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Runwood Homes leads the way in care and wellbeing


Tracey Edson, Wellbeing Lead at Leawood Manor care home in West Bridgford, Notts, with resident Marjorie Branson

Runwood Homes’ vision for wellbeing is helping our residents, with varying levels of dementia and care needs, live a life full of meaning, joy and connections.

Research into residents’ activities and wellbeing by Runwood Homes’ Wellbeing and Dementia Services Team, whom assist homes in developing and improving activity, has resulted in a commitment to further invest in staffing, which in turn aims to improve the welfare of residents. The innovative changes to wellbeing management in Runwood Homes’ across the UK is expected to have a positive ripple effect, aiding care teams as well as members of wider local communities.

The traditional responsibilities of Activities Coordinator have been thoughtfully redeveloped to the exciting, new, more prominent position of Wellbeing Lead. This new role still encompasses the classic duties of implementing an interesting programme of suitable and enjoyable activities, but it also calls for guiding others with their expertise; teaching skills, sharing best practise and introducing new ideas within homes as well as communities.

As innovators within the residential care sector, Runwood Homes have created the elevated position of Wellbeing Lead to ensure exceptional day to day operations in the key area of residents wellbeing. Introducing the new position is currently being implemented across the Group, with the Wellbeing and Dementia Services Team continuing to oversee, guide, coach, monitor and advise successful candidates as they settle into their new roles.

Existing Activity Coordinators moving up into the Wellbeing Lead role, will have successfully taken part in an panelled interview process to determine whether they can achieve the competencies expected to ensure the highest standards of activity for residents.

This is an exciting, positive step forward in residential care and dementia care, and the effective change to replace the Activity Coordiantor role and introduce enhanced responsibilities reflects a more meaningful role and an increase in pay.

Paul Gaskell, Director of Wellbeing & Dementia Services, has been leading on the development and introduction of the new Wellbeing Strategy. Paul said, "This is a bold and exciting development for Runwood Homes. The move from the traditional activity provision, to a whole team approach to engagement, occupation and stimulation, will have direct wellbeing benefits for all residents. In addition, we will be taking into account every resident’s personality, background, interests and abilities, when planning their activity with them. As it reads in our Wellbeing Strategy, our aim is that every resident can be happy, fulfilled and valued.”

The Wellbeing Lead will have a greater impact on wellbeing for all residents in the home:

Leadership: Taking a lead role in mealtime, engagement and whole-home approach. Support, guide and encourage colleagues. Share and demonstrate the Runwood Homes vison for life for residents.

Focus: Maximise time with residents so that more residents can enjoy activity and occupation. Ensure that activity offered is meaningful; that is, it meets individuals’ needs and interests, and that the benefit for people has been considered in advance.

Activity: Shorter, simpler, more frequent sessions. Every resident has an activity assessment highlighting their wishes, needs and expectations.

Planner: Activity planners have set sessions of physical activity, food based activity, current affairs etc and a wide range of activity to meet all needs.

Reporting: A photographic evidence folder of main events, with involvement from residents e.g. quotes and feedback. Records are kept of individual residents’ activity, with feedback and observations.

Inclusion: Every resident will have equal opportunity to take part in meaningful activity, including residents in their rooms.

Wellbeing and Dementia Services Managers, alongside Home Managers, are supporting Wellbeing Leads to become increasingly confident and effective. Any existing Activity Coordinators who either do not wish to pursue the Wellbeing Lead role, or who maybe unsuccessful, are being offered suitable alternative positions within the company.

Runwood Homes staff have been very receptive to the launch of this development and see it as an opportunity to exert greater influence over the quality of life for all residents.

Fran Annis, Wellbeing Lead at Outstanding CQC rated care home, Windmill House, explains her experience and understanding of her newly appointed position; "One of the most exciting aspects of the Activity Coordinator role being redeveloped into Wellbeing Lead is to be encouraged and supported to further explore the ethos of 'whole team approach'. At Windmill House there already is good practice and evidence of this.”

Fran continues, "To deliver our very best to the residents we’ll continue to develop team-wellbeing; the team consisting of residents, relatives, staff, professionals and volunteers all working together and connecting the residents to the wider community. Wellbeing Lead’s facilitate these connections and I look forward to taking my role forwards and coaching staff to also follow in the culture of connecting and engaging. One of my actions will be to make mealtimes the best experience for all; expanding themes, introducing new ideas and promoting independence and choice. It’s exciting, and with the continued support of our Home Manger, the team as well as the Wellbeing and Dementia Service Team, we are going to achieve the very best we can for our residents.”

Progress of the new Wellbeing Lead role with Runwood Homes’ will be reviewed monthly with the Wellbeing and Dementia Services Manager and Home Manager, and bi-monthly meetings with the Regional Operations Directors will capture the progress across each region. Satisfaction surveys for residents will be launched across every home, to review how each resident is benefiting from the Welbeing Strategy developments.


Windmill House from left to right, CEO Gordon Sanders, Home Manager Julie Aldred, Wellbeing Lead Fran Annis and COO Gavin O'Hare-Connolly


Wellbeing and Dementia Services Director, Paul Gaskell

For further information or for any enquiries please contact alyssa.kelleher@runwoodhomes.co.uk.

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