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

Examining the social care workforce in England

Examining the social care workforce in England - Peverel Court Care

 

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

 

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

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

 

Turnover of care staff

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

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

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

 

New starters in care roles

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

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

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

 

Vacancies in the care workforce

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Social and political influences on the care workforce

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

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

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

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

 

Preparing the care sector for an ageing population

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

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

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

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

 

Successful recruitment and retention leads to successful care businesses

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

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

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

 

About Peverel Court Care

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

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

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

Transitioning to Digital Care Plans

Transitioning to Digital Care Plans - Peverel Court Care

 

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

 

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

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

 

Benefits of digital care plans

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

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

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

 

Risks of digital care plans

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

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

 

The transition to digital

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

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

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

 

About Peverel Court Care

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

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

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

Developing our new company values

Developing our new company values at Peverel Court Care

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

Creating new company values

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

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

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

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

 

Our Chosen Values

  • Resident Focus – Commitment to putting our residents first. We develop relationships that make a positive difference in our residents’ lives.
  • Passion – Care about our work and taking pride in what we do. Committed in heart and mind.
  • Integrity – We uphold the highest standards of integrity in all of our actions. Behaving with the highest levels of integrity is fundamental to who we are.
  • Service Quality – We provide an unsurpassed service that delivers exceptional care to our residents and their families.
  • Care For Our Communities – We serve and support a local experience. The unique character of each home is a direct reflection of a community’s people and culture.

 

About Peverel Court Care

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

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

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

Driving Improvement through Technology

The future of Technology and Innovation in social care service provision

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

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

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

 

Digital Transformation in Care

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

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

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

 

View from the CQC

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

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

 

Care Innovation Final

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

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

 

About Peverel Court Care

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

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

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

Career Pathways for Healthcare Assistants

Peverel Court Care HCA Career Pathways

Examining how career pathway development in care is essential.

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

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

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

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

 

Recruitment and Retention

 

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

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

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

 

Investing in a shared future with career pathways

 

When we recruit new members of staff, not only do we seek to ensure that they have all of the relevant training to make sure that they can do their jobs today, but we’re also looking to put in place longer term plans to help them continue to learn and develop so that they will want to stay with us for much longer than the industry average. We work closely with ambitious Healthcare Assistants at each Home and support them through the new Assistant Practitioner course at both Oxford Brookes University and Buckinghamshire New University.

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

Promoting continuous learning, development and career pathways is fundamental to the long-term staff requirement planning we have in place for the business. Going hand-in-hand with this, we have recently introduced staff reward and recognition programmes, which allow us to thank our dedicated team for their commitment. Together, we hope that by investing in making our staff feel valued and by enabling them to progress their careers with us via the new career pathways, Peverel Court Care can continue to buck sector-wide staffing trends.

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

 

About Peverel Court Care

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

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

Best Care Practices, Care Home Recruitment, Future of Care, Leadership & Management, Social Care Strategy, Training & Development, Wellbeing, Workforce Development

Rewards and Recognition

The importance of rewards and recognition in care businesses

At Peverel Court Care, we fully understand and appreciate the critical role which our staff play in the delivery of outstanding care for our residents at our care homes near Aylesbury and in Oxfordshire.

Without our dedicated team, we simply could not deliver the levels of care service excellence which our residents and their families have come to expect of us.

As such, we realise that not only is recruiting the best available people to fulfil these roles important; but that training and retaining great members of staff helps us to deliver high levels of consistent care to our residents over the long-term.

 

Recruitment and retention: a challenge across the care sector

 

Recruitment and retention is not just a challenge we face at Peverel Court Care, but is reflected across the care sector as a whole. Skills for Care reported that for staff: “turnover rate is around 20% for adult social care; compared to 15% nationally across all sectors” while “the vacancy rate is 3-4% for adult social care; compared to 2% nationally across all sectors.” They also commented that:

 

Fundamentally, recruiting the right people into adult social care, and ensuring that they stay in the sector, because they feel valued and supported has a positive impact on not only retention and performance but more importantly, standards of care and support and therefore upon the quality of life of people who need these services.

Workplace wellbeing initiatives are currently in higher demand than ever before; with more organisations realising the responsibility they have for the welfare of their employees. In 2018, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reported that 15.4 million working days were lost in the UK due to stress. That same year, mental ill-health was reported to be costing employers more than £42 billion per year. Even at a more granular level, experts like Professor Dame Carol Black suggest workplace wellbeing initiatives can improve productivity “by up to 25%”. These kinds of reports are leading employers to focus heavily on employee wellbeing over the next few years.

Organisations like Thames Water have seen a reduction in illness absence by a massive 76% as a result of its commitment to wellbeing. Similar results published by PwC say the financial benefits of wellness programmes at work include an 18% reduction in staff turnover and a 14% increase in employee satisfaction. Apart from the obvious ROI from fostering a healthier workforce, delivering employee recognition schemes has also been shown to produce higher revenue. Those organisations that invest just 1% of payroll are 79% more likely see better financial results.

 

Peverel Court Care: Our response to recruitment and retention

 

In order to ensure that our staff are being utilised to their optimum, we have recently introduced a new set of career pathways for various roles within the business, including Healthcare Assistants and Registered Nurses, to guarantee that the personal and professional development of our team is constantly on the agenda.

We have also recently delivered a new rewards and recognition programme for staff; designed to identify, celebrate and show our appreciation for the brilliant job that our team do every day.

We do not require much of an excuse to praise our brilliant team. So whether they’re celebrating the completion of a new NVQ qualification, have had a high attendance record, or a landmark “Years of Service” anniversary, we will find a personalised way of saying thanks to them for their hard work. We also have our Employee award, and “Special Praise” rewards, for when the families of residents feedback on someone going “above and beyond” for them.

We have also introduced a central rewards platform for our staff; for smaller, ad hoc benefits, such as reduced price cinema tickets. It also features some great additional benefits, such as the Employee Support Hub phone line, which we have introduced as part of Mental Health Awareness Week 2019, so that our staff can have access to 24/7 in-the-moment support from qualified therapists, to help them work through any emotional, family or legal issues. Just as a regular reminder that we recognise the great job they do for us.

Laura Kane, part of our team at Bartlett’s Residential Care Home, commented on our new rewards platform:

 

I find Perkbox really beneficial! I’ve used it for numerous things already; varying from a free drink at Café Nero to cheaper airport parking when I have booked upcoming holidays. It’s even helped me save money when I’ve bought things online from ASOS (and there’s nothing better than getting the clothes you want at a cheaper price). The app is super easy to use and has everything you could think of. I’m very happy with the platform and it’s a great employee rewards scheme.

We know that our residents and their families truly appreciate the exceptional level of care they receive at Bartlett’s, Stone House and Merryfield, and we want to pass that appreciation on to our team, so that they feel motivated to carry on doing what they’re doing so well.

 

About Peverel Court Care

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

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

Best Care Practices, Business, Care Home Recruitment, Future of Care, Leadership & Management, Social Care & Society

A fresh look at attracting the best carers

Peverel Court Care - A fresh look at attracting the best carers: How we improved our recruitment process - Photo by Jessica To'oto'o on Unsplash

 

How we improved our recruitment process

 

At Peverel Court Care, the quality of the service we deliver is always at the forefront of our thinking. Ensuring that we can recruit and retain the best available staff to provide care to our residents underpins everything that we do as a business.

 

By minimising our use of agency staff, we believe that we are able to provide an all-important consistency of care to our residents. Long-standing, full-time staff are best placed to build an excellent rapport with the residents to whom they provide care regularly, and there is also a greater consistency in the delivery of care plans.

 

However, it’s not quite that simple, as these are challenging times for the care sector as a whole. The Office for National Statistics suggests that by 2046 nearly a quarter of the UK population will be aged 65 or older, and the Government estimates that the care sector will need 650,000 additional workers by 2035 just to keep up with anticipated demand.

 

And all of this is set against the backdrop of public spending cuts, and suggestions from Skills for Care that over 390,000 care workers are leaving the sector each year, which equates to over 1,000 every day.

 

Together, this makes the recruitment and retention of the kind of brilliant staff we rely so heavily upon, all the more challenging.

 

The Government are taking steps to improve the situation, however, launching the “Every Day is Different” recruitment drive in February 2019, aimed at helping to fill the 110,000 vacancies currently in the sector. The minister of state for care Caroline Dinenage said:

 

“Our national recruitment campaign will support care providers to recruit thousands more talented people. We must spread the word that careers in adult social care can be rewarding, varied and worthwhile. Care is a vocation where you can transform people’s lives and every day is different to the next.”

 

As a response, we have recently redesigned our recruitment practices. To do this, we have taken a step back and documented our existing processes, then reviewed with the very people who were experiencing them: prospective new members of staff. We’ve listened to the problems they faced in applying to work for us, and to their thoughts on how we could simplify and improve the recruitment process.

 

We’ve then gone away and applied modern management techniques, including a Six Sigma process improvement methodology, to streamline and refine our recruiting operations.

 

Going forward, we hope that this will facilitate our management team in attracting and recruiting the best talent on the market for our homes; and for those people looking for employment to find the process of applying to work for us a more accurate reflection of what we stand for as a business.

Most importantly, we hope that the changes we have made will help us to continue to employ staff who deliver the high levels of care that our residents deserve. What’s happening in the rest of the sector does have an impact on us; but that doesn’t mean we have to let it define us.

 

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, Future of Care, Personalisation, Wellbeing

Technology Is Changing the World For All People Of All Ages

Quite often people in older generations complain about technology. Largely they are perturbed by the overuse of mobile phones and other communicative technologies. Part of a generation that didn’t have such luxuries, they’re concerned by the idea that people can be contacted at all times of the day and night wherever their location. So it’s ironic that this technology actually makes growing older and living away from your family much easier.

At Peverel Court Care we weave technology into our individual care plans. We’ve written before about how we give some of our residents mobile phones so that they can keep in touch with relatives, whilst for others who need additional support we arrange phone calls at a specific time so that our staff can help them connect to their family.

We’ve also written about our use of Immedicare, a system that gives us access to a digital health hub facility and experienced nurses and clinicians covering a range of specialties.

Today we wanted to tell you more about how we use Skype within our care homes to make communication with family members easier.

We’ve set up a dedicated guest network throughout all of our properties, with fibre WiFi available for all residents and their guests. This is useful for residents whose family live far away, or for those who have family or friends who are not particularly mobile themselves. Often it is most useful for those who have family living in other countries.

One of our residents Peter has one daughter who lives in Australia and another who still lives in the UK. Since we set up Skype for Peter, he speaks to his daughter using the system regularly from the other side of the world. Another of our residents, Joan, talks on Skype to her relatives regularly from Canada and Australia. Another resident speaks to her son who lives in Bournemouth on Skype when he can’t travel to visit her.

We’re always looking for new ways to enhance the technological solutions we offer at Peverel Court Care. Just recently we enquired about a piece of technology called Active Protect, which helps protect the hips of elderly individuals. We discovered this whilst researching the global technology conference CES17, looking for the latest technologies to benefit our residents. Next week we’ll be visiting the Design Museum for the New Old exhibition, which explores how designers can make life easier for the elderly.

It is our main purpose to make the lives of our residents happy, easy and comfortable. Technology is a huge part of achieving that objective. We are constantly researching new technologies. Rest assured, we’ll be at the forefront of any new developments, making sure our residents can utilise them in the best way possible.

Bartletts, Future of Care, Property Development

Making lives better – The expansion of Bartlett’s Residential Care Home

Bartlett’s Residential Care Home has a great Care Quality Commission rating and gets wonderful reviews from current residents and their families, but we always feel there is work to do and room to improve. For a long time we have been talking about how we can add additional facilities for our residents to enjoy.

So we’ve decided it’s time we extended our premises, our capacity and our already excellent service by building an extension. This new part of our building will be specially designed to fit comfortably with the classic, traditional setting Bartlett’s sits within and will add 12 new bedrooms for new residents.

But it will give back to existing residents, too. We’ll be giving them three new communal rooms to utilise at their leisure – a cinema room and library, a private dining room and a brand new general communal room.

We had originally planned on building 14 additional bedrooms, but in the end we decided to forfeit two in favour of offering our current and new residents a much larger communal space. The private dining room will give residents a special place to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries with their family and friends, whilst enjoying bespoke, specially prepared food for the occasion.

Our cinema room and library will provide them with an additional space to socialise in and provide an added source of entertainment.  We decided that this type of room was the best use of our additional space after careful research revealed that libraries in care home can improve mood and memory, and that movies can improve quality of life for older people – especially those with dementia. Visiting the cinema is not something those who need care and support get to do very often, so we hope that this addition to our care home will significantly improve the happiness of our residents. We can use it to screen all sorts of entertainment, from current blockbuster hits to old classics.

Whilst we were working on the premises, we thought it would be worthwhile landscaping the garden in line with the wishes and wants of our residents, so we’ve been working on this at the same time. We asked the residents earlier this year what they would like to see in the Bartlett’s grounds, and we’ll be using some of those suggestions as we develop the garden. A large part of this work will involve moving the car park that some of our rooms overlook and changing this outside area into a much prettier view.

Overall our plans have one aim, to make the lives of the people we take care of better. We’re building something unique and special. We want our residents to thrive in the active, entertaining and homely community we’re building at Bartlett’s, a place where they can live comfortably and be taken care of, and have plenty to do and lots to look at. There’s plenty of work to be done over the next few months, but by this time next year our Bartlett’s community will be completely transformed for the better. We can’t wait to show you our new space, and we hope you are as excited about it as we are.

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