Dementia, Health and Safety, Mental Capacity Act

That extra bit of health and safety

The people who live with us at Peverel Court Care are vulnerable and relying on us. These individuals often have limited sight or hearing capacity and difficulty moving. Our residents with dementia and Alzheimer’s are often easily confused or frightened. In a place where there are so many people who need extra help and support, health and safety must be prioritised.

Adhering to health and safety best practice means doing everything in our power to make sure that potential threats to our residents are taken care of, reducing the risk of injury as far as we possibly can. Some care homes use guidance from the Care Quality Commission or other third parties as their health and safety guidance. At Peverel Court Care, we’ve gone one step further.

We want our residents and their families to feel secure when they’re with us, so we recently invested in an external health and safety company to train our management teams in all three of our homes. The training was delivered by a care home expert and was put together by individuals with experience working with the elderly and vulnerable. Part of our training involved visiting areas of our care homes and identifying potential risks, as well as suggesting with our risk assessor how we can limit potential danger.

All three of our management teams are now trained in health and safety around dementia awareness, emergency first aid, falls awareness, food safety, fire safety, infection control and lone working awareness. They’ve also completed training in medication awareness, the Mental Capacity Act, deprivation of liberty, safeguarding vulnerable adults, stress awareness and the moving and handling of people. It was a busy training programme, but enjoyed by all, and it taught our staff some important lessons about scenarios they face every day that might pose a health and safety risk to themselves or to one of our residents.

When the Care Quality Commission inspects a care home, one of the five key questions they ask is around safety. They want to know that residents are safe from abuse and avoidable harm. One of our priorities at Peverel Court Care is to be rated ‘outstanding’ by the CQC across all five categories, but the emphasis that should be placed on health and safety as an individual aspect of care delivery is never lost on us.  If something goes wrong in this category, it can be the difference between life and death. For this reason, health and safety is part of our ongoing, high quality care and support packages, embedded in our day-to-day practice and introduced at induction to new staff. The health and safety of our residents in paramount, and we’ll continuously recognise that it’s something every single one of us here is responsible for, making that extra effort and going above and beyond to make sure we’re meeting, if not exceeding, all health and safety requirements.

Care Management, Personalisation

Peverel Court Care is like a large family

We’re committed to providing high quality, person-centered care to everyone who lives with us, and that commitment cascades through our staff. This week, we’d like to introduce you to a lady who has been committed to Peverel Court Care for almost twenty years.

Jill Timms is our Quality Assurance Manager and has worked in some form of care role since she qualified as a nurse. Jill chose her career in care because she had watched her parents looking after the health needs of others when she was a little girl and been involved in caring for people from a very early age.

“My father was a doctor and my mother was a nurse,” Jill explains, “As we grew up, my five siblings and I were surrounded by care. I remember being very influenced by all of this as a child, looking at pictures in my father’s medical books and being around as my mother cared for everyone in our village, either on the phone or in many practical ways.”

Jill was born near Manchester, but moved to Cornwall when she was four. She later completed her nursing training at the world famous Radcliffe Infirmary and Churchill Hospice in Oxford. After moving through positions of seniority for several years her family moved to Witney, where she began working for Peverel Court Care in 1998.

Jill says that when she was young she was the well little girl amongst three poorly sisters, so she grew up caring for people at a very early age. She adds it was only natural that she became a nurse and that she has found her career to be rewarding.

When asked what she might like to say to people who are looking for a career in Care “I can only speak for the Peverel Court Care homes where we try to really value, appreciate, train, motivate and inspire our staff. Staff are our greatest asset. A lot of our employees across all three homes have worked for the company for many years. Because we value our staff, we do not have a high staff turnover.”

Jill declares she enjoys working for Peverel Court Care because high quality is at the heart of everything we do.

“Not many small groups of care homes have someone in my role, who specialises in the full Inspection Process (for CQC and Local Authority). So I feel valued. I like the fact that I’m free to be creative and therefore have been able to develop specific / bespoke Quality Monitoring systems and processes, which are used in our homes. It’s also very rewarding working with our amazing staff teams to reach exceptional quality standards. Our two nursing homes were recently rated borderline outstanding by the CQC. That’s our aim now, to reach Outstanding.”

When asked what she might like to say to people who are looking for care and support, Jill advises potential residents and their families to consider Peverel Court Care, citing our dedication to provide a personalised, caring home for all residents, along with family support.

“You only need to come and visit our homes to see what lovely, friendly places they are. Our twice-yearly relative and resident’s surveys are very complimentary. Our managers will come and meet you in your home or hospital and discuss your care needs with you. We’ll then help you to settle in, enabling you to make the transition as smooth and as positive as possible. We understand this is a big decision and will support you and your family all the way. Each of our three homes has their own special staff team. Peverel Court Care is like a family.”

Care & Technology, Care Management, Personalisation

Technology and innovation at Peverel Court Care

In a previous article we talked about the importance of technology with regards to keeping our residents happy.

At Peverel Court Care, we investigate the technological needs and expectations of all of our residents and then meet those expectations wherever we can, making sure residents who want a mobile phone have one, or those who need help making phone calls get the assistance they need.

We are delighted to work with Synergy Mobile, a leading provider of telecoms and IT services, who advise us on the best business systems to us and give us straight forward, helpful advice and support when we need it. They help us to make sure that our resident and business communications are effective and easy to complete.

But technology isn’t only important in for communication with family members and loved ones, it’s also incredibly important for the safety of our residents in a medical situation. That’s why we’re now utilising the services of a pioneering telemedicine service called ‘immedicare’.

Because of the nature of our work, it’s to be expected that we’re going to need to utilise the expertise of health professionals on a reasonably regular basis. Some our residents have long term health conditions that produce symptoms that may need monitoring by health professionals. In some cases, our residents may suddenly feel unwell, or have symptoms that will not go away.

Previously we would have had no choice but to call out a doctor, or to uproot these residents and take them to a hospital. For Alzheimer’s and dementia patients especially, this upheaval can be distressing and uncomfortable. They have usually come to know one of our sites as their home. Taking them away from the surroundings they are used to can be upsetting.

Immedicare allows us to access a dedicated digital health hub facility, giving us access to experienced nurses and clinicians covering a range of specialties. That means that we can avoid having to take our residents to hospital if there is no need for them to be admitted, saving them the stress of an unnecessary admission.

We also get to utilise the advice and support of those professionals to help us to improve and increase the quality of our own day-to-day car, especially if we have a patient with a particular discomfort or condition. Immedicare is a lifeline, a new form of communication with an army of medical professionals there to make the lives of our residents more comfortable.

Communication is the key. It’s important to our residents in a number of ways that they know about, such as easily being able to keep in touch with their families, but it’s important to them in a number of ways that they don’t know about, too Synergy Mobile allows them to do the former easily and effectively, and immedicare is there to keep them healthy and happy behind the scenes. Together, they’re a united team of innovative and pioneering technology.

If you would like to know more about Immedicare, please click here.

For more information on Synergy Mobile, please click here.

Care Management

A meeting of managers at Peverel Court Care

Leaders and managers are incredibly important in any organisation. If they’re doing their job correctly, they should be responsible for a happy and content culture amongst staff in care organisations. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, happy staff means happy residents. If our employees enjoy their job and feel looked after, they’re going to be better at looking after other people. It is the job of our leaders and managers to influence that happiness.

At the end of August we held a management forum, which brought together managers from all three of our sites. As an organisation with three separate homes, two in Buckinghamshire and one in Oxfordshire, its important that we maintain a constant level of communication between our management teams. They’re responsible for implementing our organisational action plan and clearly communicating our ethos and best practice to all other staff members, so it’s important that this is clearly communicated to them in the first instance.

These management meetings are also excellent for forging bonds between our individual management staff and their teams. We may be working from individual locations, but we are one large team at the end of the day. Our successes and challenges are shared. We need to make sure we have organisations that are well-led, with strong, skilled and communicative managers who are able to really inspire a culture of hard work and dedication amongst their individual care teams and across the whole of Peverel Court Care. The best way for us to do that is to really bring together our managers, both physically and metaphorically.

Managers at the meeting shared their triumphs and difficulties from the past twelve months and then worked together to form an action plan. This joined up working draws on the strengths of individual team members to work to overcome a problem together. It’s a great way of identifying what are our best assets, both collectively and individually, and where we’re stronger as a team than we are on our own.

In the afternoon, we had an events team set up a ‘Masterpiece Challenge’. We were split into individual units but worked together following a set of instructions to form what would eventually turn into a ‘masterpiece’, to huge success. The final product was beautiful, watching it fit together so seamlessly was fascinating. The aim of the challenge was to show our teams what they can do as individuals, as smaller units and as one big team. When everyone is following the same instructions, communicating effectively and working towards the same common goal, we can achieve great things.

By continuously strengthening the communication at Peverel Court Care from management level and throughout all of our care teams, we continue to work together to form an impressive standard of care. Our individual care homes identify our teams, our ethos and aims are our instructions, the type of strong communication and teamwork we saw at our management forum is the glue that knits everything together, and the superb care that we provide is our masterpiece.

Community, Real life, Social Care & Society

A summer of fun at Peverel Court Care

September is upon us and, though we weren’t as lucky with the sun as we had hoped we might be, this summer still did not disappoint us.

Our activities coordinators have outdone themselves this year planning entertainment and fun things for our residents to do throughout the summer months.

In this week’s article, as the countdown to winter begins, we thought we’d have a look back over some of the best bits of 2016 so far.

External visitors

Just a few weeks ago we had our summer parties and our gardens were flooded with residents and their families. We also invited Bertie Bastin, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who visits our homes sometimes. But he isn’t the only non-human who comes to visit us.

Earlier in August we were visited by a number of owls, and our residents were told all about these fascinating creatures.

There’s lots of research and evidence promoting the benefits of animals on the mental and physical health of people. We know that animal visitors make many of our residents extremely excitable.

Making things

Lots of our residents love to create things, so many of the activities we organise involve making new things. This summer we made flags to celebrate the Euro 2016 football tournament, flowery cupcakes, chocolate cakes to celebrate World Chocolate Day and medals and a torch to celebrate the Olympics.

We also had a flower arranging class so that our residents could spend an afternoon creating magnificent bouquets.

A summer of awards

During our summer parties, we awarded some of our residents prizes for a variety of talents they possess, including best gardener and best storyteller. Our residents are extremely talented and we know they appreciate being recognised for their accomplishments.

We also entered some of our best poets into a competition run by the National Activity Providers Association, a charity and members association dedicated to increasing the profile of activity in social care. We’re delighted to announce that one of our residents Eileen was awarded an accolade for this poem she wrote about bluebells.

Bluebell you are a beautiful flower
in the spring waiting to adorn the dark woods.
A shaft of sunlight still low in the sky awakens you.
Before long there is a blue carpet,
stretching out as far as the eye can see,
of little delicate bluebells.
Soon the canopy of trees above the blue carpet
darkens the woods even more,
and the leaves of the bluebell shrivel
so that next spring the dark woods will once again
adorned with your blue beauty.

Here’s to the winter

Over the coming months the weather will worsen and our activities will move inside. We’ll continue to think of new and innovative ways for our residents to stay busy and keep them stimulated and entertained.

We’ll enjoy all of the traditions of Christmas and wait for the weather to get better again. We look forward to seeing you all there.

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