Bartletts, Best Care Practices, Business, Care & Technology, Care Management, Community, Design, Future of Care, Leadership & Management, Merryfield, Real life, Social Care & Society, Social Care Strategy, Stone House, Workforce Development, Workforce Intelligence

In search of continuous progress in care

In search of continuous progress in care at Peverel Court Care

 

At Peverel Court Care, we embrace the opportunity to continuously improve our business and, as a result, the lives of our residents and staff. In this post, we wanted to explore further what a continuous improvement model is, and how our commitment is driving positive results.

Whilst there are a number of different methodologies for identifying and implementing opportunities for improvement, these all share a number of core principles. It is these upon which we have based our model for advancing the way in which we operate.

 

The core principles of continuous improvement

Beyond that, we have taken the following core principles upon which to base our programme of continuous improvement for our already award-winning care homes in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire:

As the first to test the GP Connect extension within Nourish, we will be shaping the way care environments interact with GP services and taking a significant step towards a joined-up care environment. We look forward to seeing how our care teams engage with GP Connect and the impact it will have on care practice.

  • Small steps rather than giant leaps are more likely to achieve progress. We have acknowledged that huge changes to the way we run the business are going to be much scarier and more time consuming than smaller changes. So we’re focusing our efforts on identifying opportunities that can be implemented much more quickly, in order to ensure constant progression. This allows fast improvements in the day-to-day lives of our residents and staff, rather than strategic shifts that will take much more time to realise.
  • The thoughts, ideas and experiences of our employees are invaluable. Our leadership team understands that no-one understands the challenges and opportunities in the business better than the people who work in it everyday. That’s why we want to know which elements of their jobs and our processes, activities and communications are sticking points for our team. This helps us to identify opportunities for us to make improvements that will benefit our staff and residents every day, and help us to make constant progress towards a better business.
  • Incremental changes can usually be implemented very cost-effectively. Our leadership team has noted that when receiving feedback from the team, the focus is often on smaller changes which can be implemented without a huge amount of expense, yet can make a big impact. Indeed, it has been noted that many ideas from employees involve simplifying processes rather than complicating them. This is a great way to ensure that every step we make adds value to our residents and staff, and reduces wasted time and effort. This insight from employees is therefore fundamental to our continuous improvement programme.
  • Encouraging employees to own and drive our continuous improvement program. Whilst appreciating the importance of the key insights we can gain from our team, and the way we can utilise these to progress the business, we’re asking for even more from our team. We want them to be proud of the business in which they work, and therefore believe that it’s important for them to not only buy into what we’re doing, but to proactively contribute to the direction of our improvement programme.
  • Reflecting on our improvement. Ensuring a constant feedback loop is essential for the success of our continuous improvement programme. Open communication throughout the improvement process is critical to ensuring that the changes we make are making the desired improvements. We know that not every idea, or the way we attempt to make change, will be a success. Therefore, keeping track of and communicating our successes and failures will help us to learn more and improve even our continuous improvement programme.
  • Measuring the success of improvement. It’s vitally important that we don’t just make changes, but that we measure their effectiveness. This might be in the form of time or cost savings, but equally it could be in terms of quality of life improvements for our staff or residents. By measuring the impact that our changes make in the pursuit of improvement, we’re better able to determine whether that change could also be applied successfully to other similar challenges in the business.

 

Creating a sound continuous improvement programme

A sound continuous improvement programme should be able to demonstrate a number of features which Peverel Court Care’s leadership team aim to embrace:

  • Baseline – the current situation the service is trying to change
  • Planning – improvements and the expected benefit to the care recipient
  • Monitoring – systems to monitor a new process or activity during its implementation
  • Evaluation – systems to monitor a process or activity once it has been implemented, which should help ensure its sustainability and capture the actual improvements.

The following framework has been utilised to help drive and support the process and to ensure that all changes we make are fully aligned to our business strategy and values:

  • Care recipient focus
  • Strategic planning and implementation
  • Involvement of key stakeholders; crucially ensuring that staff feeling involved and listened to
  • Innovation – particularly in terms of gathering ideas from staff
  • Regular monitoring and evaluation.

Progress to date from our continuous improvement programme

At Peverel Court Care, our continuous improvement programme has already been in place for a little while. So we wanted to share a couple of great examples of how it’s already working for us as we seek to improve the day-to-day lives of our residents and staff.

One recent example came from Hillary, one of our Activities Coordinators, who proposed a number of suggestions, including “Around the world through takeaway”, “Virtual family time” and “Glam day ladies club”. There were some brilliant ideas, and we have already incorporated suggestions such as the bespoke takeaway evenings, which take our residents to different places around the world via their cuisine. 

We are also implementing quarterly reverse mentoring sessions with our CEO. These sessions are constructive and fun, and allow employees to tell the CEO what they would do differently and why. We’ve found this opportunity has improved insight and communication across management and employees.

 

About Peverel Court Care

Peverel Court Care is a group of one residential and two nursing homes, located in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire: Bartlett’s Residential Care Home and Stone House Nursing Home in Aylesbury, and Merryfield House Nursing Home in Witney. We are a long-standing family business, providing exceptional, personalised care, delivered by talented and compassionate people, in exclusive and idyllic settings.

With happiness at the heart of our homes, we recognise and respect the contribution made by our residents to society during their lifetimes. Valued by residents and their families; our reputation, investment in each property, and approach to appointing and developing our staff makes each home unique and the benchmark in premium care.

Bartletts, Best Care Practices, Business, Care & Technology, Care Home Maintenance, Care Home Recruitment, Care Management, Dementia, Design, Future of Care, Landscaping and Dementia, Leadership & Management, Merryfield, Property Development, Real life, Social Care & Society, Social Care Strategy, Stone House, Tech, Wellbeing

To succeed care providers must focus on service, employees and the environment

To succeed care providers must focus on service, employees and the environment - Peverel Court Care

 

We wanted to consider the fundamental pillars on which the success of our group is based. Service, employees and the environment are at the heart of Peverel Court Care’s mission to consistently deliver exceptional care for our residents.

At Peverel Court Care we believe that in order for us to be successful in ensuring a level of service which constantly meets and exceeds the expectations of our residents and their loved ones, we can never allow ourselves to take our eye off the three critical foundations that underpin our business. Therefore, we decided to explore some of the elements which contribute to maintaining success in each of these areas throughout our award-winning care homes in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.

Exceptional service in our care homes

There are a multitude of elements that contribute to the exceptional levels of service that we provide for the residents of our homes, however some of the key ones include:

  • To make sure that our residents eat a varied and balanced diet, we employ full-time long standing chefs who produce seasonal menus using high quality local produce. Some care homes opt to outsource catering, but we prefer to manage this in-house so that we can provide the food that our residents love. We also offer private dining to our residents, if and when required, so as to best serve their wishes.
  • Peverel Court Care employ full-time hospitality employees, to look after our residents and to make sure that all of their requirements are met.
  • We also maintain a bespoke mini-bus at each of our homes for community outings. This makes it simpler for our hospitality employees to organise trips and visits for residents who wish to attend or require the service.
  • In addition, we have dedicated Activities teams in our care homes, who are responsible for organising entertainment to ensure that our residents can live happy and fulfilling lives while in our care.

 

Exceptional employees in our care homes

Delivering exceptional service requires an exceptional team. Some of the factors which contribute to the recruitment and retention of the brilliant people who work in our business include:

  • We utilise Values Based Recruitment to ensure that anyone that we’re recruiting into the business shares our values and ethos about care. Understanding whether a person has the correct attitudes and mindset to deliver exceptional service is fundamental to our decision making process.
  • Once we’ve brought good people into the homes, we want to make sure that they want to stay. One of the ways in which we do this is through the development of career pathways, which provide opportunities for ongoing learning and development, allowing staff to grow within the organisation.
  • In addition to helping our employees to progress their careers, we also provide reward & recognition schemes. These programmes are aimed at celebrating success and demonstrating how valued and appreciated their hard work is in delivering exceptional service for our residents.
  • Peverel Court Care, along with each of our homes – Bartlett’s Residential Care Home and Stone House Nursing Home in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire and Merryfield House Nursing Home in Witney, Oxfordshire – all benefit from having a long-standing management team. The expertise and experience of our leadership helps to maintain our exceptional levels of service, but also allows us to get to know all of our employees personally, which creates loyalty and better understanding between the parties.
  • As a business, we always aim to be exceptional. This has been recognised during independent inspections, as we have been awarded the rating of “Outstanding” in CQC ‘Well-led’ categories.

 

Exceptional environment at our care homes

We want our care homes to truly feel like home for our residents. Therefore, maintaining exceptionally high standards across our homes and their grounds is intrinsic to the way that we operate. This includes:

  • All of our homes have beautiful landscaped and dementia-friendly gardens. These spaces offer our residents access to safe, stimulating grounds and provide them with exercise and natural light.
  • It’s not just outside where our attention to detail helps to set us apart. We have also utilised dementia-friendly interior designs to make life as simple and comfortable as possible for our residents.
  • Community involvement and interactions for social stimulation are also a key part of our homes. We would never want residents to feel like they were disconnected from the outside world or each other, so this plays a key role in maintaining mental wellbeing.
  • We also believe that the use of, and access to, technology improves the lives of the residents who live in our care homes immeasurably. This includes the provision of super fast Wi-Fi and iPads for keeping in touch with loved ones, which has proved especially valuable over the past year with visitation having to be restricted. We have also implemented the use of electronic care plans. to further improve the way in which we’re able to personalise and maintain exceptional care for our residents.

 

About Peverel Court Care

Peverel Court Care is a group of one residential and two nursing homes, located in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire: Bartlett’s Residential Care Home and Stone House Nursing Home in Aylesbury, and Merryfield House Nursing Home in Witney. We are a long-standing family business, providing exceptional, personalised care, delivered by talented and compassionate people, in exclusive and idyllic settings.

With happiness at the heart of our homes, we recognise and respect the contribution made by our residents to society during their lifetimes. Valued by residents and their families; our reputation, investment in each property, and approach to appointing and developing our staff makes each home unique and the benchmark in premium care.

Design, Future of Care, Property Development

Innovation in care – Our visit to Holland

When you’re operating in a sector like ours it’s important that you continue to move with the times. Ongoing research means that our sector is constantly changing. If you want to be the best, then you need to have an element of fluidity. That’s why our senior teams are always looking for shining examples of amazing care.

This month we visited the Hogeweyk Care Centre in Amsterdam. In Dutch a weyk is a group of houses similar to a village, and that is exactly what this care centre is. It has 23 houses for 152 seniors suffering from dementia, who all need nursing home facilities and live in houses differentiated by lifestyle. The residents manage their own households every say with a constant team of staff members.

There’s a supermarket in the village, as well as streets, squares, gardens and a park, which the residents can safely roam free. Residents here have maximum privacy and autonomy.

Just like any village, Hogeweyk has a selection of facilities including a restaurant, bar and theatre. Residents from surrounding neighbourhoods are permitted to use these facilities as well.

It sounds amazing, doesn’t it? But it gets better. Prior to admission each resident undertake and assessment to ascertain their lifestyle choices and depending on the outcome they are housed with likeminded residents. This is incredibly important, because it will have a vital impact on the happiness of residents in the village. Housing residents with likeminded people is an absolute dream.

There’s only space for seven people per home, so relatives know their loved ones are receiving all of the care, love and attention they need, with staff who are not overstretched and who know the specific care requirements and personalities of all residents.

It was an amazing place to visit and it gave us some great ideas about how we can apply some of the techniques and uses of space we saw here at Peverel Court Care. We’re already making steps towards improving our garden areas, making sure they are safe and seamless for our dementia suffers to use by removing any abrupt endings to pathways and that our transition from inside to outside is much more fluid.

In our effort constantly increase our environment for dementia patients, we’ll certainly be drawing on our experiences from The Hogeweyk in meetings and brainstorming sessions well into the future.

Care & Technology, Design, Tech

The importance of the digital age and how it helps our residents

Twenty years ago the whole world looked very different than it does today. So did nursing care and the residential care sector. When people chose to go into care in the 90s the technology we view as basic today was extremely expensive and difficult to procure on a mass scale in the way we can in this more modern age.

Our residents are used to using technology to explore what’s happening in the world and to keep in touch with those they love. Before they came to us, many of them regularly used technology like telephones or computers to communicate or entertain themselves.

It’s important to us that we make sure those who live with us still have access to these items, and that they can use them in the way they want to. That’s why our individual care plans include asking our residents which forms of technology they would appreciate having access to. One of the main items of technology our residents insist upon is a telephone.

At Peverel Court Care, we don’t think it’s enough to simply give all of our residents a telephone. Some of them don’t have the strength to use a phone without help. Often they no longer have the capacity because of illnesses like dementia or Alzheimer’s, or visual or hearing impairments. That’s why we tailor the telephone experience for everyone living in all three of our care homes.

Several of our residents have mobile phones they use to keep in touch with their families. But we don’t just give those we care for a mobile phone and expect them to get on with using it. General usage, maintenance and charging of mobile phones is overseen with the assistance of our dedicated care teams.

Our staff know the capacity of each and every one of our residents. They know if someone we care for understands how to use their phone but struggles to answer it, or if their conditions prevent them from hearing their phones ringing properly. We have a solution for these types of issues. For example, sometimes we ask our family members and friends to call our care home landline in advance of ringing a residents mobile phone so that we can go and help them to answer.

Not everyone likes mobile technology. Four of our residents have chosen to have a landline telephone in their room instead. With the assistance of their families, our care staff have programmed their most regularly used numbers into their speed dial selections, making it as easy as possible for them to contact those they love.

When people come to live at Stone House, Merryfield and Bartlett’s we want them to have all of the same opportunities that they have in their own home, and that includes the opportunity to contact those they love whenever they want to. We do everything within our power to make sure this possible, even funding landlines ourselves. For those we care for we know that nothing is more important than contacting those they care about, and if it’s important to them, it’s important to us.

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