Jo and a colleague from the PenCLAHRC Implementation Team, Jo Day spent a fascinating day at the Devon Care Kite Mark Residential Care Festive Jamboree. Hosted and co-ordinated by the ever-enthusiastic George Coxon, the day started with an overview of 2016 and plans for 2017.  With much to celebrate and to be proud of, attendees then moved onto thinking and talking about responding to poor care in the wake of the recent Panorama programme.  Attendees included care home staff, managers and owners, carers, representatives from Devon Doctors, Exeter Dementia Action Alliance, HealthWatch, Devon County Council, Proud to Care, members of the local CQC team (including a pharmacist) a physiotherapist and more – the debate was full of positive examples and inspiring stories.  The rest of the day was filled with informative, rapid-fire presentations from many of the attendees.  With such a huge variety of topics discussed, the atmosphere was buzzing with ideas and every break was filled with animated conversation.


Alongside the serious talk, there was also a Festive Bake Off with an amazing array of cakes baked by care home staff and residents.  One of the cakes being baked by three ladies with a combined age of almost 300!  At the end of the day the cakes were donated to the Exeter based charity St Petrock’s which helps people who are homeless, or vulnerably housed, improve their circumstances and lead more fulfilling lives.


As researchers, we left feeling somewhat overwhelmed by the sheer volume of issues and topics that the care home community have to deal with on a daily basis. We wrote pages and pages of notes of interesting ideas and talked to lots of inspiring people.  There is so much really great work going on in this area of social care in Devon against an increasingly difficult backdrop of media attention and funding conditions.m

Some of the soundbites that will continue to resonate are: ‘We are here to look after people’s wellbeing… not to do tasks’, ‘Do people ever ask “Could I have some person-centred care please? No, but it is what we do every day”‘ and ‘Culture eats evidence for breakfast’!

For more interesting snippets – have a look at our Storify