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.

Bartletts, Care Home Maintenance, Care Management, Dementia, Landscaping and Dementia, Merryfield, Real life, Stone House, Wellbeing

Spring has sprung

Enjoying the gardens during spring 2019 at Peverel Court Care

 

The arrival of spring and the benefits to our residents

 

With the recent spell of lovely warm weather, our residents have been taking the opportunity to get outside and explore the newly landscaped gardens of our homes.

At Peverel Court Care, we understand that creating and delivering individual care plans and maintaining a focus on resident well-being is a key part of the service we deliver, and providing time outdoors forms an intrinsic part of that.

Therefore, with the arrival of spring, it has been the perfect time for our residents to get outside to enjoy the warmth of the spring sunshine, to take in the fresh air, and to explore the new sights and smells of the plants and flowers in our idyllic grounds.

Even for those residents who aren’t so keen to get outside exploring, the natural light that pours into the rooms on our new wing provides them with similar benefits.

 

Benefits to resident health

 

But there’s more to getting our residents to spend time outdoors than meets the eye. In fact, there have been numerous rigorous scientific studies conducted, which have all concluded that there are a multitude of benefits for elderly care home residents when they get to enjoy time in an outdoor space.

Spending time out in the grounds allows them to get exercise in the fresh air. And particularly for elderly residents, research has shown that those who enjoyed as little as 10 or 15 minutes of activity a day, saw a significant improvement in their health. Furthermore, walking outdoors has been shown to reduce levels of stress, and to increase sociability, communication and self esteem, while there is also evidence that it can help to reduce cognitive decline.

Exposure to both daylight and sunlight while outdoors is also important; as sunlight provides us with Vitamin D, which is essential for building strong bones and muscle, while sunlight helps with regulating our body clock. So our residents don’t need to get too adventurous; even just having a cup of tea and a natter out in the garden has added benefits.

 

Enjoying spring flowers in the gardens at Peverel Court Care

 

Peverel Court Care – our idyllic settings

 

Part of what makes the experience of living at one of Peverel Court Care’s three care homes in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire so special for our residents is the unique setting and location of each home. A perfect example is that of Bartlett’s, our Residential Care Home, which is set in over 18 acres of private tranquil parkland with exceptional views of The Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

As our homes are all set within such charming grounds, and because spending time outdoors offers such proven benefits to our residents, it’s not surprising that the arrival of spring this year has once again been greeted with smiles by our residents.

 

Taking a walk outdoors to enjoy spring sunshine at Peverel Court Care

Community, Real life, Social Care & Society

A summer of fun at Peverel Court Care

September is upon us and, though we weren’t as lucky with the sun as we had hoped we might be, this summer still did not disappoint us.

Our activities coordinators have outdone themselves this year planning entertainment and fun things for our residents to do throughout the summer months.

In this week’s article, as the countdown to winter begins, we thought we’d have a look back over some of the best bits of 2016 so far.

External visitors

Just a few weeks ago we had our summer parties and our gardens were flooded with residents and their families. We also invited Bertie Bastin, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who visits our homes sometimes. But he isn’t the only non-human who comes to visit us.

Earlier in August we were visited by a number of owls, and our residents were told all about these fascinating creatures.

There’s lots of research and evidence promoting the benefits of animals on the mental and physical health of people. We know that animal visitors make many of our residents extremely excitable.

Making things

Lots of our residents love to create things, so many of the activities we organise involve making new things. This summer we made flags to celebrate the Euro 2016 football tournament, flowery cupcakes, chocolate cakes to celebrate World Chocolate Day and medals and a torch to celebrate the Olympics.

We also had a flower arranging class so that our residents could spend an afternoon creating magnificent bouquets.

A summer of awards

During our summer parties, we awarded some of our residents prizes for a variety of talents they possess, including best gardener and best storyteller. Our residents are extremely talented and we know they appreciate being recognised for their accomplishments.

We also entered some of our best poets into a competition run by the National Activity Providers Association, a charity and members association dedicated to increasing the profile of activity in social care. We’re delighted to announce that one of our residents Eileen was awarded an accolade for this poem she wrote about bluebells.

Bluebell you are a beautiful flower
in the spring waiting to adorn the dark woods.
A shaft of sunlight still low in the sky awakens you.
Before long there is a blue carpet,
stretching out as far as the eye can see,
of little delicate bluebells.
Soon the canopy of trees above the blue carpet
darkens the woods even more,
and the leaves of the bluebell shrivel
so that next spring the dark woods will once again
adorned with your blue beauty.

Here’s to the winter

Over the coming months the weather will worsen and our activities will move inside. We’ll continue to think of new and innovative ways for our residents to stay busy and keep them stimulated and entertained.

We’ll enjoy all of the traditions of Christmas and wait for the weather to get better again. We look forward to seeing you all there.

Personalisation, Real life

Our residents and the animals they love

We are a nation of pet lovers. Our favourites are undoubtedly the dog and the cat. Many of us choose to share our homes and lives with these incredible creatures, who we often come to think of as part of our own family. They give us hours of joy, affection and love.

When people are considering moving into a care home, one of the most distressing aspects of this life changing decision can be giving up the lovely animals that have become their friends. Even for those who don’t own pets, the prospect of not having access to animals can be upsetting.

At Peverel Court Care, we know that animals can have a massive impact on the mood of an individual. It’s been accepted for a long time that the opportunity to spend time with friends of the furry variety is extremely important to those who love them. To make sure our residents have the chance to enjoy animals, we utilise the services of therapy dogs.

Therapy dogs are trained to offer comfort and support to people. They’re some of the country’s hardest working animals, visiting care homes and hospitals to greet elderly people, disabled children or victims of disaster. Their job is to brighten the lives of those they meet.

In June we were visited by Bertie Bastan, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with a lovely temperament. Our residents were overjoyed to spend time with him, and he was friendly, gentle and well behaved.

We loved him so much that we’ve formally invited him to our Summer Drinks Party on Wednesday 13th July at Merryfield House, where we will all be delighted to see him again.

If you have a pet that you just can’t part with, there are occasions when we can accept pets alongside their owner – as long as a series of circumstances are met. You can contact us if you have any questions about this; one of our dedicated staff members would be happy to let you know exactly what would be required.

Moving into a care facility doesn’t have to mean the end of your life with animals. We constantly strive to make sure that the things you loved before are still available to you when you’ve decided it’s time to move on, even if those things have four legs, fur and a tail.

Real life

Peverel Court Care believes in giving back to the community with @macmillancoffee

woman holding hot cup of coffee, with heart shape

Peverel Court Care believes in giving back to the community. It gives us an opportunity to make a genuine and lasting difference. Whilst we offer exceptional elderly care in our three homes, we also believe the community should benefit as a whole. We feel inspired and happy when we see the direct impact of our efforts.

Bonding over shared passion

Each of our homes participates in the popular @macmillancoffee mornings. It gives Peverel Court Care residents an opportunity to broaden their network and bond with people who share their passion. It lets our residents and staff interact with people from diverse backgrounds so that they can work towards a common goal.

Macmillan Coffee Mornings help raise funds for cancer support. Recently, Bartlett’s Residential Home participated in one of these mornings and raised £120 through the concerted efforts of the residents, community members and staff.

Strengthening the community

A strong community helps enhance the lives of individual community members. That is why Peverel Court Care recently joined forces with Lindengate, a Buckinghamshire-based charity. The charity offers specialised gardening activities to support the recovery of people with mental health needs.

We hope to collaborate with @lindengate in the coming year to improve the quality of life of the people in our local community, thereby helping to make the community stronger, safer and healthier.

Intangible rewards

Giving back helps us understand the needs of the community, and by using local resources, we can meet those needs. It also has mental and physical rewards. It makes our residents and staff happy to do something for others, thereby evoking positive emotions such as joy and optimism. By focusing on others, it eases stress and makes the giving back an enjoyable process.

Peverel Court Care is proud of its ability to give back to the community. By working for and with the community, we know Peverel Court Care is making a difference in the lives of people around us.

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