Imagine for a moment that you’re jetting off to warmer climes, writes Sandra Stark.

Holiday snaps

What makes it a five star holiday?

What makes it a five star holiday?

What makes it a five star holiday? The local cuisine just a stone’s throw from the beach? The culture? The hotel pool in the shape of a palm tree? Well, the reality is that it’ll be different for every person on the plane. Because the definition of quality depends on who you ask. And it’s the same in the care home sector.

As each individual has their own unique tastes, it’s about defining what those things are - and placing the individual at the heart of care planning. Of course, there are some essentials you’d expect, such as evidence-based care and a quality environment - not to mention the quality of the teams that support it all.

‘When people with ambition join us, we’ve career pathways in place for them to achieve it’

Certain fundamentals should be in place. At Bupa, we’re developing a new quality framework that will set us apart. It is looking at everything from equipping our homes with tools to assure quality, to a central advice and support service and growing network of professional managers focused on quality and best practice.

It’ll certainly bring its challenges. But at Bupa, we never underestimate the power of individual and person-centred care planning. Assuring quality isn’t just the role of our care professionals, it’s the responsibility of the entire team. That means training and development has a big part to play, too. When people with ambition join us, we’ve career pathways in place to help achieve their goals.

It’s also about learning how to measure quality of life. We’re very good at measuring evidence-based wound care, but how do you measure quality of life for an individual resident? That’s a challenge we’re meeting by involving and listening to residents and relatives, as well as our home teams.

It’s often the little things that make the difference - and for some residents, the experience is just as importance as the outcome. For example, you could find it difficult to get around, but love the feeling of freedom that independence gives you. These are complex risk issues to manage. But that’s what makes quality of care such an interesting area to work in, and so satisfying.

Sandra Stark is director of care and quality at Bupa Care Services UK

Quality of care special report – How to grow a new type of care