Published November 10, 2016 at 14:10
A Blackburn dementia care service has been recognised as Britain’s best, winning the Best Dementia Care Home Award and Best Dementia Care Manager accolades at the National Dementia Care Awards.
EachStep Blackburn, a pioneering £5m specialist dementia care service that opened in May 2016, and its Manager, Phil Benson, collected the top honours at the ceremony which is the pinnacle of the UK dementia care sector.
The home is part of the charity Community Integrated Care. It has been developed in partnership with Blackburn with Darwen Council with the aim of delivering the highest standards of specialist dementia care, creating a hub for the local community, and bringing together local people and groups.
The home was praised by judges as being “innovative and exceptional, with an absolute focus on seeing every person as more than a diagnosis of dementia”. Phil Benson was commended as having “strong and creative leadership” and “showing real compassion and commitment for his colleagues, families and people he supports”.
EachStep Blackburn has received significant national acclaim since its launch earlier this year for its pioneering approach to care, community relations and care home design.
Colleagues working in the service are trained in leading person-centred practices and to understand the complexities of dementia care. This development helps them to understand the life story of the people they support and find creative ways to support them to lead healthier, happier and more independent lives. The home also matches people supported with local volunteers who can enable them to follow their passions in the care home and in the local community.
EachStep Blackburn also has a stunning care home environment including a cinema, indoor gardens, a sporting memories room that was developed with Blackburn Rovers Community Trust, vintage tea rooms and local history areas. These multi-sensory spaces promote stimulation, relaxation and reminiscence.
It also has unparalleled links with local people and community groups – from Blackburn Rovers, through to local colleges, carers centres and community centres. These partnerships have ensured that the home is a vibrant and bustling place, where people enjoy special experiences and friendships. The care home has a commitment to making a difference to the wider community too – including delivering free specialist training to local students and funding Christmas meals for people facing financial hardship.
The National Dementia Care Awards are backed by the Journal of Dementia Care and Caring Times, and are recognised as the leading accolades in dementia care. The event took place in Brighton at the Brighton Centre on 3rd November.
Phil Benson says: “It was an incredible honour for EachStep Blackburn to win Dementia Care Home of the Year. We have a fantastic team, as well as families and community partners, who are absolutely dedicated to ensuring that the people we support lead full and happy lives. I am delighted that our passion, creativity and teamwork has been celebrated on this national stage.”
He adds, “It was humbling to be named Dementia Care Manager of the Year. I do this job because I love it, so I never expect acclaim or recognition. It was a genuine shock to be recognised on this big stage. I’d like to thank all of our partners who have helped us to make EachStep Blackburn the success it is. We are committed to building on this in the years ahead.”
Paula Spence, Director of Older People’s Services at Community Integrated Care, says: “We are so proud to see Phil and the team recognised with these prestigious awards. EachStep Blackburn was planned with Blackburn with Darwen Council with the aim of transforming the local community, and we’re fulfilling this vision. This service represents a national model of excellence for dementia care and community engagement. We are delighted that these awards have helped share our special approach with leaders across Britain’s dementia care sector.”