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 figures 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: 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.

©2022 Peverel Court Care
Privacy Policy | Designed & Build by Streamstay
all rights reserved