Helping care home staff by increasing their knowledge and competence improves care and decreases referrals to stretched NHS services, so it’s great news that our recent Health Education England grant has enabled us to deliver beneficial training that is already making a difference.

Our first cohort of 8 care home students gathered at our Brooklands, Crownhill offices recently to celebrate completing St Luke’s Care Home Assessment of the Sicker Person (CHASP) programme.

Recognising that older people in care homes have increasingly complex needs and require access to good quality nursing care, this new programme supports staff to enhance their clinical skills and minimise avoidable admissions to acute care in hospital.

In addition to learning valuable skills, all the students positively spoke on how the programme gave them a real confidence boost as Emma Peffers at Meadowside and St Francis Care Homes, explains “It gives us the confidence to be able to assess a patient instead of going straight to the registered nurse. We now know what we are looking for, confident to facilitate the observations and then go to the registered nurse which ultimately saves valuable time.”

For care homes providing support around Dementia, the programme provides additional benefits as Ewa Kalend, Care Manager at Greenacres, explains “We deal with people that live with Dementia and often we can’t ask a simple question to establish if they are well or not. The training has given us more confidence to make a judgement and develop our skills further.

Ewa added, for the first time we went into something that has really made a massive change with our confidence. Knowing that there is a St Luke’s team that you can always phone, ask about basics and reassure you that you are doing the right thing, is a massive help.”

Su Jameson, End of Life Clinical Educator at St Luke’s, said: “This grant will further improve the good relationship we have already with care homes. This investment in the professional development of their staff recognises the key role they play in providing care in Plymouth with the aim to improve their knowledge and skills, benefiting both the residents of the care homes and increases the staff morale”.

“It also helps raise the profile of our education team and the diverse training they can offer.”

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