Care Home Recruitment, Care Management, CQC Inspection, Future of Care, Leadership & Management, Real life, Social Care & Society, Social Care Strategy, Workforce Intelligence

Examining the social care workforce in England

Examining the social care workforce in England - Peverel Court Care

 

As Skills for Care launch their annual ‘State of the Adult Social Care sector and Workforce’ report, we take a look at some of the key findings and how they impact staff recruitment and retention for care businesses in England.

 

Skills for Care are the Sector Skills Council for Adult Social Care in England. They collect workforce data from thousands of care-providing organisations across the public and independent sectors through their National Minimum Dataset for Social Care (NMDS-SC) programme. This data gives us a unique insight into how care businesses are staffed, both regionally and across the country.

Their annual ‘State of the Adult Social Care Sector and Workforce’ report is quite a long read, so we’ve picked out some of the key insights that impact recruitment and retention of staff for care businesses.

 

Turnover of care staff

The turnover rate of staff working in the Adult Social Care sector of 30.8%. This equates to approximately 440,000 leavers in the previous 12 months. It was also shown in the report that Care Workers had the highest turnover rate of direct care-providing roles, at 39.5%; a huge increase of 11.1 percentage points since 2012/13.

Registered Nurses also had a high turnover rate of 34.0%, especially when compared to other regulated professions, such as Social Workers (13.7%) and Occupational Therapists (12.6%).

Around a fifth of Registered Managers left their role in the previous 12 months (22.0%); this was high compared to other managerial roles and equates to around 5,600 leavers in the previous 12 months in total.

 

New starters in care roles

Skills for Care estimates that the rate of new starters in posts over the past 12 months was 39.3%. This equates to around 560,000 workers. Care Workers experienced the highest starter rate, at 48.1%, followed by Registered Nurses at 35.6%.

It should be noted that the starters rate reflects staff that are new to their role. This includes both those who are new to the Adult Social Care sector (34%) and also churn within the sector – which accounts for 66% of the total. This includes those moving between roles or employers; meaning that the sector as a whole has retained the skills and experience of these workers.

However, it also means that a large proportion of employers were going through the recruitment process at any one time, with workers moving between employers with high regularity, and at considerable cost to the sector.

 

Vacancies in the care workforce

There was an estimated increase of 16,500 jobs between 2017 and 2018 in the independent and local authority sectors combined, from a total workforce of 1.36 million to 1.38 million.

Skills for Care estimates that 7.8% of roles in the adult social care sector were vacant at any given time. This represents an average of approximately 122,000 vacancies. The majority, around 77,000, of the vacancies were for Care Worker jobs, with the average vacancy rate for the role 9.0% of the total workforce.

The increase in vacancy rates for direct care-providing roles over recent years could in all probability be linked to the fall in unemployment rates in the UK over that period. Office for National Statistics (ONS) data shows that the unemployment rate was 7.8% in 2012/13, but had fallen to 4.1% by 2018/19. Pay may also be a factor; Retail Assistants earned 13p per hour less than Care Workers in 2012/13, but in 2018/19 earned 10p per hour more on average. This may shift in pay levels may also be contributing to rising vacancy rates within the Adult Social Care sector.

The Registered Nurse vacancy rate was particularly high at 9.9%. This role also had relatively high turnover and starter rates, which is likely a contributory factor to this high vacancy rate. Nurses were added to the UK Shortage Occupation List in 2015 and have remained listed ever since. The Shortage Occupation List is an official list of roles for which the domestic labour market cannot meet the demand to fill vacant posts. Listing is intended to make it easier for employers to recruit migrant workers to fill these vacancies and help reduce skills shortages.

Registered Manager vacancies at 11.4% were double the average of other managerial roles in the sector and equivalent to around 2,900 vacancies at any given point in 2018/19. Skills for Care analysis of Care Quality Commission (CQC) ratings data shows that services without a Registered Manager in post at the time of inspection (or in the year leading up to inspection) were less likely to achieve ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ CQC ratings.

The overall vacancy rate has risen by 2.3 percentage points between 2012/13 and 2018/19. This rise in vacancies, in the context of a wider workforce that has grown at a slower rate in recent years, suggests that the sector is struggling to keep up with demand as the Adult Social Care sector continues to grow, coupled with the effects of an ageing population.

 

Social and political influences on the care workforce

At present, Brexit does not appear to be a major contributory factor to the high vacancy rate. The number of people with an EU nationality in the Adult Social Care workforce has continued to rise since the referendum. However, according to Skills for Care, Brexit continues to have the potential to cause future supply issues for the Adult Social Care workforce, depending on the immigration rules applied post-Brexit.

Around 84% of the Adult Social Care workforce in the year 2018/19 were British. Around 8%, or approximately 115,000 workers, were of an EU nationality, and 9%, or about 134,000 workers, were of a non-EU nationality. Therefore, on average, the Adult Social Care sector had a slightly greater reliance on non-EU workers than EU Workers. As a whole, the overall nationality of the Adult Social Care sector was more diverse than the population of England, which is 8% non-British. However, there are regional variations: for example London had the highest proportion of non-British workers, followed by the South East. Care businesses in these regions are, therefore, more sensitive to future changes to immigration policy than those in other parts of the country.

The proportion of Registered Nurses who cited British as their nationality increased from 60% in 2012/13 to 64% in 2018/19. Over the same time period, the proportion of Registered Nurses with an EU nationality has risen from 8% to 18%. Non-EU Registered Nurse numbers have therefore fallen considerably in this time.

Following the Government’s white paper on ‘The UK’s future skills-based immigration system’ in December 2018, the specifics of immigration post-Brexit remain unclear. There could be a significant impact on the supply of workers to the Adult Social Care sector in the future.

 

Preparing the care sector for an ageing population

The ‘Projecting Older People Population Information System’ (POPPI) uses figures taken from Office for National Statistics data to estimate the composition of our future population based on age bands. POPPI shows that the number of people aged 65 and above is projected to increase between 2018 and 2035 from 10.2 million to 14.1 million people in England, an increase of around 38%.

Between 2012 and 2017, the population aged 65 and over increased by 2.1% per year on average. This was faster than the population aged 75 and over, which increased by 1.5% per year on average. However, between 2017 and 2018, the population aged 75 and over grew at a faster rate (2.1%) than the over 65 group (1.5%) for the first time. The population aged 75 and over is projected to increase at a faster rate up to 2025, with the highest growth expected between 2020 and 2025 (an 18.8% increase).

Using models, the number of Adult Social Care jobs in each Local Authority area in England were compared with the corresponding number of people aged 65 and over, or aged 75 and over, in the population there. These two factors were found to be strongly correlated. On average, the more people aged 65 and over, or 75 and over, in an area, the larger the Adult Social Care workforce was found to be. The ‘Aged 65 and over’ model shows that, on average in 2018, for every seven people aged 65 and over in the population, one Adult Social Care job was required. The ‘Aged 75 and over’ model shows that, on average in 2018, for every three people aged 75 and over in the population, one adult social care job was required.

These models were then applied to POPPI estimates of the number of people aged 65 and over, and 75 and over, in 2020, 2025, 2030 and 2035 to create a forecast for the number of Adult Social Care jobs required going forward. The models project that if the Adult Social Care workforce grows proportionally to the projected number of people aged 65 and over in the population, then a 36% increase (580,000 new jobs) will be required by 2035. If the workforce grows proportionally to the number of people aged 75 and over in the population, then a 50% increase (800,000 new jobs) will be required by 2035.

 

Successful recruitment and retention leads to successful care businesses

Skills for Care published research in which employers with a staff turnover rate of less than 10% were asked to consider what they believe contributes to their success, in relation to recruitment and retention. Results included:

      • investing in learning and development (94%)
      • embedding the values of the organisation (92%)
      • celebrating the organisation’s and individual achievements (86%)
      • involving colleagues in decision making (81%)

At Peverel Court Care we have taken a number of measures to aid us with retaining our fantastic staff, including our learning and development programme and the introduction of career pathways for a number of roles. We have also implemented a Recognition and Rewards programme for our team, so we can constantly remind them how valued they are by our management team.

 

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.

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, Care & Technology, Care Management, Future of Care, Leadership & Management, Personalisation, Safeguarding, Social Care Strategy, Tech

Driving Improvement through Technology

The future of Technology and Innovation in social care service provision

Examining how the use of technology in providing care can improve service delivery both now and in the future.

The delivery of adult social care is intrinsically a story of human interaction; but that’s not to say there isn’t a place for greater use of technology to aid service delivery.

While nothing can, or indeed should, replace the wonderful job that our staff do at Bartlett’s, Stone House and Merryfield; innovations in the care sector are delivering technologies that can supplement and help further improve the way we deliver services.

 

Digital Transformation in Care

For a start, we are embracing digital transformation with I.T. platforms that support integrated care. We are migrating to digital care plans, which will provide access to live information; ensuring that staff are kept up-to-date and can make informed decisions to deliver the highest quality of care. With records that are secure, accurate and compliant, evidencing care becomes more manageable, and care management more standardised.

Local Authorities can also benefit from digital care plans; being provided with continuous, easily accessible reporting delivers savings in contract monitoring. Digital platforms will allow Local Authorities to see in real-time the quality of care for each individual they are providing funding for. This will allow a smoother and faster contract monitoring process, providing a money-saving capacity and ability to provide safeguarding oversight.

Peverel Court Care believe the future lies in digital transformation and data intelligence to support better decision-making; allowing us to better predict, optimise and continue to improve care. Integrated care will be vital to both Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire County Councils, and our digital care platform will assist in managing care between providers. However, innovation never stops and new technologies and opportunities are constantly being brought to market for the care sector.

 

View from the CQC

Kate Terroni, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care at the Care Quality Commission (CQC) commented:

I am very clear that in exploring technology and innovation we are in no way seeking to substitute the role of our care and support workforce. In fact, I strongly believe that technology can greatly improve the experience for staff as well as people receiving services; enabling them to focus more of their time on doing what they do best – delivering compassionate and person-centred care

 

Care Innovation Final

Peverel Court Care agree that by embracing technological innovation, we can improve not only the service delivery for our residents, but also enhance the working lives of our staff who deliver those high levels of care. We will continue to seek out and explore new technological opportunities in the future, so that we can continue to provide the best possible environment for our residents and valued team.

To this end, this week we attended the Care Innovation final at the Department of Health and Social Care. It was incredibly exciting to see so many young, talented and enthusiastic individuals presenting innovative ideas. Congratulations to all of the finalists who shared their visions for providing exceptional elderly care through the latest technology and innovation.

 

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, Care Home Maintenance, Care Management, Dementia, Landscaping and Dementia, Merryfield, Real life, Stone House, Wellbeing

Spring has sprung

Enjoying the gardens during spring 2019 at Peverel Court Care

 

The arrival of spring and the benefits to our residents

 

With the recent spell of lovely warm weather, our residents have been taking the opportunity to get outside and explore the newly landscaped gardens of our homes.

At Peverel Court Care, we understand that creating and delivering individual care plans and maintaining a focus on resident well-being is a key part of the service we deliver, and providing time outdoors forms an intrinsic part of that.

Therefore, with the arrival of spring, it has been the perfect time for our residents to get outside to enjoy the warmth of the spring sunshine, to take in the fresh air, and to explore the new sights and smells of the plants and flowers in our idyllic grounds.

Even for those residents who aren’t so keen to get outside exploring, the natural light that pours into the rooms on our new wing provides them with similar benefits.

 

Benefits to resident health

 

But there’s more to getting our residents to spend time outdoors than meets the eye. In fact, there have been numerous rigorous scientific studies conducted, which have all concluded that there are a multitude of benefits for elderly care home residents when they get to enjoy time in an outdoor space.

Spending time out in the grounds allows them to get exercise in the fresh air. And particularly for elderly residents, research has shown that those who enjoyed as little as 10 or 15 minutes of activity a day, saw a significant improvement in their health. Furthermore, walking outdoors has been shown to reduce levels of stress, and to increase sociability, communication and self esteem, while there is also evidence that it can help to reduce cognitive decline.

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

 

Enjoying spring flowers in the gardens at Peverel Court Care

 

Peverel Court Care – our idyllic settings

 

Part of what makes the experience of living at one of Peverel Court Care’s three care homes in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire so special for our residents is the unique setting and location of each home. A perfect example is that of Bartlett’s, our Residential Care Home, which is set in over 18 acres of private tranquil parkland with exceptional views of The Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

As our homes are all set within such charming grounds, and because spending time outdoors offers such proven benefits to our residents, it’s not surprising that the arrival of spring this year has once again been greeted with smiles by our residents.

 

Taking a walk outdoors to enjoy spring sunshine at Peverel Court Care

Bartletts, Business, Care Awards, Care Management, Leadership & Management, Merryfield, Stone House

Top care home award

PCC Top 20 care home group award winners 2019 Bartletts

 

PCC wins carehome.co.uk Group Awards for fourth consecutive year



Peverel Court Care are delighted to announce that we have been named as recipients of the ‘Top 20 Recommended Care Home Group’ Award for 2019, the fourth consecutive year we have received the award.

The awards, presented by sector-leading review website carehome.co.uk, aim to highlight the most recommended Care Home Groups in the UK, and are based on over 120,000 reviews from care home residents, as well as their friends and family.

Some of the glowing reviews we’ve received on the carehome.co.uk website this year from residents and their families include:

From the moment I arrived with my mother, the quality of the care was evident. I knew from that moment on my sister and I had chosen a truly wonderful place for our mother. The staff are extremely passionate about their care for patients. I’m just so glad we chose Stone House.

Richard W (Son of Resident)

Merryfield is a lovely home. The management are genuinely kind and have all worked as carers themselves in the past so they know exactly what quality care looks like. I cannot recommend Merryfield highly enough.

Francesca B (Friend of Resident)

As soon as I contacted Bartletts the staff made me feel that my mother was going to receive the care I wanted her to have. She was given a great welcome. The staff are very kind and when problems arose they were sorted out straight away. Bartletts is now Mum’s home, where we are very welcome to visit as if it were her own home.

Eileen B (Daughter of Resident)

 

Preet Shergill, Associate Director of Peverel Court Care, dedicated the award to everyone who helps us to deliver outstanding levels of care to our residents, saying:

“Well done to all of the Peverel Court Care team for your outstanding work in 2018. The exceptional levels of care provided were captured in numerous excellent reviews from those who matter most; residents and their relatives. Those excellent reviews have been recognised with this award. Well done to an outstanding team on winning this award for four consecutive years!”


PCC Top 20 care home group award winners 2019 Stone House


Peverel Court Care is a group of one residential and two nursing homes, located in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. 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.

Care Management, Dementia

Dementia Care – The Peverel Court Care Commitment

Some of the brightest scientific minds have dedicated almost 100 years to researching Alzheimer’s. Billions of pounds has been spent, but little has changed for patients since Alois Alzheimer first began investigating in 1901. Alzheimer’s and dementia are more prevalent now than ever before because of modern medicine and resulting ageing population.

There are advantages and disadvantages to this. The disadvantage is that modern medicine and the resulting aging population means that more people need to face living with this terrible illness. The advantage is that the increase in cases means the microscope is honing in on a cure, preventative methods and ways to make life easier for those who are affected. Though it seems as though the illness has come from nowhere, scientists have actually been fighting to cure it for a century.

At the moment it’s making life easier we are interested in at Peverel Court Care. This is our way of battling dementia. We are committed to do everything we can to make sure our resident’s with dementia have the best quality of life available.

We recently invested in a dementia simulation tour bus to visit all three of our homes. It’s already visited Bartlett’s and next month it will make its way to Stone House and Merryfield. The bus was with us all day and could be experienced by three people at a time. Participants wear headphones, special glasses, special gloves and footwear and asked to complete simple tasks in a darkened room. The bus helps our staff and relatives to feel what it’s like to have dementia. We believe that this will help our staff to understand what it’s like to have dementia. We want them to remember this experience whenever they’re giving someone with dementia care and support.  We have also invited relatives and the local community to attend.

We are dedicated to making sure that dementia does not define the lives of our residents. We want them to be able to do everything everyone else can do. That’s why we designed our new Hambledon Wing in a manner that means residents with dementia can come in and out of the building easily, something that they struggle with if special elements are not in place, such as fluidity between the inside and outside and flowing paths without dead ends.

We are also committed to the training of our staff. We stay on top of developments regarding dementia and make sure our staff are up-to-date and fully trained.

Dementia does not mean the end of a life it’s just the beginning of a new phase. By fully training our teams and raising awareness we are focusing on making life easier for those struggling with this disease every single day.

Care Management, Personalisation

Peverel Court Care is like a large family

We’re committed to providing high quality, person-centered care to everyone who lives with us, and that commitment cascades through our staff. This week, we’d like to introduce you to a lady who has been committed to Peverel Court Care for almost twenty years.

Jill Timms is our Quality Assurance Manager and has worked in some form of care role since she qualified as a nurse. Jill chose her career in care because she had watched her parents looking after the health needs of others when she was a little girl and been involved in caring for people from a very early age.

“My father was a doctor and my mother was a nurse,” Jill explains, “As we grew up, my five siblings and I were surrounded by care. I remember being very influenced by all of this as a child, looking at pictures in my father’s medical books and being around as my mother cared for everyone in our village, either on the phone or in many practical ways.”

Jill was born near Manchester, but moved to Cornwall when she was four. She later completed her nursing training at the world famous Radcliffe Infirmary and Churchill Hospice in Oxford. After moving through positions of seniority for several years her family moved to Witney, where she began working for Peverel Court Care in 1998.

Jill says that when she was young she was the well little girl amongst three poorly sisters, so she grew up caring for people at a very early age. She adds it was only natural that she became a nurse and that she has found her career to be rewarding.

When asked what she might like to say to people who are looking for a career in Care “I can only speak for the Peverel Court Care homes where we try to really value, appreciate, train, motivate and inspire our staff. Staff are our greatest asset. A lot of our employees across all three homes have worked for the company for many years. Because we value our staff, we do not have a high staff turnover.”

Jill declares she enjoys working for Peverel Court Care because high quality is at the heart of everything we do.

“Not many small groups of care homes have someone in my role, who specialises in the full Inspection Process (for CQC and Local Authority). So I feel valued. I like the fact that I’m free to be creative and therefore have been able to develop specific / bespoke Quality Monitoring systems and processes, which are used in our homes. It’s also very rewarding working with our amazing staff teams to reach exceptional quality standards. Our two nursing homes were recently rated borderline outstanding by the CQC. That’s our aim now, to reach Outstanding.”

When asked what she might like to say to people who are looking for care and support, Jill advises potential residents and their families to consider Peverel Court Care, citing our dedication to provide a personalised, caring home for all residents, along with family support.

“You only need to come and visit our homes to see what lovely, friendly places they are. Our twice-yearly relative and resident’s surveys are very complimentary. Our managers will come and meet you in your home or hospital and discuss your care needs with you. We’ll then help you to settle in, enabling you to make the transition as smooth and as positive as possible. We understand this is a big decision and will support you and your family all the way. Each of our three homes has their own special staff team. Peverel Court Care is like a family.”

Care & Technology, Care Management, Personalisation

Technology and innovation at Peverel Court Care

In a previous article we talked about the importance of technology with regards to keeping our residents happy.

At Peverel Court Care, we investigate the technological needs and expectations of all of our residents and then meet those expectations wherever we can, making sure residents who want a mobile phone have one, or those who need help making phone calls get the assistance they need.

We are delighted to work with Synergy Mobile, a leading provider of telecoms and IT services, who advise us on the best business systems to us and give us straight forward, helpful advice and support when we need it. They help us to make sure that our resident and business communications are effective and easy to complete.

But technology isn’t only important in for communication with family members and loved ones, it’s also incredibly important for the safety of our residents in a medical situation. That’s why we’re now utilising the services of a pioneering telemedicine service called ‘immedicare’.

Because of the nature of our work, it’s to be expected that we’re going to need to utilise the expertise of health professionals on a reasonably regular basis. Some our residents have long term health conditions that produce symptoms that may need monitoring by health professionals. In some cases, our residents may suddenly feel unwell, or have symptoms that will not go away.

Previously we would have had no choice but to call out a doctor, or to uproot these residents and take them to a hospital. For Alzheimer’s and dementia patients especially, this upheaval can be distressing and uncomfortable. They have usually come to know one of our sites as their home. Taking them away from the surroundings they are used to can be upsetting.

Immedicare allows us to access a dedicated digital health hub facility, giving us access to experienced nurses and clinicians covering a range of specialties. That means that we can avoid having to take our residents to hospital if there is no need for them to be admitted, saving them the stress of an unnecessary admission.

We also get to utilise the advice and support of those professionals to help us to improve and increase the quality of our own day-to-day car, especially if we have a patient with a particular discomfort or condition. Immedicare is a lifeline, a new form of communication with an army of medical professionals there to make the lives of our residents more comfortable.

Communication is the key. It’s important to our residents in a number of ways that they know about, such as easily being able to keep in touch with their families, but it’s important to them in a number of ways that they don’t know about, too Synergy Mobile allows them to do the former easily and effectively, and immedicare is there to keep them healthy and happy behind the scenes. Together, they’re a united team of innovative and pioneering technology.

If you would like to know more about Immedicare, please click here.

For more information on Synergy Mobile, please click here.

Care Management

A meeting of managers at Peverel Court Care

Leaders and managers are incredibly important in any organisation. If they’re doing their job correctly, they should be responsible for a happy and content culture amongst staff in care organisations. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, happy staff means happy residents. If our employees enjoy their job and feel looked after, they’re going to be better at looking after other people. It is the job of our leaders and managers to influence that happiness.

At the end of August we held a management forum, which brought together managers from all three of our sites. As an organisation with three separate homes, two in Buckinghamshire and one in Oxfordshire, its important that we maintain a constant level of communication between our management teams. They’re responsible for implementing our organisational action plan and clearly communicating our ethos and best practice to all other staff members, so it’s important that this is clearly communicated to them in the first instance.

These management meetings are also excellent for forging bonds between our individual management staff and their teams. We may be working from individual locations, but we are one large team at the end of the day. Our successes and challenges are shared. We need to make sure we have organisations that are well-led, with strong, skilled and communicative managers who are able to really inspire a culture of hard work and dedication amongst their individual care teams and across the whole of Peverel Court Care. The best way for us to do that is to really bring together our managers, both physically and metaphorically.

Managers at the meeting shared their triumphs and difficulties from the past twelve months and then worked together to form an action plan. This joined up working draws on the strengths of individual team members to work to overcome a problem together. It’s a great way of identifying what are our best assets, both collectively and individually, and where we’re stronger as a team than we are on our own.

In the afternoon, we had an events team set up a ‘Masterpiece Challenge’. We were split into individual units but worked together following a set of instructions to form what would eventually turn into a ‘masterpiece’, to huge success. The final product was beautiful, watching it fit together so seamlessly was fascinating. The aim of the challenge was to show our teams what they can do as individuals, as smaller units and as one big team. When everyone is following the same instructions, communicating effectively and working towards the same common goal, we can achieve great things.

By continuously strengthening the communication at Peverel Court Care from management level and throughout all of our care teams, we continue to work together to form an impressive standard of care. Our individual care homes identify our teams, our ethos and aims are our instructions, the type of strong communication and teamwork we saw at our management forum is the glue that knits everything together, and the superb care that we provide is our masterpiece.

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