case study: Donna Mackinnon, Head Of Care, Roscarrack House Care Home, Falmouth

‘RESTORE2 has helped to save two lives in our care home’

The words of Donna MacKinnon, Head of Care at Roscarrack House Care Home on the outskirts of Falmouth and the ultimate accolade for the REACH Cornwall team. The project, which is delivered by Truro and Penwith College and part funded by the European Social Fund, developed a RESTORE2™ training programme for Cornwall in partnership with NHS Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group. Around 250 Cornish care providers have attended funded sessions this year either at venues across the county including the Isles of Scilly, prior to the UK lockdown or online since. Staff from Roscarrack House Care Home came to one of the half-day workshops at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall in early February 2020.

The RESTORE2™ tool was created by NHS West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group to assist care home staff to recognise early soft signs indicating that a resident may be deteriorating physically. It offers a framework for taking observations, responding and escalating concerns in order to achieve the best possible outcome for that person.

The tool, and training covering it, received a lot of very positive feedback and staff at Roscarrack House Care Home believe it has saved lives twice. In the first incidence, the resident was diagnosed with, and successfully treated for, sepsis after a carer noticed they were looking flushed. A couple of months later, a resident who had tested positive for Covid-19 showed similar signs which were once again picked up very early and life-saving treatment was quickly received. In both cases Donna feels that “what made the difference was our staff on duty really understanding the soft signs of deterioration and knowing the residents’ normal baseline vitals.”

As she explains the training has had a huge and lasting impact for both residents and care staff,

‘These tools have just been amazing for us and we now have the ‘RESTORE2 Mini’ posters up in all of the residents’ rooms to remind staff about the soft signs to look out for. Rolling out RESTORE2 has really empowered us as a team and we get a great response from doctors. Especially the SBARD tool has been extremely useful as we are able to communicate effectively with health professionals in just a few sentences and we sound like we know what we are talking about. We now take observations weekly and it is so much quicker to get a diagnosis when we have all of the vital signs recorded in front of us and we know what the residents’ baselines are and what is normal for them.’

She is also full of praise for the assistance received through the REACH Cornwall project,

‘We are so appreciative of the free RESTORE2 training that REACH Cornwall were able to provide for us and also the set of observation equipment we were given to support with the rollout of this in our home. During the Covid-19 outbreak that we had here, we were able to have one set of equipment in each part of the building as we had separated the Covid patients.’