Care homes open their doors

A new initiative is aiming to connect care homes with their local communities, challenge misconceptions and tackle the social isolation felt by many old and vulnerable people.

RRMBI care homes participated in the first National Care Home Open Day. Organised by a group of leading care home providers and associations, it was officially supported by the Alzheimer’s Society, National Care Forum, the Department of Health, the Care Quality Commission, the Social Care Institute for Excellence and the National Association for Providers of Activities for Older People (NAPA).

RMBI care homes across England and Wales invited their local communities, residents’ friends and families, volunteers and special guests to join them for a range of activities and events. With participation from school children, community groups and other friends and supporters, RMBI homes hosted tea parties, coffee mornings, workshops and games.

Activities for all

Many RMBI homes also promoted Recipes and Reminiscences, the RMBI cookbook, by offering freshly made tasters of recipes featured in the book, such as Jubilee biscuits and fruit cake.

Connaught Court in York held a coffee morning for elderly members of the community, with entertainment from St Oswald’s Primary School. Shannon Court in Surrey offered woodland walks and talks, while residents and visitors at Prince Edward Duke of Kent Court in Essex enjoyed a cream tea in the garden. James Terry Court in Croydon celebrated Ascot with cakes and table-top horse racing.

Local MP Madeleine Moon visited Albert Edward Prince of Wales Court in Mid Glamorgan, where an art class was followed by entertainment from Welsh singer Heather Jones. Residents at Ecclesholme in Manchester and Devonshire Court in Leicester welcomed visitors who joined them for ice creams in the garden and activities such as music and poetry workshops.

Edna Petzen, assistant director of marketing, quality and compliance at RMBI, said, ‘National Care Home Open Day is a great way for residents of RMBI care homes to connect with their local communities. It’s also an opportunity to show that our homes are welcoming environments with excellent staff who ensure real quality of life for those in our care.’

Published in RMBI

Exploring care home quality

RMBI care homes exceed the national standard in high-quality care and satisfaction of residents.

The RMBI has published the results of its 2012 Customer Satisfaction Survey, which polls residents of RMBI’s seventeen care homes in England and Wales as well as their next of kin.

Carried out in October by Ipsos MORI for RMBI, top-line results show that ninety-seven per cent of residents are satisfied or very satisfied with the care they receive and ninety-three per cent of relatives would recommend the home.

In July 2012, a White Paper from the Department of Health highlighted the need for a system to ensure that people are provided with clear information about care services and that their views are heard. In response, several care home providers, the National Care Forum and Ipsos MORI have launched Your Care Rating, the first independent national survey of care home residents.

In addition, the care sector’s regulating body in England, the Care Quality Commission, has supported a survey of care home residents, resulting in the recent launch of interactive care home profiles on the NHS Choices website.

Anticipating this development, the RMBI has been conducting its own annual satisfaction surveys for the last six years. Its latest surveys were also designed to provide comparable data with Your Care Rating for ease of reference with the initiative. RMBI satisfaction surveys form a key part of its commitment to ensuring the charity’s care homes are delivering a quality of service that meets the needs and expectations of those they care for.

Topics covered in RMBI’s 2012 Customer Satisfaction Survey include living at the home, staff, activities, help and support, and communication and complaints. Encouragingly, ninety-eight per cent of residents agreed or agreed strongly with the statements that: their home is clean and tidy as well as safe and secure, that they have enough of their own things around them, and that their privacy is respected. Moreover, ninety-eight per cent of residents agreed that the care home staff treated them with kindness, dignity and respect.

RMBI and Ipsos MORI are grateful to all residents and relatives who took part.

For more information on the results of the 2012 Customer Satisfaction Survey, visit

Published in RMBI

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