Friends of Brookdale met on Thursday 27th August 2015 with Penelope Fell, Chief Operating Officer and Dave Hughes, Business Development Officer from New Directions.
Many items were discussed including the promotion and organisation of the services offered, quality of care, referrals and the lack of information sometimes from Health and Social Care.
Discussions began with the background of the Friends of Brookdale, which led into how carers found difficulties in balancing caring for a family member whilst working at the same time. Many relatives had needed to give up work in order to manage, which ultimately led to businesses being affected. Relatives stated how the quality of care in nursing homes fluctuated greatly and how it was all down to the staff and continuity of care, which made the most difference. Dignity was not always given to the service users, which is very important.
Penelope Fell said that she had been in her post approximately eighteen months and had already completed a lot of work to make New Directions more robust by working with different agencies and councillors. Also by ensuring a correct marketing strategy was in place which was managed and followed up on, in the right way. Ms Fell was adamant that promotion of the services was needed to be done in an equal way. All agreed the New Directions website was horrendous and a new one would be completed by October, a professional photographer would be taking photographs of the services offered. New Directions is completely independent of Sefton Council, although owned by them.
The relatives present at the meeting stated that they found Brookdale by accident, Social Services and from the advice of nurses, there seemed to be a total lack of information from Health and Social Care. Ms Fell had spoken to the council re referrals, but the council seemed to not be aware of any problem.
It was stated that if the ‘need’ for this service is not ‘acknowledged’ then the economic effect on people having to give up their jobs, businesses is immense. Ms Fell said since being in place, she had found that the foundations of the organisation needed a lot of work. Although the service-users database was in place, a carer’s database needed to be better. Her time frame for a strategic plan to be fulfilled was 2015 to 2018.
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