1/22/2024 | Care

Bay Court Nursing Home: One year as a care home owner

In this Q&A blog post, Senior Director - Healthcare, Simon Harvey, caught up with Dominique Lloyd, a year on from her first care home purchase.

Bay Court Nursing Home in Devon

In late 2022, husband-and-wife team, Kevin and Dominique Lloyd, and their two children, moved from the Home Counties to Devon to acquire their first care home – the impressive Bay Court Nursing Home in the town of Budleigh Salterton.

One year on, Simon Harvey, Senior Director – Care at Christie & Co, spoke with Dominique about how they’re getting on…

Can you tell us a bit about your business background?

My career was working in recruitment, and then managing a team of recruiters. After that, I took time out for my family and helped my parents look after their care home when they went overseas for 18 months. Some years later, after wanting to get back into work, my husband and I looked at purchasing a care home ourselves.

What made you want to enter the care sector?

Wanting to make a difference in the lives of the residents, their families, and the team who work for the home itself.  I enjoy working with people and hearing about the lives well lived, it is a source of great inspiration.

What made you want to own a care business?

Seeing my parents running a successful care home with a superb local reputation as both a residential home and an employer.

How have you found your first year of ownership?

The first year has been tougher than I thought possible!  We have had many situations where the team have said ‘gosh this has never happened before…’. These have ranged from the call bell stopping working just before a night shift, to ambulances running into walls (twice). Thankfully, the team are the biggest asset at Bay Court!

What has been your biggest challenge so far?

The administration of the business can feel never-ending.

What are the key changes you have implemented so far?

We started by being more open with the residents and relatives - regularly emailing updates to the families and discussing how the home is, generally. This has been well received and we have thank you cards from our family parties saying ‘Bay Court is like extended family’ which is how we feel about the residents and loved ones.

Following the failure of the call bell system, we invested in a new digital system, followed by taking all the care notes from paper to digital care planning software. We are continuing to implement the additional digitisation and now have ‘accessible for all’ policies online as well as E-training for all staff.

Our ‘skills for care’ endorsed training partner comes in to the home to deliver monthly face-to-face training. We are also an accredited training centre and have student nurses from the University of the West of England and the University of Exeter and receive great feedback about how these placements are changing the perspectives of trainee nurses in adult health and social care. We were finalists in Care UK Awards 2023 for Training and Development.

Both our managers have now trained as mental health first aiders, and we have launched a well-being strategy to signpost the team to projects available to them. We hosted a very successful training session on mindfulness from Devon Wellbeing Hub in November, and have this booked for early 2024 for other members of the team.

As far as the building is concerned, we have had a new roof which is looking fantastic, and we are aiming to start top-to-toe cosmetic redecoration to enable us to show off the interesting building that we are so lucky to have. It’s a flat walk into the picturesque seaside town of Budleigh Salterton and to the sea and our residents are encouraged to get out with the activities team into town. They recently hand-made decorations and visited the Christmas Tree festival in the Methodist Church this Christmas, and I had the pleasure of taking a couple of the residents down with me in the rain – of course, it was very special!

What are you most looking forward to in the coming years? And do you have any other plans for the home?

We have so many plans for things we are looking to do with the residents and fun we are going to have!

Do you have any tips for those looking to enter the sector and buy their first care home?

Make sure you have some good people around who know the sector - I’ve called my parents daily with questions and used them as a sounding board. They are amazing!!

If you’re considering buying your first care home and would like to discuss your options, contact Simon Harvey: simon.harvey@christie.com / 07764 241 310