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St Luke’s, Runcorn, up for top excellence awards

A partnership to transform St Luke’s, a Runcorn based care home, into a centre of excellence for dementia care has been shortlisted for two of the care sector’s highest honours.

Community Integrated Care, has been jointly shortlisted for two prestigious accolades, alongside its partners at NHS Halton Commissioning Group (CCG) and Halton Borough Council. At the Laing Buisson Awards, which will be hosted by Rt Hon Michael Portillo in London on November 11th, they are shortlisted for the Excellence in Dementia Care Award. The team will be in London again on December 9th, when they are up for the Innovative Quality Outcomes Award at the 3rd Sector Care Awards.

The official opening of St Luke's refurbishmentSt Luke’s is a specialist dementia care home in Palacefields, Runcorn, which supports 60 people with dementia. Just two years ago, the home was at real risk of closure – with it needing modernisation and facing major occupancy issues.

Instead Community Integrated Care came together with NHS Halton CCG and Halton Borough Council, to not just save it but to make it one of Britain’s best care homes. Together they have transformed the environment at the home and introduced a specialist approach to care.

St Luke’s has a unique approach to care, which has been described by esteemed care sector publication, Journal of Dementia Care as “the vanguard of best-practice in dementia care”. The approach sees Community Integrated Care’s specially trained support staff work side-by-side with clinical specialists from the local NHS every day – including GP’s and the local mental health team. By having this clinical input in St Luke’s, residents are supported to stay in the home through challenges with their health, avoiding the need for hospital admissions. It is also supported by social care experts from Halton Borough Council.

This innovative integrated approach helps local people who live with dementia to enjoy happier, healthier and more independent lives. As a result, the home now supports people with the most complex and advanced dementia needs in Halton. It has also reduced demand on local health services and hospitals – helping the local NHS to use its resources more effectively.

The partnership was recently furthered when the home enjoyed a major refurbishment, which was funded by the CCG and council securing a £100,000 grant, as well as a £150,000 investment by Community Integrated Care. This has created a more comfortable, dementia-friendly environment. It includes unique areas for residents and their loved ones to relax in and enjoy – including a pub, cinema, seaside area, 1950’s kitchen and indoor gardens. These areas support the stimulation, reminiscence and relaxation of residents.

St Luke's Runcorn - pubSt Luke’s has received significant attention from both the public and care sector professionals. The home will be showcased in November at both the International Dementia Conference and the National Dementia Congress, two of the highest-profile dementia conferences. It has also recently been featured on ITV Granada Reports.

This is the latest in a series of successes for Community Integrated Care, with the charity’s services across the UK being shortlisted for ten accolades this month at the National Care Awards, National Dementia Awards, Laing Buisson Awards, and 3rd Sector Care Awards.

Cath Murray-Howard, Deputy Chief Executive of Community Integrated Care, says, “St Luke’s is a model for modern dementia care, which has rightly received praise from across the care sector. By working closely with NHS Halton CCG and Halton Borough Council, we have been able to create an innovative approach that ensures that people receive all the support they need in a comfortable and caring home, rather than the unfamiliar surroundings of hospitals. This has not only changed the lives of residents, but made a significant impact on the local community as a whole. We are thrilled to see this partnership celebrated at these prestigious awards.” 

Dave Sweeney, Director of Transformation for NHS Halton CCG and Halton Local Authority, says: “Our partnership in Halton is evidence that contracting is a way of monitoring performance and quality. However, coproduction and trusting relationships enables real and effective change. NHS Halton Clinical Commissioning Group and Halton Borough Council provide an integrated approach to health and social care. This has supported St Lukes, providing them with the support and resources they need to provide excellent care.”

He continues, “In turn, the team at St Luke’s have worked really hard to deliver an excellent service. The award nominations for St Luke’s is well deserved – celebrating a care home with a fantastic environment and colleagues who are dedicated to its residents. Dementia is a very complex condition and an area where we need compassion, quality and consistent care; St Lukes and Community Integrated Care are leading by example with their ambitious approach.”

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