Caring for your care home with Sewell FM

Less than 5% of care homes registered with the Care Quality Commission are rated as outstanding, but if you want to be one of them you need to ensure your building is in the best condition it can be. Tom Farrow, Operations Manager at Sewell Facilities Management, talks about how care home maintenance is vital to keep residents safe and happy.

It goes without saying that you want to provide your residents with a clean, safe and comfortable environment to live in, but the care home industry is also governed by a number of regulations that you must take into account when thinking about the maintenance of your care home.

As you’d expect from a highly regulated industry, care homes are regularly inspected and scored by the Care Quality Commission, ensuring homes are providing compassionate, high-quality care for their residents, so you need to make sure you’re compliant on a range of issues.

Here are five maintenance issues that all care home managers should have at the top of their ‘to do’ lists.

Fire safety

Although all buildings should have fire safety plans in place, it’s especially essential for care homes, where a large proportion of residents may be physically unable to get themselves to safety in the event of a fire. As well as initial fire risk assessments, care home managers need to think about maintenance requirements for items like fire doors, fire alarm systems and passive fire reviews.

Water safety

From legionella risk assessments to cleaning and flushing of little used outlets, there’s a lot of work that goes into providing clean and safe water for your residents and staff. We’ve found that a lot of building owners aren’t clear on their legal responsibilities when it comes to water safety, so if you’re not sure if you’re compliant, make sure you take professional advice.

Gas and heating safety

Looking after your gas and heating systems involves a mix of compliance inspections, lifecycle maintenance and general good practice. Heating failure could have a profound effect on your building, and inefficient heating could also have a dramatic impact on your bills and carbon footprint, so it’s something you need to prioritise

Electrical safety

Could your care home continue to function without electricity? You need to ensure your electrical system is fit for purpose, safe and well maintained. From emergency lighting to surge protection, your electrical system can work to protect your residents, but you need to make sure it’s regularly checked and maintained.

Automated and lifting system maintenance

Lifts, catering equipment, hoists – you rely on this equipment to carry out the simplest of daily tasks, so making sure the equipment is properly maintained is essential. Replacement items also tend to be very costly, so you need to forward plan to ensure they can be replaced when they get to the end of their life.

Not sure if your care home’s meeting its maintenance and safety requirements, or just want some advice? We work with a number of care homes across the region, from specific tasks such as water hygiene inspections, to full facilities management services. Get in touch to find out more.