Community, Events, Outings

Giving our communities a BOOST

 

At the heart of our core values is care for the communities that our care homes are part of. Read on to find out more about our latest initiative to strengthen the ties between Peverel Court Care and Age UK.

 

Being part of a care community is something we are very proud of at Peverel Court Care. We take every opportunity to engage with organisations and individuals in our localities who can enrich the lives of our residents or who can benefit from the many events and activities we arrange. It is the feeling of being part of such a vibrant community that makes living in a Peverel Court Care Home so special.

 

Our partnership with Age UK Buckinghamshire

We partnered with Age UK Buckinghamshire at the beginning of 2023 after Preet Shergill, our Associate Director, met with Mark Russell, CEO of Age UK Buckinghamshire. Recently, Allicia Maclean joined Age UK Buckinghamshire as their Community Engagement Manager and Allicia visited us to tell us about the BOOST programme.

BOOST sits alongside Age UK Buckinghamshire’s Befriending Plus Service and is aimed at older people who are isolated and lonely. It enables individuals who join the programme to develop peer-to-peer friendships with those in similar situations, and access local community groups or activities like those we provide at Peverel Court Care.

 

Sharing the joy of a festive theatre trip

We loved the idea of getting involved with the BOOST programme, and our planned trip to Aylesbury Waterside Theatre to see the 1938 classic, A Christmas Carol, was an ideal way to kick off our involvement in BOOST. 

Four members of our local community who are part of the BOOST programme, alongside Age UK Buckinghamshire volunteer Tricia, joined our residents from Bartlett’s and Stone House for this festive outing.

Tricia said of the Theatre trip:

We took some of our BOOST clients to the Christmas Theatre screening of ‘A Christmas Carol’. It was a real treat and a fantastic opportunity for our clients to meet in a safe and supportive space, reminiscing about Christmases past whilst enjoying the performance. It was great to see our BOOST clients get excited about socialising and it was thoroughly enjoyed by them all. Thank you Peverel Court Care for inviting us.

 Our residents Patrick and Pearl said:

I hadn’t seen that film in a long time, it was great to enjoy it again with friends and mince pies!

 

I enjoy going to the theatre. I like that Christmas film, it was good to watch it again. I ate a lot of chocolate! [laughing] 

 We are planning more participation in the BOOST programme in 2024 which will be a mixture of outings and in-house events at our care homes. Like the theatre trip, all will continue to be funded by Peverel Court Care in addition to our monthly donation to assist with Age UK Buckinghamshire’s community work.

 

Why is community so important to us?

In the past care homes have been viewed as standalone facilities in some communities and there has been little engagement between residents or their care home neighbours. This goes completely against what we believe, which is that the best care homes should be the vibrant heart of our communities. 

We have a huge amount to offer people of all ages within our care communities, all focused around the simple but vital joy of social interaction. Whether it’s Debutots visiting us for some preschool fun, or our sports, arts, music or animal therapy events, all provide the chance to bring the community into our care homes and spark interactions for everyone involved which boost wellbeing and mental health.

Being engaged with and forming mutually beneficial relationships with neighbours and friends within Buckinghamshire is transformative for all who engage in the initiatives we are involved with, which alongside our partnership with Age UK Buckinghamshire includes our sponsorship of a local football team and our partnership with Aylesbury Homeless Action Group.

 

Combatting isolation and loneliness

Being connected to others is something we all need as human beings, and we should never underestimate the damage of feeling cut off from each other. None of us can forget what the isolation of COVID entailed and the negative effects so many people endured as a result, which proves just how vital promoting and supporting social interaction is for us all.

We are all potentially at risk of isolation and loneliness, the effect of which on mortality is comparable to the impact of well-known risk factors such as obesity, and has a similar influence as cigarette smoking (Holt-Lunstad, 2010). Loneliness is also associated with an increased risk of developing coronary heart disease and stroke (Valtorta et al, 2016), it increases the risk of high blood pressure (Hawkley et al, 2010), and lonely individuals are also at higher risk of the onset of disability (Lund et al, 2010).

Christmas is often strongly related to people feeling acutely lonely and isolated, especially if they live on their own. Age UK wrote about this in their recent blog, ‘Looking out for loneliness this winter’, and we know through our connections at Age UK Buckinghamshire that they are encouraging anyone in our localities who is feeling lonely to get in touch with them.

We would also signpost any older person who is feeling alone to The Silverline, which is run by Age UK, Independent Age and the useful advice the NHS offer. Know too that if you are near to one of our Peverel Court Care Homes, our door is always open.

 

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 exceptional, 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

Personalised, at-home physiotherapy for our residents

Enabling our residents to remain as mobile as possible is a key aim to ensure everyone who lives with us can enjoy maximum quality of life. Read on to learn more about our partnership with The Caring Physio and how this service is benefiting the ladies and gentlemen in our care homes.

 

Supporting our residents to move comfortably and keep as active and fit as possible is a key aim for the care we provide. We know that ageing can bring many challenges with joint, muscle and bone health, and this often leads to reduced mobility, which can be detrimental for both physical and mental health.

With this in mind, we’ve partnered with The Caring Physio so that our residents at Stone House, Bartlett’s and Merryfield can enjoy physiotherapy services in the comfort of their home. This has been a revolutionary offering for our residents that means we don’t need to wait for NHS referrals: the treatment our residents need can begin swiftly and in a relaxed and supportive environment with The Caring Physio visits to us. Our staff and families can be on-hand to provide any additional support and encouragement that our residents may need, and the physios are able to provide in-depth mobility knowledge to support our care teams in their roles. 

 

Why keeping our residents moving is important

When a person can’t move as they’d like to because of arthritis, other painful conditions or recovery from an operation, fall, stroke or other illness we know this can have a huge knock-on effect for their overall health and quality of life.

Physical inactivity has also been highlighted this World Alzheimer’s Month by Alzheimer’s Disease International as a factor in reducing the risk of developing dementia and for ongoing risk reduction for people who are already living with dementia.

We know that keeping our residents moving is beneficial in many other ways too, including for helping to lower blood pressure, improving heart health and boosting immunity, and to support good mental health, especially when exercise is taken outside.

 

The benefits of at-home physiotherapy when you’re living in a care home

We’ve found that providing our residents with regular access to a physiotherapy service that is person-centred and responsive to each person’s needs is playing a huge part in keeping our residents as physically active as possible, as we’ve seen recently with our Stone House Sports Day and Bartlett’s Mini Crazy Golf.

Moreover, for our residents who are living with dementia, having at-home physio means they can be surrounded by their own possessions and have their treatment in a relaxed atmosphere, rather than having to go to an unfamiliar clinic with time-pressured appointments. 

The small team of physios who visit us are able to get to know our residents very well, and for our ladies and gentlemen with dementia they often adopt creative approaches to make the exercises and movements they are recommending as easy to understand and participate in as possible. The physios are also able to assist staff and relatives in understanding how they can support exercise and movement regimes in-between visits.

 

What our residents and families have said about our at-home physio service

Tony said:

“I have been seeing Gemma for the last two weeks and my problem has gone. She has not needed to see me again. She has improved my walking by doing basic walking techniques. Gemma is very easy to get on with and has treated me with dignity and respect.”

 

Audrey (Family member) said:

“My husband suffered a serious stroke in July 2020. He was previously very fit. I was present for a short session given by Ms Barnes during a visit to Merryfield in January 2023, and was immediately struck and most impressed by her completely different approach from that of the community physiotherapists. Determined and dedicated, she never gives up hope and has in-turn given my husband hope. She is always cheerful and her pleasant attitude means my husband looks forward to her visits. My husband is now starting to engage core muscles enabling him to reach forward a little. Most importantly, Gemma has enabled my husband to slightly move his left leg which is an incredible achievement as it is now three years since his stroke. This has had an immense psychological effect on him. I would thoroughly recommend Gemma: her dedicated approach and positive demeanour is second to none.”

 

Esther said: 

“Gemma is now a regular visitor to Merryfield and is a great comfort and help to all. Residents have one-to-one sessions with Gemma and they are helped with their individual needs. She converses well, has a wide knowledge and gives great advice on ‘aches and pains’. She explains specific problems and the best way to deal with them. She has helped me a great deal.”

 

About The Caring Physio

The Caring Physio are a team of physiotherapists – all of whom are members of the Health and Care Professions Council and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy – that specialise in providing person-centred treatment in the comfort of their patient’s own homes. Their physiotherapy is delivered by professionals with outstanding knowledge and experience, and they are able to provide best practice advice for recovery from a multitude of different health conditions and injuries.

Gemma – one of the physios supporting our residents – graduated in 2008 with a first-class honours degree in Physiotherapy. She went on to have a successful career as a Military Physiotherapist before specialising in frailty. Gemma believes – as we do – that no one is too old for rehab, and she enjoys helping people from a variety of different backgrounds to fulfil their potential.

 

 

We caught up with Gemma to ask her some questions about being a physio and what she and her colleagues offer our residents

 

Gemma, you’ve had a really interesting career, including working at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (Headley Court) in the fields of Complex trauma, Amputee rehab and Neurology before specialising in frailty. What do you love most about working with older people?

Gemma: “Yes, I’ve been very lucky in my career so far and have had the chance to work with some incredible people spanning all age groups and backgrounds. I think what I enjoy most about working with older people is what you can learn from them. They have so much lived experience and will inevitably teach me something new every day. This generation in particular have lived through so much change and tend to have a real ‘can do’ attitude, which translates well into the physio sessions. I find myself laughing most days as they often have a very refreshing outlook on things.”

 

Why do you and your colleagues believe that timely access to physiotherapy is so important for people as they age?

Gemma: “We firmly believe that no one is too old for rehab and that prevention is often better than cure. If we can maintain people’s physical fitness, mobility, confidence and balance then this can reduce their falls risk and also improve their overall quality of life. We also believe that age shouldn’t be a predictor of quality of life and that people shouldn’t be ‘given up’ on because they reach a certain age. Sometimes even a small amount of input can have a hugely positive effect.”

 

Many care providers don’t yet offer at-home physiotherapy for their residents. What do you and your colleagues believe are the key benefits of an at-home physiotherapy service for people living in care homes?

Gemma: “Sadly, some people see going into a care home as ‘giving up’. We believe that a good care home environment should encourage people to live their best lives, but often physical barriers can stand in the way of this. Providing an in-house physio service to residents allows us to problem solve in their own environment, meaning we can give advice and make changes in real time. We can also provide physio for residents who are bed bound and may not be able to go out and access ‘traditional’ physiotherapy in clinics or outpatient departments. It may also be that people don’t know what physio can provide, or how much it can help particularly with conditions such a Parkinson’s Disease, stroke & with general frailty. We also provide advice to the care home and family members on equipment that may help residents, and can signpost to other services that may be required for residents who may have ‘slipped through the net’ within a very stretched NHS.”

 

You and your colleagues have made a huge difference to the lives of many of our residents already. Can you tell us some of the successes in treating our residents that you’re particularly proud of?

Gemma: “Within the care homes that we work in, we have seen some brilliant things, including enabling an 89-year-old gentleman to undertake a skydive for charity. He wasn’t able to adopt the correct flight & landing positions, but following an intensive period of physio, he managed it and was able to complete the skydive, raising over £6K for charity and fulfilling a lifelong dream. This was a very proud moment for all of us. (Note: this wasn’t a gentleman in a Peverel Court Care Home). 

We have managed to get a gentleman who had a stroke and was deemed to have ‘no rehab potential’ to actively move his leg, and he is now able to stand using a piece of equipment we have sourced for him. This has had a profoundly positive impact on both him and his family. 

We have also been working with a lady to help her regain full functional use of her hand after it came out of plaster following a break. She didn’t get any physio through the NHS but we have managed to get her using the hand functionally again, which has enabled her to remain more independent with tasks, including being able to feed herself. 

However, it’s not always about the ‘big wins’. Sometimes it’s just as rewarding to see someone’s confidence grow, or to get them walking independently again, or get someone a piece of equipment that enables them to be more independent or engaged. Often it’s all the ‘little wins’ that really add up to give great job satisfaction.”

 

Many thanks to Gemma and her colleagues for the support they are providing to our residents.

 

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 exceptional, 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, Business, Care & Technology, Care Management, Future of Care, Health and Safety, Leadership & Management, Merryfield, Real life, Social Care & Society, Stone House, Wellbeing

Health and wellbeing of the adult social care workforce

Health and Wellbeing of the Adult Social Care Workforce at Peverel Court Care

 

With the number of cases of COVID-19 on the rise again across the UK, it seemed a good time to review the health and wellbeing support that has been put in place for the adult social care workforce. We examine both the initiatives that have been launched nationally, and also those that we have additionally put in place for our staff at Peverel Court Care.

The care sector is a vital part of our health and care frontline and this pandemic has shone a light on the skills, commitment and dedication of our care workers.

Helen Whately
Minister of State for Care

 

An Unprecedented Year in Adult Social Care

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, this has been a challenging year for the adult social care sector in the UK. Keeping our residents safe has been at the forefront of everyone’s minds; not least as a result of the media coverage it has had. However, equally as important has been ensuring the mental and physical wellbeing of the dedicated people whose hard work has ensured continuity of care for our residents.

While the general population have faced the worry, uncertainty and disruption that the pandemic has brought, for our staff we know that this has been doubly difficult. Not only have they had to worry about bringing illness home to the families and loved ones, but they have also had the added concern of taking something back to work with them.

When you add in the fact that many of our staff have been asked to help maintain levels of services while colleagues have been self-isolating; increasing their own workloads and levels of stress, it’s been incredibly reassuring to see the dedication of our team.

 

Supporting the Adult Social Care Workforce

Nationally, there have been plenty of initiatives launched to help support care workers. An early one was supermarkets including care workers amongst the group of front-line workers to whom priority shopping times were made available. However, at government level, one of the key additions made to support the care workforce was the launch of the Care Workforce app, developed with NHSX and the NHS Business Services Authority, under the new CARE brand.

Launched in May 2020, the app, which is available for download on iOS and Android, as well as being accessible from any web browser, acts as a single digital hub for social care workers to access relevant updates, guidance, support and discounts from their phone. The tool will be the first of its kind provided for the care workforce, and will:

  • act as a single one-stop-shop providing the sector with all the latest guidance, wellbeing support and advice they need to protect themselves from COVID-19 and keep themselves well
  • provide access to learning resources on crucial areas such as infection control as well as practical advice and support for mental wellbeing
  • show how care workers can take advantage of offers available to NHS and social care staff, including free car parking and discounts through organisations and initiatives like Discounts for Carers and the Blue Light Card
  • signpost free access to apps like Silvercloud, Daylight and Sleepio, which can help boost users’ mental wellbeing through programmes covering sleep, stress and resilience

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:

Our incredible social care workforce are on the frontline day and night providing quality care to the most vulnerable in our society during the most unprecedented time in our history. The whole country is incredibly grateful of the work they continue to do for our loved ones.

As part of our continued work to back the care sector, we have launched a new app specifically for care workers to make sure they have the most up-to-date guidance to keep them safe, connected with their colleagues across the country, which also allows them to access discounts like their NHS counterparts.

It’s available to download right now, and I would urge everyone in social care to do so.

 

Managing Mental Health and Wellbeing

In addition to the app, there have been a plethora of support initiatives and guidance released this year to help support the adult social care workforce. A simple, but important set of precisely this type of advice is:

There are some simple things you can do to look after your mental health and wellbeing at the current time. Looking after your mind and body will help you both at work and home.

  • Remember that it is OK to struggle at the present time. Everyone reacts differently and you may feel different emotions at different stages of the pandemic. However, it may cause you to feel worried, stressed, sad, scared or helpless – these are understandable feelings.
  • Take time to look after your physical wellbeing – this will have a big impact on how you feel emotionally. Taking breaks at work, maintaining a routine, eating well and exercising can help.
  • Think about what has helped you cope in the past to cope with stressful situations. Focus on what is in your control, try to pace yourself and remember that this will not last forever.
  • Extend the self-compassion and care you have for others for yourself.
  • Look after your emotional health. After difficult or stressful experiences at work it is normal for memories or images of what has happened to come into your mind. Try to let these memories come and go rather than blocking them or trying not to think about them. Try not to stay focused on difficult thoughts and feelings.

Dr Katrina Lake
NHS England & NHS Improvement Adult Mental Health (South East) Clinical Lead

Other useful examples of guidance documents released this year which are well worth a read, include Health and Wellbeing information for Care Staff and Managing the Wellbeing of Social Care Staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.
 

Supporting our team at Peverel Court Care

While we have appreciated the efforts that have been made at a national and local level, at Peverel Court Care we wanted to go further to help our employees through this difficult time.

We have also implemented the Employee Assistance Programme, powered by Health Assured, which is a confidential employee benefit designed to help staff deal with any personal and work-related issues that might be affecting them. Whether they are struggling at home or at work, there is a helpline available to them 24/7, 365 days a year, so that they will always have support on hand when they need it over the phone or via live chat.

Peverel Court Care have also partnered with Perkbox Medical to provide employees with 24/7 access to an online GP, as we appreciate how difficult it can sometimes be to schedule appointments around working hours.

The online GP service allows employees to interact with a certified doctor, via app or website from anywhere with internet access. Employees can book an appointment and be seen within minutes, ask for advice, as well as receiving prescriptions and referrals, all at a time of their choosing. Our Directors are among staff to have already taken advantage of this service, and believe they have “witnessed the benefit and efficiency of the process”.

Back in April we also created a bespoke survey platform for the team to provide anonymous feedback and ask questions to the senior leadership team. In order to try to mitigate against any financial hardship suffered as a result of needing to self-isolate, we also invited employees to let us know if they need assistance in dealing with the loss of income as a result of having to isolate for 7 or 14 days. We put in place a scheme covering the months of March and April where we were able to advance up to 100% of the difference between Statutory Sick Pay and an employee’s contractual pay over that period.

We are also introducing Aura for our employees from the 29th October. Even before World Mental Health Day, we had been looking for a new solution which we could provide to our staff to help them better manage the impact on their mental health of both their work and life. Aura is described by it’s founders as:

Join millions who use Aura to manage their emotions and get restful sleep. Whether you’re stressed, anxious or having trouble sleeping, simply tell Aura and find strength & rest.

Mindfulness meditations, stories, life coaching, and so much more. With thousands of empowering & resonating audio tracks, Aura has just what you need every day, and constantly learns what works for you.

 

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.

Food & Drink

Bite-sized nutrition at Peverel Court Care

There are two things everyone knows about food. Firstly, it is intrinsically linked to health and wellbeing. Secondly, it is unquestionably linked to happiness and contentedness for most people. For these reasons, the food we feed our residents has to be two things in order to keep them happy and well – tasty and nutritious.

Every day, our residents are given a menu from which they can choose one of several healthy and delicious options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They can choose whether they want to eat this food in their rooms or in our dining room, where they can socialise with other residents.

Some of the vegetables we use in our meals come from our very own gardens and are prepared in our very own kitchens. Our gardeners are becoming so good at growing them that we often have vegetables left over, which we offer to the families of our residents.

But because of the happiness food provides, occasionally we have to give our residents the opportunity to eat some more indulgent as a treat. We host a fun activity called Resident Of The Day, in which each resident can choose what they want to eat – even if it isn’t on our menu. We’ve had some marvellous requests including Hungarian goulash, grilled seabass, fish and chips (specifically from the chip shop), and chicken shaslik and popadoms with chutney, which we had delivered from a local Indian restaurant. One of our residents even requested lobster, though he changed his mind in the end and settled for something else. We ask our residents what they would like in advance of their special day and then take the necessary steps to make sure they get it. They can even order puddings.

Nutrition has a serious side, so we do weigh our residents to make sure that they remain within a healthy weight-range. If any of our residents lose 2kg or more in a month, which is extremely rare, we take several immediate steps to make sure they move back into their healthy weight-range, including monitoring their weight weekly and referring them to GPs, dieticians and speech and language therapy for swallowing assessment as soon as possible. Weight-loss is usually nothing to do with a dislike of food, so we have to work quickly to work out if there are any underlying illnesses or issues. We can then work towards making our residents feel better.

But it’s all mostly good news. We get great reviews about our food in our resident’s surveys. We think this is because we work so hard to make sure our residents likes and dislikes are noted in their care plans, as well as working hard to accommodate their dietary requirements. We will do our research to meet the needs of any food requirement our residents have, both pre-admission and in an on-going, evolving care plan.

Food is a big part of life for all of us. There is no reason our love for it should end when we move on and live in a care home environment. We would like to thank our kitchen staff, who work tirelessly to make sure our residents are kept healthy and happy through delicious, nutritious menus – and for making sure they’re kept satisfied with the odd treat, too!

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.

Care Management

A meeting of managers at Peverel Court Care

Leaders and managers are incredibly important in any organisation. If they’re doing their job correctly, they should be responsible for a happy and content culture amongst staff in care organisations. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, happy staff means happy residents. If our employees enjoy their job and feel looked after, they’re going to be better at looking after other people. It is the job of our leaders and managers to influence that happiness.

At the end of August we held a management forum, which brought together managers from all three of our sites. As an organisation with three separate homes, two in Buckinghamshire and one in Oxfordshire, its important that we maintain a constant level of communication between our management teams. They’re responsible for implementing our organisational action plan and clearly communicating our ethos and best practice to all other staff members, so it’s important that this is clearly communicated to them in the first instance.

These management meetings are also excellent for forging bonds between our individual management staff and their teams. We may be working from individual locations, but we are one large team at the end of the day. Our successes and challenges are shared. We need to make sure we have organisations that are well-led, with strong, skilled and communicative managers who are able to really inspire a culture of hard work and dedication amongst their individual care teams and across the whole of Peverel Court Care. The best way for us to do that is to really bring together our managers, both physically and metaphorically.

Managers at the meeting shared their triumphs and difficulties from the past twelve months and then worked together to form an action plan. This joined up working draws on the strengths of individual team members to work to overcome a problem together. It’s a great way of identifying what are our best assets, both collectively and individually, and where we’re stronger as a team than we are on our own.

In the afternoon, we had an events team set up a ‘Masterpiece Challenge’. We were split into individual units but worked together following a set of instructions to form what would eventually turn into a ‘masterpiece’, to huge success. The final product was beautiful, watching it fit together so seamlessly was fascinating. The aim of the challenge was to show our teams what they can do as individuals, as smaller units and as one big team. When everyone is following the same instructions, communicating effectively and working towards the same common goal, we can achieve great things.

By continuously strengthening the communication at Peverel Court Care from management level and throughout all of our care teams, we continue to work together to form an impressive standard of care. Our individual care homes identify our teams, our ethos and aims are our instructions, the type of strong communication and teamwork we saw at our management forum is the glue that knits everything together, and the superb care that we provide is our masterpiece.

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