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More than 300 care home staff trained to spot early signs of deterioration

Many care homes are now better prepared to get the right care to their elderly residents when they take a turn for the worse thanks to a training programme run by the Oxford AHSN.

RESTORE2 (Recognise Early Soft-signs, Take Observations, Respond, Escalate) is a tool designed to help care home staff to spot early signs of deterioration and take prompt action. The Oxford AHSN has delivered 19 RESTORE2 online training courses over the last year. More than 300 care home staff from across Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, and Milton Keynes have completed the AHSN training, with more courses planned.

Jon Vollam, Patient Safety Programme Manager at the Oxford AHSN, said: “This training programme is a great example of how improvements can be achieved through sharing skills and expertise. This will potentially lead to fewer care home residents needing an ambulance or hospital care and contribute to earlier responses in treating infections.

“This has been an excellent collaboration, involving the Oxfordshire Care Home Support Service, the Orders of St John Care Trust and our NHS partners, particularly Ashima Sharma and Rinta Manoj, clinical educators at Oxford University Hospitals.”

Ashima, left, and Rinta are pictured above.

Gail Close, Deputy Manager at The Orders of St John Care Trust care home Meadowcroft in Thame said: “I have used RESTORE2 in previous roles and I found it a simple tool that can guide you in assessing the severity of a decline in a resident.  By using Restore 2 scores, we can pass on relevant information to the call handler, making it very easy for them to action the call appropriately and escalate it quickly. I feel it gives our senior team the confidence to discuss residents’ conditions and helps them to provide crucial and accurate information during handover to other health professionals.”

Maggie Coleman, Area Operations Manager at The Orders of St John Care Trust, said: “RESTORE2 is a tool that is widely used within other settings, but not so much within care homes. So we were pleased to be part of the pilot project with care homes. Colleagues across eight of our homes have taken part in two training sessions: one for our care leaders, and a ‘train the trainer’ session for our home managers, deputy managers and heads of care.

“We are committed to ensuring that our teams feel confident, competent and fully equipped to use the tool. It’s so important that as an organisation we work together with other health professionals to improve the health and welfare of our residents.”

RESTORE2 supports care home staff when their intuition tells them a resident is not well. The tool helps spot early indicators of physical deterioration enabling swift escalation. It is based on observing vital signs and is specifically designed for use in care homes. Around eight out of ten staff surveyed said that RESTORE2 enhanced their confidence.

It is part of a package of supporting resources for care homes which have been developed by the Oxford AHSN.