Battling perceptions of care homes


Everyone is aware of the lack of nurses joining the NMC register and the stress this is putting on the UK Care Home industry. Whether this is due to the withdrawal of nursing bursaries for students or the dreaded ever-looming Brexit, it is not something we can change immediately.

One thing we are capable of doing is changing the perceptions of the work nurses do within care homes.

Having spoken to hundreds of nurses throughout my time at WR Health and Social Care, I get a lot of feedback on care homes in general and unfortunately not all of it is great.

So I’m here to debunk some of the preposterous theories about care homes.

1.     “If I leave the NHS, I’m just going to down skill and lose out on all of my training”

Care Homes require a wide range of skills and knowledge due to the types of residents they care for. Complex medication routines, catheterisation, wound care, Trachy care and peg feeding are just some skills needed in this environment. Not to mention that some of the larger groups such as Barchester offer the opportunity to specialise in a number of clinical areas. Check out Gráinne Wokes giving her expert opinion for the Nursing Times.

2.     “I’ll be putting my PIN at risk if I work in a care home, you hear the stories of what goes on”

Unfortunately, you don’t tend to find many articles of Doris, 100 years old still fit and healthy, circulating the BBC news or the Independent. We as humans fail to sensationalise the good news more than the bad, but knowing full well having worked with some of them, great homes do exist. You can check out the homes in your area here and see that the number of Good and Outstanding homes strongly outnumber the bad!

3.     “I don’t want to get stuck, there’s nowhere for me to go”

Nursing Homes are literally run by nurses. Senior Nurses, Unit Managers, Clinical Leads, Deputy Managers, Home Managers, Regional Managers and Care Directors are largely nurse qualified. Check out Hill House Nursing Home here, which is part of a two home group run and owned by nurses. How about that for career development!

As a recruiter, I am shamelessly invested in boosting the good perception of care homes. So, if you don’t want to take my word for it, Claire Philips is a nurse working in the nursing home sector who wrote a great article that tackles the stigma around working for care homes and how much she loves it. Check it out right now!

Are you dubious or open to taking a role in a care home?