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 the Gateway, a walkthrough anti-viral mist tunnel, which all employees and visitors pass through when entering and leaving our homes. Additionally, we have installed 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, 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.

Bartletts, Business, Care & Technology, Community, Events, Leadership & Management, Merryfield, Real life, Social Care & Society, Stone House, Tech, Wellbeing

Thinking of You

Thinking of You community campaign - Peverel Court Care

 

It’s at times like this when people want more than ever to spend precious time with family. Yet for the protection of all of our residents and employees, we’ve been forced to make the difficult decision to reduce visits to our homes.

For that reason, we wanted to create an initiative which would allow family, friends and the local community to demonstrate that they’re thinking about our residents and team members.

 

Thinking of You

So today we’re launching our “Thinking of You” campaign. For friends and family, you might be thinking of someone in particular, and your message may have personal meaning for them. For the local community, it could just be a show of appreciation for the hard work and dedication of our amazing team.

Whatever the reason, and whoever it’s for, we want you to document what you’re doing in your day-to-day lives during lockdown. We’d like to see photos, videos and written accounts doing whatever it is you’re doing that’s making you think of the people at Bartlett’s, Merryfield or Stone House.

 

Lockdown Activities

So whether you’re hard at work in the garden, painting, sewing, baking, home schooling or taking part in Joe Wick’s PE lessons, we want to see and hear your stories, which we can share with the residents to brighten their days.

And it’s not just family and friends of our residents and team that we want to respond. We’d love to hear from local school children, community groups and businesses across Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. So if you know of anyone who might like to join in, then please feel free to share.

We’ll share all of your stories with our residents, and the best ones will go on our Facebook page too.

Please send all submissions via email to: social@peverelcourt.co.uk.

Please note: this address will be monitored for the purpose of our Thinking of You campaign only, so for any other enquiries or requests, please go through the usual channels. If the message is for a specific resident or team member, please specify their name in the message. We’re also sending out a newsletter with regular updates during the outbreak, so please note on your email if you’d like to receive the newsletter, and we can add you to our list.

Whether Peverel Court Care are looking after one of your loved ones during this difficult time or not, then please try to help cheer everyone up and let them know that you’re thinking of them.

 

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 Home Maintenance, Future of Care, Leadership & Management, Merryfield, Stone House, Workforce Intelligence

The importance of feedback

The importance of feedback - Peverel Court Care

 

At Peverel Court Care, we recognise the importance and value of feedback. The three most important pieces of feedback we collate are from our residents, relatives and staff. In this article we explore why the feedback we collect is so important and how it influences the way in which we operate our business.

 

At Peverel Court Care, we have been collecting regular feedback from our residents and their families for some time now; and the data we have gathered has influenced a number of decisions that we have made for the business.

However, one key group from which we haven’t been collecting feedback in a regular, formal way up until now is our staff. With the recent introduction of Perkbox Insights, that has changed, and for the better.

 

Perkbox Insights

Perkbox Insights is an employee feedback tool which collects results anonymously and in real-time. It will allow us to gather timely and honest feedback from the teams at Merryfield, Stone House and Bartlett’s. Unlike normal engagement surveys, the platform aims to make sure employees don’t suffer survey fatigue, through making responding to each survey quick and easy. It works by sending just five questions to employees each time a survey is conducted. The questions are carefully chosen from a pool of 100 that have been generated through scientific research.

In response to each of the questions, employees are asked to provide a score for each on a scale of one to five. They are also encouraged to leave written feedback on a chosen area of the company; giving us both qualitative and quantitative insight into employee satisfaction.

 

The Benefits of Feedback

The Peverel Court Care management team hope that by adding additional insight provided from by employees to that already collected from residents and their relatives, we will have a 360 degree view from which to make data-driven business decisions. Like many businesses, it sometimes longer than we’d like for exceptional efforts by employees, or day-to-day problems, to come to our attention; and it has hoped that the introduction of the Insights programme will give us greater visibility.

So from process improvement to celebrating success, regular feedback from as many of the people at the heart of our business can only help us further improve the way Peverel Court Care is operated and managed.

 

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.

Business, Care Home Recruitment, Leadership & Management, Social Care & Society, Social Care Strategy, Stone House, Training & Development, Workforce Development

Interview: Beverley Webb, Assistant Practitioner in Healthcare

Beverley Webb - Level 5 Diploma for Assistant Practitioners in Healthcare graduate - Stone House Nursing Home, Aylesbury - Peverel Court Care

 

As we seek to implement the supporting of career pathways for our employees, we thought it a good time to catch up with Beverley Webb, a long-term member of our team and a recent graduate from the Level 5 Diploma for Assistant Practitioners in Healthcare.

 

Beverley has worked at Peverel Court care for 13 years and is our first graduate, having recently completed the Assistant Practitioner in Healthcare Level 5 Diploma. At Peverel Court Care, we’re committed to helping our employees to fulfil their potential by supporting them in career development through the introduction of career pathways. We spoke to Beverley to find out more about her career journey.

 

What were you doing before you joined Peverel Court Care?

I was born in Bebington, on the eastern side of the Wirral Peninsula – I’m a northern lass originally! It’s beautiful there. I had worked for two years at a residential care home near Bolton. Then I moved to the South East, and I was working for a printing company when I decided to return to a care role. I applied to Stone House and my first impression when I came into the grounds was ‘wow, what an amazing house!’. I was overwhelmed due to the size of the home and grounds – I love it. After one month I was offered a full-time position (I’d started as part-time). Within one year I was promoted to Senior Healthcare Assistant, then offered Head of Care after another 6 months. Now I’m the Senior Care Lead.

 

How does working for Peverel Court Care differ from your previous experience and expectations?

At the previous home I had to complete very long shifts. I had no specific dementia training, and it was difficult trying to help the residents with that lack of training. When I started in the care sector I didn’t have any real expectations. I didn’t expect to be where I am now. I just wanted to help people. Seeing how the elderly were treated was a big thing; I’m a caring person and don’t like to see people upset. So I want to make a positive difference to people’s lives.

When I was 16 I helped an elderly gentleman who was being harassed by a group of 15 and 16 years old who thought it was fun to intimidate an older person. That experience has had a big influence on my career to date. I now want more out of my career and it’s great I can do that at Peverel Court Care and in the care sector.

 

How did you find out about the opportunity to undertake the Assistant Practitioner qualification?

The Registered Manager had mentioned a new Assistant Practitioner qualification. I questioned whether I wanted to commit to studying at this stage of my career, but my RM really supported me. I have never achieved anything before, probably because I was the middle child! I didn’t have great grades at school, so when this opportunity arose I decided to go for it. My brother and sister also really supported me.

I was very excited when I was accepted onto the course, but I don’t think I was prepared for what was ahead. I thought because I have done my NVQ3, I have done my diploma in End of Life Care – I thought it would be a breeze. However, it was a challenging course.

 

How was the process of juggling study with work?

Difficult. It’s been very difficult working full-time whilst studying; I really had to manage my time efficiently . You have to put your family and social events on hold. Going for my treats out, going away for the weekend; they all had to be forgotten about for a little while. Weekends were also taken up by study as 7 hours per week were not enough for me to complete the required work. College was fortnightly from 9 to 4, plus the travel time on top, and then 3 hours study when I got back, and 6 hours on the weekends. I felt tired and became irritated, and I hoped this hadn’t affected the morale of the team around me.

There was so many times I wanted to give up! The sense of achievement and self-belief kept me going. Team members encouraging and supporting me really helped to get me through as well. I was crying with frustration at times due to the challenge of some of the modules. Do I regret doing it? No! It’s been such a great learning curve. I now mentor two colleagues who are also on the Assistant Practitioner course: I offer support and bring in my old text books for them. If it wasn’t for the excellent support network I may have quit or failed. You need people around you to guide you and listen, who don’t get frustrated.

 

How has the chance to take the Assistant Practitioner Diploma had an impact on your life?

In terms of work, it has provided me a different philosophy of healthcare; a better and different perspective of care. The Assistant Practitioner Diploma has given me the tools to examine the behaviours of people and their psychology, and to look deeper into why people say what they do. Everyone has a life story, so I look at things differently now. What are people really going through and do they need to have a chat? Also, with End of Life care, the training has made me consider whether we really take into consideration the carers; how do they feel? It’s made me think about how I work and how I see people.

One specific example of something new that I’ve learnt relates to communication with relatives and residents. In particular, about involving the resident more. Just because a resident has dementia, it doesn’t mean they cannot make decisions. It’s important to have their views, and also their relatives’ input and opinions. I think we sometimes forget that having a resident in a care setting has an effect on their relatives. I’ve had relatives crying because they feel guilty. It’s important we communicate well and inform them of the benefits of being in a professional care environment.

In the future I would like to explore some type of management role within the group,  working alongside the managers. I enjoy mentoring, helping new starters, and now with my skills, working closer with the Registered Nurses. 

In terms of my personal life, I’m a lot happier now that I have graduated, but I get bored with all the spare time instead! I feel a lot happier in myself though – me and my husband went out to celebrate! After all, for the last two years I have been studying.

 

How do you feel about having been given this opportunity?

It’s very good to have opportunities for professional and personal development; it boosts your self esteem and gives you such a great sense of achievement. To have this opportunity has been amazing, and I want to say a big thank you to Peverel Court Care for providing me with the chance to take the Assistant Practitioner course, I really appreciate it! It’s great for people that want to further their career prospects. If it wasn’t for PCC and their continued investment in their staff I would not be able to progress my career in the same way.

 

What do you think of Peverel Court Care as an employer and would you recommend them to your friends, family or other people considering a career in care?

This company is fantastic! It’s just lovely; the homely environment, the good atmosphere, and the relatives’ feedback is amazing. I have a real sense of pride in the relatives and residents excellent feedback.

I do recommend Peverel Court Care on social media, I always promote them! I would recommend that if anyone wants to give back something to society, working for PCC would be a great decision. You have to want to work in care and be passionate about it, but if you are, then it’s very rewarding. It’s about holding people’s hands and having empathy; you need all that and more. If you do, then it’s so rewarding, and you can go home with a sense of achievement. You’ve changed someone’s ordinary day into a great one. They may wake up unhappy but at the end of the day they are laughing and joking. Just to see a smile on their face and holding their hand is enough for me. I love it because I know I am making a difference. It might seem a little difference to some, but to them it’s a big difference.

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.

Best Care Practices, Business, Care & Technology, Care Management, Future of Care, Leadership & Management, Tech, Training & Development, Workforce Intelligence

Transitioning to Digital Care Plans

Transitioning to Digital Care Plans - Peverel Court Care

 

We are always looking for opportunities to improve the way we deliver care services to our residents. Our next big step forward comes with the introduction of digital care plans.

 

Digital transformation has been a common strategic goal across almost all business sectors over the past decade. Yet largely due to scale, budget and regulatory requirements, the UK Health and Care sectors have struggled to keep pace. However, that is now beginning to change. While more than 75% of care providers are still using paper records, the transition to digital care plans has begun; and it is quickly gaining momentum.

The increased levels of transparency brought by digital care plans is highly correlated to the provision of higher quality care. In a 2018 report released by The Kings Fund, an independent charity working to improve health and care in England, it was recognised that use of digital technology in social care can help improve efficiency, quality, and support more integrated care.

 

Benefits of digital care plans

In fact, there are many benefits. The Care Quality Commission (CQC), have outlined the five key areas in which they believe the innovative use of technology can support the delivery of outstanding person-centred care:

  • Safe: helping ensure key information is accurate and easy to share with caring professionals in real time.
    Staff can access digital care plans and records more easily. They can record information in real time. This can be quickly and accurately shared to help keep people safe, and highlight key information, such as up-to-date medical and allergy information.
  • Effective: supporting effective communication and more efficient use of resources, including finances
    Staff, family and other providers can share digital records more easily and quickly. Staff can use handheld devices to record support given as it happens. This avoids having to complete paper records after the event.
  • Caring: supporting person-centred care and helping staff to spend more time on the things that really matter
    Technology can support staff to make their processes more efficient. This means that their time isn’t taken up by administrative work. Digital care records can make information easier to access and quicker to share. This reduces the number of times people who use services have to give information or repeat themselves.
  • Responsive to people’s needs: supporting providers to be more proactive and responsive to changing needs by helping to identify developing risks or needs more quickly
    Communication aids (such as tablet based apps) can be tailored to an individual’s needs, preferences and activities. Or a computer based app can be also used to deliver tailor made treatment/recovery plans for people.
  • Well-led: supporting more effective quality assurance through more effective communication, information sharing and improved data analysis
    People who use services and their families can use online platforms to access and contribute to the information that is important to them. They can also communicate with those involved in their care and treatment. Anonymised data collected can be shared, compared and analysed to identify risks and themes, providing a bigger picture.

It’s reasonable to say that the biggest and most obvious advantage here is that records can be accessed and updated far more quickly. This will allow our staff to spend less time on administration and more on providing care to our residents. A transition to digital care plans will ultimately allow for more transparent and safe care provision. In addition, it will allow care businesses like us to make better decisions based on data and analytics. Beyond that, the ability to share information with GPs and hospitals when required – in line with Data Protection laws – will help to provide more efficient and integrated care in the future.

 

Risks of digital care plans

There are some risks involved in transitioning to digital care plans; which we are very conscious of. However, these risks can largely be mitigated by having the correct processes in place. For example, the technology provider we choose for the digital care plan solution will be carefully vetted to ensure it complies with all Data Protection and GDPR requirements, and that records will be regularly “backed up” to protect against data loss.

We will ensure strict processes are in place so that devices on which the platform operates are securely stored and password protected. Also, we will make certain that any staff who leave Peverel Court Care have their access revoked in a timely fashion. Finally, we’ll be onboarding and training our staff to make sure that they’re fully engaged with the transition to digital.

 

The transition to digital

At Peverel Court Care, we are embracing the use of technology to drive improvement in the services we deliver. We believe that the transition to digital care plans sits in line with one of our core values; Resident Focus – our commitment to putting our residents first. Associate Director Preet Shergill commented:

Peverel Court Care believe the future lies in digital transformation and data intelligence to support better decision-making and allow us to better predict, optimise and continue to improve care. Integrated care will be vital to the local community, and our digital care platform will assist in managing care between providers; supporting health and social care integration.

Having carefully weighed up and considered all of the costs and benefits, we are due to start the implementation process soon; beginning in January at Bartlett’s.

 

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.

Best Care Practices, Business, Care & Technology, Care Home Recruitment, Community, Leadership & Management, Real life, Tech, Wellbeing

24/7 GP access for our staff

24/7 online GP service for staff at Peverel Court Care

 

With a recent study revealing that NHS patients are now waiting on average nearly 15 days to see a GP for a routine appointment, we examine how we’re helping our staff with their own health needs.

 

Access to GPs has seldom made more headlines than it has of late. A report published on the Pulse – considered the leading publication for GPs in the UK – highlighted that in a recent survey, over 20% of the 900 GPs who responded said that their patients faced an average wait for a routine appointment of over three weeks. More than one in 20 stated it was more than four weeks.

Another story from Pulse earlier this year focused on the fact GP surgeries across the UK have been shutting their doors in record numbers. In 2018, 138 surgeries closed, compared with just 18 in 2013. Much of this is believed to be the result of underfunding, although leading figures in the sector have complained that GPs are overworked and stressed, leading more to exit the profession or reduce their hours.

More recently, a study by the University of Manchester found that GP partners’ income had decreased by around 10% in real terms over the period from 2008 to 2017.  This has come against the backdrop of GP workloads increasing by around 20% over the same period. Taken together, it is believed that this “may have contributed to current recruitment and retention problems”. 

 

The expert view

Prof Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, was quoted as saying: 

Our patients should be able to see a GP when they need to – and the fact that this is becoming increasingly difficult is frustrating for GPs and their teams, just as we know it is for patients. People are waiting too long for routine appointments, and the concern is that non-serious conditions might deteriorate, or patients give up trying to see the GP and we miss signs of serious illness early, when it could be dealt with simply and more cost effectively in primary care.

All of this comes in the wake of the 2015 election pledge by the Government to add an additional 5000 GPs by 2020; a pledge which they are struggling to meet. However, this promise was questioned by many, including Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the BMA’s GPs committee, who said at the time:

Delivering 5,000 extra GPs in five years, when training a GP takes 10 years, was a practical impossibility that was never going to be achieved. It was a pledge that also ignored the fact that one third of GPs are planning to retire by 2020, and the current medical graduates do not want to join an overworked, underfunded service, with more than 400 GP trainee posts left unfilled last year.

 

Our solution to the GP access problem

Given the challenges faced by both the GPs and their patients, it’s hardly surprising that juggling a working day with the sparse availability of appointments has never been more difficult for patients; and in particular those who are shift workers – like many of our staff.

That’s why, at Peverel Court Care we have invested in a service which provides 24/7 online access to a GP for our staff. Whilst we appreciate that for certain conditions, a visit to the local surgery may still be required, we hope that the online service we’ve provided can, for many, give them an alternative to the lengthy NHS waiting times.

We recognise the fantastic work that our team do in providing first rate levels of care for our residents. So we believe that it’s only right and proper to do all we can to help them maintain their own health and wellbeing. Therefore, the introduction of the GP service is just one of many recruitment and retention initiatives we have in store to help our staff realise how valued they are by the Peverel Court Care management team. We hope that these small gestures of our appreciation can help make their work-life balance that little bit easier.

 

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 Management, Community, Future of Care, Leadership & Management, Merryfield, Real life, Social Care & Society, Social Care Strategy, Stone House, Wellbeing

Developing our new company values

Developing our new company values at Peverel Court Care

 

Constructing an idealised set of values for your business and its staff to uphold is one thing; but successfully embedding that in the DNA of the organisation is another entirely.

 
In a 2007 Bain & Company survey, global business leaders confirmed their belief that organisational culture was as important as corporate strategy in realising business success.

Organisational culture is the business equivalent of the personality of an individual. It can have a strong impact on the behaviour of its employees by facilitating a collective commitment to what the company stands for.

By establishing a singular organisational identity a business can help employees in understanding their own role and surroundings. It can also help communicate expectations regarding how their conduct affects the wider perception of the company they work for.

One of the key components of company culture are its values, which we believe to be the set of guiding principles and fundamental beliefs that help a group of people function together as a team and work towards a common goal. Company values fall into two categories: espoused values, such as those communicated by management, and enacted values, i.e. those actually displayed by employees. Therefore, to successfully embed new values into a company, the values displayed by staff need to be brought in line with those publicised by the business.

 

Creating new company values

At Peverel Court Care, we not only appreciate the hard work and dedication of our staff in delivering first class care provision to residents at our elderly care homes in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire; we also respect their loyalty and commitment to our business. Therefore, rather than seek to impose values on them, we consulted with our passionate team to find out how they wanted our business to be viewed by others.

To achieve this, we invited our staff to complete a core values survey. They were provided the opportunity to rank a shortlist of suggested core values in the order which they each felt was the closest match to the company they wanted us to be. In addition, we also offered an open question for our staff to detail what they feel should be the most important core values at Peverel Court Care.

The resulting values are different to those of many other organisations, because they carry real weight. The entire company have been involved in their creation, and they have been discussed and agreed by everyone across the business. This means they have total buy-in from all of the team. Going forward, they will be used in everything we do; including recruitment, onboarding, induction training and appraisals.

Our recognition programme will also be used to congratulate and reward our staff when they are recognised by residents, their families, or peers for outstanding work that align with these values.

 

Our Chosen Values

  • 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.

 

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.

Best Care Practices, Business, Care Home Recruitment, Future of Care, Leadership & Management, Training & Development, Workforce Development

Career Pathways for Healthcare Assistants

Peverel Court Care HCA Career Pathways

Examining how career pathway development in care is essential.

Recruiting and retaining the fantastic staff that we rely on to deliver exceptional care services to the residents of our homes has always been a challenge; but due to wider sector and societal influences, this has never been a more important consideration. That is why we have introduced new career pathways for our Healthcare Assistants.

Due to an ageing population in England, there is an expected increase in the demand for care home places over the next decade, with some reports suggesting that the care sector will need to increase staffing levels by up to 21% by 2030. All of this from an overall workforce which will look very similar to that which we see today in terms of the size of the working age population.

The 2016 EU Referendum may also play it’s part in staffing levels going forward. While there are large regional variations, 13% of the care workforce in London were non-British EEA nationals in 2016/17. In particular, non-British EEA workers represented 16% of the Registered Nurses working in care at that time.

Another consideration is that across the sector in England, staff turnover is universally high, at around 30%, so ensuring that when we find great staff that we’re able to keep them for the long-term is a high priority for us at Peverel Court Care.

 

Recruitment and Retention

 

Value based recruitment has been found to help identify candidates who will stay in the care sector much longer; by not only examining whether they have the skills and competencies that are required for the role, but also by evaluating whether they can respect and empathise with service users.

There is also evidence that recruitment through word of mouth and recommendations from the social circle of existing employees is much more effective in terms of passing interview and remaining in post after 12 months than other forms of recruitment.

Once we have found and recruited the right people, the next step is to ensure that we keep them for the long-term; and that is where our new career pathways for HCA’s comes in.

 

Investing in a shared future with career pathways

 

When we recruit new members of staff, not only do we seek to ensure that they have all of the relevant training to make sure that they can do their jobs today, but we’re also looking to put in place 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 Home and support them through the new Assistant Practitioner course at both Oxford Brookes University and Buckinghamshire New University.

We aim to provide a structured career pathway for those with aspirations to develop and progress in the care sector. Upon completion of the Assistant Practitioner course – our staff then have the option to then 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.

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 recently introduced staff reward and recognition programmes, which allow us to thank our dedicated team for their commitment. Together, we hope that by investing in making our staff feel valued and by enabling them to progress their careers with us via the new career pathways, Peverel Court Care can continue to buck sector-wide staffing trends.

We hope that by utilising this approach, it in turn will allow us to deliver the high levels of consistent care provision that our residents and their families value so highly.

 

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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