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.

Bartletts, Best Care Practices, Business, Care Management, Community, Future of Care, Leadership & Management, Merryfield, Real life, Social Care & Society, Social Care Strategy, Stone House, Wellbeing

Developing our new company values

Developing our new company values at Peverel Court Care

 

Constructing an idealised set of values for your business and its staff to uphold is one thing; but successfully embedding that in the DNA of the organisation is another entirely.

 
In a 2007 Bain & Company survey, global business leaders confirmed their belief that organisational culture was as important as corporate strategy in realising business success.

Organisational culture is the business equivalent of the personality of an individual. It can have a strong impact on the behaviour of its employees by facilitating a collective commitment to what the company stands for.

By establishing a singular organisational identity a business can help employees in understanding their own role and surroundings. It can also help communicate expectations regarding how their conduct affects the wider perception of the company they work for.

One of the key components of company culture are its values, which we believe to be the set of guiding principles and fundamental beliefs that help a group of people function together as a team and work towards a common goal. Company values fall into two categories: espoused values, such as those communicated by management, and enacted values, i.e. those actually displayed by employees. Therefore, to successfully embed new values into a company, the values displayed by staff need to be brought in line with those publicised by the business.

 

Creating new company values

At Peverel Court Care, we not only appreciate the hard work and dedication of our staff in delivering first class care provision to residents at our elderly care homes in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire; we also respect their loyalty and commitment to our business. Therefore, rather than seek to impose values on them, we consulted with our passionate team to find out how they wanted our business to be viewed by others.

To achieve this, we invited our staff to complete a core values survey. They were provided the opportunity to rank a shortlist of suggested core values in the order which they each felt was the closest match to the company they wanted us to be. In addition, we also offered an open question for our staff to detail what they feel should be the most important core values at Peverel Court Care.

The resulting values are different to those of many other organisations, because they carry real weight. The entire company have been involved in their creation, and they have been discussed and agreed by everyone across the business. This means they have total buy-in from all of the team. Going forward, they will be used in everything we do; including recruitment, onboarding, induction training and appraisals.

Our recognition programme will also be used to congratulate and reward our staff when they are recognised by residents, their families, or peers for outstanding work that align with these values.

 

Our Chosen Values

  • Resident Focus – Commitment to putting our residents first. We develop relationships that make a positive difference in our residents’ lives.
  • Passion – Care about our work and taking pride in what we do. Committed in heart and mind.
  • Integrity – We uphold the highest standards of integrity in all of our actions. Behaving with the highest levels of integrity is fundamental to who we are.
  • Service Quality – We provide an unsurpassed service that delivers exceptional care to our residents and their families.
  • Care For Our Communities – We serve and support a local experience. The unique character of each home is a direct reflection of a community’s people and culture.

 

About Peverel Court Care

Peverel Court Care is a group of one residential and two nursing homes, located in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire: 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

Uncategorized

The importance of staff training and development

Hand Drawn Staff Training on Green Chalkboard.As a part of our exceptional elderly care philosophy, Peverel Court Care has always given utmost importance to staff training and development. We go out of our way to attract and retain talented care staff, and we believe in giving our staff opportunities to boost their knowledge through training and development.

Peverel Court Care has a longstanding partnership with ACC to inspire and nurture staff. We have recently increased the collaboration with ACC so that our staff get an opportunity to learn and grow as carers rather than just going through the motions of training.

Collaboration redefined

Peverel Court Care acknowledges that it has wonderful staff members who are diligent and passionate about making a difference in the lives of our residents. We are highly committed to ensuring that each one of our residents has a superior Peverel Court Care experience.

Through our association with the ACC community, our staff are constantly inspired and encouraged to expand their knowledge base. ACC programs are designed for self-learning, and they help carers stay motivated to boost their knowledge using tools and support materials that the staff design themselves. This revolutionary and novel method of training and development has helped Peverel Court Care to consistently apply good care practices across its three homes and set a benchmark for care standards. This sense of community and commitment spurs constant learning, allowing Peverel Court Care staff to grow as professionals and individuals.

Encouraging learning

We know our staff are constantly on their toes, caring for our residents and also attending mandatory training sessions. To facilitate self-learning and make it more convenient for our staff to learn and grow, Peverel Court Care has opened a new purpose-built staff/training room, where our staff can imbibe new trends in elderly care and improve their existing knowledge and skills in a tranquil environment that promotes learning, development, and personal and professional growth.

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