Health and Social Care Committee


Inquiry into residential care for older people


RC1 – City and County of Swansea



Regarding your consultation on residential care, I would like to inform you of in-house development work in Swansea regarding residential care for people living with dementia.


I believe this work is relevant to the following:


·         the capacity of the residential care sector to meet the demand for services from older people in terms of staffing resources, including the skills mix of staff and their access to training, and the number of places and facilities, and resource levels.

·         the quality of residential care services and the experiences of service users and their families; the effectiveness of services at meeting the diversity of need amongst older people; and the management of care home closures.


City & County of Swansea, in partnership with ABMU HB has been working on the development of a relationship centred (Nolan et al 2006) residential care home for people living with dementia, in the belief that many people living with dementia are unnecessarily placed in nursing care homes because of so called challenging behaviour, when in fact, what is needed is a therapeutic and nurturing ‘enriched environment of support’ with a strong focus on positive social psychology rather than the use of anti-psychotic medication. The service model is based on the VIPS model of person centred care as developed by Professor Dawn Brooker (Brooker 2007), which has four key principles, each with an associated set of indicators for use in service evaluation:


V- valuing all stakeholders, whether older people, carers or staff 

I - an individualised approach to support planning drawing on life history and functional ability

P – designing and delivering the service from the perspective of the person with dementia

S- providing a positive supportive social psychology through relationship centred practice


This service has been developed in Ty Waunarlwydd residential care home in Swansea and we are already evidencing that people living with dementia, their family carers and the staff who work with them benefit from this strengths based approach, and a determination to break down the ‘us and them’ barriers that are so often a feature of care home culture.


I have attached a short photo story which illustrates the work of this home. We are in the process of developing outreach and mentoring support to other care homes in Swansea, in the hope of extending this model of practice.


If you would like further information about this home, please let me know. I am sure that the team would be happy to tell you more.




Brooker, D. (2007), Person centred dementia care: making services better, London, Jessica Kingsley


Nolan, M., Brown, J., Davies, S., Nolan, J. and Keady, J. (2006), The Senses Framework; Improving Care for Older People Through a Relationship-Centred Approach, Sheffield University GRiP (Getting Research into Practice) Report No.2


Nick Andrews

Planning Officer for Older People,

City & County of Swansea

4th Floor, Oldway House

36, Orchard Street