A conference organised by Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust’s care homes team to raise awareness of best practice in caring for older people has been hailed as ‘inspiring’ by those who attended.
The Caring for Older People Collaboratively conference was held at Barnstaple Rugby Club on 18 November and featured a packed programme of informative talks.
Rebecca Young, nurse educator in the care homes team, said: “The feedback from our fifth conference has been excellent. Delegates have provided a long list of changes to practice that they will be taking back with them as a result of attending, particularly about sepsis and frailty.
“I would like to thank all those who helped put the conference together; it was a fantastic way to share best practice and build relationships that will help improve the quality of care of older people across northern Devon.”
Former BBC Radio Devon presenter Judi Spiers chaired the conference and stressed the importance of education in providing high-quality care for older people. Talks covered a range of topics, such as frailty, dementia, sepsis and using mobile technology.
Speakers included Dr Jenny Child, senior lecturer at Plymouth University, Nicky Nendick, head of inspection, adult and social care from the Care Quality Commission South West, and Georgina McNamara, executive lead nurse for education for the UK Sepsis Trust.
North Devon MP Peter Heaton-Jones attended the conference alongside staff from care homes and domiciliary care providers and said he will be meeting with the Trust’s care homes team in the New Year to hear more about what they do.
The team raised money for two charities during the event, including Children in Need and TorrAGE Ageing Well. In addition, they collected shoeboxes for the South West Homeless and Operation Christmas Child appeals.
The care homes team provides free training, education and support to independent care providers in North Devon, including care homes and domiciliary care providers. The team is led by Tracey Morrish and consists of four nurse educators, one occupational therapist educator, one paramedic educator and a safeguarding nurse.
They aim to improve the safety and quality of care for residents and enhance collaborative working between organisations. Since it was set up in 2012, the team has helped to improve patient experience and health outcomes for residents at nursing and residential care homes and those receiving care from domiciliary care providers.