Best Care Practices, Business, Care & Technology, Care Home Recruitment, Community, Leadership & Management, Real life, Tech, Wellbeing

24/7 GP access for our staff

24/7 online GP service for staff at Peverel Court Care

 

With a recent study revealing that NHS patients are now waiting on average nearly 15 days to see a GP for a routine appointment, we examine how we’re helping our staff with their own health needs.

 

Access to GPs has seldom made more headlines than it has of late. A report published on the Pulse – considered the leading publication for GPs in the UK – highlighted that in a recent survey, over 20% of the 900 GPs who responded said that their patients faced an average wait for a routine appointment of over three weeks. More than one in 20 stated it was more than four weeks.

Another story from Pulse earlier this year focused on the fact GP surgeries across the UK have been shutting their doors in record numbers. In 2018, 138 surgeries closed, compared with just 18 in 2013. Much of this is believed to be the result of underfunding, although leading fugures in the sector have complained that GPs are overworked and stressed, leading more to exit the profession or reduce their hours.

More recently, a study by the University of Manchester found that GP partners’ income had decreased by around 10% in real terms over the period from 2008 to 2017.  This has come against the backdrop of GP workloads increasing by around 20% over the same period. Taken together, it is believed that this “may have contributed to current recruitment and retention problems”. 

 

The expert view

Prof Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, was quoted as saying: 

Our patients should be able to see a GP when they need to – and the fact that this is becoming increasingly difficult is frustrating for GPs and their teams, just as we know it is for patients. People are waiting too long for routine appointments, and the concern is that non-serious conditions might deteriorate, or patients give up trying to see the GP and we miss signs of serious illness early, when it could be dealt with simply and more cost effectively in primary care.

All of this comes in the wake of the 2015 election pledge by the Government to add an additional 5000 GPs by 2020; a pledge which they are struggling to meet. However, this promise was questioned by many, including Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the BMA’s GPs committee, who said at the time:

Delivering 5,000 extra GPs in five years, when training a GP takes 10 years, was a practical impossibility that was never going to be achieved. It was a pledge that also ignored the fact that one third of GPs are planning to retire by 2020, and the current medical graduates do not want to join an overworked, underfunded service, with more than 400 GP trainee posts left unfilled last year.

 

Our solution to the GP access problem

Given the challenges faced by both the GPs and their patients, it’s hardly surprising that juggling a working day with the sparse availability of appointments has never been more difficult for patients; and in particular those who are shift workers – like many of our staff.

That’s why, at Peverel Court Care we have invested in a service which provides 24/7 online access to a GP for our staff. Whilst we appreciate that for certain conditions, a visit to the local surgery may still be required, we hope that the online service we’ve provided can, for many, give them an alternative to the lengthy NHS waiting times.

We recognise the fantastic work that our team do in providing first rate levels of care for our residents. So we believe that it’s only right and proper to do all we can to help them maintain their own health and wellbeing. Therefore, the introduction of the GP service is just one of many recruitment and retention initiatives we have in store to help our staff realise how valued they are by the Peverel Court Care management team. We hope that these small gestures of our appreciation can help make their work-life balance that little bit easier.

 

About Peverel Court Care

Peverel Court Care is a group of one residential and two nursing homes, located in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. We are a long-standing family business, providing personalised care, delivered by talented and compassionate people, in exclusive and idyllic settings.

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

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

Developing our new company values

Developing our new company values at Peverel Court Care

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

Creating new company values

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

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

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

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

 

Our Chosen Values

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

 

About Peverel Court Care

Peverel Court Care is a group of one residential and two nursing homes, located in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. We are a long-standing family business, providing personalised care, delivered by talented and compassionate people, in exclusive and idyllic settings.

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

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. 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. 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. 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, CQC Inspection, Health and Safety, Leadership & Management, Personalisation, Safeguarding, Stone House, Training & Development, Workforce Development

The drive to be outstanding

Peverel Court Care’s Stone House nursing home in Buckinghamshire receives overall 'Good' with Outstanding in 'Responsive' in latest CQC inspection

Stone House receives overall ‘Good’ with Outstanding in ‘Responsive’ in latest CQC inspection

Peverel Court Care’s Stone House has received it’s latest glowing inspection report from the CQC, which included an ‘Outstanding’ rating in assessing our ability to be Responsive.

We were also rated as ‘Good’ in the four other assessment categories, which evaluate whether the home is considered by the inspectors to be Safe, Effective, Caring and Well-led.

The overall CQC rating awarded for our Buckinghamshire nursing home was ‘Good’ based on the most recent inspection, which was carried out on 26th February 2019.

Some of the comments from the inspector’s report included:

“Care was exceptionally person-centred and focused on ensuring people with dementia lived as independent lives as possible. The care was designed to ensure people’s maximum independence was encouraged and maintained.”

“People experienced positive outcomes regarding their health and wellbeing. People were supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives and staff supported them in the least restrictive way possible; the policies and systems in the service supported this.”

“Staff received good supervision and training, which provided them with the knowledge and skills to enable them to provide good care. There was a workplace culture that was open and honest. Staff told us they felt supported by the manager and they could speak with them at any time.”

 

Our outstanding Stone House team

 

While the report is indicative of a well-managed and caring environment for residents and staff alike, we’re not resting on our laurels. We will continue to strive for Stone House and the other Peverel Court Care homes in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire to be recognised as ‘Outstanding’ across the board in future reports. Preet Shergill, Associate Director of Peverel Court Care, commented:

 

“We are proud to say that we are surrounded by staff who strive for continuous improvement, innovation and provide exceptional elderly care. The very positive CQC inspection report is testament to the outstanding work of the Stone House team, volunteers and the Buckinghamshire community.”

 

The CQC inspection report follows hot on the heels of our recent “Top Care Home Group” award win at the carehome.co.uk awards (you can read more here), which was based on positive reviews from our residents and their families, including the following from the daughter of one of our Stone House residents:

This care home is amazing. It is run by the manager and the most caring staff, many of whom have been with the company for years. The care they give their residents is second to none and the home provides them with lots of entertainment and you can see the residents enjoying these events. The meals they provide are all prepared fresh every day by the resident chef. The atmosphere when you visit the home is also something, welcoming and lots of laughter all around. A super home and I can thoroughly recommend it.

 

The future for Stone House nursing home, Aylesbury

 

As part of our journey towards ‘Outstanding’ at Stone House, we are implementing a number of upcoming initiatives, including:

  • The introduction of bespoke training and development pathways’ for Healthcare Assistants, Registered Nurses and all other departments of the Peverel Court Care team
  • Rewards and recognition of staff for various achievements and milestones, such as high levels of attendance, attaining NVQ qualifications, referring new staff members, years of service, and the receipt of special praise via relatives
  • New and improved technology infrastructure
  • Non-clinical customer service training for all staff

We believe that by recruiting, developing, rewarding and retaining the best possible staff to deliver care to our residents within the idyllic setting of Stone House, we can continue to improve on the incredible levels of service for which we’re already being recognised.  

The full CQC inspection report can be read here

Bartletts, Business, Care Awards, Care Management, Leadership & Management, Merryfield, Stone House

Top care home award

PCC Top 20 care home group award winners 2019 Bartletts

 

PCC wins carehome.co.uk Group Awards for fourth consecutive year



Peverel Court Care are delighted to announce that we have been named as recipients of the ‘Top 20 Recommended Care Home Group’ Award for 2019, the fourth consecutive year we have received the award.

The awards, presented by sector-leading review website carehome.co.uk, aim to highlight the most recommended Care Home Groups in the UK, and are based on over 120,000 reviews from care home residents, as well as their friends and family.

Some of the glowing reviews we’ve received on the carehome.co.uk website this year from residents and their families include:

From the moment I arrived with my mother, the quality of the care was evident. I knew from that moment on my sister and I had chosen a truly wonderful place for our mother. The staff are extremely passionate about their care for patients. I’m just so glad we chose Stone House.

Richard W (Son of Resident)

Merryfield is a lovely home. The management are genuinely kind and have all worked as carers themselves in the past so they know exactly what quality care looks like. I cannot recommend Merryfield highly enough.

Francesca B (Friend of Resident)

As soon as I contacted Bartletts the staff made me feel that my mother was going to receive the care I wanted her to have. She was given a great welcome. The staff are very kind and when problems arose they were sorted out straight away. Bartletts is now Mum’s home, where we are very welcome to visit as if it were her own home.

Eileen B (Daughter of Resident)

 

Preet Shergill, Associate Director of Peverel Court Care, dedicated the award to everyone who helps us to deliver outstanding levels of care to our residents, saying:

“Well done to all of the Peverel Court Care team for your outstanding work in 2018. The exceptional levels of care provided were captured in numerous excellent reviews from those who matter most; residents and their relatives. Those excellent reviews have been recognised with this award. Well done to an outstanding team on winning this award for four consecutive years!”


PCC Top 20 care home group award winners 2019 Stone House


Peverel Court Care is a group of one residential and two nursing homes, located in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. We are a long-standing family business, providing personalised care, delivered by talented and compassionate people, in exclusive and idyllic settings.

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

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.

 

Bartletts, Leadership & Management, Workforce Development

Our Very Well Deserved Staff Awards

We’re lucky enough to have teams staffed with dedicated and driven individuals, and we know that we must be capable of offering them more than just a job if we want them to stay with us. We spend an incredible amount of time developing our employees in the knowledge that we’re encouraging them to progress personally and professionally. For anyone who wants to stay at Peverel Court Care and work hard, there is a wonderful career to be had. A number of our employees have been with us for many years, progressing through the ranks and up into management positions.

We’re incredibly lucky to have our staff. Our recruitment teams do an excellent job at spotting the passion and talent we require when we’re looking for new people to join our teams. Those who work with us have a difficult job to do but, like most people who work in care, they often tell us that the sense of contentment they get from helping other people makes the more difficult parts of their job well worth the extra effort.

For us it’s really important that we’re able to give back to our employees, and one of the ways we do this is through our quarterly awards, in which an employee from each of our three care homes is nominated for their outstanding service. We know that these awards remind our employees how much we appreciate the work that they do and the commitment they show us.

When we give our awards to our employees, we also present them with something we know that they’ll appreciate, trying wherever we can to involve their family in all celebrations. Cecilia was this quarter’s nominee from Merryfield Nursing Care Home, and we rewarded her achievements with something we’ve been told she sincerely enjoys; a movie night at the cinema and a meal beforehand in Witney for her and her daughter Teresa.

At Stone House, our residents had given excellent feedback about the care three of our nurses were providing, so we rewarded them all with a quarterly employee award, a box of family chocolates and vouchers towards their Christmas shopping.

Our managers at Stone House said, “They were chosen because of their hard work and dedication to their job. Even when the carers have a full hand they still ‘muck’ in and help out to the best of their ability. They have been very flexible and have led by example. Their communication with the carers is second to none and even though we are experiencing a period of high dependency amongst the resident group – all of the residents are really thriving under their care. We have had a few residents who have passed away and they were able to do so with all of their dignity intact and wishes adhered to.”

We gave the same reward to Arlene at Bartlett’s, who was nominated for her hard work and dedication.

The care sector has difficulty holding on to its staff. The national average turnover rate for staff is 15%, but the care sector often struggles with a much higher rate of 32%. We’re proud to say that our own turnover rates are nowhere near this number. We believe this is partly due to making sure our recruitment processes are correct in the first instance, partly due to the training and development we give our staff, and partly due to the efforts we make to give our staff the recognition they deserve and make sure they know they’re appreciated. The job we all do can sometimes be a difficult one, and so we thank them for the excellent care they provide. Too often across our sector, a sector that relies so heavily on the competence and dedication of people, the extra effort staff make is not recognised. We’re happy to be one of the providers that gives as much back to it’s staff as it does to those we offer care and support to.

Leadership & Management

Good leaders and managers transform care

Every member of our team is highly valued and essential to our day-to-day activity. They’ve helped us to build an impeccable reputation for delivering high quality care. Across our three sites, we have employed a team of highly skilled and attentive leaders and managers, whose job it is to guide and influence the rest of the staff. All of this is in place so that we can make sure that we’re providing safe, efficient and person-centred care.

Of all of the categories that the Care Quality Commission investigate when they inspect a care home, the ‘well-led’ category is the one that is most closely aligned with the other categories. Care homes with great leaders and managers get a higher rating in the well-led category, and care homes with a higher well-led rating tend to get a better rating overall. This is because leaders and managers are pivotal in the overall performance of a care team team. They directly influence the quality of care provided, which is exactly what the Care Quality Commission is there to inspect. At Peverel Court Care, we not only invest in our current leaders and managers, but in staff we know have the skill and aspiration to become leaders in the future.

In 2001, Mibell Hernandez began her career as a carer with us. We saw something in her immediately, so we assisted her with the adaptation process for overseas nurses so that she could acquire a nurses pin in the UK. From there, we funded a whole series of training for Mibell, both externally and internally, including the Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care. Mibell went on to become the Deputy Manager at Stone House Nursing Home, the Registered Manager at Merryfield Nursing Home and then the Registered Manager at Bartlett’s Residential Care Home.

We continue to invest in her. Mibell is a valued member of our team. She knows our organisation and our aims and ethos incredibly well, and this is what we want from our leaders and managers – people who know the exceptional care level we strive to provide and are dedicated to maintaining those standards. Because of this, we continue to invest in her development – we recently sent her on a course about successful people management and team leadership.

The elderly care sector is notorious with high staff turnover rates, but Mibell has been with us for fifteen years now. We have staff members working at all levels of our organisations who have been with us for many years. We pride ourselves on our staff retention rates, especially within our leadership and management teams. We know that the key to great care is a strong team headed by capable leaders and managers who are passionate about the organisation they work for. The best way to grow a team like that is to invest in your individuals, something we promise we’ll always do.

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