St Michaels Care Home

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by St Michaels Care 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 St Michaels Care 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

Director Mark Tansley
A gentle stroll around
St Michaels Care Home was originally founded as a
convalescent home for young women in 1895. Over 100
years on, it has been turned into a general nursing home
on the coast of northeast Kent and has been consistently
graded as “good” – or the prior equivalent – since 2008.
Registered Manager Jacquelyne Osborn tells
The Parliamentary
about the home’s commitment to support, the home’s
culture and their dedicated staff.
Absolutely integral to our work is the open culture we develop, foster and promote
through a number of methods.
Open, effective channels of communication
This is one of the most important ways of establishing the culture that’s so key to our
work. We try to overcome hierarchy barriers and create a clear dialogue through:
»Fortnightly two-day visits from our new director. This keeps him abreast of how
change is being implemented and informs him of the stresses and strains that
change inevitably produces.
»The manager and her deputy attending the daily verbal handover between day
and night staff. Not only does this keep management informed of issues relating
to residents and the staff, but it provides a valuable opportunity to evaluate and
discuss how new systems and changes are working, allowing them to provide
support where needed.
»Formal monthly departmental and general meetings that are held as an open
forum to express views and relay information.
»Director: Mark Tansley
»Registered Manager:
Jacquelyne Osborn
»Founded in 1895
»Based in Westgate-on-Sea,
»Services: General nursing
»No. of employees: 64
»No. of residents: 63
»CQC: “Good”, since 2008
»Convalescent home for young
women when first founded
St Michaels Care Home
Highlighting best practice
Additionally, we try to maintain an
open and honest dialogue with both
our residents and their families. This
emphasises the need to keep people
apprised of any health changes or
accidents that may have occurred and
is in line with our duty of candour as
stated by CQC.
It also entails supporting our residents
and their families with decision-
making, investigating accidents
or incidents and providing an
honest report. This is essential for
the purposes of maintaining and
strengthening both residents’ and
staff’s trust and confidence.
Reflective and successful
We utilise reflective practice with all
members of staff as a tool to analyse
and understand what may have gone
wrong or, conversely, what has made
an intervention successful. We have
found this to be far more effective
in most instances than disciplinary
procedures and that it provides an
opportunity to formalise and share
good practice.
To ensure that this process remains
informative and concise, we have
clear and specific job descriptions
for all members of staff across every
level and department at the home.
These link personal responsibilities
and expectations to the five key CQC
inspection areas: “safety”, “caring”,
“effectiveness”, “responsiveness” and
We also have clear and robust policies
available which are regularly reviewed
to ensure they remain relevant. This
provides recognised and straightforward
guidelines for procedures to all staff
and management, which goes a long
way towards making certain that
interventions and general working
practices are successful and appropriate.
Finally, grounding everything is our
uncompromising focus on person-
centred care. This means that
care is planned according to each
individual’s preferences, needs and
choices. Residents and their families
are encouraged to discuss their
care so that they can be supported
appropriately and continue to live well
at St Michaels, while still maintaining
a responsible balance between care
New ownership and
Just over two years ago, we came
under new ownership which entailed
a sustained period of change. Our
management and staff, however,
have remained a reliable constant,
and this has allowed the introduction
of new working practices which have
been seamlessly implemented without
disruption to residents. Among these
are technology-based assessment,
documentation for care and both
heated and chilled trolleys for the
delivery of meals.
Our home has also benefited from
carefully planned and implemented
financial investment which has fallen
in line with our general ethos. It’s
been driven by a desire to pull away
from the stereotypical perception of
a care home, moving instead towards
People of all ages
enjoying a St Michaels
Our residents and
carers often share
We try to
barriers and
create a clear
live-in accommodation that is more
akin to a luxury home with support
and care staff. All of our furnishings
have been carefully selected to provide
appropriate comfort while meeting all
cleaning and hygiene requirements.
We feel that soft furnishings and
tasteful ornaments contribute to
the creation of a “home away
This investment has been geared
towards improving the daily experience
of our residents; we have also doubled
the number of staff members that
deliver activities, and now continually
evaluate what we offer to ensure
suitability for residents. A new budget
has been outlined that will cover
the expense of employing visiting
entertainers and the introduction of
bi-monthly themed events, which have
provided an opportunity to increase
community involvement in the home.
As a result, to the delight of the
residents, we now have regular visits
from local schools, the Piggybank Day
Nursery, the local Beaver group and a
nearby museum.
The Gold Standards Framework
At our last event in August, we began
participating in the Gold Standards
Framework training programme, and
we will be working towards further
accreditation over the next year. This
is a nationally recognised pathway
for the delivery of a “Gold Standard”
The main aims of the framework are
»Earlier identification of residents in
their final year of life, leading to
more proactive care
»Advance care planning discussions to
ensure choice
»The reduction of hospital admissions
»An increase in staff confidence
»Better collaborative working across
the multidisciplinary teams.
Legislative concerns
Inevitably, our journey over the
past two years has not been wholly
straightforward. To be able to sustain
the high levels of care we provide
and employ a committed, trained
and loyal workforce, we must stay
We believe that this can only be
achieved through a greater number
of self-funding residents and a
necessary reduction in local authority
responsibilities. Local authority budgets
for care continue to be put under
pressure and do not meet the demands
of an ageing population, particularly in
the southeast.
Current local authority contract prices
do not cover the increased costs of
providing even an acceptable level of
care. This has been exacerbated further
by the introduction of the living wage,
which has been something I personally
agree with, but a significant expense
Historically, we have been able to
provide a high standard of care for
local people who were funded by
Kent County Council. Sadly, however,
we have now had to cap the number
of local authority beds we offer, and
unless there are some considerable
changes to government policy, it may
be further reduced.
We also have
clear and robust
policies available
which are
reviewed to
ensure they
remain relevant
Comfort and care

This article was sponsored by St Michaels Care 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 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