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 fugures 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. 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. 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.

Community, Wellbeing

Intergenerational Days Are A Huge Success At Peverel Court Care

It all started as an experiment in Wales. Filmed for a TV programme, elderly people and children were brought together so that experts could analyse the mental health benefits for both, which it turns out were copious. Evidence suggests that intergenerational socialising increases confidence and improves language skills in children and improves the mood of elderly people.

At the same time plans were being completed to open the first nursery in Britain that shares its site with a nursing home. It opened in London in September. Bringing children and elderly people together is the latest trend in forward-thinking care provision for both.

Based on these successes, we’ve already started bringing local children and our residents together for a series of intergenerational days. We hosted one intergenerational day in August and another in November, bringing children from local Stone School to our premises to spend time with our residents and staff. We also invited the children and grandchildren of some our residents to participate in the day, which involved several games of balloon tennis, Snakes and Ladders and Fetch The Ducks. The day was a resounding success, and it will certainly be something we’ll be carrying on into the future.

The effect of the initial TV experiment and the resulting actions were so good that there are calls across the country to integrate child and elderly care permanently.We will keep an eye on how this develops over the next few years. We are and always will be about providing the best possible elderly care we can. This is our specialist area and it’s what we are good at. But if we know that something as achievable as bringing younger people onto the premises can have such a great impact on those we’re providing care for, then, of course, we will go out of our way to do it.

Our intergenerational days are part of Peverel Court Care’s ongoing commitment to offering effective care that increases the quality of life and is based on the best available evidence. Since we’re aware that there are so many benefits for our residents when they spend time with the younger generation, this is certainly something we’ll be looking to make a staple part of the provision of our care, available for any of our residents to take part in if they wish to.

And, let’s face it, it’s nice to see younger and older people coming together to make each other happy and spend quality time with one another. Perhaps these types of activities will tear down generational boundaries and pull everyone closer together.

Community

World’s Biggest Coffee Morning

Last Friday, like so many other organisations around the country, we took part in the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning with Macmillan Cancer Support.

Merryfield Nursing Home and Bartlett’s Residential Care Home hosted a coffee morning each, bringing staff, residents, families and community members together to enjoy that most quintessentially British tradition of a cup of tea or coffee with a piece of cake.

It would be rude to limit the fundraising to tea and cake, we thought, so our residents and our volunteer Bev made some beautiful flower arrangements to place on our tables, so that people could enjoy them whilst they ate.

Then we brought everyone together to eat cakes made by one of our staff members Barbara and scones made by Sharon’s parents. We even invited our close neighbours and members of our local church.

One of our residents Len compiled a wonderful quiz, which lead to an impromptu rendition of ‘It’s a long way to Tipperary’. The atmosphere was playful, fun and happy, just as it always is when we bring together our staff, residents and community for events like this.

The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning by Macmillan Cancer Support is one of our favourite events to participate in. Not only is it an excuse for us all to eat nice things, but it raises money for a cause that is incredibly close to our hearts.

Macmillan are a wonderful organisation who give support to people who have just been diagnosed with, or are currently fighting, cancer. They’re also there for those who have won their fight. They’re a caring organisation and are there for people in every stage of vulnerability when needed. As a care provider, that resonates with us.

We were incredibly proud to raise £367 pounds through our coffee morning activities. We hope that it will go some way towards helping our friends at Macmillan Cancer Support, who we would like to thank for doing such a wonderful job.

We’d also like to thank everyone who baked for us, as well as everyone who attended our coffee morning and donated.

Community, Real life, Social Care & Society

A summer of fun at Peverel Court Care

September is upon us and, though we weren’t as lucky with the sun as we had hoped we might be, this summer still did not disappoint us.

Our activities coordinators have outdone themselves this year planning entertainment and fun things for our residents to do throughout the summer months.

In this week’s article, as the countdown to winter begins, we thought we’d have a look back over some of the best bits of 2016 so far.

External visitors

Just a few weeks ago we had our summer parties and our gardens were flooded with residents and their families. We also invited Bertie Bastin, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who visits our homes sometimes. But he isn’t the only non-human who comes to visit us.

Earlier in August we were visited by a number of owls, and our residents were told all about these fascinating creatures.

There’s lots of research and evidence promoting the benefits of animals on the mental and physical health of people. We know that animal visitors make many of our residents extremely excitable.

Making things

Lots of our residents love to create things, so many of the activities we organise involve making new things. This summer we made flags to celebrate the Euro 2016 football tournament, flowery cupcakes, chocolate cakes to celebrate World Chocolate Day and medals and a torch to celebrate the Olympics.

We also had a flower arranging class so that our residents could spend an afternoon creating magnificent bouquets.

A summer of awards

During our summer parties, we awarded some of our residents prizes for a variety of talents they possess, including best gardener and best storyteller. Our residents are extremely talented and we know they appreciate being recognised for their accomplishments.

We also entered some of our best poets into a competition run by the National Activity Providers Association, a charity and members association dedicated to increasing the profile of activity in social care. We’re delighted to announce that one of our residents Eileen was awarded an accolade for this poem she wrote about bluebells.

Bluebell you are a beautiful flower
in the spring waiting to adorn the dark woods.
A shaft of sunlight still low in the sky awakens you.
Before long there is a blue carpet,
stretching out as far as the eye can see,
of little delicate bluebells.
Soon the canopy of trees above the blue carpet
darkens the woods even more,
and the leaves of the bluebell shrivel
so that next spring the dark woods will once again
adorned with your blue beauty.

Here’s to the winter

Over the coming months the weather will worsen and our activities will move inside. We’ll continue to think of new and innovative ways for our residents to stay busy and keep them stimulated and entertained.

We’ll enjoy all of the traditions of Christmas and wait for the weather to get better again. We look forward to seeing you all there.

Bartletts, Community

Residents design our brand new gardens

For the last few weeks we’ve been designing brand new gardens at Bartlett’s Residential Care Home. Our gardens are enjoyed regularly by our residents. Just a few weeks ago we hosted our annual summer parties and the gardens were full of residents, their families and our staff.

We’re lucky enough that our homes are situated in beautiful Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire countryside. The views are tranquil and spectacular, so it’s only right that our gardens are just as beautiful.

We already have gardens we’ve worked hard on. They contain rolling lawns and patios so that our residents can enjoy the weather, vegetable patches growing a variety of delicious vegetables, beautiful bushes and vibrant flower beds. We know our residents like our gardens because many of them spend lots of time out there. Some of them even get involved in helping us with the gardening.

So we set about asking our residents what they would like from a new garden. We wanted to know what their favourite parts were about the garden we already had and what they might like to see in a new landscape. The grounds of our homes are for them, there is no point in us designing them without asking those who enjoy them the most what they would like to see. When it comes to making the big decisions about our homes, especially with such popular aspects of our grounds, they’re the first people we consult.

Our residents came up with some wonderful ideas about features in our garden they would enjoy, including wind-chimes and a barbecue. They also came up with some ideas about what they would like to see less of. These included squirrels and the removal of their favourite trees!

We’ve collated all of the information we have and our landscaping work is due to begin in October or November. Our brand new garden will be completed ready for the spring next year, ready for the warmer weather. You’ll be able to find photographs of it on the Peverel Court Care Twitter account, which you can follow at @PeverelCourt.

©2019 Peverel Court Care
all rights reserved