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 44 Clarence Avenue 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 dementia1 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.
The external environment is pleasant with trees in the front. The building goes around three sides of a grassed area, part of which has been used to plant tomatoes, beans and carrots. We did not see any outside seating or other furniture that might encourage tenants to make use of the outside area
Internal environment The building was purpose built in 2010 and accommodates a mix of social housing flats, extra care flats and the day centre. It benefits from wide corridors, a fresh colour scheme and new furnishings. It appeared clean and did not smell of food even though lunch Collingwood Court care home – June 2014had recently been cleared away.
During the visit it became apparent that tenants gravitate to the reception area because it is the only part of the building with a through-flow of people – a regular flow of staff, visitors including the local GP and other tenants passed through while we were there.
Activities One tenant told us that she attends a Tuesday morning exercise activity. She said that there were very few opportunities to take part in activities and meet other people.
We made a series of recommendations:
- Consideration should be given to providing outdoor seating in the garden area to encourage tenants to make the most of the outside space.
- If the service station is to be removed, it would provide an ideal opportunity to redesign the reception area and also to involve the tenants in this process.
- Consideration should be given to recording the time it takes staff to respond to tenants’ emergency calls and how this information can be made available to tenants at their meetings.
In order to better understand these issues we would like to arrange a return visit to Clarence Avenue to talk in more detail with the Sanctuary Manager about their thoughts on the quality of care provided to tenants; to meet the Metropolitan Housing Trust; and have a further opportunity to talk with tenants and staff.