Hall & Prior wins three 2017 Better Practice Awards

Hall & Prior 2017 Better Practice Award winners

Hall & Prior have been awarded three 2017 Commonwealth Better Practice Awards from the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency.

The winners of this prestigious national award were announced on August 17 at the Better Practice Conference in Sydney. It recognises innovative programs or initiatives that promote continuous improvement to care recipient health and well-being outcomes.

  • Five of our New South Wales homes were recognised for creating a program to resist age-related muscle decline. Staff from Aubrey Downer, Caroline Chisholm, Fairfield, Glenwood and Vaucluse were part of the program that utilises exercise band training to improve care recipient mobility and strength. This is the result of a combined effort by our NSW Exercise and Mobility Coordinator Laura Majewski, the Directors of Nursing and Lifestyle Officers at these homes and our NSW Resource Team partners.
  • The team at Tuohy Aged Care Home, led by Residential Care Manager Jayne Cummings, Clinical Nurse Manager Mina Pindolia and Administration Officer Fiona Clarkson, were recognised for implementing the My Life, My Wishes program. This ensures all care recipients have their funeral wishes and life history documented while they are in our care.
  • At Freshwater Bay and Mosman Park Aged Care Homes, Director of Nursing Devi Subramaniam and Resource Team Medication and Lifestyle Coordinator Kath Whisson successfully reduced the use of the medication Risperidone in people with dementia, while maintaining their quality of life and wellbeing.

You can read a detailed description of these programs below.

Chief Executive Officer Graeme Prior said he was extremely proud of everyone involved in the programs.

“As an organisation, we pride ourselves on being compassionate people, dedicated to care, and this is a testament to the commitment of our staff to this mission,” he said.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our Executive Director of Residential and Community Care - Regional Leader Jennifer Grieve, NSW General Manager Health & Care Services Kris Healy, Director of Quality, Safety & Compliance Julie Beaton, Director of Quality & Education Jennifer O'Connell and Quality Coordinator & Staff Development Breda McMenamin.”

“These programs were created with their guidance and support, as part of our mission to continually improve our standards of care. Being acknowledged with these national awards means we are at the forefront of exceptional care in the Australian aged care industry.”

Resisting age-related muscle decline

This enablement program was created after staff noted an increasing number of new care recipients who were presenting with low levels of strength, mobility and flexibility in their joints. This was impacting even simple daily activities like drinking a cup of tea or rising to stand from a seated position.

The initiative was developed in 2015 by NSW Exercise and Mobility Coordinator Laura Majewski, who worked with the Directors of Nursing and Lifestyle Officers at each of the five homes to implement the program. It was based on national data and programs where resistance band training is used for general rehabilitation.

It was then tailored to the specific needs of our care recipients’ demographics and situation. The program has grown significantly since its inception and has resulted in strong benefits of re-enablement for those involved.

The program resulted in our care recipients gaining an increased range of motion in their joints and improvement in their day-to-day wellbeing. This is a great example of our staff taking the initiative and developing person-centred programs with the well being of our care recipients in mind.

My Life, My Wishes

At Hall & Prior, we have the honour of caring for people in what may be the last years of their lives. This is not a task we take lightly, and we are committed to providing a holistic style of care that looks after not only our care recipients’ physical and clinical needs, but their emotional wellbeing as well.

Jayne along with Clinical Nurse Manager Mina Pindolia, administration officer Fiona Clarkson and the wonderful team at Tuohy implemented the My Life, My Wishes program following the death of a long-term care recipient who had become a part of Tuohy’s extended family. The objective of the program was to ensure all care recipients have their funeral wishes documented by the home, particularly in cases where they are not in contact with their family.

We specialise in caring for vulnerable and marginalised people, many of whom have experienced displacement, financial hardship, substance abuse and, in some cases, homelessness throughout their lives. All these issues can lead to estrangement from families and friends.

In order to ensure our care recipients’ funeral wishes were honoured, Jayne and her team revised existing documentation to capture details about their social history, life stories and preferences for a funeral service. They also revised admissions processes to ensure incoming care recipients have their wishes documented.

This was a heart-felt effort on the part of our staff to ensure our care extended beyond addressing the clinical needs of those they care for.  This award is an incredible acknowledgment to our dedication to care, and we are extremely proud of all those involved with this program.

Reducing Risperidone Use in Dementia

At these two Hall & Prior homes, both located in Mosman Park, in Perth’s west, Devi and her team successfully lowered the instances of use of the psychotropic drug Risperidone. The program enabled staff to maintain therapeutic outcomes for our care recipients including quality of life, and physical and psychosocial functioning.

This medication was approved for use in the treatment of behavioural and psychological symptoms in dementia, where non-pharmacological interventions have failed. In response to updated clinical indications around the use of the drug in people with dementia, the teams implemented changes to their clinical practice program and the culture within the home.

This situation presented the teams with a challenge, but also an opportunity to implement improved standards of clinical practice.

The homes implemented a comprehensive training program for carers that focused on upskilling staff in non-pharmacological interventions for behavioural disturbances. They also collaborated with care recipients and their families to implement a revitalised activities and therapy program, with a stronger focus on emotional support and wellbeing.

Hall & Prior have always been committed to providing excellent dementia care, and this program is an extension of those efforts. This is an excellent result and one that will be applicable for other organisations around the country.


You can read the full submissions and see the list of this year’s other award recipients on the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency’s website.
Congratulations again to everyone who worked hard to make these programs a success.


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