We began working with The Huntington and Langham Estate in 2019 to help facilitate ongoing culture change beyond the closure of a previous company partnership based in best practice and evidence-based research. Our assigned associate consultant was Gloria Haynes. The Butterfly Approach® was introduced to reinforce prior learnings of emotional-based intelligence frameworks in the care homes, and build upon the foundations to support enhancement of the care culture in place.
The Huntington & Langham Estate
The Huntington & Langham Estate in Hindhead, Surrey, combines two specialist family-run care homes offering high-quality residential, nursing, respite, day care, and dementia care amidst 30 acres of gardens and woodland.
Built upon four generations of family values, Huntington House opened its doors in 1978 to the people of Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire, while Langham Court, which opened in 2013, offers specialist dementia care.
Reason for reaching out to Meaningful Care Matters
Ingraining their caring family ethos into the delivery of care provided at The Huntington and Langham Estate for over 40 years, the Hoare family had already been offering a very high standard of person centered care.
Wanting to add an extra layer on top of their existing high-quality care, Charlie Hoare, Huntington and Langham’s Managing Director, made contact with Meaningful Care Matters and Gloria Haynes, an Associate Consultant for the care and organisational development group, was sent to the estate in June 2019.
“When I first went down to the estate to help support Charlie and the management team over a three-month period, I remember being taken aback by the two lovely homes set in stunningly beautiful grounds,” said Gloria, who has over 30 years’ experience in the care sector and a postgraduate diploma in dementia studies. “They’ve developed an outstanding level of care and approached us to help provide operational management support. My job was to review and assist with their management systems and strategies.”
How The Butterfly Approach® was supported
Historically, care homes worked towards a tasked-based approach where everything was a tick box exercise. Unfortunately, due to time constraints and limited resources/education, this is still the approach some care homes adopt today. While the team at The Huntington and Langham Estate didn’t operate in this manner, it is always a risk and can be very easy to slip into.
“Ultimately, Charlie brought us in to ensure the estate’s care is meaningful. There’s a risk of task-based care across the health and social care sector and the Butterfly model eliminates that risk,” said Gloria.
The Butterfly Approach® focuses on creating a truly person centred approach where people are ‘free to be me’. The model values emotional intelligence, domestic household living, and the core belief that everyone living with a dementia has a unique story which has meaning and matters. It is about putting the focus back on people and their emotions by helping carers access the interior world of the person they are caring for.
“They absolutely got the point of the approach and embraced it,” added Gloria. “We also helped the team understand the difference between working in a task-based way and a much more meaningful way. This can be done by simply relaxing and letting people be free. It’s so valuable for carers too – be a friend rather than a care worker, that’s the key difference. Instead of coming to work, you’re visiting your friend’s house to help them out. The whole team was encouraged to share meals and stories and engage in a relaxing way as they would with their families.”
The results and experience of working with Meaningful Care Matters
Adopting Meaningful Care Matters’ approach to care was a seamless transition. As an independent family-run home, the estate does not have the luxury of a head office overseeing its operations and auditing its performance, so they found the support from Meaningful Care Matters reassuring. The partnership resulted in both parties setting out the estate’s organisational strategy and goals for the next three years.
Recalling his experience with Meaningful Care Matters, Charlie Hoare said: “I think I once described their support as being like a metaphorical hug, and it’s purely because of the people providing the support. They have the knowledge of consultants but paired with an empathy you rarely find in consultancy. They supported us to deal with so many of the daily challenges of running a home, that it finally felt like I had time to work on the business rather than in it for the first time in years; work that was going to help deliver better care, and not just firefight the day-to-day problems.”
The Huntington and Langham Estate is currently in the process of reviewing its support with Meaningful Care Matters to ensure the partnership and delivery of care continues to evolve with the changing needs of each home, and the organisation as a whole.
“Each of our care homes now feel like a home in the truest sense of the word, where the personalities of the people living in them are reflected not only in their bedrooms, but in the lounge, hallways, and even gardens,” Charlie concluded. “Don’t be too daunted by the prospect of a culture change. Sometimes it might seem impossible. Other times it might seem unnecessary. But from personal experience, I’d say that, in both those cases, it is probably exactly what is needed.”