Care Management, Community, Future of Care, Stone House

Brush Party x Aylesbury Dynamos x Stone House Nursing Home Sponsorship Collaboration

Why?

At Peverel Court Care we Care for our Communities, thus we are the proud sponsors of the Aylesbury Vale Dynamos Under 14’s Girls Football Team.

Intergenerational activities have been proven to energise older adults and give a sense of purpose, especially when they are sharing their experience and skills. Shared activities across generations can also reduce a sense of isolation for older adults and potentially relieve or lessen depression. We know that loneliness and depression are a big concern for today’s residents. By providing a way for residents to interact with younger generations, they afford the opportunity to build lasting relationships. Intergenerational activities can also help different age groups relate and value one another – reducing ageism, breaking down stereotypes and increasing empathy.

Art in care homes can provide many opportunities for residents to use their imagination, make connections and reminisce. Arts participation offers a chance for residents to express themselves, learn a new skill (or return to an old one), and form a stronger sense of personal identity that can sometimes be diminished in care.

 

Who?

Aylesbury Vale Dynamos Under 14’s Girls Football Team – https://twitter.com/avdfcgirls

“Where painting gets social… it doesn’t matter if you have picked up a paint brush since school! A brush party is an unforgettable few hours of fun, friends and painting you’ll be talking about for weeks!”

https://brushparty.co.uk/

 

 

Outcome

Feedback from residents and the football team about Brush Party’s painting workshop was overwhelmingly positive, with all residents asking to participate in an activity like this again. With some gentle encouragement and inspiration from the girls, residents became lively and engaged in the workshop. They were guided through the session with tips and advice from the leading artists Mel and Sam. This provided a new experience for the residents and was a happy and expressive session that set a precedent for future collaborative activities at Stone House.

At Peverel Court we see how are arts have a positive impact on the resident’s emotional wellbeing every day. The arts bring joy and the ability to communicate feelings even when we can no longer communicate with words. We can use arts-based activities to crate a state of reminiscence which is why it is such a powerful tool within a care setting and fundamental in our day-to-day activities within a care home.

 

 

Testimonials

Resident – Sheila H:
What did you think of the experience? “It was lovely to have the girls help, I enjoy sitting in on the painting sessions but my wrists often ache, so it was good to have their help.”
Would you like to experience it again? “Yes, absolutely, it was great to meet the team.”

Resident – Heather W:
What did you think of the experience? “It was good, I relaxed while a member of the team showcased her painting skills.” [laughing] Would you like to experience it again? “Yes, I would, it was lovely to meet them all and be in the lounge.”

Resident – Jean L:
What did you think of the experience? “It was nice thank you, I enjoyed the conversation with Keira, the girl who helped me.”
Would you like to experience it again? “It was good to see the girls, yes, I would be interested in doing it again!”

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 Home Recruitment, Care Management, Community, Future of Care, Leadership & Management, Merryfield, Real life, Stone House, Workforce Development, Workforce Intelligence

How our carers feedback helps us stay on top of running a leading care business

How our carers feedback helps us stay on top of running a leading care business at Peverel Court Care

 

At Peverel Court Care, we know that whilst we have an excellent reputation for the care that we provide to our residents and for the way we look after our staff, there are always opportunities to do even more. That’s why we partnered with local business WorkBuzz last year, to conduct regular staff surveys to obtain carer feedback and to identify areas for further improvement.

 

The surveys help gather real-time feedback from staff across our care homes, gathering vital understanding, and helping to build a more inclusive culture. All survey responses are anonymous and they are sent twice a year to the entire team, allowing us time to formulate and implement action plans, and gain vital regular insight.

 

Benefits of employee feedback in the care sector

Whilst most care businesses will be quick to acknowledge that feedback from residents and their families is crucial in driving improvements in service delivery, taking regular feedback from carers and other employees is equally important.

In post pandemic and post Brexit Britain, the recruitment and retention of staff is a universal challenge for care businesses. Ensuring that we’re listening to our employees, and then working to address their concerns and implement their suggestions will help to not only improve the services we deliver, but also to reduce the friction that our team experiences in their day-to-day work. In turn, this then helps us to better retain our talented team and to make their working lives, in some small way, less stressful and challenging wherever we can.

nibusinessinfo.co.uk is the official online channel for business advice and guidance in Northern Ireland. In a recent article they described how “Encouraging your staff to voice their ideas and contribute to finding better ways of doing things can have a positive impact on your business performance”.

Amongst the key business benefits of encouraging staff feedback, opinions and ideas, they identified:

  • Better awareness – you will be more aware of what is going on at every level of your business
  • Increased productivity – it helps to increase employee engagement, motivation and productivity
  • Business solutions – you may find solutions to business problems that otherwise may not have been established
  • Innovation – it encourages effective decision making and drives innovation
  • Valued contribution – it helps employees to feel that their contribution to the business is valued
  • Staff retention – it encourages employee retention and reduces staff turnover because employees feel more valued and allied to your business and its goals
  • Adaptability – improved communication helps with organisational change and cultural change

 

What changes have been implemented as a result of staff feedback?

In addition to the scores and carer feedback, we received several anonymised comments in particular that were extremely insightful and which we have been able to take action on to make rapid improvements to the way in which we operate the business day-to-day.

Overall, there was a theme in the feedback with people commenting on staffing numbers during covid. We recognise it was an incredibly challenging time and we recognise in particular that the most important resource in any care service is the team. That’s why we know that not only our growth, but our ongoing performance, will ultimately be determined by the effectiveness of our recruitment strategies and implementation.

In addition to the scores and feedback, we received several anonymised comments in particular that were extremely insightful and which we have been able to take action on to make rapid improvements to the way in which we operate the business day-to-day.

Laura will assist us all with the implementation of the recruitment and retention strategy, assist the in-house recruitment and retention schemes, work with the local community, digital media partners, and industry contacts to ensure Peverel Court Care is a leading care employer in the local market; attracting and retaining high quality candidates with caring values.

Laura will also assist in developing defined career pathways, and will work with staff across our award-winning care homes in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire to refine our rewards and recognition package.

We will also be implementing new software that promotes our employee referral programme, providing our staff with direct access to refer candidates and secure vouchers, making this quicker and easier for them to do.

Other projects we are working on that will assist employees include introducing an electronic rota system. Again, we’ve listened to their feedback and noted the challenges they’ve raised and believe this will streamline processes around payroll and annual leave. An electronic system will provide staff with more transparency prior to receiving their pay, simplifying shift work, and minimising errors. We are currently reviewing suppliers and hope to implement this new solution in the coming months.

There are also other projects we hope to implement in the next 6-12 months based on feedback received, including updating our nurse call systems, and electronic medication administration.

 

About Peverel Court Care

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

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

Best Care Practices, Business, Care & Technology, Care Management, Community, Future of Care, Leadership & Management, Merryfield, Personalisation, Real life, Social Care & Society, Tech

Merryfield piloting GP Connect for Nourish

Merryfield piloting GP Connect for Nourish at Peverel Court Care

 

For Peverel Court Care, any opportunity to help advance the alignment between health and social care is one not to be missed. So when our digital care management software provider Nourish approached us asking if we would beta test their new GP Connect integration, we were delighted to help.

 

Merryfield, our nursing care home in Witney, Oxfordshire, was selected as the ideal place to beta test the new solution. By undertaking the pilot programme, Merryfield became the first care home in the country to access GP Connect via the Nourish platform.

Following a successful trial at Bartlett’s, we had rolled out Nourish to our homes as our chosen digital care plan solution in late 2020. More information about Nourish and the benefits we’ve seen can be found in our article on the digital care plan roll out.

 

GP Connect on Nourish

GP Connect is a service that allows GP practices and authorised clinical staff to share and view GP practice clinical information and data between IT systems, quickly and efficiently. The service makes patient medical information available to clinicians when and where they need it leading to improvements in the care they’re able to provide.

“The introduction of GP Connect is a huge step towards delivering interoperability and establishing a connected care environment within health and social care. Nourish customers will be able to review relevant and timely medical notes for people they support, leading to better continuity of care, and resulting in safer, improved outcomes. I look forward to seeing the positive impact this delivers for care teams and those they support.”

Nuno Almeida, Founder and CEO of Nourish Care

With the support of our digital partner Nourish, we now have access to the GP records and medical notes for our residents, facilitating more informed decision making. We will have access to clinical history, medications, allergies, history of immunisations and more. This valuable information will enhance the work we do and surface the right information at the right time.

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

 

 

GP Connect feedback from our team

As a business, we are always looking for ways to put our residents first, to provide them with the best possible service, and to make a positive contribution to the community. We believe that beta testing the GP Connect extension in Nourish aligns with all of those values.

“By using GP Connect we now have a better understanding of our resident’s needs. Accessing the GP record helps us to understand the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ around an individual’s needs. If there are concerns regarding medication, we can review the record and make more informed decisions. GP Connect is particularly helpful when admitting a new resident, by having this information at hand we can provide the best possible care from the start. Before GP Connect we would wait for an email or phone call from the GP. Now we can access the relevant information instantly, which is great!”

Kefas Jeshua, Peverel Court

 

“By switching on the GP Connect extension in Nourish we have key clinical information at our fingertips, helping us to minimise adverse events, providing better support. This information really helps!”

Francisca Torres, Peverel Court

 

GP Connect – Nourish beta test

It’s not just our team that are seeing the benefits of the pilot GP Connect programme:

“Peverel Court was the first to participate in Beta testing for the GP Connect extension. Preet, Kefas and the team were very engaged with the trial and were extremely committed and helpful. A driver for enabling GP Connect was to support new residents coming to the home, to access all their key information beforehand so the team could make the resident feel as comfortable as possible. It was great to see Peverel Court testing the latest system and striving for continuous improvement within their service.”

Elise Featley – Product Marketing Manager at Nourish Care

 

About Peverel Court Care

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

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

Best Care Practices, Business, Care & Technology, Care Management, Community, CQC Inspection, Future of Care, Leadership & Management, Personalisation, Social Care Strategy, Tech, Training & Development, Workforce Development

CQC Strategy and our plans

CQC Strategy and our plans at Peverel Court Care

 

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) have launched a new strategy which is aimed at changing the way in which care is regulated, so as to improve service delivery for users. We decided to explore how the new CQC strategy will impact the sector, and were pleased to find that at Peverel Court Care we already have projects in progress that align with all four pillars of the new strategy.

 

Whilst announcing the new strategy, the CQC have declared their ambitions for the positive impact it will have on the provision of care services across the country:

What we’ve learned from the past five years puts us in a better position for the future. Our new strategy combines this learning and experience and we’ve developed it with valuable contributions from the public, service providers and all our partners. It means our regulation will be more relevant to the way care is now delivered, more flexible to manage risk and uncertainty, and will enable us to respond in a quicker and more proportionate way as the health and care environment continues to evolve.

This new strategy strengthens our commitment to deliver our purpose: to ensure health and care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and to encourage those services to improve. Our strategy is purposefully ambitious, and to implement it we will need to work closely with others to make it a reality. We’ll review this strategy regularly so we can adapt to changes and be prepared for what the future holds.

Our purpose and our role as a regulator won’t change – but how we work will be different.

 

People and communities

CQC Strategy:

Regulation that’s driven by people’s needs and experiences, focusing on what’s important to people and communities when they access, use and move between services

Peverel Court Care:

Two of the five core values on which we focus the Peverel Court Care business directly relate to People and Communities, putting it at the very heart of what we do.

Resident Focus: Commitment to putting our residents first. We develop relationships that make a positive difference in our residents’ lives.
Care For Our Communities: We serve and support a local experience. The unique character of each home is a direct reflection of a community’s people and culture.

During COVID-19, this included our Thinking of You initiative and our innovative use of technology to support both our residents and the community.

 

Smarter regulation

CQC Strategy:

Smarter, more dynamic and flexible regulation that provides up-to-date and high-quality information and ratings, easier ways of working with us and a more proportionate response

Peverel Court Care:

We are acutely aware that the world is constantly evolving, and at Peverel Court Care we’re always looking to be at the forefront of innovation in social care. We have been quick to embrace technology that is able to enhance the service we deliver.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we were able to quickly implement the use of a number of cutting edge technologies to help mitigate the risks faced by our residents and employees.

Our migration to digital care plans is another example of Peverel Court Care leading the sector to implement solutions which will, in the future, better enable the CQC to remotely monitor and care providers, allowing them to make more timely interventions when necessary. 

It is businesses like ours that blaze a trail which will eventually become ‘the norm’ and facilitate better care across the sector.

 

Safety through learning

CQC Strategy:

Regulating for stronger safety cultures across health and care, prioritising learning and improvement and collaborating to value everyone’s perspectives

Peverel Court Care:

At Peverel Court Care, we firmly believe that ongoing learning and development is integral to maintaining the highest standards of service provision. That’s why we provide our employees with ongoing learning and development opportunities, whatever their role.

We have also introduced a number of career pathways, including for healthcare assistants, supported by learning and development, in order to upskill and train our team for rewarding careers in social care.

 

Accelerating improvement

CQC Strategy:

Enabling health and care services and local systems to access support to help improve the quality of care where it’s needed most

Peverel Court Care:

At Peverel Court Care, we are always keen to embrace new ways of working which will assist our talented team to deliver the best levels of care to our residents. That is one of the reasons why we are helping to shape the future of digital skills in social care by partnering with Skills for Care, Digital Social Care and other stakeholders in developing a resource which can help accelerate innovation in social care across the country.

We have also transitioned to the use of digital care plans which supports the coordination of care teams to ensure that care is still centred around the person. GPs, district nurses and hospitals can all engage remotely with residents based on observations made available to them remotely – enabling coordination to happen between social care and health.

 

About Peverel Court Care

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Exceptional service in our care homes

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

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

 

Exceptional employees in our care homes

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

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

 

Exceptional environment at our care homes

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

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

 

About Peverel Court Care

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

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

Bartletts, Business, Care & Technology, Care Management, Future of Care, Health and Safety, Leadership & Management, Merryfield, Real life, Social Care & Society, Stone House, Wellbeing

Health and wellbeing of the adult social care workforce

Health and Wellbeing of the Adult Social Care Workforce at Peverel Court Care

 

With the number of cases of COVID-19 on the rise again across the UK, it seemed a good time to review the health and wellbeing support that has been put in place for the adult social care workforce. We examine both the initiatives that have been launched nationally, and also those that we have additionally put in place for our staff at Peverel Court Care.

The care sector is a vital part of our health and care frontline and this pandemic has shone a light on the skills, commitment and dedication of our care workers.

Helen Whately
Minister of State for Care

 

An Unprecedented Year in Adult Social Care

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, this has been a challenging year for the adult social care sector in the UK. Keeping our residents safe has been at the forefront of everyone’s minds; not least as a result of the media coverage it has had. However, equally as important has been ensuring the mental and physical wellbeing of the dedicated people whose hard work has ensured continuity of care for our residents.

While the general population have faced the worry, uncertainty and disruption that the pandemic has brought, for our staff we know that this has been doubly difficult. Not only have they had to worry about bringing illness home to the families and loved ones, but they have also had the added concern of taking something back to work with them.

When you add in the fact that many of our staff have been asked to help maintain levels of services while colleagues have been self-isolating; increasing their own workloads and levels of stress, it’s been incredibly reassuring to see the dedication of our team.

 

Supporting the Adult Social Care Workforce

Nationally, there have been plenty of initiatives launched to help support care workers. An early one was supermarkets including care workers amongst the group of front-line workers to whom priority shopping times were made available. However, at government level, one of the key additions made to support the care workforce was the launch of the Care Workforce app, developed with NHSX and the NHS Business Services Authority, under the new CARE brand.

Launched in May 2020, the app, which is available for download on iOS and Android, as well as being accessible from any web browser, acts as a single digital hub for social care workers to access relevant updates, guidance, support and discounts from their phone. The tool will be the first of its kind provided for the care workforce, and will:

  • act as a single one-stop-shop providing the sector with all the latest guidance, wellbeing support and advice they need to protect themselves from COVID-19 and keep themselves well
  • provide access to learning resources on crucial areas such as infection control as well as practical advice and support for mental wellbeing
  • show how care workers can take advantage of offers available to NHS and social care staff, including free car parking and discounts through organisations and initiatives like Discounts for Carers and the Blue Light Card
  • signpost free access to apps like Silvercloud, Daylight and Sleepio, which can help boost users’ mental wellbeing through programmes covering sleep, stress and resilience

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:

Our incredible social care workforce are on the frontline day and night providing quality care to the most vulnerable in our society during the most unprecedented time in our history. The whole country is incredibly grateful of the work they continue to do for our loved ones.

As part of our continued work to back the care sector, we have launched a new app specifically for care workers to make sure they have the most up-to-date guidance to keep them safe, connected with their colleagues across the country, which also allows them to access discounts like their NHS counterparts.

It’s available to download right now, and I would urge everyone in social care to do so.

 

Managing Mental Health and Wellbeing

In addition to the app, there have been a plethora of support initiatives and guidance released this year to help support the adult social care workforce. A simple, but important set of precisely this type of advice is:

There are some simple things you can do to look after your mental health and wellbeing at the current time. Looking after your mind and body will help you both at work and home.

  • Remember that it is OK to struggle at the present time. Everyone reacts differently and you may feel different emotions at different stages of the pandemic. However, it may cause you to feel worried, stressed, sad, scared or helpless – these are understandable feelings.
  • Take time to look after your physical wellbeing – this will have a big impact on how you feel emotionally. Taking breaks at work, maintaining a routine, eating well and exercising can help.
  • Think about what has helped you cope in the past to cope with stressful situations. Focus on what is in your control, try to pace yourself and remember that this will not last forever.
  • Extend the self-compassion and care you have for others for yourself.
  • Look after your emotional health. After difficult or stressful experiences at work it is normal for memories or images of what has happened to come into your mind. Try to let these memories come and go rather than blocking them or trying not to think about them. Try not to stay focused on difficult thoughts and feelings.

Dr Katrina Lake
NHS England & NHS Improvement Adult Mental Health (South East) Clinical Lead

Other useful examples of guidance documents released this year which are well worth a read, include Health and Wellbeing information for Care Staff and Managing the Wellbeing of Social Care Staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.
 

Supporting our team at Peverel Court Care

While we have appreciated the efforts that have been made at a national and local level, at Peverel Court Care we wanted to go further to help our employees through this difficult time.

We have also implemented the Employee Assistance Programme, powered by Health Assured, which 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, there is a helpline available to them 24/7, 365 days a year, so that they will always have support on hand when they need it over the phone or via live chat.

Peverel Court Care have also partnered with Perkbox Medical to provide employees with 24/7 access to an online GP, as we appreciate how difficult it can sometimes 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 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. Our Directors are among staff to have already taken advantage of this service, and believe they have “witnessed the benefit and efficiency of the process”.

Back in April we also created a bespoke survey platform for the team to provide anonymous feedback and ask questions to the senior leadership team. In order to try to mitigate against any financial hardship suffered as a result of needing to self-isolate, we also 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.

We are also introducing Aura for our employees from the 29th October. Even before World Mental Health Day, we had been looking for a new solution which we could provide to our staff to help them better manage the impact on their mental health of both their work and life. Aura is described by it’s founders as:

Join millions who use Aura to manage their emotions and get restful sleep. Whether you’re stressed, anxious or having trouble sleeping, simply tell Aura and find strength & rest.

Mindfulness meditations, stories, life coaching, and so much more. With thousands of empowering & resonating audio tracks, Aura has just what you need every day, and constantly learns what works for you.

 

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 Home Recruitment, Future of Care, Leadership & Management, Merryfield, Real life, Stone House, Training & Development, Workforce Development, Workforce Intelligence

Careers in adult social care

Careers in Adult Social Care at Peverel Court Care

 

As the Department for Health and Social Care launch their major new recruitment drive for the social care sector “Care for others, make a difference” we take the opportunity to explore some of the career opportunities and initiatives designed to encourage people to consider careers in adult social care.

 

At Peverel Court Care, we have long appreciated the dedication and commitment of our team, who work tirelessly to provide exceptional levels of care to the residents of our care homes in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.

 

The Values that make a Great Carer

Building on the existing “Every day is different” campaign, the latest campaign features new messaging which enhances the current need for further urgent recruitment in the sector. It focuses on encouraging those people who possess the desired values to consider a future in providing care.

Under the strapline We need you now. They need you always, adverts will run across national broadcast and online TV, radio, social media and online to inspire people to make a difference now by working in social care.

Public Health England

For the management team at Peverel Court Care, looking at values when assessing someone who is interested in a career in adult social care is something we have long considered important. Underpinning this belief is the development of a set of core values which we strive to adhere to as a business and the recruitment processes we have put in place to align our selection process with those values. As such, we consider this new national initiative to be a fantastic way for the sector as a whole to ensure it is sufficiently staffed, both now and in the future.

 

Career Pathways in Adult Social Care

While recruiting staff who share the values required to provide high levels of care is important, that is just the first step. Retaining and further developing high-performing staff within the business, and the sector as a whole, for the longer term is another challenge in itself.

Peverel Court Care have long utilised career pathways for several key roles, including Healthcare Assistants and have seen a number of our staff who have joined the business as carers promoted into management roles.

After we have recruited new members of staff, we first ensure that they have the relevant training to do their jobs today. However, we also develop longer term plans to help them continue to learn and develop so that they will want to stay with us for much longer than the industry average. We work closely with ambitious Healthcare Assistants at each of our care homes to support them through the new Assistant Practitioner course at both Oxford Brookes University and Buckinghamshire New University.

We aim to provide a structured pathway for those with aspirations to develop and progress their careers in adult social care. Upon completion of the Assistant Practitioner course – our staff then have the option to complete a further course to become a qualified Registered Nurse. We also provide access to the Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care for those looking to pursue a managerial career pathway.

We also work with training provider Hemsley Fraser and all of our Registered Managers attend at least one course per year. Despite the challenges of COVID-19, we are still committed to this in 2020, and the managers will be attending virtual courses.

 

Carer Happiness means Resident Happiness

Promoting continuous learning, development and career pathways is fundamental to the long-term staff requirement planning we have in place for the business. Going hand-in-hand with this, we have introduced staff reward and recognition programmes, which allow us to thank our dedicated team for their commitment. 

While we already had a number of recognition programmes in place, the challenges of COVID-19 that have been faced globally during this year have lead to the introduction of a number of other initiatives to support our staff. By supporting the employees who ensure the consistent, high levels of care for the residents of our homes, we hope that we have made the difficulties faced this year as manageable as possible.

We hope that by investing in making our staff feel valued and by enabling them to progress their careers in adult social care with us via the new career pathways, Peverel Court Care can continue to buck sector-wide staffing trends and to maintain the exceptional levels of care for which we’re renowned.

 

About Peverel Court Care

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

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

Advice for Choosing Care, Bartletts, Best Care Practices, Business, Care & Technology, Care Management, Future of Care, Health and Safety, Infection Control, Leadership & Management, Merryfield, Real life, Safeguarding, Social Care Strategy, Stone House, Tech

The Safety of a Quality Care Home

The safety of a quality care home at Peverel Court Care

 

Are care homes currently safe? That is the question we are frequently asked. Until there’s a definitive answer to their question, families may consider staying away from care homes – but should they?

The question of whether or not a person is safer in a care home, their own home, or a hospital ward, is not a straightforward answer. Much is dependent on the measures put in place by any given care provider in order to mitigate the risks for their residents and staff.

With COVID-19 continuing to dominate the news headlines around the globe, it’s little wonder that people have concerns about whether their loved ones are, or would be, safe in a residential or nursing care home.

 

Safety in our care homes

We are now COVID free in all of our homes – and that goes for both staff and residents. We have had one Emergency Support Framework (ESF) call at Merryfield Nursing Home in Witney, near Oxford, that highlights the safety of the home.

We have recently detailed how we’re utilising technology to ensure outstanding infection control in our care homes, along with how we’re rolling out the use of digital care plans and the ways in which we’ve supported our employees through COVID-19.

One of the key uses of technology which we have introduced to all three of our care homes in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire is a set of VitalSign Series Temperature-Check Tablets in the entrances to all our homes as part of our infection control measures.

In anticipation of requiring PPE at the very outset of a possible national outbreak, we embarked on a significant procurement programme very early on, ensuring adequate supplies of all required PPE throughout. At no point did any of the Peverel Court Care homes run out of PPE, nor were we required at any point to ration our supplies. Spending a significant sum on commercially available stock ensured we were adequately provided for.

Peverel Court Care have subsequently embarked on a further procurement programme to make sure we are adequately stocked on an ongoing basis for any future national outbreak and any further changes to Public Health England guidance around the use of PPE.

The safety of our residents and employees is fundamental to Peverel Court Care and underlines our core values of Resident Focus, Integrity, Service Quality, Passion and Care for Our Communities.

 

Are care homes less safe than home care?

Again, there is no single answer to this question, as processes to minimise the spread of the virus will vary greatly from one provider to another. However, where carers are travelling between care recipients – and particularly where they need to regularly use public transport – the risk of transmitting infection will always be there.

“Live-in care, where the carer stays at the individuals home for weeks at a time, has been described as the “safe option”. However, this approach can also have its downsides. In a recent case study we discovered that:

Before coronavirus took hold, the family of an elderly man with mild dementia had opted for live-in care, with a home care agency also visiting regularly to cover any breaks the live-in carer was entitled to.

As it turned out, the live-in carer self-isolated with the client’s father for 8 weeks straight.

During that time, possibly due to boredom and frustration that he couldn’t go out, the father’s dementia became more severe. His behaviour became more aggressive and he started to wander from the house at night to the point where all the doors and windows had to be locked.

Whenever there was an issue, and there were many, the family member who lived nearest – our client’s brother – would get a call from the carer to come and help. This was happening on a more frequent basis and at any time of day or night.

Clearly under normal circumstances, the family would have chosen a care home as the safe option. But despite this, the fear of COVID meant the family decided to carry on with an increasingly unsafe and inadequate situation at home.

 

Returning our care homes to a new normal

As we continue to implement new technological solutions to provide infection control and reduce the risk for our residents and staff, we’ve been able to reintroduce controlled visits by family. This week we received this lovely note from the daughter of one of our residents at Bartlett’s Residential Care Home, near Aylesbury, Bucks:

Hi Mibell and the whole team,

 

I just wanted to say that after 5 long months my visit with Dad yesterday was SO lovely. He was relaxed, happy and chatty. To him I am quite sure it only felt like yesterday I had visited (quite possibly with thanks to his Dementia).

 

Everything about my visit was well organised and with a relaxed feeling as to put us at ease. Please convey my thanks to the whole team.

 

I am very much looking forward to seeing him again. 

 

SW xx

 

About Peverel Court Care

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

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

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