Springfield Court Nursing Home

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Springfield Court Nursing 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 Springfield Court Nursing 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


Highlighting best practice
Highlighting best practice
Director Colin Wilkinson
The grounds at Springfield are an
important part of life for the residents
Springfield Court Nursing Home is a privately-owned
“outstanding” care home in the heart of rural Lancashire.
Director Colin Wilkinson says that Springfield Court
is dedicated to providing the highest-quality care and
assistance to all residents at the home, and that the team
pride themselves on their friendly, respectful and professional
demeanour. Colin discusses just why Springfield Court is “a
care home with a difference” and the stability that quality staff
bring with them.
Prior to entering the care sector, my experience was in education. I taught in
Birmingham and in the Black Country before moving up north to Merseyside to
take up a post at St Mary’s College in Crosby. After working at Debenhams as a
cook, my wife, Wendy, chose to work in a nearby care home.
She enjoyed the work very much, and after a few years, we realised it may be possible
to set up our own nursing home. With the aid of friends, Mr Robert Pollitt and Mrs
Margaret Pollitt, both of whom subsequently became directors, we believed we had the
range of skills and experiences to be sufficiently confident of accepting the challenges
before us. The initial phase of construction saw the erection of a 34-bedroom unit,
importantly, all on ground level. We opened on November 2, 1989. Over subsequent
decades, we have added further ground-level wings so that now Springfield Court has
60 beds. That gradual growth meant that we could maintain our standards of care.
Our CQC inspection carried out in November 2018 by the Care Quality Commission
resulted in Springfield being rated “outstanding”.
»Director: Colin Wilkinson
»Established in 1989
»Based in Aughton, Lancashire
»Services: Residential care
»No. of employees: 80
Springfield Court
Nursing Home
The stability of long-serving
We were delighted to receive this
highest rating. It was what we sought,
and we were relieved that the Care
Quality Commission recognised the
commitment and immense effort
we make. Our carers, nurses, chefs,
cleaners, laundry girls and handymen
are the reason for our continued
success. Their professionalism and
dedication were noted by the CQC,
and significantly they highlighted the
high level of staff retention. This leads
to continuity and stability which is
much appreciated by our residents.
A constant stream of new staff is
disturbing for all concerned, and staff
retention provides for the opportunity
of establishing lasting relationships.
Many of our staff say working at
Springfield is like being part of a
family, a sentiment frequently echoed
by our residents.
In order to ensure our staff are
operating at the highest level, we
have a comprehensive range of staff
training. A combination of in-house,
online training and NVQ studying
ensures our staff are enabled to
develop their skills to deliver the
highest level of care. This fastidious
approach to staff training has delivered
many examples of career progression.
Over the past decades, we have
witnessed so many carers becoming
senior carers, nurses and, in numerous
cases, doctors.
Springfield Court has an attached
apartment where my wife and I live.
This proximity, I believe, provides
comfort both for the residents and
their relatives, and indeed the staff
too. We are very visible for most of
the waking hours and, if necessary,
through the night. Concerns can
be resolved far more speedily and
effectively rather than being lost
in the oblique channels of a major
corporation. It is this effective dynamic
that led me to believe that we should
never consider owning a chain of
nursing homes. This sense of family
could not be replicated in more than
one home.
Championing the arts
Not long after opening Springfield
Court, we became aware of the
absolute necessity to engage our
residents in a wide range of activities
according to their wishes and
temperaments. We have established
varied activities from singing to art
classes and from quizzes to day trips.
We also realised how important it
was to involve the relatives, and
so we arrange dinner parties and
entertainment. On these spectacular
nights, we have had many top stars
including Jimmy Cricket; Ken Dodd;
Sixties pop groups such as The
Searchers, The Fourmost and Herman’s
Hermits; former BBC journalist Martin
Bell; and several high-profile politicians
from across the political spectrum.
Such was the success of these nights
that we eventually decided to build
a small theatre, which we call the
Theatre of Dreams. It opened in 2010,
and this newly created wonderful
space includes an adjoining café and is
used most days. This venue is now the
site of our enrichment programme.
Delivering friendly,
compassionate care
the high level
of staff
Highlighting best practice
Highlighting best practice
Uniquely, there is also a very active
and successful Thursday night art
class for the staff. After almost
three years, the group have become
most accomplished with no hint
of amateurism. Thursday night
also has an early evening bar run
by two professional barmaids for
The totality of this extracurricular
activity is the establishment of a
real community which involves
friends, neighbours and folk from
the immediate area and beyond.
Springfield Court has forged a unique
path which challenges the embedded
preconceptions of what a nursing
home is. This cultural focus is key to
our provision.
On admission to the home, we study
the interests and experiences of
each resident, factoring this into the
activities and expeditions we organise.
Our activities leaders see ten residents
each day, speaking confidentially
about anything that is concerning
for them. This is a very important
element of our individualised and
An innovative future
The grounds surrounding the nursing
home are a major aspect of it. We
encourage as many residents as
possible to experience the gardens,
particularly in the warm summer
months. We have plans to erect a
palm house next year, so that the
garden experience can continue
throughout the year regardless of the
We recently installed the very latest
nurse call alarm system. It involves the
careful placing of screens throughout
the home that shows the time and
order that residents call for assistance.
All calls are logged and monitored,
and our aim is to respond within
In the past six months, we have
introduced a new electronic system
which replaces handwritten reports.
Staff carry a handset which can
recognise the room it is in and thus
store all active and current information
in a robust and structured fashion.
Using dictation and other recording
techniques, we can monitor the health
and wellbeing of our residents in real
time. We aim to continue this into the
dispensing ofmedicines.
One of the biggest challenges we
face is the recruitment of new nurses.
It is a problem the entire sector is
experiencing. However, it is becoming
increasingly difficult, and we hope the
newly established government will
address the issue with some urgency.
We are proud of our achievements,
but we cannot rest on our laurels.
A new decade is emerging, and we
are excited to lead our nursing home
towards further innovation.
We are excited
to lead our
nursing home
Broadway star Jeri Sager,
from Nashville


This article was sponsored by Springfield Court Nursing 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