Business, Care Home Recruitment, Leadership & Management, Social Care & Society, Social Care Strategy, Stone House, Training & Development, Workforce Development

Interview: Beverley Webb, Assistant Practitioner in Healthcare

Beverley Webb - Level 5 Diploma for Assistant Practitioners in Healthcare graduate - Stone House Nursing Home, Aylesbury - Peverel Court Care

 

As we seek to implement the supporting of career pathways for our employees, we thought it a good time to catch up with Beverley Webb, a long-term member of our team and a recent graduate from the Level 5 Diploma for Assistant Practitioners in Healthcare.

 

Beverley has worked at Peverel Court care for 13 years and is our first graduate, having recently completed the Assistant Practitioner in Healthcare Level 5 Diploma. At Peverel Court Care, we’re committed to helping our employees to fulfil their potential by supporting them in career development through the introduction of career pathways. We spoke to Beverley to find out more about her career journey.

 

What were you doing before you joined Peverel Court Care?

I was born in Bebington, on the eastern side of the Wirral Peninsula – I’m a northern lass originally! It’s beautiful there. I had worked for two years at a residential care home near Bolton. Then I moved to the South East, and I was working for a printing company when I decided to return to a care role. I applied to Stone House and my first impression when I came into the grounds was ‘wow, what an amazing house!’. I was overwhelmed due to the size of the home and grounds – I love it. After one month I was offered a full-time position (I’d started as part-time). Within one year I was promoted to Senior Healthcare Assistant, then offered Head of Care after another 6 months. Now I’m the Senior Care Lead.

 

How does working for Peverel Court Care differ from your previous experience and expectations?

At the previous home I had to complete very long shifts. I had no specific dementia training, and it was difficult trying to help the residents with that lack of training. When I started in the care sector I didn’t have any real expectations. I didn’t expect to be where I am now. I just wanted to help people. Seeing how the elderly were treated was a big thing; I’m a caring person and don’t like to see people upset. So I want to make a positive difference to people’s lives.

When I was 16 I helped an elderly gentleman who was being harassed by a group of 15 and 16 years old who thought it was fun to intimidate an older person. That experience has had a big influence on my career to date. I now want more out of my career and it’s great I can do that at Peverel Court Care and in the care sector.

 

How did you find out about the opportunity to undertake the Assistant Practitioner qualification?

The Registered Manager had mentioned a new Assistant Practitioner qualification. I questioned whether I wanted to commit to studying at this stage of my career, but my RM really supported me. I have never achieved anything before, probably because I was the middle child! I didn’t have great grades at school, so when this opportunity arose I decided to go for it. My brother and sister also really supported me.

I was very excited when I was accepted onto the course, but I don’t think I was prepared for what was ahead. I thought because I have done my NVQ3, I have done my diploma in End of Life Care – I thought it would be a breeze. However, it was a challenging course.

 

How was the process of juggling study with work?

Difficult. It’s been very difficult working full-time whilst studying; I really had to manage my time efficiently . You have to put your family and social events on hold. Going for my treats out, going away for the weekend; they all had to be forgotten about for a little while. Weekends were also taken up by study as 7 hours per week were not enough for me to complete the required work. College was fortnightly from 9 to 4, plus the travel time on top, and then 3 hours study when I got back, and 6 hours on the weekends. I felt tired and became irritated, and I hoped this hadn’t affected the morale of the team around me.

There was so many times I wanted to give up! The sense of achievement and self-belief kept me going. Team members encouraging and supporting me really helped to get me through as well. I was crying with frustration at times due to the challenge of some of the modules. Do I regret doing it? No! It’s been such a great learning curve. I now mentor two colleagues who are also on the Assistant Practitioner course: I offer support and bring in my old text books for them. If it wasn’t for the excellent support network I may have quit or failed. You need people around you to guide you and listen, who don’t get frustrated.

 

How has the chance to take the Assistant Practitioner Diploma had an impact on your life?

In terms of work, it has provided me a different philosophy of healthcare; a better and different perspective of care. The Assistant Practitioner Diploma has given me the tools to examine the behaviours of people and their psychology, and to look deeper into why people say what they do. Everyone has a life story, so I look at things differently now. What are people really going through and do they need to have a chat? Also, with End of Life care, the training has made me consider whether we really take into consideration the carers; how do they feel? It’s made me think about how I work and how I see people.

One specific example of something new that I’ve learnt relates to communication with relatives and residents. In particular, about involving the resident more. Just because a resident has dementia, it doesn’t mean they cannot make decisions. It’s important to have their views, and also their relatives’ input and opinions. I think we sometimes forget that having a resident in a care setting has an effect on their relatives. I’ve had relatives crying because they feel guilty. It’s important we communicate well and inform them of the benefits of being in a professional care environment.

In the future I would like to explore some type of management role within the group,  working alongside the managers. I enjoy mentoring, helping new starters, and now with my skills, working closer with the Registered Nurses. 

In terms of my personal life, I’m a lot happier now that I have graduated, but I get bored with all the spare time instead! I feel a lot happier in myself though – me and my husband went out to celebrate! After all, for the last two years I have been studying.

 

How do you feel about having been given this opportunity?

It’s very good to have opportunities for professional and personal development; it boosts your self esteem and gives you such a great sense of achievement. To have this opportunity has been amazing, and I want to say a big thank you to Peverel Court Care for providing me with the chance to take the Assistant Practitioner course, I really appreciate it! It’s great for people that want to further their career prospects. If it wasn’t for PCC and their continued investment in their staff I would not be able to progress my career in the same way.

 

What do you think of Peverel Court Care as an employer and would you recommend them to your friends, family or other people considering a career in care?

This company is fantastic! It’s just lovely; the homely environment, the good atmosphere, and the relatives’ feedback is amazing. I have a real sense of pride in the relatives and residents excellent feedback.

I do recommend Peverel Court Care on social media, I always promote them! I would recommend that if anyone wants to give back something to society, working for PCC would be a great decision. You have to want to work in care and be passionate about it, but if you are, then it’s very rewarding. It’s about holding people’s hands and having empathy; you need all that and more. If you do, then it’s so rewarding, and you can go home with a sense of achievement. You’ve changed someone’s ordinary day into a great one. They may wake up unhappy but at the end of the day they are laughing and joking. Just to see a smile on their face and holding their hand is enough for me. I love it because I know I am making a difference. It might seem a little difference to some, but to them it’s a big difference.

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.

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

Career Pathways for Healthcare Assistants

Peverel Court Care HCA Career Pathways

Examining how career pathway development in care is essential.

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

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

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

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

 

Recruitment and Retention

 

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

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

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

 

Investing in a shared future with career pathways

 

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

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

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

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

 

About Peverel Court Care

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

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

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

Rewards and Recognition

The importance of rewards and recognition in care businesses

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

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

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

 

Recruitment and retention: a challenge across the care sector

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

Peverel Court Care: Our response to recruitment and retention

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

About Peverel Court Care

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

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

Best Care Practices, Business, 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

Care Home Recruitment, Training & Development, Workforce Development

Helping Build The Next Generation Of Social Care Superstars

Everyday hundreds of social care workers quit. Scary when you are facing the prospect of an aging population and a sector that is already struggling to support everyone it needs to. Instead of sitting back, we are taking action.

We are working with local colleges and universities, such as the prestigious Oxford Brookes University, to show students just how amazing working in care can be. In November we had two students on work placements at Bartlett’s Residential Care Home. They worked closely with our staff and residents so that they could get a real feel for what a career in care is like.

Katherine and Christian took very different skills from their time with us. We wanted to make sure that we gave them work experience with as much variety as possible and it worked; they both expressed that they had learnt a lot, including skills they would certainly take forward.

Katherine was particularly interested to learn about personal care. She said, “Personal care was something very new to me as I had no previous care experience. I found this kind of experience eye opening and was surprised by the calm nature shown by the staff and residents in seemingly embarrassing situations.”

She also said that she gained very valuable communication skills. “Each day I would talk to residents and join in with the daily activities such as exercises, dancing, singing and knitting.”

Christian said that he was impressed to observe the personal care plans Bartlett’s employ to make sure that residents feel well looked after. He said, “There is no such thing as a general care plan at Bartlett’s, as each member of staff knows what fact or act will get the best out of each resident, how they like their hair to be combed, or what outfits they want to wear when they have visitors.” 

We were very pleased to see that both students enjoyed working alongside our staff. They both commented on how friendly and supportive they are, something that made us immensely proud.

Katherine and Christian were wonderful work experience students. The social care sector would certainly benefit if likeminded people made social care their career of choice. We hope to see them changing lives very soon. In the meantime, we will continue to invite tomorrow’s social care superstars here in the hope that we can show them what a great sector this is.

 

 

 

 

Dementia, Personalisation, Training & Development, Workforce Development

The Importance Of Friendship At Peverel Court Care

After family, friends are usually the most important people in our lives. Modern family life can often mean our loved ones are geographically spread across the country. When we are older our children will likely have their own very busy lives to run. All of this may mean that they can’t see us as often as they would like and this is when our friendships become even more important. Friends are the family we choose for ourselves. They support us in times of need. Often just knowing that they are there for us is enough to make us feel better.

Think about some of the best times you have ever had in your life. Undoubtedly some of those times will have taken place in the presence of friends.

They’re there for us in the best and worst of times. That’s why we foster and value friendships between our residents and carers at Peverel Court Care. Here are some of the reasons we think friendships here are so incredibly important.

Friendship helps our staff do their jobs better…

The main purpose of any staff member here at Peverel Court Care is to provide high-quality care to the elderly people who live here. Friendships help our staff to do that.

“I do consider myself to be a friend to them because I feel it from my own heart.  I could not do the job that I do, which is quite solitary at times in the lounges, without having those genuine emotional feelings towards our residents.” – Peverel Court Care Carer

When you offer the kind of comprehensive care we offer, it helps greatly if you have a genuine relationship with the people you are caring for. If you feel as though the person you’re taking care of is your friend, you are much more likely to give the best care you can at all times.

Some of our residents here are uncomfortable in social situations…

Some of our residents just can’t bring themselves to join in with the group activities we offer here. Some of them just don’t want to. For these individuals, the carers visiting their rooms are the only people they see all day. Those interactions need to be friendly otherwise those people are going to feel incredibly isolated.

Some of our residents don’t have anyone else…

Our job is to make sure that those who live with us have a high quality of life. For residents without family or friends of their own left, it is important that they feel as though they have valuable and important relationships with our carers. We don’t just want them to feel cared for; we also want them to feel cared about. We can’t give our residents the high-quality care we are striving for unless people really do care about them as individuals.

It’s important for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients…

We can’t sum this up any better than one of our carers did when we asked her about genuine friendships at work.

“There have been many times when a resident has literally poured their heart out to me with real visual emotion in their expression or body language or chatted away to me ten to the dozen smiling and laughing. Sometimes I have not been able to understand what they are saying. It is so important to maintain an interest, give direct eye contact, verbalise laughter and support, handhold if appropriate and show a keen interest in what they are saying. That is friendship. That is caring. No matter how severe the level of dementia or Alzheimer’s may be, they will know if we are not responding to their needs at that time. As human beings, we would offer this support to our own friends. If we didn’t then they would not share their problems with us again. To give great care, we need to offer this level of support and friendship.”

It’s in our nature and good for our mental health….

The Mental Health Foundation says that friendship is vital for mental health.

“Friendship is a crucial element in protecting our mental health. We need to talk to our friends and we want to listen when our friends want to talk to us. Our friends can keep us grounded and can help us get things in perspective. It is worth putting effort into maintaining our friendships and making new friends. Friends form one of the foundations of our ability to cope with the problems that life throws at us.”

For the mental health of our residents, it is vitally important that we foster meaningful and fulfilling friendships with our residents.

We’re all about friendship

Being around strong, meaningful friendships makes Peverel Court Care a happy place to be. There is an atmosphere of genuine care here because our carers really do hold our residents’ dear and they want to make sure they are doing the best for them. Sometimes when we are faced with difficult situations or sadness, those friendships can make our jobs more difficult, but still, we wouldn’t have it any other way. Friendship in care is the way forward. As they say; “When it hurts to look back and you’re scared to look ahead, you can look beside you and your friends will be there.”

Stone House, Training & Development, Workforce Development

They’ve gone to great lengths to facilitate my studies

We pride ourselves on providing high quality care services. To do that, we need excellent leaders, who know how to steer teams of dedicated and committed staff, as well as frontline team members with excellent values and impeccable attitudes.

We’ve found this in Peter McClean, who works in Stone House Nursing Home. Peter has worked with us for eighteen months, and says he enjoys being part of a team that provide such high quality services.

“From my very first day it was clear that the service delivered to those in need at Peverel Court Care is of a very high standard. I have enjoyed being part of that type of outstanding care delivery, and contributing positively to the quality of life of those we care for.”

As we do with all of our managers who show desire to do so, we facilitated his studies towards a Level 5 NVQ Diploma in Management and Leadership. Peter showed an impressive attitude and ability and so, though he had joined us as a Registered Nurse, we promoted him to Deputy Manager of Merryfield Nursing Home. Our management teams have worked to support Peter since his career with us began. He’s now Care Manager at Stone House Nursing Home.

“Aside from training and academic growth, the Director and Senior Managers have always been very supportive and approachable, especially when I needed advice or consulting. This has enabled me to grow as a professional and as a person. Our Quality Assurance Manager Jill is always on hand to offer advice and guidance across all three homes. I found her help particularly worthy prior to our inspection in May, my first inspection in England, whereby I learned much from her experience. I find her role to be a great resource and asset to Peverel Court Care.”

Despite his enormous success at just 26 years of age, Peter’s aspirations don’t stop at his current position. He wants to further his career with Peverel Court Care as we continue to grow, and to become a registered manager. Our team of managers are strong, skilled and knowledgeable, and made up of individuals like Peter, who has the tenacity and dedication to progress as far as he wishes to go with us. We look forward to working with him into the future to provide care services that maintain quality of life, happiness and health for our elderly residents.

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