its number of residents while still
maintaining its high standards. Aware of the important role care
homes play, Manager Tina Bentley says she has helped Firstlings
to maintain its quality of care in spite of the culture change in
the industry over the past 30 years.
Here at Firstlings Residential Home, we pride ourselves on providing the highest
standard of care for our elderly residents. Home to 32 residents, aged 65 and
above, we are situated next to the churchyard and near Maldon’s promenade and
main street.
I have worked with Firstlings since 1999, progressing from junior carer to the role
of overall manager in 2009. In this time there have been dramatic changes to
the care industry, most notably an increase in paperwork, impacting our ability
to be as hands-on as we were used to. We find that paperwork often takes time
away from the people who care, instead of making our job easier. In lieu of this I
work the floor as often as possible during my shifts and try not to be too focused
on the more bureaucratic side of the job. We believe that families matter more
thanpaperwork.
We believe our popularity as a care home has arisen because we do not want
our residents to feel as if this is their last home, regardless of their condition,
but instead that this is their family home and that they can treat it as such. We
decorate the home accordingly, in a hotel-style, as opposed to something more
FACTS ABOUT
FIRSTLINGS RESIDENTIAL HOME
»Manager: Tina Bentley
»Founded in 1986
»Located in Maldon
»Services: Residential care for
the elderly in Maldon
»No. of employees: 38
Firstlings Residential
Home
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
48 | FIRSTLINGS RESIDENTIAL HOME
A truly unique building for
residents
Serving the elderly population of
Maldon and surrounding areas
Firstlings Residential Home is a care home which focuses
on the elderly in Maldon and the surrounding area. Based
in an early 20th-century vicarage, a recent extension has
allowed the home to double its number of residents while still
maintaining its high standards. Aware of the important role care
homes play, Manager Tina Bentley says she has helped Firstlings
to maintain its quality of care in spite of the culture change in
the industry over the past 30 years.
Here at Firstlings Residential Home, we pride ourselves on providing the highest
standard of care for our elderly residents. Home to 32 residents, aged 65 and
above, we are situated next to the churchyard and near Maldon’s promenade and
main street.
I have worked with Firstlings since 1999, progressing from junior carer to the role
of overall manager in 2009. In this time there have been dramatic changes to
the care industry, most notably an increase in paperwork, impacting our ability
to be as hands-on as we were used to. We find that paperwork often takes time
away from the people who care, instead of making our job easier. In lieu of this I
work the floor as often as possible during my shifts and try not to be too focused
on the more bureaucratic side of the job. We believe that families matter more
thanpaperwork.
We believe our popularity as a care home has arisen because we do not want
our residents to feel as if this is their last home, regardless of their condition,
but instead that this is their family home and that they can treat it as such. We
decorate the home accordingly, in a hotel-style, as opposed to something more
FACTS ABOUT
FIRSTLINGS RESIDENTIAL HOME
»Manager: Tina Bentley
»Founded in 1986
»Located in Maldon
»Services: Residential care for
the elderly in Maldon
»No. of employees: 38
Firstlings Residential
Home
49FIRSTLINGS RESIDENTIAL HOME |
CARE
clinical. We hope the families and
friends of our residents also consider it
to be their home, and we encourage
the use of our on-site cinema, among
other resources.
It is important to us that our residents
are physically and mentally active
and we have implemented various
schemes to encourage this. We have
a yoga teacher who visits us once a
month and we have also engaged
with local schools. Having recently
started a meditation programme with
our residents, we have noticed an
improvement in their quality of life.
These different styles of engagement
and relaxation have all come about
in recent years and have positively
impacted the lives of our residents.
Press-based problems
In spite of the important work we
do, the care industry is often subject
to negative press. We believe that
while it is essential to create a safe
and welcoming environment for our
residents, our employees are human
and may sometimes make mistakes.
It is often the case that our carers
are afraid to do their jobs in the
knowledge that if these mistakes do
occur, they will be highlighted and
could impact them to a significant
extent. We also recognise that the
clientele we work with are among
the most challenging, and that due
consideration should be given to this in
press reports.
We find that the press only mentions
the care industry when there is a
problem. Indeed, it ought to be
recognised that there is a particular
vulnerability to care homes and our
workers as we have to please so many
groups of people, taking into account
the opinions of medical professionals,
residents and their families. The reason
we work in care is because we like
caring. It is this style of narrative which
the press ought to represent.
There is too little reassurance for care
workers and nurses, and I always
consider my staff unsung heroes. Giving patients the
quality of care they
deserve
We believe
that families
matter more
than
paperwork
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
50 | FIRSTLINGS RESIDENTIAL HOME
Funding for the future
We are deeply affected by the financial
problems across the care industry. This
is due to a number of reasons, including
an increase in the minimum wage and
an overall reduction in governmental
funding for the industry. This is often
frustrating, especially considering the
importance of the work, and the range
of people itimpacts.
It is essential that our residents can
access the quality of care they deserve,
in spite of financial difficulties they
may have, and I have often fought to
allow for this.
In my view, it would be better if the
funds for symposia and conferences
focusing on care were instead pumped
directly into the industry to help alleviate
some of these issues. We hope that in
the coming years more funding can be
allocated to our home in order that we
can maintain our already high standards.
You can teach an old dog
new tricks
A number of our residents are hard of
hearing and we noticed that they were
communicating with their hands in
order to talk to one another. Wehave
now established sign language
classes for staff and our residents
to allow them to communicate with
oneanother.
We run a programme called the
“Bucket Wish List” that allows our
residents to tick off items from their
bucket lists which may not ordinarily
have been possible. We have taken
some of our residents to spas or hotels;
however, one of our residents recently
requested the opportunity to ride
a motorbike for her 90th birthday.
Thanks to Maldon’s Motorcycle Club,
we were able to make her dream a
reality, and we hope that in the future
we can enable more residents to fulfil
their dreams.
In the coming years we hope to allow
the members of our home to develop
even more of a sense of freedom by
holding camping trips and increasing the
number of schools who collaborate with
us. We hope that by facilitating events
like this we can change the culture
surrounding caring for theelderly.
I have an immense respect for the
residents who live in Firstlings Residential
Home and hope that by the time I reach
their age, I have as many stories to tell.
The reason we
work in care is
because we
like caring
Communication is of
great importance

www.sohal.healthcare/locations/firstlings

This article was sponsored by Firstlings Residential Home. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.



Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development