The provider will this year launch new specialist care centres in Leigh (Greater Manchester) and Liverpool, with development also underway on sites in Leeds and Preston.
A further 22 areas where demand for services outstrips supply have been identified by the business, which currently runs 25 homes in Yorkshire and the Humber, the North West and the Midlands.
Exemplar provides specialist nurse-led care for adults with complex needs arising from enduring mental ill-health, neuro-disability, profound learning disability, brain injury and stroke.
CEO Euan Craig (pictured), who has been involved in the business for 16 years, says: “Our priority when we launch into new areas is always to ensure that our growth is absolutely sustainable and that quality is never compromised. We work under the strapline ‘every day better’ and are therefore constantly pushing to make the lives of our residents better day-by-day.
“Our culture is perfectly aligned to delivering high quality – and focusing on the little things that make a big difference to residents is an important part of that.”
Before opening in a new location, the company works closely with commissioners and other healthcare decision-makers to identify the exact requirements of that area.
These individuals and organisations are then involved throughout the development process, ensuring the plans are fine-tuned to the needs of prospective residents.
“Because Exemplar has such as wide range of care, we can really tailor our offering exactly to the needs of the local healthcare economy,” says Euan.
“Fundamentally, everybody benefits from our services. For patients, we are continually striving to give them a better quality of life, pushing their boundaries through goals and individualised care plans, giving them a greater sense of fulfilment and hopefully discharging them into the community.
“This obviously benefits commissioners, who also have outcomes they are striving to achieve and we aim to work with them.”
Almost 90 per cent of Exemplar homes are rated ‘Good’ or above by the Care Quality Commission, compared to an industry average of 59 per cent.
Most recently, its Dearnevale home in South Yorkshire was rated ‘Outstanding’. The review highlighted the care, compassion and kindness demonstrated throughout the home and the positive and trusting nature of resident/ staff relationships.
Its success is underpinned by high staff retention; a trend mirrored across the group, with many long serving staff in its 2,300-strong team.
Euan says: “Dearnevale has over 350 years of combined service among its staff, many of whom came to us from very different careers, including quite a few from a mining background. We want staff with the right mind-set and attitude, as long as they want to give our service users the best possible quality of life we don’t mind what background they come from.
“We have a strong focus on learning and development but the initial message to new recruits is ‘all we want you to do is make this person’s life better’. That means listening and talking to residents and paying attention to the small details that matter to them. Staff stay with us because they know they will be respected and listened to.
“We aim to make everyone feel valued and maximise their potential, and that goes for staff as well as residents. Our home managers are encouraged to look after their staff as much they look after the residents and the result is a big happy family where
everyone looks out for each other. This has a hugely positive impact on residents.”
A crucial part of Exemplar’s offering is OneCare – a service which enables people with complex needs to live independently while also having access to specialist care.
Specially adapted houses and flats are located near, or on the site of, Exemplar locations, allowing complex care to be extended from the main home into independent living spaces. By the end of this year, 18 Exemplar homes will have access to One Care facilities.
“A resident may no longer need the full support of specialised complex care but they are perhaps not ready for living completely independently in the community. It’s a great addition to the care pathway and delivers excellent outcomes.”
In Exemplar’s main specialist care homes, meanwhile, design and layout are intrinsic to supporting service users in reaching their goals.
“Our new homes all have a central area called ‘The Hub’ with a kitchen and quiet room
and a large meeting space, with lots of room for community team meetings, social
get-togethers and so on. Exemplar homes really don’t feel like nursing homes.”
Providing spacious living quarters for residents is also important. In Liverpool, for example, what was once a 62-bed care home with a previous owner is being redeveloped to have just 32 beds under Exemplar.
This centre is expected to open in December, with more to follow in the longer term. “Our aim for now is to have no home further than two hours from our head office in South Yorkshire.
“Within the next five years we may open secondary offices which allow us to launch in the North East, South West and South East. We are the largest care provider of our kind and the onus is on us to keep filling shortages of quality, specialist care where we see them.”