Care home links up with surgery

Birch Green Care Home in Skelmersdale has committed to a new collaborative working scheme with a local GP surgery to enhance the services it offers.


The scheme means that residents at Birch Green receive regular visits from nurses and doctors as part of the enhanced care home scheme with Beacon Primary Care practice which covers the area.


The partnership includes regular case reviews and "ward rounds" by senior clinicians to review care, joint training and update sessions which all helps to prevent unnecessary admissions to hospital and address current problems.


Vicky Sudworth, General Manager of Birch Green, said: “Care of the elderly can be complex and this scheme means we have regular checks from qualified clinicians which can prevent an admission to hospital being necessary and provide a wider care service with qualified clinical support when we need it.”


The GP surgery has full electronic access to medical records at Birch Green which makes its network available with the surgery providing IT hardware. This means safer prescribing, no paperwork, instant access to results and less lost information.


Other features of the service being planned include video consultation, shared roles between the practice and care homes, online medical record access and wider integration and real time advice with hospital specialists, mental health team and social services.


Birch Green Care Home was recently assessed by representatives from Healthwatch Lancashire to gather the views of residents, staff and relatives on standards of care and services and gave it the highest rating of Green possible in its traffic light system.


It follows a rating from the industry assessors Care Quality Commission which awarded the home a ‘good’ rating, with inspectors making particular note of the commitment of staff.


Sensory room at Birch Green

Did you know that Birch Green Care Home has a great sensory and relaxation room?

It's an extremely popular location for our ladies and gentlemen, and occasionally staff team to go and relax together in tranquil surroundings. 

The sensory room is full of beautiful colours and you can listen to the rather calming sounds of the outdoors and nature.

There’s also plenty to do to help keep our residents fingers and minds stimulated.

If you would like to find out more about our sensory room please ask a member of our Lifestyle team.


  To view more photographs on our Facebook page click HERE



Venepuncture training for staff at Birch Green

Qualified nurses and a number of trainee assistant practitioners recently took part in a fully interactive venepuncture training session at Birch Green Care Home.

The procedure is most commonly used for the purpose of blood sampling and is widely performed by nursing and medical staff in a variety of areas such as clinical and diagnostic aid and in-patient management.

The training covered many different aspects including legal and professional considerations for venepuncture, the safe handling of sharps and safe systems of work incorporating infection control and looking at potential complications that could arise from venepuncture.

Mike Lakins, Head of Learning and Development for Springhill Care Group said: “All course attendees had the opportunity to put their theoretical learning into simulated practice.

“As with all clinical training a series of competencies are mandatory following the training day and only when all these are achieved and organisational guidelines and protocols are fully satisfied, will staff be deemed as fully competent.

“It is a rigorous process but one that was enjoyed by the course participants.”


Watchdog praises care home service

Birch Green Care Home Skelmersdale has been highly praised by an independent health watchdog for the level of its care, its people and its services.


Birch Green was assessed by representatives from Healthwatch Lancashire to gather the views of residents, staff and relatives on standards of care and services.


The health watchdog gave the home its highest possible overall assessment of Green in its ‘traffic light’ system - that it would recommend the home to a loved one.


In summary, the Healthwatch report concluded: “Representatives considered the environment of the home to be friendly, clean, light, spacious and homely with easy navigation points throughout the home.


“The interior has recently been refurbished to create a ‘hotel comfort’ ambience. Residents were consulted on the décor for their home and were shown mood boards to help make decisions. Representatives observed a calm but energetic environment on their visit.”


Other positive comments in the report included Birch Green “going the extra mile,” with “emphasis on health and wellbeing for staff,” and the “extensive information” available. It added that the home – part of the Springhill Care Group - seeks to invest in its staff and create community links.


It follows a recent rating from the industry assessors the Care Quality Commission which awarded the home a ‘good’ rating, with inspectors making particular note of the commitment of staff.


The report from Healthwatch added: “Representatives evidenced a variety of activities were taking place inside and outside the home with relatives having the opportunity to join in such as attending for the Sunday roast.


“Residents told us they enjoyed the activities on offer. Residents and relatives we spoke to considered Birch Green Care Home to be a good place to live with good caring staff, good food and good activities.”


Vicky Sudworth, General Manager of Birch Green, said: “Our staff are committed to providing the very best levels of care and this kind of positive feedback is thanks to their hard work. We are only too pleased to welcome any independent assessment and to understand how we might improve even further.”


Healthwatch Lancashire gathers the views of service users, especially those that are hard to reach and seldom heard, to give them the opportunity to express how they feel about a health service.


Local primary school pupils put smiles on faces of Birch Green residents

Residents at Birch Green Care Home were recently joined by children from St James’ Primary School.

On their visit, sixteen year one pupils from the home’s local school chatted away with residents, talking about lots of topics such as the weather as well as both generations sharing their life stories with each other.

This was the first of many visits from the Key Stage One of St James’ school in Ashurst, as the schoolchildren will be attending these interactive sessions on a regular basis.

There are many great benefits of youngsters visiting the elderly and research has proven that these visits enable great interaction and can decrease older people’s sense of loneliness, delay mental decline, lower blood pressure and even reduce the risk of disease.

Gill Seddon, Activities Co-ordinator at Birch Green said: “It’s a great to see the different generations interacting and getting along so well and the benefits have been medically proven to boost the wellbeing of those living in care homes. Everyone enjoyed themselves and we will look forward to welcoming them back soon.”

Both the residents and the schoolchildren had a great time with a fun-filled day including lots of activities, from clay modelling and painting to drawing and board games. On their visit a cooked lunch was provided - chicken nuggets, chips and beans followed by ice cream and sprinkles that went down a real treat.

They finished the afternoon with a good old sing song and a couple of solo performances.

Mrs Blacoe, Headteacher at St. James' said: "After watching the Channel 4 programme Old People's Homes for Four Year Olds we were inspired to reach out to the local community and make links with the elderly residents at Birch Green.

“The links we have made are having a huge impact on both the school and the residents in the care home. The children are eager to return, next month, to see their 'new friends'. We aim to make this a regular part of our school curriculum."

Shelley Lee, year one teacher at St James’ Catholic Primary School, said: “The children had a wonderful time. The staff were so welcoming and made the children feel at ease straight away. They were able to chat and sing with the residents within a short time of being there.

“When returning back to school, a lot of the children told their parents how much they had enjoyed the day at the care home and wanted to visit at the weekend. The children are excited to return in February and to perform a little something for everyone.”


To view more photographs on our Facebook page click HERE


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Contact Us

Contact: Victoria Sudworth, Registered Manager

Birch Green Care Home
Ivydale, Birch Green
Skelmersdale, Lancashire WN8 6RS

Tel: 01695 50916
Fax: 01695 51301
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Call Us: 01695 50916


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