Bluebirds is shortlisted for ‘Home of the Year’

Our Bluebirds neurological care centre in Milton Keynes has been praised for its “excellent” care and “attention to detail” for residents nearing the end of their life.

The centre in Shenley Lodge has been awarded Platinum status by The National Gold Standards Framework Centre in End of Life Care which provides training and sets standards of care for people nearing the end of their life.

Inspectors visited Bluebirds virtually in April 2021, due to coronavirus restrictions.  They were so impressed with staff’s end of life care, they have shortlisted the centre for the GSF Home of the Year award.

“Everyone just spoke with such passion for the work they did,” inspectors commented.  “The centre consistently wants to move forward, continue to improve what they do and also recognises that the most important thing within the home is the resident.”

Like its sister home, Mallard House in Grange Farm, the 25-bedroomed centre on Faraday Drive is home to people with a range of progressive neurological conditions such as Huntington’s disease and dementia.  Many of them will have come to live at Bluebirds at a relatively young age which inspectors acknowledged made conversations about end of life care “10 times harder”.

As well as talking to staff, inspectors reviewed the care plans in place for residents and feedback from families.  Their report praised staff for “excellent evidence of care planning, for care being personalised and being given with compassion and dignity.”

End of life care is not a mandatory requirement in social care but the staff at Bluebirds receive training from their induction and every year after that.  Staff also have sessions with a Soul Midwife who helps them feel more confident in discussing end of life scenarios with families and loved ones.

“We are delighted to receive Platinum status,” said centre manager, Colleen Brothers.

“We all want a ‘good death’ and planning in advance can make such a difference to everyone involved.  For example, if a resident wants to spend that time at Bluebirds rather than in hospital then we do our utmost to make that possible. 

“We tailor every aspect of their care right down to the clothes they feel most comfortable in, the linen on their bed and music that they might like to listen to.”

Care continues even after a resident has died with relatives offered support by Bluebirds’ family liaison officer.

“It’s difficult to identify where they need to develop,” the inspector concluded.

This is second consecutive Platinum status Bluebirds has received.   It was awarded the same in 2018 and the award runs for three years.

The ‘Home of the Year’ will be announced later this year.