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.

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.

Care & Technology, Design, Tech

The importance of the digital age and how it helps our residents

Twenty years ago the whole world looked very different than it does today. So did nursing care and the residential care sector. When people chose to go into care in the 90s the technology we view as basic today was extremely expensive and difficult to procure on a mass scale in the way we can in this more modern age.

Our residents are used to using technology to explore what’s happening in the world and to keep in touch with those they love. Before they came to us, many of them regularly used technology like telephones or computers to communicate or entertain themselves.

It’s important to us that we make sure those who live with us still have access to these items, and that they can use them in the way they want to. That’s why our individual care plans include asking our residents which forms of technology they would appreciate having access to. One of the main items of technology our residents insist upon is a telephone.

At Peverel Court Care, we don’t think it’s enough to simply give all of our residents a telephone. Some of them don’t have the strength to use a phone without help. Often they no longer have the capacity because of illnesses like dementia or Alzheimer’s, or visual or hearing impairments. That’s why we tailor the telephone experience for everyone living in all three of our care homes.

Several of our residents have mobile phones they use to keep in touch with their families. But we don’t just give those we care for a mobile phone and expect them to get on with using it. General usage, maintenance and charging of mobile phones is overseen with the assistance of our dedicated care teams.

Our staff know the capacity of each and every one of our residents. They know if someone we care for understands how to use their phone but struggles to answer it, or if their conditions prevent them from hearing their phones ringing properly. We have a solution for these types of issues. For example, sometimes we ask our family members and friends to call our care home landline in advance of ringing a residents mobile phone so that we can go and help them to answer.

Not everyone likes mobile technology. Four of our residents have chosen to have a landline telephone in their room instead. With the assistance of their families, our care staff have programmed their most regularly used numbers into their speed dial selections, making it as easy as possible for them to contact those they love.

When people come to live at Stone House, Merryfield and Bartlett’s we want them to have all of the same opportunities that they have in their own home, and that includes the opportunity to contact those they love whenever they want to. We do everything within our power to make sure this possible, even funding landlines ourselves. For those we care for we know that nothing is more important than contacting those they care about, and if it’s important to them, it’s important to us.

Tech

Peverel Court Care introduces touchscreen technology to benefit residents

touching tabletPeverel Court Care is proud to inform you that we have introduced Apple TV in our homes in addition to the longstanding iPads. There is a scientific reason for introducing touchscreen technology in our homes. Research shows that this technology can greatly improve the quality of life of older people, particularly those diagnosed with dementia.

What do researchers say?

Researchers from the Association for Dementia Studies at the University of Worcester have discovered that introducing and getting residents to use touchscreen technology in care homes is beneficial. The key is making sure the introduction is done properly.

Care home staff require the right training and support in this technology to spread the benefits among the residents. Some of the benefits include:

  • Music apps and games such as Pictionary can help care staff calm and reassure residents and also keep them engaged. These apps can be used in group settings to bring residents together to enjoy themselves and have fun.
  • Care and activities can be customised to meet the needs of the resident.
  • Touchscreen technology fosters greater interaction between staff and residents. It encourages staff to increase the number of residents in each activity without feeling overwhelmed or burdened.
  • The technology lets residents stay in touch with their family and relatives.
  • Staff can use touchscreen technology to involve family members in the care plan of the residents.
  • The technology can trigger positive memories and facilitate conversations between residents as well as staff and residents.

Peverel Court Care aims to deliver exceptional elderly care. Our staff receive superior training that allows them to provide person-specific elderly care to enhance the lives of our residents. The touchscreen technology in our homes helps us customise our activities to improve the quality of life of our residents through increased interaction, better communication and greater inclusion.

Tech

Why Peverel Court Care is on social media

Social media written in foam letters concept for social networking within youth culture

Social media has proven to be a powerful tool that allows individuals to stay connected and facilitates engagement like never before. It strengthens the bond between loved ones and creates new ones between strangers. Considering the varied uses of social media, it is not surprising that Peverel Court Care has a strong presence on these digital platforms.

The pinnacle of engagement

At Peverel Court Care, we take personalised elderly care very seriously. We are constantly striving to keep our residents comfortable and happy, while taking care of their social needs.

We realise that it is difficult for you to put a loved one in a nursing home. That’s why we take it upon ourselves to offer you an insight into what is happening at Peverel Court Care. Through our social media channels, relatives can get instant updates and details of the latest activities taking place in our homes. This gives them assurance that their loved ones have meaningful activities to keep them engaged and happy.

The local connection

Peverel Court Care believes in forging a robust and interactive relationship with the local community. Social media allows us to connect with the local community and create an all-inclusive community. Many of our residents have a strong community connection, and the locals have a bond with our three charming and historic homes. We encourage the local community to visit and mingle with our residents, and social media lets the community learn about activities and events that they can participate in.

The personal connection

We understand that relatives cannot visit their loved ones every day. We offer a unique way for residents and relatives to connect – social media. Through our social media pages, residents and their relatives can constantly stay in touch and share views, photographs and news.

Peverel Court Care believes in exceptional elderly care, and using social media is one of the many ways we enhance the level of our care.

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