Employee of the Month – April

We are delighted to reveal our Employees of the Month for April for each of our care homes. Each month, care home managers at Sherborne House, Steepleton Manor and Weymouth Care Home will hand pick team members who demonstrate a passion for their role and go above and beyond to provide excellent standard of care and support to residents.

Our Employees of the Month for April are:

Sherborne House

Amy Trowbridge-Smith

Amy has been in her role for a year now and within the last three months has been awarded two promotions. Amy cares about each and every resident, staff and family members and goes above and beyond her call of duty.  She is a true asset to Sherborne House.

Weymouth Care Home

Corina Manoliu

Corina demonstrates flexibility, hard work and great commitment to ensuring the continuity of care within her role.

Steepleton Manor

Tiiu Piller

Tiiu goes to great lengths to help residents and staff and is a valued member of staff.

Congratulations to all Employees of the Month!

It’s a boy!

Congratulations to Hazel Bailey on the birth of her son Archie who was born five weeks early in April instead of May.  Archie will be a little brother for Dillan.  Everyone at the West Moors office was delighted to see the beautiful new arrival!

Photo: Hazel (far right), with the West Moors team, Archie and Dillan.

Donkey drops into Sherborne House

Residents had a special visitor this month when Willow the donkey called in to spend some cuddle time with residents and staff.

Willow is one of the donkeys from Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary.

How Care Management Software Helps with the Human Touch

Technology plays an increasing role in social care, as it is in many aspects of life. But good care is still largely about human interactions. The key issue for care management systems and other care technologies is how they support those interactions.

At the end of 2017 we rolled out a new care management system across our homes. When we evaluated the options the important questions were around what the proposed solution would mean for our residents and our team.

Our new real-time mobile care management software brings complete transparency. Care activity reports track delivery against each resident’s digital care plan, including an audit trail for all fluids, nutrition and medicines. Events and inputs are logged as they happen so there is one, constantly updated source of information about the care each resident receives.

Where, for example, nutrition or fluid intake needs to be adjusted the system can automatically calculate and record the required changes. Because all of this happens efficiently there is more time for our care team to interact with residents and ensure we are looking after their overall wellbeing.

Because data is so easy to collect, we can use more of it. Procedures are driven by individual care plans and aligned with CQC standards. This means we have consistent and comprehensive care reporting records for each resident and can reinforce best practice continuously.

External Links

The care management system is intelligent and synchronises with the pharmacy to ensure medications are administered correctly, sourced cost-effectively and always available.

Secure external links are provided so that digital care plans and information can be shared with health professionals to streamline patient care. Family members also have a secure gateway so they can input suggestions to the care plan and see what is happening with the wellbeing and care of their relative.


The system helps staff work more efficiently and to deliver better care. There’s more time for carer and resident interaction and more control for the service users and their relatives.

The transparency that comes with realtime care tracking has several advantages:

  • Relatives can instantly see how we interact with and care for our residents.
  • Care needs can be more accurately determined and demonstrated.
  • Greater continuity and consistency of health and care provision is facilitated.
  • There is hard evidence to support the care and funding needs for each resident.

The technology is helping us to work more efficiently and provide the best care possible. It also gives family members important reassurance that their relatives are being well cared for and encouraged to lead an active and fulfilling life.

Find out more about how we use technology to track and improve the care we deliver.

Care Homes Open Day at Altogether Care

Altogether Care will be taking part in National Care Home Open Day this Saturday 21st April.

The nationwide Open Day event is a chance to celebrate all the different people, cultures and relationships in local areas, and show the community that care homes are friendly, happy and exciting places to be.

Our Care Homes – Sherborne House in Yeovil, Steepleton Manor near Dorchester, and Weymouth Care Home will open their doors this Saturday with an array of activities, information and events available.

Activities include:

  • High tea
  • Live music
  • Care Home tours
  • Singalongs with the residents

And much more- so what are you waiting for? Come along and meet our residents and staff and to find out why we have been supporting the local community for 30 years.

Social Care Partnerships are About Culture as well as Contracts

Some challenges are too big to tackle on your own. And taking care of the increasing care needs of an ageing population is probably as big a challenge as you can ask for. But what sort of social care partnerships would be needed to deliver a sustainable solution?

Currently we have too many older people stuck in hospital beds because there is no suitable care they can be transferred to. Either that or the process for commissioning that care doesn’t work as well as it should.

While we have more people needing more complex care outside of hospitals we also have care homes closing. Some owners struggle to meet the demands of CQC standards and the expectations of funders and residents and still make even a modest profit to remain viable and re-invest in the changing needs of clients.

Historically, relationships between health services and local authority commissioners, and the largely private organisations that deliver care have been too ‘insular.’ At the same time financial pressures have led to care commissioning being ‘commoditized’ rather than being planned and delivered in partnership.

Thinking Differently

Whatever structures and systems we put in place they can’t be fully effective unless we also create a different culture; one in which we collaborate openly and make the best use of our collective resources and expertise.

Care homes need the input of health specialists to make sure we provide for all the physical, emotional and mental needs of our residents. Supporting a healthy care sector will also help ease the pressure on hospital beds and speed up the transfer of care to either residential or domiciliary provision.

The more we collaborate and communicate the better we will understand each other’s issues and objectives. This is the vital first step towards finding joint solutions and making better use of everyone’s scarce resources.

For care users there should increasingly be one conversation that leads to the right care and support being provided by the right person at the right time. This won’t just improve quality of life it can also save repeated or emergency hospital admissions that further drain resources and cause distress.

In running our care homes in Dorset and Somerset we always remember that we don’t have the monopoly on good ideas. Our culture is to work collaboratively with a wide range of partners in health services and other organisations to meet the diverse needs of our residents, to help them stay happy and healthy.

Open Day at Steepleton Manor

An open day will take place at Steepleton Manor on Saturday 21st April from 10.30am.  Residents will enjoy an art session with Sarah Jane which has an Australian theme and a special buffet will be served with foods from Australia, New Zealand and India.

During the afternoon an afternoon cream tea will be served to mark the Queen’s birthday. Songs with the lovely Christina will start at 2pm and a recruitment and cake stall will be present throughout the day.

A trip down memory lane

Residents at Steepleton Manor enjoyed a Memory Box session last month. Helen got the chance to read an original school annual from 1958, whilst David enjoyed seeing a photo of a Triumph Herald 1959 model.  A collection of cards with ‘famous faces’ on also gave residents the perfect opportunity to reminisce.

Egg-stra Appeal from Care Home

Steepleton Manor Care Home have collected and donated 40 Easter Eggs to the Wessex FM Easter Appeal.  The eggs will be given to local children who would not normally receive an egg.

The care home which is based near Dorchester wanted to collect the eggs so that young people can receive a treat this Easter.


Some recent day to day activities