Merindah's sector-leading implementation of the Montessori model of care – moving the facility away from a regimented, institutionalised model of care to one where our residents have a say and increased choice in everything they do – has impressed both the Victorian Department of Health & Human Services and the Commonwealth's Australian Aged Care Quality Agency.
On top of this, the 36-bed aged care facility has scored remarkable results during its accreditation – exceeding every one of the quality of care standards across all 44 aged care indicators. Amongst the staff-led initiatives implemented to make life even lovelier for our Merindah residents, the accreditation surveyors noted staff interaction with residents with particular needs was rave-worthy.
Merindah staff’s newly-introduced way of making Merindah even more like home by kitchen staff from the hospital now personally serving delicious buffet-style meal options in Merindah’s dining room (instead of delivering pre-ordered, already-plated meals from the hospital kitchen) and cooking breakfasts in the dining room – allowing residents to wake to the sensory smells of toast and porridge, bacon and eggs...... also impressed at accreditation time. One surveyor has gone as far as saying it’s the best aged care facility dining experience witnessed in his 13 years in the job.
‘If a resident wants their toast after their cereal, they get it. If they want a cooked breakfast, they get it. Nothing is too difficult for our staff. The object is to replicate how each person would have had their breakfast in their home prior to entering residential aged care,’ explains Camperdown campus manager Janine Dureau-Finn.
‘Our Merindah Lodge staff have done an excellent job to achieve accreditation status for us for the next three years. Led by our Quality Team of Mel Sinnott and Kerry Henderson, as well as Nurse Unit Manager Lynda Hubbard, all staff took on an outcome portfolio leading up to accreditation and worked diligently to achieve these terrific results.
‘It’s normal to meet minimum requirements for all 44 outcomes. To exceed them – the word used by the surveyors – shows we‘re doing far more from a quality aspect for each outcome.’
SWH’s successful $68,000 fundraising appeal to buy the residents their first-ever mini bus also won praise from the surveyors. This staff idea, enthusiastically supported by the Friends & Relatives of Merindah (FROM) and the local community, has significantly expanded Merindah’s lifestyle program with residents enjoying outings of their choice in a timely manner.
So what next for Merindah Lodge? Staff plan to expand and continue to embed our Montessori program to meet the needs of the people they care for. Already, a new staff suggestion has resulted in resident-only meetings now being regularly held, allowing them to feel free to express themselves more openly. The new-style meeting format has been a hit. Attendance numbers continue to grow.
So there you have it. Over two days we’ve been able to tell you about remarkable things happening at our Camperdown campus because of our dedicated staff. Additional to the amazing work being done by our Camperdown Hospital staff (see yesterday’s story) our Merindah Lodge staff’s dedication and commitment is also worthy of the highest praise.
And the pride in the success of all of these staff-led innovations has, in turn, led to a powerful wave of positive cultural change. Results from the most recent VPSC-run People Matter Survey demonstrate the Camperdown Hospital to be one of the highest-scoring departments within SWH across the majority of key employee metrics measured, including staff engagement and job satisfaction. Camperdown, compared to other SWH campuses, had previously always been one of the lowest-scoring departments in these areas.