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About My Home Life

My Home Life (MHL) is a UK-wide charitable initiative promoting quality of life for older people living and dying in care homes, those supported to live in their own homes and for those visiting and working with them, through relationship-centred and evidence-based practice.

MHL holds the evidence base for the sector and is working to help care providers to professionalise and articulate their expertise. MHL draws from positive examples of practice already in place, rather than dwelling on negative practices.

There is a high level of brand recognition within the care sector. MHL is increasingly seen as a movement for care homes and care providers and the voice of quality in the sector.

"The Programme is making a real contribution to improving care standards and the quality of life for older people. The really important thing about MHL is that it is based in the experience of the sector and is not imposed from above"

Martin Green, English Community Care Association

The My Home Life Essex Leadership Support Group

The purpose of the Leadership Support Group/s is to offer care home, Domiciliary Care and Supported Living managers/deputies and team leads space and support to help them reflect upon their own practice and that of their staff and engage in a 'journey' of positive culture change within their own organisation.

During the first session, the group will meet over three days to explore the skills required to deliver quality of life for the people they support (understanding the bedrock to quality of life, reflective practice; change management, leadership, delivering change, supporting staff). 

The Action Learning Process

Following the initial sessions, monthly half-day action learning will support the MHL Champions' implementation of their action plans. Although these sessions are half-days it is recommended that the care provider allows for the whole day away from the care environment enabling them to process the information they have received in a relaxed manner.

Action learning involves learning through action.  It is a continuous process of learning and reflection, supported by colleagues, with an intention of getting things done. It recognises that individuals learn best when they learn with and from each other by working on real problems and reflecting on their own experiences. It involves working with real issues with the intention of achieving improvement and transformation in the workplace. 

Action learning will involve the group sharing the progress made on their action learning plans and having time to reflect on challenges encountered to find ways forward.

Managers who have completed the programme have told us:

'It's like turning on a light bulb, suddenly things become clear'

'We've all got the same kind of problems cropping up, it's great to know you're not alone and when we talk through the problems the solutions become clearer'.

'It's been really helpful for my personal development as well as beneficial to the home..it's giving me the confidence to stand up for doing things right, it's very motivating'

We recognise that other factors (funding, staffing, for instance) can hinder any practice improvements. That said, the outcomes of the programme to date would suggest that participants on the programme identify real and positive changes in themselves, the culture of their home, staff morale and staff turnover, as a result of engaging with the programme.

The MHL Leadership Support Programme is financially sponsored by Essex County Council. In return for getting involved, we ask members of the group/s to help us in rolling out the MHL vision more widely across Essex. What this means in practical terms will be negotiated with the action group, recognising your limited time and resources for undertaking activities outside your current roles.

Together, we can make a difference.

A domiciliary care manager says

"Running a service can be a lonely job - you have to be the one supporting everyone else. There is so much negativity in our business. and no-one ever tells us we are doing a good job. It feels like a battle most days.

As professionals, we are doing a challenging and socially important job, yet we have very little time to step back and think.we are just doing it, doing it, doing it.! Yet the opportunity to reflect, develop new skills and feel supported is vital.  Well done My Home Life for giving us some positive support and shining a light on all the good work we do that goes unseen and unappreciated."

Whereas many training programmes take a content based, theoretical approach to learning, we bring managers closer to their day-to-day work, helping them to develop as reflective practitioners and identify realistic solutions for improving the quality of life of the clients they serve.

My Home Life Essex Registered Nurses Leadership Programme

The role of a nurse in a care home is very different from working in a hospital or with a Trust. Everyone - residents, relatives, staff and allied professionals - all look to them for leadership. They carry a huge amount of responsibility and can easily feel stressed and isolated. They need to use their initiative constantly in delivering care and they have to inspire an often, challenging staff group to work together well and to their best ability.

But with all this responsibility comes the potential for real job satisfaction, in making a difference the quality of many peoples' lives.

In this field of work, where it can be very difficult to pause and take a breath, it's important that we can all can slow down in the company of supportive colleagues, to reflect on ourselves and our work. This is vital to growing leadership skills and also remaining open and resilient.

How to get involved 

Email quality.innovation@essex.gov.uk for details of upcoming cohorts.

Last updated: 03/04/2024