Quality Assurance Manager, Sharon Wood has been recognised for her new approach to dementia care. She was awarded Care Innovator 2012 at the Great North Care Awards held in Blackpool on 12 October. The award was presented by Coronation Street actors: Julie Hesmondhaigh and David Neilson (Hayley and Roy). [photograph shows Julie Hesmondhaigh, Glen Mason (DoH) Sharon Wood and David Neilson
Sharon, who lives in Tameside and works for local care provider Meridian Healthcare, has come up with ways of improving the lives of older people with dementia. Her innovative approach has been introduced at Kingsfield Care Centre in Ashton. Sharon has worked with Kingsfield manager Janet Pearson, shown below chatting with a resident, to introduce the programme to staff and families.
Sharon has taken best practice from around the country, blended this with her expertise in training and knowledge of caring for older people and has come up with a programme which is easily adopted by staff. Appropriately called HARMONY, the scheme has been supported by staff and families from Kingsfield along with local Tameside healthcare professionals. “Staff here have done wonders for my relative” commented one relative, a view shared by care regulator the Care Quality Commission who recently inspected the care centre and found residents calm and relaxed.
Sharon commented, “Whilst the main aim of the programme is to ensure a better quality of life for our residents, we’ve also seen some interesting results amongst residents at Kingsfield. Residents are eating more, sleeping better and we’ve even seen some reductions in the use of anti-psychotic drugs.”
HARMONY is one of those rare initiatives which brings together individuals involved in dementia care and unites them to truly make a difference to people’s lives.
The Great North Care Awards are one of 9 regional care awards across the country. Winners from each of these events are entered into the national Great British Care Awards to be held in May 2013.
For more information about HARMONY and Meridian services for older people with dementia, please visit: www.meridiancare.co.uk/HARMONY
Meridian Healthcare grew out of local authority roots, starting with a small number of homes transferred into the independent sector by Tameside Council. With the support of staff, some of whom are shareholders in the business, the organisation has gradually acquired and built care homes to its own exceptionally high standards. Meridian now own 29 care homes with the latest opening in April 2012 in Huddersfield. Meridian Healthcare are also under contract to provide short stay dementia services for Oldham Council at the recently re-opened Limecroft Care Centre in Oldham.