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 the Gateway, a walkthrough anti-viral mist tunnel, which all employees and visitors pass through when entering and leaving our homes. Additionally, we have installed 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.

Bartletts, Best Care Practices, Care & Technology, Care Management, Future of Care, Leadership & Management, Merryfield, Personalisation, Stone House, Tech, Workforce Intelligence

Digital Care Plan roll out

Digital Care plan roll out at Peverel Court Care - award-winning care homes in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire

Following a successful implementation at Bartlett’s Residential Care Home near Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, we will be rolling out the use of digital care plans to our other homes.

 

As revealed in our Transitioning to Digital Care Plans article from October 2019, Peverel Court Care has been running a digital care plan pilot programme at Bartlett’s since the start of this year.

Our previous post detailed many of the key benefits of moving to the use of digital care plans as opposed to the paper records that have been utilised as standard in the past. However, there have also been a number of additional benefits revealed through the pilot programme.

The transition has proved to be hugely successful, both for staff and residents, and we have therefore made the decision to extend the use of the Nourish digital care plan solution to both Stone House Nursing Care Home in Aylesbury (launching September 2020) and Merryfield Nursing Care Home in Witney, near Oxford (starting October 2020).

 

Digital care plan solution

We have chosen to use Nourish as the platform for our digital care planning. Their website describes the solution as:

“Nourish enables carers to plan, record, report and co-ordinate care, all focused on the person. At a time of growing demand for care, Nourish is using technology and design to empower carers to do what they do best: help people they care for enjoy the best quality of life possible.

We give care providers the digital tools to leave the paper trail behind. Our easy to use electronic care management platform enables care teams to plan, record, report and coordinate care on the go.

It’s not about recording less information, it’s about empowering your care teams to record more accurate notes, in less time. And with our simple search and report functions, you can share critical information about the people you care for with the entire care circle.”

Our Bartlett’s pilot programme has shown sufficient evidence of the truth in these claims for us to move to roll out the solution across our other care homes in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.

 

Immediate impact

Since embedding the trial at Bartlett’s, we’ve seen the global outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, meaning that the use of technology within the care setting has never been so critical.

Electronic care planning allows for faster reporting of symptom presentation, and for the whole care team to be made aware in a timely fashion. This has translated immediately into how care teams organise their rotas to sequence their contact with residents to minimise the likelihood of spread.

A good digital platform supports the coordination of care teams so that even in a pandemic, 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.

Electronic care planning is also reducing the reporting burden on Care Managers who are being asked to report Covid-19 symptoms, personal protective equipment (PPE) stocks, bed availability and staffing levels to several entities. Using data collection repositories enables Care Managers to report once, and for entities that are coordinating responses to consolidate this information in different ways to suit their purposes.

For our Leadership team, digital care planning allows us to review care plans remotely, providing reassured confidence; we know everything that is happening with residents and care teams. This includes which activities took place, who’s not staying as hydrated as they should or who skipped lunch, along with which carers are off. We can also learn very quickly what innovative ideas are emerging from the front line, which we can then roll out across the group; accelerating innovation in response to the challenges.

 

Resident Focus

One of the key drivers for our transition to the use of digital care plans has been our Core Value of always taking an approach based on Resident Focus. That is to say, our: “commitment to putting our residents first. We develop relationships that make a positive difference in our residents’ lives.”

In support of this, one of the pieces of feedback we received from Tudor Nanu, Deputy Manager at Bartlett’s, was:

The new Nourish system is providing us with a host of options for personalised interactions that can be used in a person-centred way to achieve an evidence-based practice. 

As soon as we started migrating care plans onto the digital platform we realised the benefit of staff being able to access information instantly. The process of auditing care notes and rolling out reports has become more time efficient using the Nourish platform.

The team quickly saw the benefits of recording care notes as they go along, as now all the documentation is at their fingertips. Staff can access risk assessments and care plans instantly, releasing valuable time for staff to spend with residents.

We are able to create more unique care plans now, which concentrate on the individual needs of our residents and can facilitate better quality in the care services we provide. In addition, the system allows us to interlink care plans and risk assessments, which is very helpful when reviewing care plans or conducting audits.

To sum up the feedback obtained from staff, they would not return to paper care plan systems.

 

Digital care plans – staff opinion

The Bartlett’s team quickly came to embrace the new technology, and Tudor continued:

Staff were very eager to learn the new system. Its use is self-explanatory and in-house Nourish champions provided one-to-one training to staff who experienced difficulties in utilising the app effectively.

Due to the fact that Nourish allows us to dictate care notes directly into the device, we are able to record more complex information about our residents. Recorded information has become easier to hand over, and the intra-mail system allows us to communicate directly with the team of any changes and updates.

As we now have the opportunity to record care notes in real-time, we can spend more quality time with our residents and can input more accurate notes on care plans as soon as we finish delivering care.

With regard to the feedback received from Bartlett’s residents and their families, Tudor added:

Residents and families welcomed the idea of having an electronic system in place that centralises the information recorded under one umbrella. It became easier to follow an evidence-based practice, as Nourish allows us to access the history of interactions recorded for our residents and we are able to review notes of our actions and the care we have provided to our clients in a more efficient way.

 

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 & Technology, Care Management, Community, Future of Care, Health and Safety, Infection Control, Leadership & Management, Merryfield, Property Development, Real life, Stone House, Tech, Wellbeing

Technology and Community

Technology and Community Peverel Court Care

 

We examine how the use of technology is enabling everyone in our award-winning care homes in Aylesbury and Witney to continue to communicate with the outside world at this current time.

The use of technology is enabling residents and staff alike to maintain some form of normality in the face of present challenges. With the need to reduce the risk of infection being brought into our homes, we’ve postponed visits from family and friends. Along with postponing our regular entertainment, this has meant residents have missed out on some of their usual activities. However, the use of technology has helped compensate somewhat for the loss of these face-to-face encounters.

 

Video calls with loved ones

For many of our residents, the visits from their family, friends and loved ones are treasured moments. So in these uncertain times, they’ve come to appreciate the investment we made in 2017 to provide super-fast, comprehensive, secure WIFI throughout our homes. It has allowed residents to speak regularly with family and friends via tablets.

All of which goes some way to helping us to ensure that our residents can keep in contact with their loved ones at this difficult time. Beyond that, we’ve also introduced the use of VR headsets for residents, as part of the replacement for the regular entertainers who come into our homes normally.

 

NHS technology specialists

We are also working with NHSX, the unit tasked with driving digital transformation in the NHS. Their aim is to allow patients and staff to benefit from the latest digital systems and technology. They have supplied video-calling hardware in the form of Facebook Portals for use by our residents.

I’d like to thank you and colleagues at Peverel Court Care for your support and participation in the NHSX Facebook Portal pilot. This support will enable us to test how effectively the Portal device can help to connect care home residents with family and friends at this challenging time.

Rachel Falconer NHSX – Adult Social Care

 

Virtual tour of Bartlett’s

As part of the collaboration with NHSX, we recently hosted a virtual visit to Bartlett’s Residential Care Home from Minister for Care Helen Whately MP, who commented:

Thanks @PeverelCourt Care homes – and the staff at Bartlett’s care home particularly – for my virtual visit this morning. So impressed by all I saw, and good to see the @NHSX Facebook trial for #Carehomes in action, helping residents stay in touch with family & friends.

The highlight was speaking to Hilda Duncombe, sprightly at 103, who uses the @NHSX Facebook tech to stay in touch with her family and boost her fundraising for @alzheimerssoc. You are an inspiration Hilda!”

Helen Whately MP (via Twitter)

 

For anyone who wishes to find out more about Hilda’s fundraising, please visit her Just Giving page.

 

Technology for care home management

It’s not just the residents who need to keep in touch with the outside world. The managers of our care homes in Aylesbury, Witney and at our Head Office also need to maintain contact. We’ve been holding our management meetings using Microsoft Teams, allowing us to ensure that we can share best practice between our homes during these unprecedented times.

We have also now implemented the transition to digital care plans for residents. We have also invested in – and will soon be installing – a set of VitalSign Series Temperature-Check Tablets in the entrances to all our homes as part of our infection control measures.

Due to the need for self-isolation of employees to try to prevent the introduction and spread of COVID-19, we’ve been having to recruit more care staff to ensure the consistent delivery of high-quality care for residents. Technology has come into play here too; we’re using video interviews for recruitment. And when our chosen recruits take up their new posts, we’re utilising e-learning for starters to get them ready for commencing their jobs.

Like our residents, we’re looking forward to the day when we can welcome loved ones back into our homes. In the meantime, the use of technology allows for a reasonable substitute under the circumstances.

 

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, Care & Technology, Care Home Maintenance, Care Management, Future of Care, Health and Safety, Infection Control, Leadership & Management, Merryfield, Stone House, Tech

Outstanding Infection Control

Outstanding Infection Control at Peverel Court Care - Award-winning nursing care homes in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire

 

At Peverel Court Care we have always valued the importance of good infection control. With widespread media coverage of the ongoing pandemic, we appreciate this might be something at the forefront of our clients’ thoughts. As such we wanted to highlight some of the exemplary infection control procedures we already have in place in our homes, along with some of the latest innovations we’re in the process of introducing.

Older people and those with underlying health conditions are unfortunately particularly at risk from viruses and infectious disease. And so while infection control has always been a key consideration of care home management, it’s never been more important than right now.

At Peverel Court Care, we strive to ensure that outstanding infection control is part of day-to-day life at our award-winning care homes in Witney, Oxfordshire and Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. However, in light of the ongoing national outbreak, we’re looking to take things a step further to minimise any risk now and in the future.

Each home has a team of highly trained infection control champions ensuring our long series of additional precautions, designed to combat the spread of the virus, are being executed in a timely and effective manner on the floor. A full list of these additional precautions can be viewed by clicking here but we have highlighted below some of the advanced and innovative practices being rolled out by Peverel Court Care.

 

Latest Innovations in Infection Control

We have now installed the Gateway walkthrough anti-viral dry mist tunnel at each of our care homes in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. Visitors and staff pass through the tunnel, experiencing a light, refreshing mist, on their way both in and out of the home, to help minimise the spread of infection. Watch Group Director Anil Dhanani as he tells us how the Gateway Personal Protective Tunnel is helping him protect residents, staff and the local community from the spread of infectious viruses:

Peverel Court & Gateway PPT Promo from 4 Sure on Vimeo.

As of this month we have started to introduce Sherwin Williams Microbicidal Interior Latex Paint Shield.

“Paint Shield® is the first EPA-registered microbicidal paint that kills greater than 99.9% of Staph (Staphylococcus aureus), MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), E. coli (Escherichia coli), VRE (Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecalis) and Enterobacter aerogenes within two hours of exposure on painted surfaces. The effectiveness lasts for up to four years as long as the integrity of the surface is maintained.”

We have invested in and soon be installing VitalSign Series Temperature-Check Tablets in the entrances to all our homes.

“Protecting what’s important; the safety of our residents, relatives and team. To ensure that people entering your facility are not running a high temperature and exposing others to potential threats, Diversified and Aurora proudly introduce the new infrared temperature sensor, VitalSign. With an advanced algorithm for detecting and calculating heat signatures, VitalSign provides alerts when a person is running a high temperature within one second and from three feet away.”

We also employ Rentokil to provide Ultra Low Volume (ULV) disinfection fogging of large communal areas, which allows for the treatment of large areas quickly and efficiently. PCC also utilise X-mist sanitising products for the disinfecting of bedrooms and smaller communal areas. Both procedures involve using extremely small droplets of the disinfectant fog that settle underneath, on top of and on the sides of many objects and inaccessible areas. Studies show the application of disinfectant by aerosol significantly reduces the number of viable infectious pathogens, treating the surface and the air, killing these pathogens.

Another innovation we are hoping to roll out in the very near future at our Aylesbury care homes and Cotswold nursing home are LuminOre CopperTouch Antimicrobial Surfaces.

“LuminOre offer the only EPA registered antimicrobial product which can be seamlessly applied to virtually any surface. This unique product makes coppers natural antimicrobial properties available on items that would be too heavy if made of solid metal and which are now being made with LuminOre CopperTouch Antimicrobial Surfaces at a fraction of the weight and the cost.”

One of the new technologies that we’re in the process of acquiring for Bartlett’s, Stone House and Merryfield are a set of UV disinfection robots.

“The robot moves around the home and utilises 360 degree ultra violet (UV-C) light emissions to disinfect its surroundings. The UVD Robot will be used as part of the regular cleaning cycle, with the aim to prevent and reduce the “spread of infectious diseases, vira, bacteria, and other types of harmful organic microorganisms in the environment by breaking down their DNA-structure. The robot is safe, reliable and eliminates human error. Furthermore, it is user friendly and is designed to be operated by every-day cleaning staff.”

 

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 & Technology, Care Home Maintenance, Future of Care, Leadership & Management, Merryfield, Stone House, Workforce Intelligence

The importance of feedback

The importance of feedback - Peverel Court Care

 

At Peverel Court Care, we recognise the importance and value of feedback. The three most important pieces of feedback we collate are from our residents, relatives and staff. In this article we explore why the feedback we collect is so important and how it influences the way in which we operate our business.

 

At Peverel Court Care, we have been collecting regular feedback from our residents and their families for some time now; and the data we have gathered has influenced a number of decisions that we have made for the business.

However, one key group from which we haven’t been collecting feedback in a regular, formal way up until now is our staff. With the recent introduction of Perkbox Insights, that has changed, and for the better.

 

Perkbox Insights

Perkbox Insights is an employee feedback tool which collects results anonymously and in real-time. It will allow us to gather timely and honest feedback from the teams at Merryfield, Stone House and Bartlett’s. Unlike normal engagement surveys, the platform aims to make sure employees don’t suffer survey fatigue, through making responding to each survey quick and easy. It works by sending just five questions to employees each time a survey is conducted. The questions are carefully chosen from a pool of 100 that have been generated through scientific research.

In response to each of the questions, employees are asked to provide a score for each on a scale of one to five. They are also encouraged to leave written feedback on a chosen area of the company; giving us both qualitative and quantitative insight into employee satisfaction.

 

The Benefits of Feedback

The Peverel Court Care management team hope that by adding additional insight provided from by employees to that already collected from residents and their relatives, we will have a 360 degree view from which to make data-driven business decisions. Like many businesses, it sometimes longer than we’d like for exceptional efforts by employees, or day-to-day problems, to come to our attention; and it has hoped that the introduction of the Insights programme will give us greater visibility.

So from process improvement to celebrating success, regular feedback from as many of the people at the heart of our business can only help us further improve the way Peverel Court Care is operated and managed.

 

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.

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.

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