Half Acre House

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Half Acre House'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 Half Acre House 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
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
42 | HALF ACRE HOUSE
Owners Anita and Rod Lewis
Half Acre House, set in one and
a half acres of mature gardens
Half Acre House in Rochdale was established 30 years ago
by Anita and Rod Lewis, initially supported by Anita’s
brother and sister-in-law. In response to the disappointing
nature of facilities in the area at that time, Anita and Rod
researched care provision, practice and standards, all the while
searching for a suitable solution for her elderly mother. Three
decades after responding to the challenge of providing a quality
care home in Rochdale, Half Acre House has been recognised by
North West FSB as their family business of the year.
Since our foundation 30 years ago, the expectations, provision and professionalism
within the care industry have improved dramatically. Demand for later-years care
has increased, changes in legislation have occurred resulting in financial strains and
crucially the varying perception of what residential care should be has resulted in an
ever-changing landscape.
Set in one and a half acres of mature gardens with 25 en-suite rooms, our business
has stayed true to our founding aims:
»to create a safe, caring environment in touch with its community
»to provide a family-friendly atmosphere, where residents can live a full, active,
dignified lifestyle according to their needs
A well-led care team effort
Customers seek quality care and have high expectations for the treatment of
the elderly. Not only do they want a comfortable, stylish environment but they
also seek opportunities to allow elderly people to continue to flourish, as well as
FACTS ABOUT
HALF ACRE HOUSE
»Directors: Anita and Rod Lewis
»Founded in 1989
»Located in Rochdale
»Services: Care for the elderly in
the Rochdale area
»No. of employees: 30
Half Acre House
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
42 | HALF ACRE HOUSE
Owners Anita and Rod Lewis
Half Acre House, set in one and
a half acres of mature gardens
Half Acre House in Rochdale was established 30 years ago
by Anita and Rod Lewis, initially supported by Anita’s
brother and sister-in-law. In response to the disappointing
nature of facilities in the area at that time, Anita and Rod
researched care provision, practice and standards, all the while
searching for a suitable solution for her elderly mother. Three
decades after responding to the challenge of providing a quality
care home in Rochdale, Half Acre House has been recognised by
North West FSB as their family business of the year.
Since our foundation 30 years ago, the expectations, provision and professionalism
within the care industry have improved dramatically. Demand for later-years care
has increased, changes in legislation have occurred resulting in financial strains and
crucially the varying perception of what residential care should be has resulted in an
ever-changing landscape.
Set in one and a half acres of mature gardens with 25 en-suite rooms, our business
has stayed true to our founding aims:
»to create a safe, caring environment in touch with its community
»to provide a family-friendly atmosphere, where residents can live a full, active,
dignified lifestyle according to their needs
A well-led care team effort
Customers seek quality care and have high expectations for the treatment of
the elderly. Not only do they want a comfortable, stylish environment but they
also seek opportunities to allow elderly people to continue to flourish, as well as
FACTS ABOUT
HALF ACRE HOUSE
»Directors: Anita and Rod Lewis
»Founded in 1989
»Located in Rochdale
»Services: Care for the elderly in
the Rochdale area
»No. of employees: 30
Half Acre House
43HALF ACRE HOUSE |
CARE
developing new skills and interests.
Additionally, families want dignity to
be upheld and friendships and family
contacts to be maintained.
We are dedicated to providing these
experiences by our proactiveness,
constant investment and planned
upgrades. With our value-based
recruitment, we hope to employ
dedicated, supportive employees, led
from the top.
Our management team, led by
Business Manager Nina Clegg and
Care Manager Elesha Greaves, strive
to make the difficult decisions, and
both are passionate about maintaining
standards and a high quality of care
with hands-on owners’ support.
In the 1990s, little attention was paid
to developing a qualified and skilled
workforce. Here at Half Acre House,
training and dignity were our priority,
for which we have gained manyawards.
Today all our care staff have QCF/NVQ
Level 2 or above, with our senior care
staff and management are progressing
to QCF level 5, but there are times
when we find it difficult to retain
quality staff. We believe in equipping
our team with the skills required to
nurture positive attitudes and culture,
which contributes to the delivery of the
high standards we expect.
The majority of our residents now
enter care between 80 and 90 years
old and are often frail with complex
needs. This contrasts with our
admissions in the 1990s, who were
mainly between 65 to 75 years old.
Innovative practices with
community involvement
Our main focus has always been
on keeping close links with families
and the community. Our reputation
is based on the wide range of
activities we provide; however, we
appreciate that our resources require
continuedinvestment.
For our creative residents we hold
craft, painting, sewing and baking
sessions. Quizzes or crosswords are
used to provide mental stimulation.
We encourage our residents including
the wheelchair bound to exercise to
music or play various ball games indoors
or on the lawn, including volleyball,
which we feel encourages independence.
A range of musical opportunities
complements these programmes,
allowing for memories to be rekindled
and happy thoughts encouraged. Music
encourages movement and allows our
residents to develop singing skills, while
stimulating memorypatterns.
We believe that listening to requests
is paramount, and this often results
in group visits to local amenities.
Two ladies were even recently taken
swimming to satisfy long-term desires.
Examples of community
involvement
We work with Live Music Now,
Chetham’s School of Music and local
choirs, which opens doors for interactive
music and widens musical interests for
residents and their families too.
We also host themed evenings,
which provide music and occasions
for our residents to dress for dinner
parties, supported by their families
andvolunteers.
We are often visited by young people
from nearby colleges as part of
schemes including the Prince’s Trust.
A precious moment with
children
Our aim is to
continue to be
a truly family-
orientated
home
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
44 | HALF ACRE HOUSE
Many of them are just starting their
careers and are always brimming with
enthusiasm to share their talents.
Our engagement with nursery children
has also expanded in recent years.
We researched the Lark Hill project,
where children spent many hours
befriending old people in care. We try
to replicate this with our local nurseries
providing opportunities to create
preciousmoments.
Regular newsletters and customer
surveys form an essential
communication tool with staff, families
and the wider community, including
liaising with our local council.
Our aim is to continue to be a truly
family-orientated home.
Influencing care standards
Our belief in innovation has contributed
towards our selection for the Greater
Manchester Teaching Care Home
pilot, working in partnership with
Manchester Metropolitan University
and other care homes to showcase
good practice, coupled with training,
innovation and development.
A long-term passion of Half Acre was
to influence others, helping to raise
standards, and change and improve
approaches towards the elderly, thereby
dispelling the present poor image and
misconceptions held about care homes.
Legislation and financial
support
Years of governmental and council
underfunding has deprived the industry
of the necessary money for care homes
to invest in improving the quality of
life of their residents. We have regular
consultations with the local authorities
and CCG, but frustratingly these
often fail to bring about the essential
changerequired.
There are disparities between southern
counties and the rest of the country,
particularly in the north. Poor areas
appear to attract less government
funding, resulting in less money
dedicated to care services. Pressures
to meet living wage increases and
workplace pensions contributions
weigh heavily on budgets.
We utilise technology to play a huge part
in simplifying the extensive time demand
of necessary paperwork. Accessible
technological grants would encourage
advancement and innovative practice.
Keeping elderly people in their own
home long term, while attractive, has
a downside. Hidden costs arise locally
and nationally requiring multiple daily
carer visits.
Older people are more prone to falls
and can often deteriorate quickly
resulting in emergency hospital visits,
stretching NHS resources. Loneliness
is the most striking issue of staying
at home, caused by lack of daily
stimulation and minimal conversations,
and this often leads to mental health
problems, another hidden cost.
There is a fear of care homes and this
needs to be dispelled. Any opportunity for
excellent standards, innovative practices
and quality care to shine through will
help to oppose the negative press.
We feel a sense of pride at Half Acre
House for the contribution we continue
to make to the care industry by our
intuitiveness and our open mindedness,
which is keeping us abreast of change.
A long-term
passion of Half
Acre was to
influence
others, helping
to raise
standards, and
change and
improve
approaches
towards
theelderly
Themed evening –
masquerade ball

This article was sponsored by Half Acre House. 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