Care Home Cymru masterclass – what we shared

Care Home Cymru is a national improvement programme for older people living in care homes in Wales. Through the programme we are supporting and developing a national network of care homes that are passionate about improving the quality of life for their residents.  At the end of November 2019 as part of the Improvement Cymru conference we held a masterclass for those wanting to know more about our work. It was a chance to learn from each other and acquire knowledge that could be applied back at the workplace.

We were pleased to welcome over 50 delegates from a range of organisations within Social Care, including a number of staff from Care Homes not already in the programme, Social Care Wales and Care Forum Wales. We also had a number of delegates from Local Authority’s and Health Boards.

Wayne Jepson, Programme Lead, welcomed delegates before handing over to Helena Herklots, Older People’s Commissioner for Wales who opened our Masterclass.  Helena outlined her role and three principal objectives: tackling abuse, ageism and ageing well.

The Commissioner recognised the great work being done in care homes and the benefits new innovative approaches can have to improve care for older people.

Questions were taken from the floor which included a discussion on the intergenerational work being undertaken in some care homes (such as school children visiting care homes).

This session was followed by a programme update from Rosalyn Davies, Senior Improvement Manager who outlined the three year approach of the programme:

  • During March 2019 our improvement programme successfully launched it’s testing cycle.  This focuses on designing and testing solutions to learn what works best in care homes. We have recruited 16 care homes across Wales as ‘innovators’ and have successfully trained 170 care home staff who have completed a foundation level in quality improvement (18% of workforce).
  • Care Home Cymru is building the improvement and leadership capacity and capability with Care Homes in preparation for the pilot phase where the focus is on patient safety and reliability.  The 16 care homes across Wales will engage with PHW to develop and shape an innovative care home programme to test proof of concept
  • During autumn next year our programme will move into the next phase and recruit a further 21 care homes to receive intense capability and capacity training.   Improvement awareness during this time will be delivered to over 100 Care Homes across Wales.

Experiences of “what does good look like” were then discussed. The room heard from several Care Homes across Wales including Sharon Myers, Clinical Lead from Cerrig Yr Afon Care Home who spoke about their journey so far and presented on their improvement project plans and next steps.  Dr Rosie Taupe, provided an insight from a relative’s perspective on caring for a family member living with dementia.  Rosie particularly made reference to ensuring the ‘relatives voice is heard’.

It was good to hear a number of sound bites from Care Home staff sharing positive feedback on their participation with the programme so far. Talking about the IQT Foundation Training, Lizzy Hughes, Staff Nurse from College Fields Care Home said: “It was really nice to learn some strategies on how we can make very small changes to make a significant impact in where we work that benefits staff and residents. It’s giving me the stepping stone to achieve my Improvement in Practice project on advanced care planning.”

The masterclass then came to a close with an introduction level session on Improvement which shared Improvement tools and techniques for growing individual and team’s confidence in delivering excellent relationship centred care using an improvement-based approach.

Thanks to everyone who took part – we’re really looking forward to the next stages of the programme and working with you to help influence and drive change for the better for our older people in Wales.

To find out more please visit our website to find out more or for more information, please contact