We undertook a review of dementia services in the Clapham Park area of SW4 between April and September 2014. As part of this review, a visit to this extra care housing facility was carried out in order to seek the views of residents (particularly those with dementia) about the services provided within Charleston House and also how they accessed health and care services from the community. During the visit, the Enter and View team used an adapted range of quality indicators identified by the Alzheimer’s Society as useful for families when choosing a care home for someone with dementia and also the dementia friendly assessment tool included in the patient-led assessments of the care environment (PLACE) visits for hospitals2. Questionnaires were also distributed to staff and relatives.
External environment : Collingwood Court is set back from Nelson’s Row, which is a quiet side road off the High Street. The external environment is built up, with a car parking space in front of the main entrance and very little green space. The building was purpose build approximately 30 years ago and was last refurbished in 2009.
Internal environment : The shared communal spaces appear quite small for the number of residents using them. We found one sitting room downstairs to be particularly small for the 14 residents who were present. Overall the décor would benefit from a re-paint – the colour scheme varies between the units but is predominantly based on a beige scheme
Each unit has one, relatively small lounge. All of the lounges had windows and therefore natural light was available – although one was quite dim because of net curtains. The television was on in all of the lounges although not all televisions showed subtitles.
We made some recommendations based on this visit:
- A check should be made on the walking surfaces in the garden to ensure that they are even and safe.
- The Management should seek to identify ways to brighten up the care environment, including the outside space.
- When considering options for brightening the environment, thought should be given to ensuring that the furniture colour contrasts with the colour of the walls and the carpet.
The visiting team found that residents and their families believe that people living in Collingwood Court are safe and appear satisfied with the care they receive. Often people with dementia find it hard to make friends and take part in collective activities. Although the team were not able to talk with the Activities Co-ordinators, we observed staff responding sensitively to the needs of different residents. The team are interested to learn more about how the volunteer scheme develops and whether this increases capacity for Collingwood Court residents to participate in trips and a wider range of activities