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.

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.

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