Importance of creativity in care highlighted in CQC rating of North East care home


ADN5 Dancing at Shadon House - Copy (1)THE benefits of creativity in care have been highlighted by the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) top rating of a North East care setting.

Shadon House, a dementia assessment centre run by Gateshead Council, joins less than 0.2% of the UK care homes in being awarded an ‘outstanding’ rating by the independent watchdog.

With only 66 care settings out of more than 34,000 currently holding the accolade it’s a huge achievement for staff and those providing daily support for service users.

For creative ageing charity Equal Arts, it’s recognition of the positive impact creativity can have on a person’s quality of life.

Over the past 30 years the Gateshead-based charity has been providing creative opportunities for older people in care and those living with dementia.

In 2012 residents living at Shadon House piloted the charity’s £1m HenPower project with its success leading to the initiative being rolled out to more than 30 care settings across the UK and Australia.

Douglas Hunter, Equal Arts co-director, said: “To secure an outstanding rating is a fantastic achievement for service users and staff at Shadon House and something we are all very proud of.

“For too long a person’s wellbeing has focused on things such as medication and physical care, with little credence being given to quality of life.

“To have the importance and value of creativity on a person’s wellbeing recognised in this report is a huge step forwards in the development of relationship-centred care.”

The CQC report, released earlier this month, follows an unannounced inspection of the service this January.

EA 2The centre was found to be outstanding in its level of caring, being well-led and responsive to the needs of residents, with ratings of good for effectiveness and safety.

Addressing how the centre responds to residents’ needs the report found working with Equal Arts had provided older people with stimulating creative projects that led to them building relationships and socialising with a wide range of people.

Being a part of the HenPower project is “increasing people’s wellbeing and sense of worth”.

Joanne Mathewson, Shadon House manager, said: “We have worked hand in hand with Equal Arts for the past five years and we understand and actively support meaningful activities for people who use our service.

“From the service users and the staff team at Shadon, I would like to express our thanks to the charity for providing new stimulating ideas for us all to enjoy and participate in.

“HenPower is still going strong and our hens are enjoyed by staff, service users, family members and visitors to the centre. We have shared our approach to supporting and enabling people with many other care settings and would actively encourage them to create links with Equal Arts and embrace their support.”

Equal Arts currently provide artist-led creative activities in more than 50 care homes across the country.

Andrea Sutcliffe, CQC’s Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, recently stated: “Creativity and innovation are key ingredients in outstanding care homes.”



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