For nearly 25 years, a small-but-perfectly-formed team has been providing a round-the-clock service of kindness and compassion to beneficiaries visiting Jubilee House. Within the walls of our residential centre in Penrith, Cumbria, our nursing team supports beneficiaries with a wide range of needs, from helping them to engage with a structured programme of support to aid recovery or maintain their independence to providing care and support to allow their carers a well needed break.
A recent successful application to the Care Quality Commission has seen the centre increase its nursing bed space provision from four to six. This means an extra hundred people with nursing needs can visit Jubilee House each year, supported by the team of registered nurses and clinical assistants.
“We’re absolutely over the moon, as we’ve had four bedrooms since we opened in 1995, so this is a massive move forward,” says Director of Beneficiary Services Sharon Bailey. “We know the impact of what we offer to our nursing clients is invaluable, so to be able to increase the number of people we can support is fantastic. Led by our Nursing Services Lead Kath Savage, this amazing team delivers a service that is underpinned by kindness, and you can’t go far wrong with that.”
These new nursing bedrooms will join the four existing ones, providing extra space for specialist equipment, as well as modified fixtures that will allow staff to support beneficiaries in meeting their needs, whether this is assisting them with their personal care needs, administering their medication or assisting those with poor mobility.
“Our philosophy of recovery extends to people with specialist nursing needs just as much as it does to someone trying to get back to work after injury or illness,” says Sharon. “We seek to enhance people’s quality of life, enabling beneficiaries to live a meaningful life in their community of choice and achieve their full potential while they are within our care.”
You only have to read some of the comments nursing clients leave in their log books about their experience to see how precious a service the team provides: “I always feel like I’m coming home when I come here,” writes one beneficiary, while for another, “It’s always a positive stay at the centre, I go home refreshed, and the staff can’t do enough to make your stay great.” Two words that appear constantly in feedback from beneficiaries are ‘safe’ and ‘relaxed’, things the team prides itself on making people feel.
“It’s our role to tend to their needs in order for them to take part in activities, personalised in a way that is individual to them,” says Kath. “We work in partnership with beneficiaries to understand their needs and what we can do to support them. The nursing team works very closely with the physiotherapists, exercise therapists, psychological therapists and welfare team to make sure people are cared for at every part of their stay, including after they get home.”
One couple who rely heavily on the nursing team for their visits to Jubilee House is Ruth and Tony Mulcrone from Sheffield. While at home one night seven years ago, Tony got out of bed to go to the bathroom and collapsed. Three weeks after scans revealed a brain tumour, he underwent brain surgery to remove it. While it turned out to be benign, the experience left its mark on Tony, who now struggles to walk and talk, has double vision, and gets tired easily.
For Ruth, knowing how diligently the nursing team care for him allows her to relax just as much as he does: “I know he’s being looked after, and that I can leave him to it. I’ll go out into the village and get on the first bus that comes along to go and explore the beautiful Lake District. And I can do so without constantly looking at the clock thinking I should be with Tony, so I feel at peace. We’ve been here several times, and it’s a lifeline that I cannot imagine being without.”
Retired firefighter’s wife Carole Scott is also a familiar face among the nursing team, as she visits a couple of times a year since being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis 13 years ago.
“The staff here could not be more attentive,” she says when we speak to her a few days after returning home from her most recent visit. “They always come and walk beside you, whether you’re using your scooter or your walker, and it’s so special to feel that person by your side who cares for you so well. I had a fall on my first night while walking across the room, and within minutes they were helping me back into bed using the hoist.
“They’re all so professional, and whether it’s helping you wash in the morning, helping carry your breakfast for you, or even doing your washing and ironing a few days before you leave, nothing is ever too much trouble. They’ve got it down to a fine art, and it just runs like clockwork. They’re unassuming, caring from a distance and there when you need them. They don’t know how wonderful they are, they just go above and beyond at every opportunity.”
For every single person the nursing team cares for, their objectives for their stay differs. For some it is to walk unaided for more days than they would normally, for others it’s simply to give their partner a break from their usual role of carer. But the thing that is universal is the level of care, kindness and compassion every single beneficiary receives from the team.
Jubilee House was purpose-built to meet the needs of the beneficiaries who come through its doors and is the only of our three centres that can offer nursing care. The reasons why beneficiaries may need such support varies, from meeting the needs of those recovering from a stroke or following a spinal injury to supporting those living with neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis. In short, the team are set to provide whatever care they can to improve the quality of life for everyone who comes through their doors.
“We can’t help with everything, but what we can help with, we do,” says Kath. “If you’re not sure whether or not we could meet your needs and enable you to visit the centre, give us a call.”
If you think you could benefit from the nursing team’s help during a stay at Jubilee House, get in touch today by calling the Support Line on 0800 389 8820, phoning Jubilee House’s nursing team directly on 01768 89009 or applying for support from the Charity online.