Advice for Choosing Care, Bartletts, Care Home Maintenance, Dementia, Food & Drink, Landscaping and Dementia, Wellbeing

Meet Philip and Wendy – Resident at Bartlett’s Care Home

I’m Wendy, this is my father Phillip.

I mean, nothing is this as pleasant as home, but I can find no fault here. The accommodation is very good, it is very clean and the garden is splendid, and a beautiful view. So I think you’d have to be a very difficult person to please, if you said that you weren’t very happy here. But I certainly am, it is very good. But it was nearest as we could get in the sense that, his home had a south-facing, an old cottage.

South-facing garden with a view of the Chilterns. So obviously, you used to visit. This is very good indeed, very nice, very quiet. Home from home, we didn’t have eighteen acres, it is very nice and this is familiar because I think long ago I’ve been up and walked up that hill.

You know, I think the church is that way anyway. I sleep well here, so I’ve always tended to sleep quite well, which is lucky. Some people don’t, you know. Why we chose here, father used to visit, when he lived in the village. One of the old ladies came here and he used to visit Elenor here and he told me about it. I’d actually spotted it, cause I used to drive to and fro. And yes, he used to say this beautiful place, this fantastic garden and everything and lovely rooms and that so it was always, obviously I googled it,
the sort of building, the quality building, the old building.

But then with the new, done in the similar style and the if you like the the absolute was the 18 acres of grounds. These beautiful grounds that my father could do as he was used to doing, sitting in a lovely garden and just looking at a fabulous view, enjoying the sun and he walks a lot, don’t you, darling? I do tend to, I don’t suffer from any lumbago or anything. So no, its, but I’m aware that one should have some exercise.

Wendy’s sister who sadly passed away, she was a botanist, so she knew anything and everything about flowers. And I don’t, you know, and I just like to see them. Yes, I don’t necessarily know what they are, but that doesn’t really matter. Not to me. And in the spring the area over there had all the violet’s. Oh yes, that’s right. Yes. And the snowdrops and roses. And that’s right. And then the bluebells.

I don’t think I would get lonely ever, as long as I had some books. I don’t, if you like, crave company. Sometimes I don’t, I wish there wasn’t company. You know, I’m probably not alone in that respect. Well, I don’t think it’s for if you don’t wish to do something, you’re not made to do it. You’re always invited to do the activities, aren’t you?

Bartletts, Care Home Recruitment, Training & Development, Workforce Development

Careers in Care – Meet Beverley

“Beverley Webb. I work at Bartlett’s residential home. I’ve been here for nine months as part of a promotion.

I was at Stone House, I worked at Stone House for 14 years. Still part of Peverel Court. I’ve always been a caring person. I’ve always thought, you know, I had what they say a calling. Yeah, so I worked my way up through the company, so I wanted to progress, my main aim was to be part of the management team.

That’s all I wanted to do really is to see the part of management side of it. So I did my assistant practitioner’s course in 2017-18, and I passed that with an apprenticeship as well. I was offered an opportunity at Bartlett’s, which I grabbed.

It is positive, yeah. People, they know what they’re here to do. We know we’re looking after vulnerable people. We’re here to support them. I love care planning. Yeah, I really enjoy that, I love the person centered approach.

I love to be able to sit and talk to a specific resident about, you know, what their wishes are, what they expect, what they used to do when they were younger. So it’s continuing with that in mind. Sitting with them, holding their hands, listening.

Taking them out for a walk. Just doing something for them, and if they’re not able to do something, it’s not a case of expecting them to do it. You’re there to assist them. Whatever difficulties they’re finding, then we’re there to help them to support them.

Success, for me is to going home, knowing that you’ve achieved something, knowing that you’ve made a difference to someone’s life, even if it’s just for a split second, putting a smile on someone’s face, knowing that you’ve made that little bit of a difference to someone’s day.

Do you know, I think we’ve got a very good, supportive network here, from the junior staff to the senior staff to the office management, to the manager even to the head office if you need, something there’s always someone there to give you support.

You get benefits. You get Perkbox, you get recognition, you have an employee of the quarter, which I’ve just been nominated and won which is really a great achievement, which I never expected. Lots of training, you can you can progress.

You’re not stagnant. You’re not in the same position if you want to go higher, which I did. If you work towards that, you can gain it with a lot of support”.

 

Bartletts, Business, Community, Food & Drink, Merryfield, Real life, Stone House

Picnics

Picnics at Peverel Court Care

 

At Peverel Court Care our core values include Care For Our Communities and Service Quality. Therefore, we are delighted to announce that we have teamed up with a local, family-owned coffee shop to create an exclusive range of picnic hamper.

 

In partnership with @ynotcoffee, our new service offering has been designed to allow our residents to enjoy a tasty picnic with their families in the beautiful grounds of our outstanding care homes in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire..

 

Ynot Coffee

We always strive to improve the service that we offer to both our residents and their families, but there’s more to this initiative than that. It’s always been important for us to support local family businesses where we can. Given the struggles that small businesses, and particularly those in the hospitality sector, have faced over the past 18 months, there has never been a better time to try to do our bit.

Ynot Coffee are a family run business based in Aylesbury, close to Stone House and Bartlett’s, who sell freshly ground coffee, teas, cakes, hot and cold pastries, and a variety of sandwiches.

The picnic hampers are available at all three of our care homes, including Merryfield Nursing Care Home in Witney, Oxfordshire.

 

Picnics at Peverel Court Care with Dorothy

 

Amazing picnic

One of the families who have already taken advantage of the new offering were full of praise for both the quality of the hamper and the experience overall:

A huge thank you for arranging this amazing picnic. The food was wonderful and the set up just perfect. Thank goodness the weather held out! I don’t think Dorothy did the best job trying to convince us it’s the first glass of wine she’s had at Bartlett’s though!!

We hope many more families enjoy it as much as we did.

Kind regards,

Rebecca, Julia, Ellen and Fleur

 

About Peverel Court Care

Peverel Court Care is a group of one residential and two nursing homes, located in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire: Bartlett’s Residential Care Home and Stone House Nursing Home in Aylesbury, and Merryfield House Nursing Home in Witney. We are a long-standing family business, providing exceptional, personalised care, delivered by talented and compassionate people, in exclusive and idyllic settings.

With happiness at the heart of our homes, we recognise and respect the contribution made by our residents to society during their lifetimes. Valued by residents and their families; our reputation, investment in each property, and approach to appointing and developing our staff makes each home unique and the benchmark in premium care.

Bartletts, Community, Landscaping and Dementia, Social Care & Society, Wellbeing

Mental Health Awareness Week 10-16th May 2021

Mental Health Awareness Week 10-16th May 2021 at Peverel Court Care 4

 

The Mental Health Foundation’s Mental Health Awareness Week is taking place from 10th to 16th May 2021, and this year’s theme is nature.

Getting into the spirit of the event, Peverel Court Care have decided to partner with an amazing local mental health charity called Lindengate.

 

The importance of mental health awareness

We know that mental health problems affect millions of us, in our families, communities and workplaces. We all have mental health that will fluctuate in response to life events.

The Mental Health Foundation

With everything that the world has been through over the past year due to COVID, ensuring that everyone is looking after their mental health has never been more important.

At Peverel Court Care, we provide our Employee Assistance Programme, a confidential employee benefit designed to help staff deal with any personal and work-related issues that might be affecting them. Whether they are struggling at home or at work, our helpline is available 24/7, 365 days a year so they will always have the support they need. Delivered via the Employee Support Hub, powered by Health Assured, it gives employees access to qualified therapists over the phone or via live chat whenever they want it.

We’re also looking to create a regular collaboration for our care team to access Lindengate’s ‘Healing Pathways’ programme sessions. We feel this will be beneficial to our employees and also aligns with one of our core values – Care for Our Communities.

 

Mental Health Awareness Week 10-16th May 2021 at Peverel Court Care 1

 

Who are Lindengate?

Lindengate Mental Health Charity is located at a stunning 5 acre site in Wendover, Buckinghamshire, where nature breathes new life into anyone needing support with their wellbeing.

The natural beauty and richness of the site help restore and heal, whilst specialist gardening, conservation, construction, cooking and nature based arts and crafts activities provide focus and purpose. Add to this, the community of volunteers and staff who nurture a supportive, inclusive and safe environment and you have a recipe for success.

 

Lindengate’s Healing Pathways Programme

“Using nature to help us understand loss.

Loss will affect us all in different ways, but the common thing to remember is that however we are feeling, is perfectly normal. There is no right way to feel – you will feel how you feel and that is ok.

Sessions for adults take place in small groups, where you can come and take time to think about your loss, in our therapeutic gardens. The garden lends itself to nurturing people, the natural beauty and richness help to restore and heal, with support from a community of volunteers and staff, in a natural environment.

The constancy of the seasons provide some stability when everything else may be crumbling. In the darkest of times, memories of better times – past Winters melting into Spring can sustain us and provide hope – that happy Spring days filled with joy will once again emerge out of the gloom of Winter.”

Healing Pathways
Lindengate

 

Mental Health Awareness Week 10-16th May 2021 at Peverel Court Care 2

 

Getting out into the garden

Our fundraising day will take place on 12th May and will be led by our 104 year old resident Hilda who, along with other residents and employees, will be planting 104 bulbs! You can support Hilda and the other residents raising money for Lindengate via our Virgin Money Giving page here. Hilda is an inspiration and last year helped to raise over £8k for Alzheimer’s Society.

At Peverel Court, we know that access to outdoor space and fresh air can be incredibly powerful. That’s why we have beautifully landscaped gardens at each of our care homes in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, which our residents can enjoy. For example, Bartlett’s Residential Care Home in Stone, near Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire is set in over 18 acres of private tranquil parkland with exceptional views of The Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

For elderly residents, there has been research which has shown that those who enjoyed as little as 10 or 15 minutes of activity a day, saw a marked improvement in their health. It has also been revealed that walking outdoors has been shown to reduce levels of stress, and to increase sociability, communication and self esteem. There is also evidence that it can help to reduce cognitive decline.

Exposure to both daylight and sunlight whilst outdoors is also important. Sunlight provides us with Vitamin D, which is essential for building strong bones and muscle, and helps us with maintaining our body clock. So residents at our homes don’t need to get too adventurous; even just having a cup of tea and a chat out in the garden has proven benefits.

 

Hilda – an inspiration to us all

As mentioned, Hilda will be leading our fundraising efforts again, so we wanted to share some of her story; she is a remarkable woman who has lived a fascinating life. Hilda was born during WWI and has many memories of growing up in London with her mother, Daisy, father, Sidney, and sister, Elsie. She enjoyed biology, science and French at school, and her closest friends were her school friends. Hilda enjoyed playing hockey and swimming, and she belonged to a swimming club.

Hilda was in the civil service during the Second World War. She described the war years as ‘gruesome’ and remembers the poverty at that time. She recalls the blitz and the V1’s and V2’s – or doodle bugs. The happiest memory that Hilda has from during the war was when she got married in 1941.

Hilda worked as a civil servant for most of her working life. She had three children; Barbara and Anthony, and a second daughter who sadly died. Hilda’s family lived in Bournemouth and later she lived in Oving, Buckinghamshire. She enjoyed travelling to Germany; the family had a caravan which they used to travel around the continent. Hilda’s favourite past times include gardening and reading – she likes Terry Pratchett’s novels.

 

Mental Health Awareness Week 10-16th May 2021 at Peverel Court Care 3

 

Find out more

Support Hilda with our fundraising: Virgin Money Giving
Lindengate: Find out more
Lindengate’s Healing Pathways Programme – Find out more
Mental Health Awareness Week: Find out more
The Mental Health Foundation: Find out more

 

About Peverel Court Care

Peverel Court Care is a group of one residential and two nursing homes, located in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire: Bartlett’s Residential Care Home and Stone House Nursing Home in Aylesbury, and Merryfield House Nursing Home in Witney. We are a long-standing family business, providing exceptional, personalised care, delivered by talented and compassionate people, in exclusive and idyllic settings.

With happiness at the heart of our homes, we recognise and respect the contribution made by our residents to society during their lifetimes. Valued by residents and their families; our reputation, investment in each property, and approach to appointing and developing our staff makes each home unique and the benchmark in premium care.

Bartletts, Best Care Practices, Business, Care & Technology, Care Home Maintenance, Care Home Recruitment, Care Management, Dementia, Design, Future of Care, Landscaping and Dementia, Leadership & Management, Merryfield, Property Development, Real life, Social Care & Society, Social Care Strategy, Stone House, Tech, Wellbeing

To succeed care providers must focus on service, employees and the environment

To succeed care providers must focus on service, employees and the environment - Peverel Court Care

 

As we begin to look forward to the year ahead, we wanted to consider the fundamental pillars on which the success of our group is based. Service, employees and the environment are at the heart of Peverel Court Care’s mission to consistently deliver exceptional care for our residents.

At Peverel Court Care we believe that in order for us to be successful in ensuring a level of service which constantly meets and exceeds the expectations of our residents and their loved ones, we can never allow ourselves to take our eye off the three critical foundations that underpin our business. Therefore, we decided to explore some of the elements which contribute to maintaining success in each of these areas throughout our award-winning care homes in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.

Exceptional service in our care homes

There are a multitude of elements that contribute to the exceptional levels of service that we provide for the residents of our homes, however some of the key ones include:

  • To make sure that our residents eat a varied and balanced diet, we employ full-time long standing chefs who produce seasonal menus using high quality local produce. Some care homes opt to outsource catering, but we prefer to manage this in-house so that we can provide the food that our residents love. We also offer private dining to our residents, if and when required, so as to best serve their wishes.
  • Peverel Court Care employ full-time hospitality employees, to look after our residents and to make sure that all of their requirements are met.
  • We also maintain a bespoke mini-bus at each of our homes for community outings. This makes it simpler for our hospitality employees to organise trips and visits for residents who wish to attend or require the service.
  • In addition, we have dedicated Activities teams in our care homes, who are responsible for organising entertainment to ensure that our residents can live happy and fulfilling lives while in our care.

 

Exceptional employees in our care homes

Delivering exceptional service requires an exceptional team. Some of the factors which contribute to the recruitment and retention of the brilliant people who work in our business include:

  • We utilise Values Based Recruitment to ensure that anyone that we’re recruiting into the business shares our values and ethos about care. Understanding whether a person has the correct attitudes and mindset to deliver exceptional service is fundamental to our decision making process.
  • Once we’ve brought good people into the homes, we want to make sure that they want to stay. One of the ways in which we do this is through the development of career pathways, which provide opportunities for ongoing learning and development, allowing staff to grow within the organisation.
  • In addition to helping our employees to progress their careers, we also provide reward & recognition schemes. These programmes are aimed at celebrating success and demonstrating how valued and appreciated their hard work is in delivering exceptional service for our residents.
  • Peverel Court Care, along with each of our homes – Bartlett’s Residential Care Home and Stone House Nursing Home in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire and Merryfield House Nursing Home in Witney, Oxfordshire – all benefit from having a long-standing management team. The expertise and experience of our leadership helps to maintain our exceptional levels of service, but also allows us to get to know all of our employees personally, which creates loyalty and better understanding between the parties.
  • As a business, we always aim to be exceptional. This has been recognised during independent inspections, as we have been awarded the rating of “Outstanding” in CQC ‘Well-led’ categories.

 

Exceptional environment at our care homes

We want our care homes to truly feel like home for our residents. Therefore, maintaining exceptionally high standards across our homes and their grounds is intrinsic to the way that we operate. This includes:

  • All of our homes have beautiful landscaped and dementia-friendly gardens. These spaces offer our residents access to safe, stimulating grounds and provide them with exercise and natural light.
  • It’s not just outside where our attention to detail helps to set us apart. We have also utilised dementia-friendly interior designs to make life as simple and comfortable as possible for our residents.
  • Community involvement and interactions for social stimulation are also a key part of our homes. We would never want residents to feel like they were disconnected from the outside world or each other, so this plays a key role in maintaining mental wellbeing.
  • We also believe that the use of, and access to, technology improves the lives of the residents who live in our care homes immeasurably. This includes the provision of super fast Wi-Fi and iPads for keeping in touch with loved ones, which has proved especially valuable over the past year with visitation having to be restricted. We have also implemented the use of electronic care plans. to further improve the way in which we’re able to personalise and maintain exceptional care for our residents.

 

About Peverel Court Care

Peverel Court Care is a group of one residential and two nursing homes, located in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire: Bartlett’s Residential Care Home and Stone House Nursing Home in Aylesbury, and Merryfield House Nursing Home in Witney. We are a long-standing family business, providing exceptional, personalised care, delivered by talented and compassionate people, in exclusive and idyllic settings.

With happiness at the heart of our homes, we recognise and respect the contribution made by our residents to society during their lifetimes. Valued by residents and their families; our reputation, investment in each property, and approach to appointing and developing our staff makes each home unique and the benchmark in premium care.

Bartletts, Best Care Practices, Care Home Maintenance, Care Management, CQC Inspection, Health and Safety, Infection Control, Leadership & Management

Bartlett’s CQC Inspection

Peverel Court Care Bartlett's CQC Inspection Infection Prevention Control Aylesbury Buckinghamshire

 

In response to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) have introduced new Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) inspections in order to share good practice, uphold high quality care and keep people in care safe.

 

CQC Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Inspections

It is no surprise that the CQC view effective infection prevention and control as “essential” in the fight to protect people from acquiring COVID-19 and that care homes “need to make sure they are taking action to minimise the risk of cross-infection”.

As a result, the CQC have introduced IPC inspections as part of their response to the coronavirus pandemic in order to check on “the preparedness of care homes in relation to infection prevention and control”.

Kate Terroni, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care at the CQC stated:

We’re committed to ensuring safe, effective, compassionate and high-quality care and are working with the Department of Health and Social Care and others to support the care system through winter. We have seen some providers using innovative and exciting practices to keep people safe. They have been supported by staff who have gone the extra mile to keep the people in their care healthy, stimulated, and as independent as possible, while keeping family members and carers informed and engaged. 

By continuing to monitor and inspect these care locations we have and will continue to take action to protect people, share best practice and support providers to protect against the spread of COVID in care homes.

 

CQC IPC Inspection – Bartlett’s Residential Care Home

Following an IPC inspection by the CQC at our Bartlett’s Residential Care Home in Stone, near Aylesbury, in Buckinghamshire on 18th February 2021, we have now received our report. This was a targeted inspection looking at the infection control and prevention measures that Peverel Court Care have in place. This inspection took place on 18 February 2021 and was announced.

In response to the pandemic and our need for first-class infection control now more than ever, we have introduced a new Testing Co-ordinator role. The Covid-19 Testing Coordinator plays a vital role in ensuring the health and safety of our visitors, colleagues, and residents, by providing an optimum level of direct administration and organisational support. The purpose is to enable us to adopt best practice and identify continuous improvement opportunities for our homes in order to streamline and formalise effective customer service processes.

To find out more about some of the initiatives we have put in place to ensure outstanding infection control in our care homes, please visit our previous article here.

 

Bartlett’s IPC Inspection – CQC’s Summary of Findings

Bartlett’s Residential Home is a care home located in Stone, Buckinghamshire and is owned by Peverel Court Limited. The home is registered to support older people, some who are living with dementia. The original building is a Victorian country house built in 1856, over the years it has been added to and now provides care and support for 50 people. At the time of our inspection 48 people were being supported.

The CQC found the following examples of good practice during our IPC inspection of Bartlett’s:

  • People were supported to keep in touch with their families throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. This included individual visitor plans as part of their care plan to make sure their social contact needs are met. There was a booking system in place to stagger visitors and visit times to minimise visitor numbers. Prior to each visit, visitors completed a lateral flow test and had the visitor expectations and procedures clearly explained.
  • Additional cleaning schedules had been introduced to reflect additional tasks such as cleaning of frequently touched surfaces. Regular audits took place which led to improvements and safety.
  • Staff and people using the service took part in regular testing for COVID-19. Additionally, staff carried out lateral flow testing twice a week, which enabled them to receive test results within 15-30 minutes. This helped the service to reduce the risk of spreading infection and allowed them to closely monitor and act immediately to ensure government guidelines can be followed where positive test results were discovered.
  • Staff told us the management team had been and continued to be supportive of staff, and risk assessments had been completed with staff who identified as facing higher risks. Managers were positive about the commitment staff had shown throughout the pandemic and a variety of initiatives had been implemented including ‘Thursday Thank Yous’ and personalised gift boxes.
  • There was a strong emphasis on the use of technology and innovation during the COVID-19 pandemic. This included the use of video technology to enable people to keep in touch with their families throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and collaborative work with NHSX (the unit tasked with driving digital transformation in the NHS).

We spoke to the Manager of each of our homes to find out whether there was anyone in particular who had stood out as a care hero over the past year.

 

Is the Service Safe? Bartlett’s CQC IPC Inspection Findings

How well are people protected by the prevention and control of infection?

  • We were assured that the provider was preventing visitors from catching and spreading infections
  • We were assured that the provider was meeting shielding and social distancing rules.
  • We were assured that the provider was admitting people safely to the service.
  • We were assured that the provider was using PPE effectively and safely.
  • We were assured that the provider was accessing testing for people using the service and staff.
  • We were assured that the provider was promoting safety through the layout and hygiene practices of the premises.
  • We were assured that the provider was making sure infection outbreaks can be effectively prevented or managed.
  • We were assured that the provider’s infection prevention and control policy was up to date.

Read the full report on the CQC website here.

 

About Peverel Court Care

Peverel Court Care is a group of one residential and two nursing homes, located in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire: Bartlett’s Residential Care Home and Stone House Nursing Home in Aylesbury, and Merryfield House Nursing Home in Witney. We are a long-standing family business, providing exceptional, personalised care, delivered by talented and compassionate people, in exclusive and idyllic settings.

With happiness at the heart of our homes, we recognise and respect the contribution made by our residents to society during their lifetimes. Valued by residents and their families; our reputation, investment in each property, and approach to appointing and developing our staff makes each home unique and the benchmark in premium care.

Bartletts, Best Care Practices, Community, Infection Control, Merryfield, Real life, Social Care & Society, Stone House

Good News Care Stories during COVID

COVID Good News Stories from Peverel Court Care

 

While the start to 2021 has followed on from last year in being a challenging time for the care sector, the rollout of vaccines to care homes brings fresh optimism. So we thought it a good time to look back at some feel-good stories from our homes which have made us extra proud of our team over the past year. To our COVID care heroes – a big thank you.

 

COVID-19 Care Heroes

From the regular Thursday evening “Clap for Carers”, which has recently been relaunched as “Clap for Heroes”, to Care Home Professional Magazine’s Care Heroes Awards 2020 there has been a spotlight on the brilliant job that carers do across the UK like never before.

At Peverel Court Care we have always appreciated the incredible job done by our talented teams of dedicated staff at our elderly residential care homes near Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire and in Witney, located in the beautiful Cotswolds near Oxford.

However, the past year has brought into even greater focus the fact that members of the Peverel Court team regularly go above and beyond the call of duty for our residents and each other.

 

A Brave Face in a Difficult Year

The COVID-19 pandemic has made things difficult for people across the country. Juggling work with homeschooling children, care for relatives and maintaining social distancing has been tricky. However, for care home staff, knowing the risk of either taking the virus into work, or else bringing it home to the family has added additional stress.

So when we read the following article on the Care Home Professional website, submitted by the Registered Manager at Ruddington Manor Care Centre, it inspired us to find some of our own:

Lewis is passionate, professional and just gets on with every task in the background without any fuss – he is so deserving of recognition. Throughout the pandemic, he has been an asset to the whole team. He lives with his grandparents, so rather than put them at risk, he asked if he could move into the home; that way his grandparents could shield and he would be able to work, continuing to support the home during the crisis. He has gone over and above during the pandemic and his support has been invaluable to the residents, myself and the team.

Lewis has gone the extra mile during these difficult circumstances, both in terms of delivering his usual outstanding care, but also offering friendship, companionship and empathy to every resident. When visits stopped, Lewis immediately started to facilitate WhatsApp calls, Skype and Zoom for all residents, allowing them to speak to and see loved ones. He even arranged a virtual funeral for one of our residents, a gentleman whose wife, also a resident, passed away during the pandemic (when the limit of numbers to attend a funeral was three). This simple gesture enabled the husband to be with his wife as best he could in the circumstances and say goodbye to her. Lewis helped the gentleman dress smartly for the virtual funeral, and stayed with him to ensure he was ok, as he himself was also unwell. Lewis went out of his way to go shopping for particular items for residents, and our residents have been so appreciative.

We know that things haven’t been easy, so we wanted to highlight a few instances where members of our team have made us extra proud of the Peverel Court Care family over the past year.

We spoke to the Manager of each of our homes to find out whether there was anyone in particular who had stood out as a care hero over the past year.

 

Resilient, Positive and Calm

Mibell Hernandez is the Home Manager for Bartlett’s Residential Care Home, near Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire. When we asked her if she would nominate a care hero for Bartlett’s, she said:

For me all members of staff at Bartlett’s are care heroes during the pandemic period and no doubt about that. Colleagues such as Laura, who is our ‘Receptionist’ although she is truly so much more than that. She epitomises the family values and ethos we have at Peverel Court Care. She has also been an integral part of the digital transformation project and helped us a great deal with that. Laura is part of a new wave of an incredibly tech savvy generation – with the caring values required in this type of sector.

She is an exceptional team member who has repeatedly gone above and beyond her role, and worked so very hard to help residents, their relatives and her colleagues. She contributed hugely when we started testing our residents and staff for Covid, and now with the Lateral Flow Device test. She worked during the Christmas period and handled all the Christmas presents for our residents incredibly well. She also supported the team to the best of her ability. She remains so resilient, positive and calm every time she is at work. She handled all phone calls, enquiries, emails in a very professional manner. I am so impressed and very proud to have her in our team.

 

No Complaints Wherever She is Required

We also spoke with Fran Torres, the Home Manager at Merryfield House Nursing Home in Witney, Oxfordshire. She told us:

We are all heroes in our own way! All of us have done something extra special during the pandemic, but I would say that these two stand out from the rest of us.

When we started lockdown way back in March 2020, most, if not all, of the staff were frightened and would have prefered to stay in the safety of their own homes.

DB is a mum of 3 who chose to work from the start of the pandemic rather than staying at home caring for her kids so as to help ensure continuity of care for our residents. She is a multi-tasker, from caring, laundry, cleaning and kitchen assistant. No complaints wherever she is required. She previously won the employee of The quarter award.

SW has gone out of her way to help a colleague who is struggling financially. SW was shopping essentials for her for free or to be paid in terms of whatever amount the colleague could afford to pay for as long as she wanted. This inspired a few of the other staff to help out as well, including myself. When the head office was supplying essentials for the staff, several of us gave our share to other colleagues who required them more. This simple gesture meant a lot for colleagues and it was a very rewarding feeling for us. A simple act of kindness and making a difference to someone’s life really go a long way.

 

The End is in Sight – COVID-19 Vaccination Programme

Like care homes across the country, we’re delighted with the positive news that the vaccination programme has begun at our homes. Through the UK COVID-19 vaccines delivery plan, the Government have on 11th January 2021 reaffirmed their commitment to offer all care home staff and residents a vaccine by the end of January.

We are currently working with staff and residents to ensure that the uptake is as high as possible across our homes.

 

About Peverel Court Care

Peverel Court Care is a group of one residential and two nursing homes, located in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire: Bartlett’s Residential Care Home and Stone House Nursing Home in Aylesbury, and Merryfield House Nursing Home in Witney. We are a long-standing family business, providing exceptional, personalised care, delivered by talented and compassionate people, in exclusive and idyllic settings.

With happiness at the heart of our homes, we recognise and respect the contribution made by our residents to society during their lifetimes. Valued by residents and their families; our reputation, investment in each property, and approach to appointing and developing our staff makes each home unique and the benchmark in premium care.

Bartletts, Business, Care & Technology, Care Management, Future of Care, Health and Safety, Leadership & Management, Merryfield, Real life, Social Care & Society, Stone House, Wellbeing

Health and wellbeing of the adult social care workforce

Health and Wellbeing of the Adult Social Care Workforce at Peverel Court Care

 

With the number of cases of COVID-19 on the rise again across the UK, it seemed a good time to review the health and wellbeing support that has been put in place for the adult social care workforce. We examine both the initiatives that have been launched nationally, and also those that we have additionally put in place for our staff at Peverel Court Care.

The care sector is a vital part of our health and care frontline and this pandemic has shone a light on the skills, commitment and dedication of our care workers.

Helen Whately
Minister of State for Care

 

An Unprecedented Year in Adult Social Care

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, this has been a challenging year for the adult social care sector in the UK. Keeping our residents safe has been at the forefront of everyone’s minds; not least as a result of the media coverage it has had. However, equally as important has been ensuring the mental and physical wellbeing of the dedicated people whose hard work has ensured continuity of care for our residents.

While the general population have faced the worry, uncertainty and disruption that the pandemic has brought, for our staff we know that this has been doubly difficult. Not only have they had to worry about bringing illness home to the families and loved ones, but they have also had the added concern of taking something back to work with them.

When you add in the fact that many of our staff have been asked to help maintain levels of services while colleagues have been self-isolating; increasing their own workloads and levels of stress, it’s been incredibly reassuring to see the dedication of our team.

 

Supporting the Adult Social Care Workforce

Nationally, there have been plenty of initiatives launched to help support care workers. An early one was supermarkets including care workers amongst the group of front-line workers to whom priority shopping times were made available. However, at government level, one of the key additions made to support the care workforce was the launch of the Care Workforce app, developed with NHSX and the NHS Business Services Authority, under the new CARE brand.

Launched in May 2020, the app, which is available for download on iOS and Android, as well as being accessible from any web browser, acts as a single digital hub for social care workers to access relevant updates, guidance, support and discounts from their phone. The tool will be the first of its kind provided for the care workforce, and will:

  • act as a single one-stop-shop providing the sector with all the latest guidance, wellbeing support and advice they need to protect themselves from COVID-19 and keep themselves well
  • provide access to learning resources on crucial areas such as infection control as well as practical advice and support for mental wellbeing
  • show how care workers can take advantage of offers available to NHS and social care staff, including free car parking and discounts through organisations and initiatives like Discounts for Carers and the Blue Light Card
  • signpost free access to apps like Silvercloud, Daylight and Sleepio, which can help boost users’ mental wellbeing through programmes covering sleep, stress and resilience

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:

Our incredible social care workforce are on the frontline day and night providing quality care to the most vulnerable in our society during the most unprecedented time in our history. The whole country is incredibly grateful of the work they continue to do for our loved ones.

As part of our continued work to back the care sector, we have launched a new app specifically for care workers to make sure they have the most up-to-date guidance to keep them safe, connected with their colleagues across the country, which also allows them to access discounts like their NHS counterparts.

It’s available to download right now, and I would urge everyone in social care to do so.

 

Managing Mental Health and Wellbeing

In addition to the app, there have been a plethora of support initiatives and guidance released this year to help support the adult social care workforce. A simple, but important set of precisely this type of advice is:

There are some simple things you can do to look after your mental health and wellbeing at the current time. Looking after your mind and body will help you both at work and home.

  • Remember that it is OK to struggle at the present time. Everyone reacts differently and you may feel different emotions at different stages of the pandemic. However, it may cause you to feel worried, stressed, sad, scared or helpless – these are understandable feelings.
  • Take time to look after your physical wellbeing – this will have a big impact on how you feel emotionally. Taking breaks at work, maintaining a routine, eating well and exercising can help.
  • Think about what has helped you cope in the past to cope with stressful situations. Focus on what is in your control, try to pace yourself and remember that this will not last forever.
  • Extend the self-compassion and care you have for others for yourself.
  • Look after your emotional health. After difficult or stressful experiences at work it is normal for memories or images of what has happened to come into your mind. Try to let these memories come and go rather than blocking them or trying not to think about them. Try not to stay focused on difficult thoughts and feelings.

Dr Katrina Lake
NHS England & NHS Improvement Adult Mental Health (South East) Clinical Lead

Other useful examples of guidance documents released this year which are well worth a read, include Health and Wellbeing information for Care Staff and Managing the Wellbeing of Social Care Staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.
 

Supporting our team at Peverel Court Care

While we have appreciated the efforts that have been made at a national and local level, at Peverel Court Care we wanted to go further to help our employees through this difficult time.

We have also implemented the Employee Assistance Programme, powered by Health Assured, which is a confidential employee benefit designed to help staff deal with any personal and work-related issues that might be affecting them. Whether they are struggling at home or at work, there is a helpline available to them 24/7, 365 days a year, so that they will always have support on hand when they need it over the phone or via live chat.

Peverel Court Care have also partnered with Perkbox Medical to provide employees with 24/7 access to an online GP, as we appreciate how difficult it can sometimes be to schedule appointments around working hours.

The online GP service allows employees to interact with a certified doctor, via app or website from anywhere with internet access. Employees can book an appointment and be seen within minutes, ask for advice, as well as receiving prescriptions and referrals, all at a time of their choosing. Our Directors are among staff to have already taken advantage of this service, and believe they have “witnessed the benefit and efficiency of the process”.

Back in April we also created a bespoke survey platform for the team to provide anonymous feedback and ask questions to the senior leadership team. In order to try to mitigate against any financial hardship suffered as a result of needing to self-isolate, we also invited employees to let us know if they need assistance in dealing with the loss of income as a result of having to isolate for 7 or 14 days. We put in place a scheme covering the months of March and April where we were able to advance up to 100% of the difference between Statutory Sick Pay and an employee’s contractual pay over that period.

We are also introducing Aura for our employees from the 29th October. Even before World Mental Health Day, we had been looking for a new solution which we could provide to our staff to help them better manage the impact on their mental health of both their work and life. Aura is described by it’s founders as:

Join millions who use Aura to manage their emotions and get restful sleep. Whether you’re stressed, anxious or having trouble sleeping, simply tell Aura and find strength & rest.

Mindfulness meditations, stories, life coaching, and so much more. With thousands of empowering & resonating audio tracks, Aura has just what you need every day, and constantly learns what works for you.

 

About Peverel Court Care

Peverel Court Care is a group of one residential and two nursing homes, located in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire: Bartlett’s Residential Care Home and Stone House Nursing Home in Aylesbury, and Merryfield House Nursing Home in Witney. We are a long-standing family business, providing personalised care, delivered by talented and compassionate people, in exclusive and idyllic settings.

With happiness at the heart of our homes, we recognise and respect the contribution made by our residents to society during their lifetimes. Valued by residents and their families; our reputation, investment in each property, and approach to appointing and developing our staff makes each home unique and the benchmark in premium care.

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Careers in adult social care

Careers in Adult Social Care at Peverel Court Care

 

As the Department for Health and Social Care launch their major new recruitment drive for the social care sector “Care for others, make a difference” we take the opportunity to explore some of the career opportunities and initiatives designed to encourage people to consider careers in adult social care.

 

At Peverel Court Care, we have long appreciated the dedication and commitment of our team, who work tirelessly to provide exceptional levels of care to the residents of our care homes in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.

 

The Values that make a Great Carer

Building on the existing “Every day is different” campaign, the latest campaign features new messaging which enhances the current need for further urgent recruitment in the sector. It focuses on encouraging those people who possess the desired values to consider a future in providing care.

Under the strapline We need you now. They need you always, adverts will run across national broadcast and online TV, radio, social media and online to inspire people to make a difference now by working in social care.

Public Health England

For the management team at Peverel Court Care, looking at values when assessing someone who is interested in a career in adult social care is something we have long considered important. Underpinning this belief is the development of a set of core values which we strive to adhere to as a business and the recruitment processes we have put in place to align our selection process with those values. As such, we consider this new national initiative to be a fantastic way for the sector as a whole to ensure it is sufficiently staffed, both now and in the future.

 

Career Pathways in Adult Social Care

While recruiting staff who share the values required to provide high levels of care is important, that is just the first step. Retaining and further developing high-performing staff within the business, and the sector as a whole, for the longer term is another challenge in itself.

Peverel Court Care have long utilised career pathways for several key roles, including Healthcare Assistants and have seen a number of our staff who have joined the business as carers promoted into management roles.

After we have recruited new members of staff, we first ensure that they have the relevant training to do their jobs today. However, we also develop longer term plans to help them continue to learn and develop so that they will want to stay with us for much longer than the industry average. We work closely with ambitious Healthcare Assistants at each of our care homes to support them through the new Assistant Practitioner course at both Oxford Brookes University and Buckinghamshire New University.

We aim to provide a structured pathway for those with aspirations to develop and progress their careers in adult social care. Upon completion of the Assistant Practitioner course – our staff then have the option to complete a further course to become a qualified Registered Nurse. We also provide access to the Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care for those looking to pursue a managerial career pathway.

We also work with training provider Hemsley Fraser and all of our Registered Managers attend at least one course per year. Despite the challenges of COVID-19, we are still committed to this in 2020, and the managers will be attending virtual courses.

 

Carer Happiness means Resident Happiness

Promoting continuous learning, development and career pathways is fundamental to the long-term staff requirement planning we have in place for the business. Going hand-in-hand with this, we have introduced staff reward and recognition programmes, which allow us to thank our dedicated team for their commitment. 

While we already had a number of recognition programmes in place, the challenges of COVID-19 that have been faced globally during this year have lead to the introduction of a number of other initiatives to support our staff. By supporting the employees who ensure the consistent, high levels of care for the residents of our homes, we hope that we have made the difficulties faced this year as manageable as possible.

We hope that by investing in making our staff feel valued and by enabling them to progress their careers in adult social care with us via the new career pathways, Peverel Court Care can continue to buck sector-wide staffing trends and to maintain the exceptional levels of care for which we’re renowned.

 

About Peverel Court Care

Peverel Court Care is a group of one residential and two nursing homes, located in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire: Bartlett’s Residential Care Home and Stone House Nursing Home in Aylesbury, and Merryfield House Nursing Home in Witney. We are a long-standing family business, providing personalised care, delivered by talented and compassionate people, in exclusive and idyllic settings.

With happiness at the heart of our homes, we recognise and respect the contribution made by our residents to society during their lifetimes. Valued by residents and their families; our reputation, investment in each property, and approach to appointing and developing our staff makes each home unique and the benchmark in premium care.

Advice for Choosing Care, Bartletts, Best Care Practices, Business, Care & Technology, Care Management, Future of Care, Health and Safety, Infection Control, Leadership & Management, Merryfield, Real life, Safeguarding, Social Care Strategy, Stone House, Tech

The Safety of a Quality Care Home

The safety of a quality care home at Peverel Court Care

 

Are care homes currently safe? That is the question we are frequently asked. Until there’s a definitive answer to their question, families may consider staying away from care homes – but should they?

The question of whether or not a person is safer in a care home, their own home, or a hospital ward, is not a straightforward answer. Much is dependent on the measures put in place by any given care provider in order to mitigate the risks for their residents and staff.

With COVID-19 continuing to dominate the news headlines around the globe, it’s little wonder that people have concerns about whether their loved ones are, or would be, safe in a residential or nursing care home.

 

Safety in our care homes

We are now COVID free in all of our homes – and that goes for both staff and residents. We have had one Emergency Support Framework (ESF) call at Merryfield Nursing Home in Witney, near Oxford, that highlights the safety of the home.

We have recently detailed how we’re utilising technology to ensure outstanding infection control in our care homes, along with how we’re rolling out the use of digital care plans and the ways in which we’ve supported our employees through COVID-19.

One of the key uses of technology which we have introduced to all three of our care homes in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire is a set of VitalSign Series Temperature-Check Tablets in the entrances to all our homes as part of our infection control measures.

In anticipation of requiring PPE at the very outset of a possible national outbreak, we embarked on a significant procurement programme very early on, ensuring adequate supplies of all required PPE throughout. At no point did any of the Peverel Court Care homes run out of PPE, nor were we required at any point to ration our supplies. Spending a significant sum on commercially available stock ensured we were adequately provided for.

Peverel Court Care have subsequently embarked on a further procurement programme to make sure we are adequately stocked on an ongoing basis for any future national outbreak and any further changes to Public Health England guidance around the use of PPE.

The safety of our residents and employees is fundamental to Peverel Court Care and underlines our core values of Resident Focus, Integrity, Service Quality, Passion and Care for Our Communities.

 

Are care homes less safe than home care?

Again, there is no single answer to this question, as processes to minimise the spread of the virus will vary greatly from one provider to another. However, where carers are travelling between care recipients – and particularly where they need to regularly use public transport – the risk of transmitting infection will always be there.

“Live-in care, where the carer stays at the individuals home for weeks at a time, has been described as the “safe option”. However, this approach can also have its downsides. In a recent case study we discovered that:

Before coronavirus took hold, the family of an elderly man with mild dementia had opted for live-in care, with a home care agency also visiting regularly to cover any breaks the live-in carer was entitled to.

As it turned out, the live-in carer self-isolated with the client’s father for 8 weeks straight.

During that time, possibly due to boredom and frustration that he couldn’t go out, the father’s dementia became more severe. His behaviour became more aggressive and he started to wander from the house at night to the point where all the doors and windows had to be locked.

Whenever there was an issue, and there were many, the family member who lived nearest – our client’s brother – would get a call from the carer to come and help. This was happening on a more frequent basis and at any time of day or night.

Clearly under normal circumstances, the family would have chosen a care home as the safe option. But despite this, the fear of COVID meant the family decided to carry on with an increasingly unsafe and inadequate situation at home.

 

Returning our care homes to a new normal

As we continue to implement new technological solutions to provide infection control and reduce the risk for our residents and staff, we’ve been able to reintroduce controlled visits by family. This week we received this lovely note from the daughter of one of our residents at Bartlett’s Residential Care Home, near Aylesbury, Bucks:

Hi Mibell and the whole team,

 

I just wanted to say that after 5 long months my visit with Dad yesterday was SO lovely. He was relaxed, happy and chatty. To him I am quite sure it only felt like yesterday I had visited (quite possibly with thanks to his Dementia).

 

Everything about my visit was well organised and with a relaxed feeling as to put us at ease. Please convey my thanks to the whole team.

 

I am very much looking forward to seeing him again. 

 

SW xx

 

About Peverel Court Care

Peverel Court Care is a group of one residential and two nursing homes, located in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire: Bartlett’s Residential Care Home and Stone House Nursing Home in Aylesbury, and Merryfield House Nursing Home in Witney. We are a long-standing family business, providing personalised care, delivered by talented and compassionate people, in exclusive and idyllic settings.

With happiness at the heart of our homes, we recognise and respect the contribution made by our residents to society during their lifetimes. Valued by residents and their families; our reputation, investment in each property, and approach to appointing and developing our staff makes each home unique and the benchmark in premium care.

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