A Staffordshire care home has strengthened its CQC commitment by transforming its accessible wetroom facilities and offer residents a safe, reliable and modern solution.

By incorporating assistive technologies, the care home has been able to simplify moving and handling processes and improve independence among residents.

St. Mary’s is a 59-bed facility operated by a 100-strong team of dedicated nurses, carers, management and domestic staff all focused on providing resident-centred care. The care home provides residential, nursing and palliative care and has a respected reputation locally.

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Based in Stone, Staffordshire, St. Mary’s has a positive reputation for care with a CQC rating of ‘outstanding’ for one of its criteria, with an overall ‘good’ rating.

Operating as a charity, the care home is non-profit, which means greater investment reaches residents and commercial pressures never compromise care.

With one of its high-traffic bathrooms requiring significant modernisation, St. Mary’s commissioned Gainsborough to install a welcoming ergonomic wetroom to benefit residents and care staff alike.

G360 is a complete accessible wetroom service provided by Gainsborough Specialist Bathrooms, which provides assisted bathing solutions from care homes and hospitals to domestic bathrooms.

Gainsborough’s proven track record and the company’s attentive approach appealed to St. Mary’s, according to the firm, which led to the project commission and a successful outcome.

Jo Nott, Finance and Administration Manager at St Mary’s, says: “We identified that the previous bathroom was tired and needed upgrading in all areas, hence we began researching possible suppliers. A few quotes were obtained and Gainsborough’s was competitive, not the cheapest, but it was the whole approach that swung it for us.

“Ian Trotter from G360 was brilliant; he explained everything so clearly and we felt reassured that Gainsborough would deliver on their promises.

“Looking at previous specialist projects on their website, it was clear they had the ability to meet our needs; G360 felt the right fit for us.”

The G360 wetroom installation began in September 2021 following approval of Gainsborough’s proposed design concept. The lead time and works took longer than normal due to the pandemic; however, Gainsborough persevered on behalf of the care home.

When all fixtures and fitting were available, the two specialist fitters began and completed the wetroom within four weeks instead of a normal two.

Due to heightened infection control procedures, all Gainsborough representatives adhered strictly to the Covid policies set by St. Mary’s so residents and staff were safe. Despite being a complex build in a live care zone, Gainsborough diligently achieved what was expected and its attitude was commended by the whole care home team.

Jo continues: “The Gainsborough guys were superb; they followed our Covid polices to a tee.  They tested everyday, continually wore masks and were sensitive to the needs of surrounding residents.

“They completed all the work as quietly and efficiently as possible, so distribution was kept to a minimum. Their working practices are to be fully recommended to any care provider seeking an accessible wetroom or bathroom.

“As our dedicated account manager, Ian oversaw all the work and he made sure the difficulties faced, particularly with drainage, were resolved without delay. His communication was spot on. We knew our building was older than most and would present difficulties; however, G360 got round them and we are 100% satisfied with the end result – it looks fantastic.”

Now installed and in constant use, St. Mary’s new wetroom incorporates the latest in accessibility innovation. It is lighter, spacious and more welcoming, providing a better bathing experience for residents.

The room includes a range of specialist fittings including an AKW SmartCare Lever white shower unit with advanced care features, a wheelchair accessible semi-pedestal sink with TMV taps, and a low-surface temperature radiator.

Hygiene is robust through the inclusion of slip-resistant Altro flooring with welded joints and skirting, plus high quality Altro Whiterock wall panelling. These surfaces provide a seamless finish, even around corners such as windowsills, so no bacteria can harbour in joints.

Considerately positioned ergonomic grab rails offer additional support to ambulant residents especially when toileting.

There is ample space for a wheelchair and shower chair manoeuvring, so transfers are seamless with moving and handling processes simplified through an improved layout of equipment.

The whole room has been designed holistically, providing the best environment for both resident and carer.

Natalie Dibble, Registered Manager at Gainsborough, concludes: “We have been and always will be passionate about high quality care. Our new G360 wetroom perfectly complements this ethos.

“As we operate as a true team here at St. Mary’s, we asked several staff members what would help in a new wetroom, from a resident and carer point of view. We took all feedback onboard and combined with Ian’s suggestions, the result is the design you see today.

“It is making a huge improvement to our level of care and underlines our commitment to making St. Mary’s a place to enjoy living.

“We are an ethical, honest and transparent organisation who are proud of our service quality and thanks to Gainsborough we have taken our specialist bathing to the next level.”

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