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.

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, Best Care Practices, Business, Care Home Recruitment, Future of Care, Leadership & Management, Merryfield, Real life, Stone House, Training & Development, Workforce Development, Workforce Intelligence

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.

Bartletts, Best Care Practices, Care & Technology, Care Management, Future of Care, Leadership & Management, Merryfield, Personalisation, Stone House, Tech, Workforce Intelligence

Digital Care Plan roll out

Digital Care plan roll out at Peverel Court Care - award-winning care homes in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire

Following a successful implementation at Bartlett’s Residential Care Home near Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, we will be rolling out the use of digital care plans to our other homes.

 

As revealed in our Transitioning to Digital Care Plans article from October 2019, Peverel Court Care has been running a digital care plan pilot programme at Bartlett’s since the start of this year.

Our previous post detailed many of the key benefits of moving to the use of digital care plans as opposed to the paper records that have been utilised as standard in the past. However, there have also been a number of additional benefits revealed through the pilot programme.

The transition has proved to be hugely successful, both for staff and residents, and we have therefore made the decision to extend the use of the Nourish digital care plan solution to both Stone House Nursing Care Home in Aylesbury (launching September 2020) and Merryfield Nursing Care Home in Witney, near Oxford (starting October 2020).

 

Digital care plan solution

We have chosen to use Nourish as the platform for our digital care planning. Their website describes the solution as:

“Nourish enables carers to plan, record, report and co-ordinate care, all focused on the person. At a time of growing demand for care, Nourish is using technology and design to empower carers to do what they do best: help people they care for enjoy the best quality of life possible.

We give care providers the digital tools to leave the paper trail behind. Our easy to use electronic care management platform enables care teams to plan, record, report and coordinate care on the go.

It’s not about recording less information, it’s about empowering your care teams to record more accurate notes, in less time. And with our simple search and report functions, you can share critical information about the people you care for with the entire care circle.”

Our Bartlett’s pilot programme has shown sufficient evidence of the truth in these claims for us to move to roll out the solution across our other care homes in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.

 

Immediate impact

Since embedding the trial at Bartlett’s, we’ve seen the global outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, meaning that the use of technology within the care setting has never been so critical.

Electronic care planning allows for faster reporting of symptom presentation, and for the whole care team to be made aware in a timely fashion. This has translated immediately into how care teams organise their rotas to sequence their contact with residents to minimise the likelihood of spread.

A good digital platform supports the coordination of care teams so that even in a pandemic, 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.

Electronic care planning is also reducing the reporting burden on Care Managers who are being asked to report Covid-19 symptoms, personal protective equipment (PPE) stocks, bed availability and staffing levels to several entities. Using data collection repositories enables Care Managers to report once, and for entities that are coordinating responses to consolidate this information in different ways to suit their purposes.

For our Leadership team, digital care planning allows us to review care plans remotely, providing reassured confidence; we know everything that is happening with residents and care teams. This includes which activities took place, who’s not staying as hydrated as they should or who skipped lunch, along with which carers are off. We can also learn very quickly what innovative ideas are emerging from the front line, which we can then roll out across the group; accelerating innovation in response to the challenges.

 

Resident Focus

One of the key drivers for our transition to the use of digital care plans has been our Core Value of always taking an approach based on Resident Focus. That is to say, our: “commitment to putting our residents first. We develop relationships that make a positive difference in our residents’ lives.”

In support of this, one of the pieces of feedback we received from Tudor Nanu, Deputy Manager at Bartlett’s, was:

The new Nourish system is providing us with a host of options for personalised interactions that can be used in a person-centred way to achieve an evidence-based practice. 

As soon as we started migrating care plans onto the digital platform we realised the benefit of staff being able to access information instantly. The process of auditing care notes and rolling out reports has become more time efficient using the Nourish platform.

The team quickly saw the benefits of recording care notes as they go along, as now all the documentation is at their fingertips. Staff can access risk assessments and care plans instantly, releasing valuable time for staff to spend with residents.

We are able to create more unique care plans now, which concentrate on the individual needs of our residents and can facilitate better quality in the care services we provide. In addition, the system allows us to interlink care plans and risk assessments, which is very helpful when reviewing care plans or conducting audits.

To sum up the feedback obtained from staff, they would not return to paper care plan systems.

 

Digital care plans – staff opinion

The Bartlett’s team quickly came to embrace the new technology, and Tudor continued:

Staff were very eager to learn the new system. Its use is self-explanatory and in-house Nourish champions provided one-to-one training to staff who experienced difficulties in utilising the app effectively.

Due to the fact that Nourish allows us to dictate care notes directly into the device, we are able to record more complex information about our residents. Recorded information has become easier to hand over, and the intra-mail system allows us to communicate directly with the team of any changes and updates.

As we now have the opportunity to record care notes in real-time, we can spend more quality time with our residents and can input more accurate notes on care plans as soon as we finish delivering care.

With regard to the feedback received from Bartlett’s residents and their families, Tudor added:

Residents and families welcomed the idea of having an electronic system in place that centralises the information recorded under one umbrella. It became easier to follow an evidence-based practice, as Nourish allows us to access the history of interactions recorded for our residents and we are able to review notes of our actions and the care we have provided to our clients in a more efficient way.

 

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.

Bartletts, Best Care Practices, Business, Care & Technology, Care Management, Health and Safety, Infection Control, Leadership & Management, Merryfield, Real life, Safeguarding, Social Care & Society, Social Care Strategy, Stone House, Wellbeing

Supporting employees through COVID-19

Supporting employees through COVID-19 at Peverel Court Care 1200x800

 

The past few months have been an extremely challenging time for people across the UK. However, this has been especially the case for key workers, such as our dedicated employees, who have continued to deliver first-class care for our residents.

 
At Peverel Court Care, we always pride ourselves on being proactive. When the Government initially advised that care homes would likely be the least affected in the community, we took a more strategic approach and put an ‘Action Plan’ in place. This was prior to any ‘official’ guidance being put into circulation. Naturally, we took advice from Public Health England where necessary.

Our ‘Action Plan’ is a live, working document, and is in effect a contingency plan which sets out what our objectives and guidelines are to enhance appropriateness of practice; improve quality of care; strive for better resident outcomes; improve infection prevention control measures; and enhance business continuity measures, with particular importance on maintaining staffing at optimum levels.

 

Protecting our staff

We know that balancing the health and safety of residents and families is a really difficult one for our employees. In anticipation of requiring PPE at the very outset of a possible national outbreak, Peverel Court Care embarked on a procurement programme very early on, ensuring adequate supplies of all required PPE throughout. At no point did Peverel Court Care run out of supplies, nor were we required at any point to ration supplies. Spending a significant sum on commercially available stock ensured we were adequately provided for.

Peverel Court Care have embarked on a 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.

At Peverel Court Care, we encourage a supportive culture; where people are free to speak out about perceived risks and adverse outcomes, without fear of blame or repercussions. A safe culture provides a compassionate, inclusive, and trusting environment: one that shares insights and empowers staff with the skills, confidence, and mechanisms to improve the care we provide. This culture means we will hear more, learn more, and act more to improve care.

We created a bespoke platform for the team to provide anonymous feedback and ask questions to the senior leadership team. The bespoke survey supplemented our regular Insights surveys – a pulse survey tool for gathering and acting on feedback in a way that improves company culture and performance.

 

Supporting our team

At the onset of the pandemic we recognised that our team needed access to essential goods and services. Amidst the confusion at supermarkets and schools we wanted to ensure our employees had access to these vital services. All employees were supplied with professional staff ID cards and a supporting letter, allowing them to access opening times and services reserved for key workers.

Communication at this time has been vitally important. We launched a series of newsletters for both staff and relatives. Staff newsletters focused on wellbeing and assistance, with a host of resources being made available to them, such as supermarket opening times for key workers, which the team could easily access via our website. We firmly believe that communication across the entire team increases employee satisfaction, wellbeing, and motivation. We utilise the communication hub on our dedicated employee app to provide video updates from the CEO, Anil Dhanani.

We 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.

 

Employee Assistance Programme

The Employee Support Hub, powered by Health Assured, gives employees access to qualified therapists over the phone or via live chat.

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.

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.

 

Employee Reward Programme

We acknowledge that this time may be particularly stressful for some of our employees, with the resulting difficulties being presented by COVID-19. The admirable efforts that are being demonstrated by staff in ensuring the homes remain fully resourced – when our workforce is being particularly stretched – was worthy of recognition.

In light of this, we put together an employee fund of £100,000 to recognise the burden of responsibility being shouldered by our employees at work. Regardless of position, seniority or length of service, employees on the premises helping to care for our residents over this period, will be rewarded for their selfless efforts.

Total hours worked will be recorded over the period until the end of June and proportionate funds allocated. All employees will receive an equal monetary value per hour worked, regardless of post or position.

 

Employee Initiatives

We recognised the challenge our team faced, particularly at the outset of the pandemic, in purchasing some essential items. Each staff room therefore now receives regular “essential” and “movie night” gift boxes, in addition to regular fruit deliveries. Employees can access essential food items and toiletries for themselves and their family. Employees can also set up a personal account with our provisions supplier, Creed. Food provisions can be delivered directly to the care homes on our main order as supermarket delivery slots were difficult to come by.

We recognise that outstanding teams start with reward and recognition. We use our dedicated employee app to thank them for their outstanding efforts during this challenging time and reward with personalised vouchers. We celebrate and inspire our team with a company-wide recognition feed that celebrates incredible work.

To say thank you for their hard work, we also created a competition, giving employees the chance to win a selection of prizes every week as part of our “Thursday Thank-Yous”.

 

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.

Bartletts, Best Care Practices, Business, Care & Technology, Care Management, Community, Future of Care, Health and Safety, Infection Control, Leadership & Management, Merryfield, Property Development, Real life, Stone House, Tech, Wellbeing

Technology and Community

Technology and Community Peverel Court Care

 

We examine how the use of technology is enabling everyone in our award-winning care homes in Aylesbury and Witney to continue to communicate with the outside world at this current time.

The use of technology is enabling residents and staff alike to maintain some form of normality in the face of present challenges. With the need to reduce the risk of infection being brought into our homes, we’ve postponed visits from family and friends. Along with postponing our regular entertainment, this has meant residents have missed out on some of their usual activities. However, the use of technology has helped compensate somewhat for the loss of these face-to-face encounters.

 

Video calls with loved ones

For many of our residents, the visits from their family, friends and loved ones are treasured moments. So in these uncertain times, they’ve come to appreciate the investment we made in 2017 to provide super-fast, comprehensive, secure WIFI throughout our homes. It has allowed residents to speak regularly with family and friends via tablets.

All of which goes some way to helping us to ensure that our residents can keep in contact with their loved ones at this difficult time. Beyond that, we’ve also introduced the use of VR headsets for residents, as part of the replacement for the regular entertainers who come into our homes normally.

 

NHS technology specialists

We are also working with NHSX, the unit tasked with driving digital transformation in the NHS. Their aim is to allow patients and staff to benefit from the latest digital systems and technology. They have supplied video-calling hardware in the form of Facebook Portals for use by our residents.

I’d like to thank you and colleagues at Peverel Court Care for your support and participation in the NHSX Facebook Portal pilot. This support will enable us to test how effectively the Portal device can help to connect care home residents with family and friends at this challenging time.

Rachel Falconer NHSX – Adult Social Care

 

Virtual tour of Bartlett’s

As part of the collaboration with NHSX, we recently hosted a virtual visit to Bartlett’s Residential Care Home from Minister for Care Helen Whately MP, who commented:

Thanks @PeverelCourt Care homes – and the staff at Bartlett’s care home particularly – for my virtual visit this morning. So impressed by all I saw, and good to see the @NHSX Facebook trial for #Carehomes in action, helping residents stay in touch with family & friends.

The highlight was speaking to Hilda Duncombe, sprightly at 103, who uses the @NHSX Facebook tech to stay in touch with her family and boost her fundraising for @alzheimerssoc. You are an inspiration Hilda!”

Helen Whately MP (via Twitter)

 

For anyone who wishes to find out more about Hilda’s fundraising, please visit her Just Giving page.

 

Technology for care home management

It’s not just the residents who need to keep in touch with the outside world. The managers of our care homes in Aylesbury, Witney and at our Head Office also need to maintain contact. We’ve been holding our management meetings using Microsoft Teams, allowing us to ensure that we can share best practice between our homes during these unprecedented times.

We have also now implemented the transition to digital care plans for residents. We have also invested in – and will soon be installing – a set of VitalSign Series Temperature-Check Tablets in the entrances to all our homes as part of our infection control measures.

Due to the need for self-isolation of employees to try to prevent the introduction and spread of COVID-19, we’ve been having to recruit more care staff to ensure the consistent delivery of high-quality care for residents. Technology has come into play here too; we’re using video interviews for recruitment. And when our chosen recruits take up their new posts, we’re utilising e-learning for starters to get them ready for commencing their jobs.

Like our residents, we’re looking forward to the day when we can welcome loved ones back into our homes. In the meantime, the use of technology allows for a reasonable substitute under the circumstances.

 

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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