Charlton House My Views Matter report September 2022

My Views Matter is part of our Enter and View work, which you can read about here. 

We are visiting around 20 residential homes across Norfolk to find out what people with learning disabilities and their families want from their residential care. It will also investigate whether residents’ and their families’ views are being taken into account in how care is delivered.

We are also interviewing family members and professionals in the sector and organizing focus groups with care home residents outside their homes. The project is being implemented with the assistance of About with Friends, NANSA (Norfolk and Norwich SEND Association) and Opening Doors.

A final report from this project, which will report on data from across the county, will be published in May 2023.

We visited Charlton House in Norwich on 12th September 2022, and the visit was announced in advance, in order to minimise disruption to the residents. We spent around two hours talking to residents and staff, and observing life in the home on that morning, and examining the building and its facilities.

Three weeks after the visit, we had coffee and further conversations with four residents outside the home, and we also interviewed three family members of residents. In total, we spoke to six of the eight residents, and spoke to eight staff, including the manager.

During this Enter and View visit, we focused on what residents thought about
their care, and the degree to which they were being listened to by the home

We considered the following themes, with the following findings:

Voice choice and personalisation: Residents had significant input into how the home was run, and into activities and menu choices, through a weekly residents’ meeting. They also regularly revisited their care plans with their key workers and were able to develop their own interests and skills.

Premises: Charlton House is a large, bright and modern house. It is very clean and accessible, and is tidy and well-organised. The signs of personalisation are everywhere, through the facilities that it offers, the way it is decorated and the photographs and artworks on the walls.

Activities: All the residents were active, and there was a wide variety of communal activities on offer, chosen by residents. There were also ample opportunities for residents to choose their individual activities. In addition, the residents also went on holidays and celebrated big calendar events together.

Relationships and community: Relationships between staff and residents were respectful, caring and infused with humour. Staff seemed to know and understand residents’ needs and preferences well, and were very responsive to them. In addition, residents seemed mostly to get on very well with each other, with a strong sense of togetherness. They were also supported to maintain relationships with family and friends outside the home.

Food and health: Residents had a lot of input into the menu options offered each week, and were also able to do their own grocery shopping. They were encouraged to make healthy choices and were all physically active. Some residents had lost significant amounts of weight and become healthier since arriving in the home.

Relations with the broader health and social care system: Charlton House generally has a good relationship with Norfolk County Council services and NHS services. There have, however, been some issues in getting medication prescribed on time.

Overall, the visiting team was very impressed by how the home puts residents’ voices and choices at the centre of how the home is run, and by the dedicated and skilful staff team.

Our team were really impressed at how residents’ voices seemed to be at the centre of how people are cared for at Charlton House.

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