Best Care Practices

Personalised, at-home physiotherapy for our residents

Enabling our residents to remain as mobile as possible is a key aim to ensure everyone who lives with us can enjoy maximum quality of life. Read on to learn more about our partnership with The Caring Physio and how this service is benefiting the ladies and gentlemen in our care homes.

 

Supporting our residents to move comfortably and keep as active and fit as possible is a key aim for the care we provide. We know that ageing can bring many challenges with joint, muscle and bone health, and this often leads to reduced mobility, which can be detrimental for both physical and mental health.

With this in mind, we’ve partnered with The Caring Physio so that our residents at Stone House, Bartlett’s and Merryfield can enjoy physiotherapy services in the comfort of their home. This has been a revolutionary offering for our residents that means we don’t need to wait for NHS referrals: the treatment our residents need can begin swiftly and in a relaxed and supportive environment with The Caring Physio visits to us. Our staff and families can be on-hand to provide any additional support and encouragement that our residents may need, and the physios are able to provide in-depth mobility knowledge to support our care teams in their roles. 

 

Why keeping our residents moving is important

When a person can’t move as they’d like to because of arthritis, other painful conditions or recovery from an operation, fall, stroke or other illness we know this can have a huge knock-on effect for their overall health and quality of life.

Physical inactivity has also been highlighted this World Alzheimer’s Month by Alzheimer’s Disease International as a factor in reducing the risk of developing dementia and for ongoing risk reduction for people who are already living with dementia.

We know that keeping our residents moving is beneficial in many other ways too, including for helping to lower blood pressure, improving heart health and boosting immunity, and to support good mental health, especially when exercise is taken outside.

 

The benefits of at-home physiotherapy when you’re living in a care home

We’ve found that providing our residents with regular access to a physiotherapy service that is person-centred and responsive to each person’s needs is playing a huge part in keeping our residents as physically active as possible, as we’ve seen recently with our Stone House Sports Day and Bartlett’s Mini Crazy Golf.

Moreover, for our residents who are living with dementia, having at-home physio means they can be surrounded by their own possessions and have their treatment in a relaxed atmosphere, rather than having to go to an unfamiliar clinic with time-pressured appointments. 

The small team of physios who visit us are able to get to know our residents very well, and for our ladies and gentlemen with dementia they often adopt creative approaches to make the exercises and movements they are recommending as easy to understand and participate in as possible. The physios are also able to assist staff and relatives in understanding how they can support exercise and movement regimes in-between visits.

 

What our residents and families have said about our at-home physio service

Tony said:

“I have been seeing Gemma for the last two weeks and my problem has gone. She has not needed to see me again. She has improved my walking by doing basic walking techniques. Gemma is very easy to get on with and has treated me with dignity and respect.”

 

Audrey (Family member) said:

“My husband suffered a serious stroke in July 2020. He was previously very fit. I was present for a short session given by Ms Barnes during a visit to Merryfield in January 2023, and was immediately struck and most impressed by her completely different approach from that of the community physiotherapists. Determined and dedicated, she never gives up hope and has in-turn given my husband hope. She is always cheerful and her pleasant attitude means my husband looks forward to her visits. My husband is now starting to engage core muscles enabling him to reach forward a little. Most importantly, Gemma has enabled my husband to slightly move his left leg which is an incredible achievement as it is now three years since his stroke. This has had an immense psychological effect on him. I would thoroughly recommend Gemma: her dedicated approach and positive demeanour is second to none.”

 

Esther said: 

“Gemma is now a regular visitor to Merryfield and is a great comfort and help to all. Residents have one-to-one sessions with Gemma and they are helped with their individual needs. She converses well, has a wide knowledge and gives great advice on ‘aches and pains’. She explains specific problems and the best way to deal with them. She has helped me a great deal.”

 

About The Caring Physio

The Caring Physio are a team of physiotherapists – all of whom are members of the Health and Care Professions Council and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy – that specialise in providing person-centred treatment in the comfort of their patient’s own homes. Their physiotherapy is delivered by professionals with outstanding knowledge and experience, and they are able to provide best practice advice for recovery from a multitude of different health conditions and injuries.

Gemma – one of the physios supporting our residents – graduated in 2008 with a first-class honours degree in Physiotherapy. She went on to have a successful career as a Military Physiotherapist before specialising in frailty. Gemma believes – as we do – that no one is too old for rehab, and she enjoys helping people from a variety of different backgrounds to fulfil their potential.

 

 

We caught up with Gemma to ask her some questions about being a physio and what she and her colleagues offer our residents

 

Gemma, you’ve had a really interesting career, including working at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (Headley Court) in the fields of Complex trauma, Amputee rehab and Neurology before specialising in frailty. What do you love most about working with older people?

Gemma: “Yes, I’ve been very lucky in my career so far and have had the chance to work with some incredible people spanning all age groups and backgrounds. I think what I enjoy most about working with older people is what you can learn from them. They have so much lived experience and will inevitably teach me something new every day. This generation in particular have lived through so much change and tend to have a real ‘can do’ attitude, which translates well into the physio sessions. I find myself laughing most days as they often have a very refreshing outlook on things.”

 

Why do you and your colleagues believe that timely access to physiotherapy is so important for people as they age?

Gemma: “We firmly believe that no one is too old for rehab and that prevention is often better than cure. If we can maintain people’s physical fitness, mobility, confidence and balance then this can reduce their falls risk and also improve their overall quality of life. We also believe that age shouldn’t be a predictor of quality of life and that people shouldn’t be ‘given up’ on because they reach a certain age. Sometimes even a small amount of input can have a hugely positive effect.”

 

Many care providers don’t yet offer at-home physiotherapy for their residents. What do you and your colleagues believe are the key benefits of an at-home physiotherapy service for people living in care homes?

Gemma: “Sadly, some people see going into a care home as ‘giving up’. We believe that a good care home environment should encourage people to live their best lives, but often physical barriers can stand in the way of this. Providing an in-house physio service to residents allows us to problem solve in their own environment, meaning we can give advice and make changes in real time. We can also provide physio for residents who are bed bound and may not be able to go out and access ‘traditional’ physiotherapy in clinics or outpatient departments. It may also be that people don’t know what physio can provide, or how much it can help particularly with conditions such a Parkinson’s Disease, stroke & with general frailty. We also provide advice to the care home and family members on equipment that may help residents, and can signpost to other services that may be required for residents who may have ‘slipped through the net’ within a very stretched NHS.”

 

You and your colleagues have made a huge difference to the lives of many of our residents already. Can you tell us some of the successes in treating our residents that you’re particularly proud of?

Gemma: “Within the care homes that we work in, we have seen some brilliant things, including enabling an 89-year-old gentleman to undertake a skydive for charity. He wasn’t able to adopt the correct flight & landing positions, but following an intensive period of physio, he managed it and was able to complete the skydive, raising over £6K for charity and fulfilling a lifelong dream. This was a very proud moment for all of us. (Note: this wasn’t a gentleman in a Peverel Court Care Home). 

We have managed to get a gentleman who had a stroke and was deemed to have ‘no rehab potential’ to actively move his leg, and he is now able to stand using a piece of equipment we have sourced for him. This has had a profoundly positive impact on both him and his family. 

We have also been working with a lady to help her regain full functional use of her hand after it came out of plaster following a break. She didn’t get any physio through the NHS but we have managed to get her using the hand functionally again, which has enabled her to remain more independent with tasks, including being able to feed herself. 

However, it’s not always about the ‘big wins’. Sometimes it’s just as rewarding to see someone’s confidence grow, or to get them walking independently again, or get someone a piece of equipment that enables them to be more independent or engaged. Often it’s all the ‘little wins’ that really add up to give great job satisfaction.”

 

Many thanks to Gemma and her colleagues for the support they are providing to 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.

 

Best Care Practices, Care Home Recruitment, Care Management, Leadership & Management, Uncategorized, Workforce Development

Respect at the heart of morale building

woman carer and woman resident

 

Respect at the heart of morale building. How it is an anchor to supporting carers with their levels of motivation and retention in their roles.

 
At Peverel Court Care, the individuals and teams across our three care homes are at the heart of our business. The service they provide to our residents daily. The warmth of hospitality our staff consistently delivers and the positive culture they create across each property.
Over the years, managers have always taken the well-being and happiness of staff into regular consideration. As an anchor to us, as a care provider, delivering the very best possible service to our residents. It is important to make staff feel valued in their jobs in roles that they enjoy and feel fulfilled.

Fundamental to this is respect being at the centre of our operations, for example, the benefits of each staff member treating one another with respect.

We apply some things in our mission to consistently deliver exceptional care.

  1. Provide positive recognition – Recognising carers who perform their job well and do it with a spirit of excellence is essential. Recognising staff members’ achievements through open or one-to-one praise assures individuals that their efforts are seen and appreciated.
  2. Listen and maintain open communication – Showing respect to carers includes regularly listening to their concerns and offering support. Invite feedback to ensure that you, as a manager, are doing your best to meet their needs and create an open, inclusive environment.
  3. Encourage autonomy and creative problem-solving – Empowering carers to solve their problems will boost morale and make them feel more respected and appreciated, mainly when their ideas and insights are considered and put into practice in the business. Staff then think they directly impact the quality of the day-to-day care delivered.
  4. Make their workplace meaningful – Workplace morale depends on a feeling of meaningfulness. Connect their job to larger, purpose-driven initiatives and set achievable goals to increase job satisfaction. An excellent example of this is carers being part of a highly respected healthcare workforce – across the UK by the public and their peers.
  5. Encourage professional development – Providing opportunities for carers to learn new skills and take on new challenges will keep them engaged and enthusiastic about their roles. At Peverel Court Care, we embrace a team member’s interests and hobbies by asking them to advise on ideas for activities for residents. Or plan and host events themselves.
  6. Create social opportunities – bolstering carers’ morale through camaraderie, encouraging carers to socialise and build relationships that support and sustain one another- for example, participating in a local activity together.

To learn more about what it is like to work for Peverel Court Care and our current job opportunities, visit our Work with Us page.

 
Visit: Work With Us
 

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, Events, Real life, Stone House, Wellbeing

A visit from Paws PT: how animal therapy benefits our residents

 

Increasing numbers of medical practitioners are recognising the benefits that come from the therapeutic use of animals to help ease the symptoms of a number of physical and mental health complaints. Numerous studies have shown that time spent in the presence of an animal can alter our physical, cognitive and emotional responses.

What is pet therapy?

Also referred to as animal-assisted interventions (AAI) or animal-assisted therapy (AAT), pet therapy is a form of complementary treatment that utilises animal interactions to help improve certain physical, psychological and emotional health issues. Put simply, animal therapy capitalises on the natural healing ability of spending time with animals, to help make us feel better.

 

The benefits of animal therapy

Pet therapy can benefit anyone, but particularly the elderly, by:

  • Promoting relaxation: Research has shown that stroking an animal releases endorphins which help to relax the body and mind. This is particularly beneficial to those who may be experiencing agitation, frustration or confusion with the onset of age-related memory loss.
  • Providing comfort: Through the provision of their calming source of support and reassurance, animals help to ease anxiety. The unconditional affection we receive from our pets helps us to feel loved and more emotionally stable. Animals can bring us comfort, joy and happiness. Just stroking an animal fulfils the basic human need for touch and provides sensory stress relief.
  • Combating loneliness: Time spent with animals can boost emotional wellbeing following traumatic experiences, such as the loss of a loved one or serious illness. Animal interactions can also be particularly effective in helping to deal with loss, loneliness, and other situations that may otherwise cause depression or anxiety. Pet therapy can help people, including those in care homes, to reduce any feelings of social isolation.
  • Encouraging exercise: Staying as physically active as we are able to becomes increasingly important as we get older. Pet therapy helps to keep people active and boosts energy levels by encouraging healthy lifestyle changes. It also encourages people to spend time meeting and engaging with other people. 
  • Promoting good health: Pets are also good for our hearts, and not just as a result of their unconditional love and affection. Spending time with animals has been linked to a reduction in the risk of heart disease and has been shown to improve overall cardiovascular health. Separate research has also demonstrated that regular exposure to cats or dogs could reduce the risk of developing certain cancers. This has been attributed to the immune-boosting allergens in their fur. Meanwhile, a Cambridge University study found that people who own pets report fewer minor ailments like headaches, coughs and colds, according to Age UK. HelpGuide.org have also discovered that: “Pet owners over age 65 make 30% fewer visits to their doctors than those without pets.”
  • Providing purpose: Spending time with, or caring for, an animal can help to reduce boredom, offer a greater sense of purpose and a reason for living. Whether it’s the daily feeding and care of a pet, or receiving regular visits from an animal with their handler. Routine provides positive structure and gives people something to enjoy and look forward to. Pets can also be a wonderful source of fun; helping to keep us entertained and enjoying life.
  • Boosting self-esteem: Animals have a unique way of bringing people out of themselves. We can often see an increase in residents smiling or speaking in the presence of a pet. Through building self-confidence and reducing anxiety, animal-assisted therapies can help to increase verbal communication and improve interactions with others, really helping to boost social wellbeing.

 

A visit from Paws Pet Therapy

Based on the grounds of Bartlett’s Residential Home, Paws PT provides a friendly and reliable dog training service to meet the needs of both clients and their dogs.

As care specialists, Peverel Court Care know how much of a positive impact animal therapy can have on those living with dementia. That’s why we welcomed Paws PT to our two homes in Aylesbury, Stone House and Bartlett’s Residential Care Home.

When visiting our homes, Paws PT dogs help improve the lives of our residents, including those living with dementia, by bettering motor skills, making them feel happier and lifted, encouraging interaction and also triggering reminiscing conversations.  

Making invaluable connections and partnerships with organisations such as Paws PT helps us to enrich the lives of those residing with us, many of whom are living with dementia. And as we’ve identified, interaction with pets has well-documented benefits to older people mentally, emotionally and physically, by improving emotional, social and cognitive abilities

 

A visit from Paws PT how animal therapy benefits our residents at Peverel Court Care

 

The view from Paws PT

We spoke to Jen, the owner of Paws PT, to find out more about her business and how she has found visiting our residents with her dogs:

 

Tell us a little about your business and how you came to be doing what you’re doing.

I started dog training back in 2016 and originally it was just me, but over the years we’ve grown both the team and the number of dogs we have, which has been really fun. What we offer is quite bespoke, quite personalised training. Our clients come to us with a list of challenges that they have with their dogs, and we work with them to help them find solutions. So it’s very much tailored to the dog and the individual needs of their owner. It’s quite a broad scale; we work with rescuers who do a lot with working dogs and pets who are working breeds. We also do a lot of family fun sessions in the summer. But really, dog training is about people building.

 

How did you come to work with Peverel Court Care?

We have land at the bottom of the garden at Bartlett’s that we use for dog training. and one of the ladies got in touch to ask whether we could bring our dogs into the home. The first time we came, we did a Christmas visit for the residents with one of our spaniels and our oldest terrier.

 

What are the benefits for older adults?

We go round to meet the residents and we had one lovely encounter with a lady that we now know hadn’t really communicated much until then. She sat with one of our dogs and just chatted to him for ages and it was really lovely. That was the first time I really realised just how much more animals could do for humans than humans are able to do for humans sometimes.”

 

What impact and outcomes did you see for the residents?

The impact that the visits from our dogs have on the residents really varies. But we’ve discovered that a lot of the residents have had dogs, have had animals, or have wanted to have animals during their lives. And it’s a great connection point. You’re talking about something that’s in the room, which really opens up the conversation and allows people just to be in a different world, or even in a different time. A lot of them will critique training methods that they used to use with their dogs. They’re sharing breed specific knowledge, sometimes really, really intense breed specific knowledge, which is fantastic. And they really, really enjoy the interaction, that physical contact with the dogs and engagement. But mainly it’s just the conversation that opens up and the amount that they communicate with the dogs is amazing. We met one lady who, when we visit, actually squeals with delight. 

There have also been some laughs. Like when one of our dogs went off with a member of staff and they came back with just the lead in their hand. The dog had found the kitchen and didn’t want to come back, which the residents really enjoyed as well.

 

How did you find spending time with our residents?

It’s really nice. It’s a privilege to watch the joy our dogs bring to people. All of our team who’ve been into the Peverel Court Care homes have really enjoyed watching the way our dogs engage with different residents. Sometimes you can just see that there’s more of a connection and it is really fascinating to watch. It’s interesting to see how perceptive the dogs are as well. One dog that can be quite lively will be sat totally still with its head on the lap of a particular resident. It’s all about the connection with the residents and the dogs and just allowing them to interact.

 

Feedback from residents:

We asked some of our residents about their experience of Paws PT visiting them at our homes:

What did you think of the experience?

Angela Lloyd (resident): “It was good thank you, I enjoy it when the animals visit me in my room. The ladies who visit with them are also nice.”

Fiona (daughter of our resident Heather): “Mum and I enjoyed it! Mum has photos of her families’ dogs on the walls in her room. She mentioned how her mother brought Staffordshire bull terriers home from India!”

Olive (resident): “I love it when the dogs visit, I remember a couple of them by name now! The spaniels are my favourite!” [laughing]

 

Would you like to experience it again?

Heather (resident): “Yes, I would, I really enjoy visits from the dogs and enjoy giving them treats.”

Angela (resident): “Yes, I would. If the weather is nice next time, I would like to take them for a walk!”

Olive (resident): “Yes definitely, they are always welcome to visit me!”

 

Paws PT pet therapy now regularly visit Bartlett’s Residential Care Home and Stone House, Aylesbury as part of our sense & sensory range of activities.

 

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 Awards, Care Management, Community, Leadership & Management, Merryfield, Personalisation, Real life, Social Care & Society, Social Care Strategy, Stone House, Wellbeing, Workforce Development

How choice is at the heart of happiness and delivering high-quality adult care provision

How choice is at the heart of happiness and delivering high-quality adult care provision at Peverel Court Care

 

At Peverel Court, one of our core values as a business is Service Quality and we aim to provide an unsurpassed service that delivers exceptional care to our residents and their families.

In order to achieve this, we aim to nurture a culture of positivity within the business. We are approaching this by focusing on achieving continuous progress in small increments, rather than through an immediate transition to perfection. We’re also committed to the principle that “choice equals happiness” and that is why we ensure that choice is at the heart of decision making across the organisation.

 

Happiness of our care home staff

Fundamental to delivering a culture of positivity in the business is the happiness of our staff.

Therefore, at Peverel Court Care we have implemented a number of initiatives aimed at supporting our team and giving them flexibility in their working lives. This includes rewards and recognition programmes, career development pathways and our Employee Assistance Programme. The Employee Assistance Programme 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, our helpline is available 24/7, 365 days a year so they will always have the support they need.

We also provide our team with the Employee Support Hub, powered by Health Assured, which gives them access to qualified therapists 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 tricky it can 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, or Wi-Fi 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.

 

Choice, Happiness and Productivity

Research by Oxford University’s Saïd Business School, in collaboration with British multinational telecoms firm BT, has found a conclusive link between happiness and productivity.

The authors of the report stated that while the link between happiness and productivity has previously been discussed often, their study provides the first causal evidence for this relationship.

“There seems to be considerable room for improvement in the happiness of employees while they are at work. While this is clearly in the interest of workers themselves, our analysis suggests it is also in the interests of their employers.

There has never been such strong evidence. We found that when workers are happier, they work faster by making more calls per hour worked and, importantly, convert more calls to sales.”

Professor Jan-Emmanue De Neve, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford.

 

8 Factors That Determine Workplace Happiness and Productivity

A recent article suggested 8 key factors which help to determine workplace happiness and, as a consequence, productivity. These were:

  • A Healthy Workplace Environment
  • Team Building Activities
  • A Good Work-Life Balance
  • Workplace Flexibility
  • Appreciation
  • Growth Potential
  • Autonomy
  • Transparency

 

Happiness in our care homes

At Peverel Court Care, we are embracing the advice of experts and attempting to provide choice and support to ensure that our workforce remains happy, committed and productive.

As a result of these and other initiatives over many years, we are delighted to retain a long-serving, experienced and dedicated staff across our award-winning care homes in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.

And it is our team who utilise their experience, expertise and positivity to continue to deliver exceptional care to our residents. Through supporting our staff and ensuring that they are happy and have choices in their work, we are also ensuring the happiness and ability to choose for our residents.

That is one of the many reasons why at the 2022 carehome.co.uk Awards, Peverel Court Care were again recognised as one of the Top 20 Rated Small Care Home Groups in the UK. We couldn’t have achieved that without our staff and would like to express our gratitude for their continued hard work and dedication.

 

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 Management, Community, Design, Future of Care, Leadership & Management, Merryfield, Real life, Social Care & Society, Social Care Strategy, Stone House, Workforce Development, Workforce Intelligence

In search of continuous progress in care

In search of continuous progress in care at Peverel Court Care

 

At Peverel Court Care, we embrace the opportunity to continuously improve our business and, as a result, the lives of our residents and staff. In this post, we wanted to explore further what a continuous improvement model is, and how our commitment is driving positive results.

Whilst there are a number of different methodologies for identifying and implementing opportunities for improvement, these all share a number of core principles. It is these upon which we have based our model for advancing the way in which we operate.

 

The core principles of continuous improvement

Beyond that, we have taken the following core principles upon which to base our programme of continuous improvement for our already award-winning care homes in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire:

As the first to test the GP Connect extension within Nourish, we will be shaping the way care environments interact with GP services and taking a significant step towards a joined-up care environment. We look forward to seeing how our care teams engage with GP Connect and the impact it will have on care practice.

  • Small steps rather than giant leaps are more likely to achieve progress. We have acknowledged that huge changes to the way we run the business are going to be much scarier and more time consuming than smaller changes. So we’re focusing our efforts on identifying opportunities that can be implemented much more quickly, in order to ensure constant progression. This allows fast improvements in the day-to-day lives of our residents and staff, rather than strategic shifts that will take much more time to realise.
  • The thoughts, ideas and experiences of our employees are invaluable. Our leadership team understands that no-one understands the challenges and opportunities in the business better than the people who work in it everyday. That’s why we want to know which elements of their jobs and our processes, activities and communications are sticking points for our team. This helps us to identify opportunities for us to make improvements that will benefit our staff and residents every day, and help us to make constant progress towards a better business.
  • Incremental changes can usually be implemented very cost-effectively. Our leadership team has noted that when receiving feedback from the team, the focus is often on smaller changes which can be implemented without a huge amount of expense, yet can make a big impact. Indeed, it has been noted that many ideas from employees involve simplifying processes rather than complicating them. This is a great way to ensure that every step we make adds value to our residents and staff, and reduces wasted time and effort. This insight from employees is therefore fundamental to our continuous improvement programme.
  • Encouraging employees to own and drive our continuous improvement program. Whilst appreciating the importance of the key insights we can gain from our team, and the way we can utilise these to progress the business, we’re asking for even more from our team. We want them to be proud of the business in which they work, and therefore believe that it’s important for them to not only buy into what we’re doing, but to proactively contribute to the direction of our improvement programme.
  • Reflecting on our improvement. Ensuring a constant feedback loop is essential for the success of our continuous improvement programme. Open communication throughout the improvement process is critical to ensuring that the changes we make are making the desired improvements. We know that not every idea, or the way we attempt to make change, will be a success. Therefore, keeping track of and communicating our successes and failures will help us to learn more and improve even our continuous improvement programme.
  • Measuring the success of improvement. It’s vitally important that we don’t just make changes, but that we measure their effectiveness. This might be in the form of time or cost savings, but equally it could be in terms of quality of life improvements for our staff or residents. By measuring the impact that our changes make in the pursuit of improvement, we’re better able to determine whether that change could also be applied successfully to other similar challenges in the business.

 

Creating a sound continuous improvement programme

A sound continuous improvement programme should be able to demonstrate a number of features which Peverel Court Care’s leadership team aim to embrace:

  • Baseline – the current situation the service is trying to change
  • Planning – improvements and the expected benefit to the care recipient
  • Monitoring – systems to monitor a new process or activity during its implementation
  • Evaluation – systems to monitor a process or activity once it has been implemented, which should help ensure its sustainability and capture the actual improvements.

The following framework has been utilised to help drive and support the process and to ensure that all changes we make are fully aligned to our business strategy and values:

  • Care recipient focus
  • Strategic planning and implementation
  • Involvement of key stakeholders; crucially ensuring that staff feeling involved and listened to
  • Innovation – particularly in terms of gathering ideas from staff
  • Regular monitoring and evaluation.

Progress to date from our continuous improvement programme

At Peverel Court Care, our continuous improvement programme has already been in place for a little while. So we wanted to share a couple of great examples of how it’s already working for us as we seek to improve the day-to-day lives of our residents and staff.

One recent example came from Hillary, one of our Activities Coordinators, who proposed a number of suggestions, including “Around the world through takeaway”, “Virtual family time” and “Glam day ladies club”. There were some brilliant ideas, and we have already incorporated suggestions such as the bespoke takeaway evenings, which take our residents to different places around the world via their cuisine. 

We are also implementing quarterly reverse mentoring sessions with our CEO. These sessions are constructive and fun, and allow employees to tell the CEO what they would do differently and why. We’ve found this opportunity has improved insight and communication across management and employees.

 

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 Home Recruitment, Care Management, Community, Future of Care, Leadership & Management, Merryfield, Real life, Stone House, Workforce Development, Workforce Intelligence

How our carers feedback helps us stay on top of running a leading care business

How our carers feedback helps us stay on top of running a leading care business at Peverel Court Care

 

At Peverel Court Care, we know that whilst we have an excellent reputation for the care that we provide to our residents and for the way we look after our staff, there are always opportunities to do even more. That’s why we partnered with local business WorkBuzz last year, to conduct regular staff surveys to obtain carer feedback and to identify areas for further improvement.

 

The surveys help gather real-time feedback from staff across our care homes, gathering vital understanding, and helping to build a more inclusive culture. All survey responses are anonymous and they are sent twice a year to the entire team, allowing us time to formulate and implement action plans, and gain vital regular insight.

 

Benefits of employee feedback in the care sector

Whilst most care businesses will be quick to acknowledge that feedback from residents and their families is crucial in driving improvements in service delivery, taking regular feedback from carers and other employees is equally important.

In post pandemic and post Brexit Britain, the recruitment and retention of staff is a universal challenge for care businesses. Ensuring that we’re listening to our employees, and then working to address their concerns and implement their suggestions will help to not only improve the services we deliver, but also to reduce the friction that our team experiences in their day-to-day work. In turn, this then helps us to better retain our talented team and to make their working lives, in some small way, less stressful and challenging wherever we can.

nibusinessinfo.co.uk is the official online channel for business advice and guidance in Northern Ireland. In a recent article they described how “Encouraging your staff to voice their ideas and contribute to finding better ways of doing things can have a positive impact on your business performance”.

Amongst the key business benefits of encouraging staff feedback, opinions and ideas, they identified:

  • Better awareness – you will be more aware of what is going on at every level of your business
  • Increased productivity – it helps to increase employee engagement, motivation and productivity
  • Business solutions – you may find solutions to business problems that otherwise may not have been established
  • Innovation – it encourages effective decision making and drives innovation
  • Valued contribution – it helps employees to feel that their contribution to the business is valued
  • Staff retention – it encourages employee retention and reduces staff turnover because employees feel more valued and allied to your business and its goals
  • Adaptability – improved communication helps with organisational change and cultural change

 

What changes have been implemented as a result of staff feedback?

In addition to the scores and carer feedback, we received several anonymised comments in particular that were extremely insightful and which we have been able to take action on to make rapid improvements to the way in which we operate the business day-to-day.

Overall, there was a theme in the feedback with people commenting on staffing numbers during covid. We recognise it was an incredibly challenging time and we recognise in particular that the most important resource in any care service is the team. That’s why we know that not only our growth, but our ongoing performance, will ultimately be determined by the effectiveness of our recruitment strategies and implementation.

In addition to the scores and feedback, we received several anonymised comments in particular that were extremely insightful and which we have been able to take action on to make rapid improvements to the way in which we operate the business day-to-day.

Laura will assist us all with the implementation of the recruitment and retention strategy, assist the in-house recruitment and retention schemes, work with the local community, digital media partners, and industry contacts to ensure Peverel Court Care is a leading care employer in the local market; attracting and retaining high quality candidates with caring values.

Laura will also assist in developing defined career pathways, and will work with staff across our award-winning care homes in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire to refine our rewards and recognition package.

We will also be implementing new software that promotes our employee referral programme, providing our staff with direct access to refer candidates and secure vouchers, making this quicker and easier for them to do.

Other projects we are working on that will assist employees include introducing an electronic rota system. Again, we’ve listened to their feedback and noted the challenges they’ve raised and believe this will streamline processes around payroll and annual leave. An electronic system will provide staff with more transparency prior to receiving their pay, simplifying shift work, and minimising errors. We are currently reviewing suppliers and hope to implement this new solution in the coming months.

There are also other projects we hope to implement in the next 6-12 months based on feedback received, including updating our nurse call systems, and electronic medication administration.

 

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.

Best Care Practices, Business, Care & Technology, Care Management, Community, Future of Care, Leadership & Management, Merryfield, Personalisation, Real life, Social Care & Society, Tech

Merryfield piloting GP Connect for Nourish

Merryfield piloting GP Connect for Nourish at Peverel Court Care

 

For Peverel Court Care, any opportunity to help advance the alignment between health and social care is one not to be missed. So when our digital care management software provider Nourish approached us asking if we would beta test their new GP Connect integration, we were delighted to help.

 

Merryfield, our nursing care home in Witney, Oxfordshire, was selected as the ideal place to beta test the new solution. By undertaking the pilot programme, Merryfield became the first care home in the country to access GP Connect via the Nourish platform.

Following a successful trial at Bartlett’s, we had rolled out Nourish to our homes as our chosen digital care plan solution in late 2020. More information about Nourish and the benefits we’ve seen can be found in our article on the digital care plan roll out.

 

GP Connect on Nourish

GP Connect is a service that allows GP practices and authorised clinical staff to share and view GP practice clinical information and data between IT systems, quickly and efficiently. The service makes patient medical information available to clinicians when and where they need it leading to improvements in the care they’re able to provide.

“The introduction of GP Connect is a huge step towards delivering interoperability and establishing a connected care environment within health and social care. Nourish customers will be able to review relevant and timely medical notes for people they support, leading to better continuity of care, and resulting in safer, improved outcomes. I look forward to seeing the positive impact this delivers for care teams and those they support.”

Nuno Almeida, Founder and CEO of Nourish Care

With the support of our digital partner Nourish, we now have access to the GP records and medical notes for our residents, facilitating more informed decision making. We will have access to clinical history, medications, allergies, history of immunisations and more. This valuable information will enhance the work we do and surface the right information at the right time.

As the first to test the GP Connect extension within Nourish, we will be shaping the way care environments interact with GP services and taking a significant step towards a joined-up care environment. We look forward to seeing how our care teams engage with GP Connect and the impact it will have on care practice.

 

 

GP Connect feedback from our team

As a business, we are always looking for ways to put our residents first, to provide them with the best possible service, and to make a positive contribution to the community. We believe that beta testing the GP Connect extension in Nourish aligns with all of those values.

“By using GP Connect we now have a better understanding of our resident’s needs. Accessing the GP record helps us to understand the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ around an individual’s needs. If there are concerns regarding medication, we can review the record and make more informed decisions. GP Connect is particularly helpful when admitting a new resident, by having this information at hand we can provide the best possible care from the start. Before GP Connect we would wait for an email or phone call from the GP. Now we can access the relevant information instantly, which is great!”

Kefas Jeshua, Peverel Court

 

“By switching on the GP Connect extension in Nourish we have key clinical information at our fingertips, helping us to minimise adverse events, providing better support. This information really helps!”

Francisca Torres, Peverel Court

 

GP Connect – Nourish beta test

It’s not just our team that are seeing the benefits of the pilot GP Connect programme:

“Peverel Court was the first to participate in Beta testing for the GP Connect extension. Preet, Kefas and the team were very engaged with the trial and were extremely committed and helpful. A driver for enabling GP Connect was to support new residents coming to the home, to access all their key information beforehand so the team could make the resident feel as comfortable as possible. It was great to see Peverel Court testing the latest system and striving for continuous improvement within their service.”

Elise Featley – Product Marketing Manager at Nourish Care

 

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.

Best Care Practices, Business, Care Home Recruitment, Leadership & Management, Real life, Social Care Strategy

Values based interviewing

Values based interviewing at Peverel Court Care

 

At Peverel Court Care, we are partnering with Skills for Care to embed values-based interviewing into the recruitment process across all of our care homes. This is part of a wider recruitment project, and underlines our commitment to a tried and tested method which helps enable us to demonstrate our core values in everything we do.

 

The underlying principle of taking a values-based approach to recruitment is to ensure a strong alignment between the culture and values of our business with the values and behaviours of potential members of staff. Utilising the well-established framework and processes of the values-based interviewing process gives us critical insight into whether a candidate is a good fit for our business and the values upon which we base our care service provision.

 

Values-based recruitment

Skills for Care describe values-based interviewing as:

Values-based recruitment is a values-based approach to the attraction, selection and induction of staff and volunteers which enables employers to understand an individual’s values, behaviours and motivations and assess whether they align with the values, culture and expectations of the individual or organisation.

There are five key steps involved in the successful implementation of a values-based approach, each of which plays a key part in attracting, selecting and embedding new employees to the business who will be a good fit for the values of the organisation. 

Skills for Care define these as:

  • Articulate – how the employer or organisation identifies what its values and associated behaviours are and crucially how it communicates and articulates these values and behaviours to potential and existing staff, volunteers and other stakeholders. 
  • Attract – how the employer or organisation uses its values and behaviours to target the sort of people they want to apply and to give those people a realistic preview of the culture, values and expectations of the employer in adverts, on their website and in other recruitment activities. 
  • Apply – how the employer or organisation designs its application process to ensure that candidates understand and can demonstrate the employer’s values and behaviours in the application process to encourage candidates to self-select themselves. It’s also how the employer focuses on shortlisting only those candidates who share the same values and who will fit with the culture. 
  • Assess – how the employer or organisation uses a range of selection tools including values interviews, role plays, client/person supported interactions and psychometric tests to assess whether candidates have the values, behaviours and attitudes that the employer is looking for. 
  • Assimilate – how the employer or organisation takes the information it discovers about new recruits through the assessment process and uses that information to inform the way in which the individual is inducted, supervised, trained and managed. It’s also how the employer sets clear expectations of all staff and volunteers about their behaviour in the workplace, ensuring people understand and role model that behaviour once recruited.

 

Our core values

Several years ago we invited all of our employees to complete a core values survey, where they were given the chance to rank a shortlist of suggested core values in the order which they felt was the closest match to the company they wanted Peverel Court Care to be.

The resulting values are different to those of many other organisations because they carry real weight. The entire business was involved in their creation, and they have been discussed and agreed by everyone across the organisation. This means they have total buy-in from top to bottom of the company.

Our chosen values are:

  • Resident Focus – Commitment to putting our residents first. We develop relationships that make a positive difference in our residents’ lives.
  • Passion – Care about our work and taking pride in what we do. Committed in heart and mind.
  • Integrity – We uphold the highest standards of integrity in all of our actions. Behaving with the highest levels of integrity is fundamental to who we are.
  • Service Quality – We provide an unsurpassed service that delivers exceptional care to our residents and their families.
  • Care For Our Communities – We serve and support a local experience. The unique character of each home is a direct reflection of a community’s people and culture.

 

Values-based interviewing

In line with the values-based recruitment process, at Peverel Court Care we are ensuring that our core values are a fundamental part of our recruitment process from start to finish. By ensuring that our values appear in our job adverts and role descriptions, we are facilitating a self-selection process amongst prospective applicants. 

We also utilise a number of values-based questions within our application process, re-enforcing the connection between the values we’re looking for in future employees and those by which we operate the business on a day-to-day basis.

During the interview process, we include a values-based interview, during which we’re able to further explore, and get examples of, the kinds of values which are inherent to the interviewee, and to measure how closely these align to those of the business.

Finally, as part of our onboarding and induction process, the values are further demonstrated both in terms of the standards and expectations that are communicated, but also in the way those delivering the induction exhibit the Peverel Court way of doing things.

 

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.

Best Care Practices, Business, Care & Technology, Care Management, Community, CQC Inspection, Future of Care, Leadership & Management, Personalisation, Social Care Strategy, Tech, Training & Development, Workforce Development

CQC Strategy and our plans

CQC Strategy and our plans at Peverel Court Care

 

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) have launched a new strategy which is aimed at changing the way in which care is regulated, so as to improve service delivery for users. We decided to explore how the new CQC strategy will impact the sector, and were pleased to find that at Peverel Court Care we already have projects in progress that align with all four pillars of the new strategy.

 

Whilst announcing the new strategy, the CQC have declared their ambitions for the positive impact it will have on the provision of care services across the country:

What we’ve learned from the past five years puts us in a better position for the future. Our new strategy combines this learning and experience and we’ve developed it with valuable contributions from the public, service providers and all our partners. It means our regulation will be more relevant to the way care is now delivered, more flexible to manage risk and uncertainty, and will enable us to respond in a quicker and more proportionate way as the health and care environment continues to evolve.

This new strategy strengthens our commitment to deliver our purpose: to ensure health and care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and to encourage those services to improve. Our strategy is purposefully ambitious, and to implement it we will need to work closely with others to make it a reality. We’ll review this strategy regularly so we can adapt to changes and be prepared for what the future holds.

Our purpose and our role as a regulator won’t change – but how we work will be different.

 

People and communities

CQC Strategy:

Regulation that’s driven by people’s needs and experiences, focusing on what’s important to people and communities when they access, use and move between services

Peverel Court Care:

Two of the five core values on which we focus the Peverel Court Care business directly relate to People and Communities, putting it at the very heart of what we do.

Resident Focus: Commitment to putting our residents first. We develop relationships that make a positive difference in our residents’ lives.
Care For Our Communities: We serve and support a local experience. The unique character of each home is a direct reflection of a community’s people and culture.

During COVID-19, this included our Thinking of You initiative and our innovative use of technology to support both our residents and the community.

 

Smarter regulation

CQC Strategy:

Smarter, more dynamic and flexible regulation that provides up-to-date and high-quality information and ratings, easier ways of working with us and a more proportionate response

Peverel Court Care:

We are acutely aware that the world is constantly evolving, and at Peverel Court Care we’re always looking to be at the forefront of innovation in social care. We have been quick to embrace technology that is able to enhance the service we deliver.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we were able to quickly implement the use of a number of cutting edge technologies to help mitigate the risks faced by our residents and employees.

Our migration to digital care plans is another example of Peverel Court Care leading the sector to implement solutions which will, in the future, better enable the CQC to remotely monitor and care providers, allowing them to make more timely interventions when necessary. 

It is businesses like ours that blaze a trail which will eventually become ‘the norm’ and facilitate better care across the sector.

 

Safety through learning

CQC Strategy:

Regulating for stronger safety cultures across health and care, prioritising learning and improvement and collaborating to value everyone’s perspectives

Peverel Court Care:

At Peverel Court Care, we firmly believe that ongoing learning and development is integral to maintaining the highest standards of service provision. That’s why we provide our employees with ongoing learning and development opportunities, whatever their role.

We have also introduced a number of career pathways, including for healthcare assistants, supported by learning and development, in order to upskill and train our team for rewarding careers in social care.

 

Accelerating improvement

CQC Strategy:

Enabling health and care services and local systems to access support to help improve the quality of care where it’s needed most

Peverel Court Care:

At Peverel Court Care, we are always keen to embrace new ways of working which will assist our talented team to deliver the best levels of care to our residents. That is one of the reasons why we are helping to shape the future of digital skills in social care by partnering with Skills for Care, Digital Social Care and other stakeholders in developing a resource which can help accelerate innovation in social care across the country.

We have also transitioned to the use of digital care plans which supports the coordination of care teams to ensure that care is still centred around the person. GPs, district nurses and hospitals can all engage remotely with residents based on observations made available to them remotely – enabling coordination to happen between social care and health.

 

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.

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