Maplehurst Nursing Home (Haywards Heath)

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Maplehurst Nursing Home (Haywards Heath)'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 Maplehurst Nursing Home (Haywards Heath) 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

Maplehurst Nursing Home delivers high-
quality care in the heart of its community
Based in Haywards Heath, West Sussex, Maplehurst Nursing
Home is dedicated to taking a measured approach to
care. Through a set of general principles, the care home
has learnt to deal with practical realities while also providing a
high quality of life for its residents. Key among these principles
is leadership, something that Maplehurst’s Director, Campbell
Lyle, believes is common across multiple areas – something he
also knows as a result of his time as an officer in the military.
Drawing on this valuable experience, he has managed to
apply these general principles to a much softer environment
with astounding success, which is why the home is rated as
“outstanding” by the CQC. To give a more thorough account
of these principles, Campbell has composed the following piece.
A tough start
My wife and I purchased our first nursing home in 2013. Within two weeks the
registered manager had resigned. With the benefit of hindsight, although it did not
feel like it at the time, this was the best possible thing that could have happened.
We considered recruiting externally but in the end decided to promote and train a
bright young nurse with a good attitude. We spent the following months looking in
detail at every aspect of the workings of the home. We were able to do this with a
fresh perspective, looking to improve in every area possible.
»Director: Campbell Lyle
»Based in Haywards Heath,
West Sussex
»Services: Dementia specialist
nursing home
»CQC: “Outstanding”, across
all 5 categories
»38 registered beds
Maplehurst Nursing
Highlighting best practice
That nursing home was one of the
first in the country to be rated as
“outstanding” by the CQC, and since
then we have purchased another
home, which also received this rating.
While we are of course proud of what
we and our staff have achieved for our
residents, my intention here is not to
be self-congratulatory (we are far from
perfect). Rather, it is to point out that
the top rating is achievable, and it is
achievable across locations by those
relatively new to care.
In this brief article, we highlight some
of the lessons that we have learnt
along the way.
General principles
The role of a military officer and care
home owner may at first glance appear
poles apart. In fact, they are not that
dissimilar. Common across both roles
is, or should be, a strong sense of
duty of care. In one role, that duty
is towards one’s soldiers and in the
other, it is to one’s residents and staff.
This mentality across the leadership
structure of a care organisation
is, Ibelieve, an essential aspect in
excellent care.
Exercising a duty of care does not
involve supporting everyone within an
organisation under every circumstance.
In life there are those people who
have a tendency to display negative
attitudes in a non-constructive way
as a default setting. My wife refers to
team members afflicted by this kind
of attitude as “mood hoovers”. They
suck the life out of organisations and
of team members around them. These
people are not to be confused with
those that introduce robust debate
and disagreement. This can be an
important part of driving improvement
within a team. When we encounter
consistently negative behaviours by a
team member, we work with them to
try to understand the root cause. Often
there are mitigating circumstances
and in time a solution can be found.
If this is not possible, then, difficult
though it may be, letting them go
may be the best course of action – the
organisation will be the better for it.
In care homes, it’s also worth
remembering that small actions have a
big impact. Even small improvements
lead to excellence over time. Nurturing
this mentality is crucial. Although
our sector has some unique features,
Grizelda – the
Maplehurst therapy dog
Activities form an
important part of daily life
In care homes,
even small
lead to
over time
we try to seek out best practice from
across different industries. This is to
stop us from falling into customs and
habits that survive not on the basis of
their utility, but on their own inertia.
It is our belief that leadership is not
simply a static, top-down activity.
Rather, there should exist among
leaders, particularly in our industry,
a willingness to roll up their sleeves,
so to speak. Leaders who do nothing
other than issue orders should not
be surprised when improvements do
We strive to strike the right balance
between safety and quality of life. It’s
obvious enough that only the worst
homes neglect safety and compliance,
but it’s less intuitive to recognise the
damage that too rigid an environment
can cause. Those that obsess over
safety and compliance to the exclusion
of all else risk creating a sterile “cotton
wool” environment at the expense of
quality of life.
The art of being clear is vital. Paving
a clear set of standard operating
procedures results in a staff who know
what is expected of them. Within an
environment where there is a collective
sense of accountability and leadership,
good practice naturally prevails
and corners are not cut. As part of
accountability, we also seek to diversify
risk away from registered managers,
instead spreading responsibility across
the organisation.
It’s also important to prioritise; do the
basics very well and build from there.
Over-committing by trying to engage
in too many frameworks, initiatives
and programmes is likely to result in
mediocrity, or worse. The care home
environment can be a very busy one. It
is all too easy to become distracted by
multiple frameworks or bogged down
in the day-to-day components of work.
Try to continue to push forward to
make improvements. Although in the
short term making changes can disrupt
stability, over time, the improvements
add up and yield many benefits.
These are a few areas that we believe
are worth emphasising. We are not
complacent; we continue to try to
improve our standards and believe that
this places us and our residents well for
the future.
Diversify risk
away from
managers by
Maplehurst staff

This article was sponsored by Maplehurst Nursing Home (Haywards Heath). 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 Kwasi Kwarteng.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.

In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.

We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.

With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.

And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.

As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy