Falls, Tech

Spotlight on Falls

 

Falls are one of the most feared health emergencies for older people and their families. In our three-part series, we will be shining a spotlight on falls, the changes we aspire to make and the impact these will have in reducing falls. We begin by looking at how falls impact older people and the implications for a person when they fall.

The potential to have a fall is something many older people and their families dread. Whether the person lives at home, is in hospital or in a care home, having a fall can have significant and far-reaching consequences. It’s something many health and social care staff also fear and often find difficult to mitigate against and manage. 

 

What do we know about falls?

The 2018 ‘NICE impact report on falls and fragility fractures’ said:

Older people are more likely to fall. They are also more likely to suffer significant consequences, such as a loss of independence and confidence, leading to physical and mental deterioration and frailty. This increases the risk of a person experiencing multimorbidity, which is when a person has 2 or more long-term health conditions. It can also increase their risk of further falls and fractures.

In 2015/16, NHS Improvement reported that 204,269 inpatient falls were voluntarily reported by acute trusts, with a fall rate of 2.8 falls per 100 patients. However, many falls occur at home and go unreported, so the true incidence of all falls is unknown. It is estimated that approximately 30% of people older than 65 fall at least once a year; this is around 3 million people in England.

The 2022 Age and Ageing Journal published the first ‘World guidelines for falls prevention and management for older adults’ that said: 

Falls occur at all ages and are an inevitable part of a bipedal gait and physical activity. They occur in 30% of adults aged over 65 years annually, for whom the consequences are more serious, despite concerted efforts of researchers and clinicians to understand, assess and manage their risks and causes. In addition to personal distress, falls and fall-related injuries are a serious health care problem because of their association with subsequent morbidity, disability, hospitalisation, institutionalisation and mortality.

In Europe, total deaths and disability-adjusted life years due to falls have increased steadily since 1990. The Global Burden of Disease study reported nearly 17 million years of life lost from falls in 2017. Related societal and economic consequences are substantial. In high-income countries, approximately 1% of health care costs are fall-related expenditures.

Note: NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) are currently updating their guidance on Falls and their new recommendations will be published in August 2024.

 

Falls and care homes

With these statistics in mind our Associate Director, Preet Shergill, has made falls the subject of his NHS Digital Academy TOPOL Fellowship (TOPOL Fellowships were borne out of the 2019 Review conducted by Eric Topol MD entitled ‘Preparing the healthcare workforce to deliver the digital future’). In his first blog for the NHS Digital Academy about his fellowship entitled ‘Empowering social care through digital innovation: My Topol Digital Fellowship journey’ Preet said:

The public health data highlights the urgent need for falls prevention strategies, given the impending exponential growth in the 85+ age group. In my local county of Buckinghamshire, the number of people over 85 is projected to rise by 78% over the next 12 years. The total annual cost of fragility fractures to the UK, including social care, is estimated at £4.4 billion.

 

What are the current challenges around falls?

As we go into the autumn and winter seasons, falls join flu, Covid and many other seasonal challenges making NHS-related headlines every year. Falls outside are more likely in cold and icy conditions, and falls inside become more common when people are unwell with infections and more confused, tired or struggling with their balance.

Once a person has a fall, shock and distress are highly likely, making the psychological impact immediate. The physical consequences can, at worst, mean broken bones – hip fractures are especially common and often life-changing or life-shortening – and, if the person has hit their head, potentially the consequences can be fatal. 

Even if these worst-case scenarios are avoided, a fall often means going to hospital for a precautionary scan and tests, an in-patient stay may be needed, pain may be difficult to assess and control, and bruising and any cuts can take a long time to heal. 

With extended waiting times for ambulances, overstretched A and E departments, shortages of beds on wards, and the difficulties for an older person or a person with dementia when they are in an unfamiliar environment (that can often lead to further falls, loss of independence, weight loss and incontinence), going to hospital alone can be a traumatic experience.

Even if a person’s physical injuries heal, the physiological ones often remain. The person may repeatedly think about how they fell and what the cause was. They may become fearful of walking, or lose confidence in maintaining aspects of their independence that they feel may have either led to their fall or could lead to another fall. It then becomes a vicious circle of reduced mobility, with the physical consequences of pressure ulcer risks and greater chances of infections like UTI’s, and greater dependence, which can often erode feelings of self-worth and self-esteem.

 

Falls matter to everyone

Because falls have such a massive impact on the lives of people who fall and their families, we believe they are a vital issue for us to understand more about. We need to find innovative ways to prevent falls and, should a fall still occur, manage a person’s recovery as effectively as possible through modern rehabilitation techniques – like our personalised, at-home physio service – to ensure the best quality of life for our residents.

We will never be able to prevent every fall, or indeed the physical and psychological effects a person may be living with from a fall prior to moving into a Peverel Court Care Home. What we can do, however, is change the narrative and our approaches to find new solutions and ways of thinking.

 

What’s next?

In our second blog of this series, we will hear from some of our residents, families, staff and other healthcare professionals about their personal and professional experiences of falls. We will also discuss how digital transformation can lead to a positive impact in reducing falls.

 

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, Care Awards, Merryfield, Stone House

Lola Vintage Ice Cream Van Activity

To celebrate Peverel Court Care being recognised by carehome.co.uk as a Top 20 Care Home Group in the UK in their 2022 Awards, we hired the Lola vintage ice cream van to visit us to serve delicious ice cream to both our residents and staff. 

 

Lola, the vintage ice cream van (link to: https://www.lolaicecreamvan.co.uk/), was born in 1973. She’s been serving delicious ice creams and waffles for private events, weddings, anniversaries, special birthdays and corporate events ever since. They cater for all dietary requirements, with treats suitable for vegetarians, dairy intolerance and gluten free. 

Reminiscing about the past

Our resident Christopher James was one of many of our residents who thoroughly enjoyed trying various ice creams from the vintage van.

Christopher reminisced about working as a cold store porter for Wall’s ice cream in the 1970’s. He worked 3 summers in a row between July and September for £20 a week! He laughed explaining: “£20 a week was a lot back then!”

Christopher enjoyed the quiet village areas as he travelled between north and south Oxfordshire delivering stock. He said he preferred the ice cream back then: “it’s not as creamy as it once was!”

 

 

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 & Technology, Care Management, Community, Design, Future of Care, Leadership & Management, Merryfield, Real life, Social Care & Society, Social Care Strategy, Stone House, Workforce Development, Workforce Intelligence

In search of continuous progress in care

In search of continuous progress in care at Peverel Court Care

 

At Peverel Court Care, we embrace the opportunity to continuously improve our business and, as a result, the lives of our residents and staff. In this post, we wanted to explore further what a continuous improvement model is, and how our commitment is driving positive results.

Whilst there are a number of different methodologies for identifying and implementing opportunities for improvement, these all share a number of core principles. It is these upon which we have based our model for advancing the way in which we operate.

 

The core principles of continuous improvement

Beyond that, we have taken the following core principles upon which to base our programme of continuous improvement for our already award-winning care homes in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire:

As the first to test the GP Connect extension within Nourish, we will be shaping the way care environments interact with GP services and taking a significant step towards a joined-up care environment. We look forward to seeing how our care teams engage with GP Connect and the impact it will have on care practice.

  • Small steps rather than giant leaps are more likely to achieve progress. We have acknowledged that huge changes to the way we run the business are going to be much scarier and more time consuming than smaller changes. So we’re focusing our efforts on identifying opportunities that can be implemented much more quickly, in order to ensure constant progression. This allows fast improvements in the day-to-day lives of our residents and staff, rather than strategic shifts that will take much more time to realise.
  • The thoughts, ideas and experiences of our employees are invaluable. Our leadership team understands that no-one understands the challenges and opportunities in the business better than the people who work in it everyday. That’s why we want to know which elements of their jobs and our processes, activities and communications are sticking points for our team. This helps us to identify opportunities for us to make improvements that will benefit our staff and residents every day, and help us to make constant progress towards a better business.
  • Incremental changes can usually be implemented very cost-effectively. Our leadership team has noted that when receiving feedback from the team, the focus is often on smaller changes which can be implemented without a huge amount of expense, yet can make a big impact. Indeed, it has been noted that many ideas from employees involve simplifying processes rather than complicating them. This is a great way to ensure that every step we make adds value to our residents and staff, and reduces wasted time and effort. This insight from employees is therefore fundamental to our continuous improvement programme.
  • Encouraging employees to own and drive our continuous improvement program. Whilst appreciating the importance of the key insights we can gain from our team, and the way we can utilise these to progress the business, we’re asking for even more from our team. We want them to be proud of the business in which they work, and therefore believe that it’s important for them to not only buy into what we’re doing, but to proactively contribute to the direction of our improvement programme.
  • Reflecting on our improvement. Ensuring a constant feedback loop is essential for the success of our continuous improvement programme. Open communication throughout the improvement process is critical to ensuring that the changes we make are making the desired improvements. We know that not every idea, or the way we attempt to make change, will be a success. Therefore, keeping track of and communicating our successes and failures will help us to learn more and improve even our continuous improvement programme.
  • Measuring the success of improvement. It’s vitally important that we don’t just make changes, but that we measure their effectiveness. This might be in the form of time or cost savings, but equally it could be in terms of quality of life improvements for our staff or residents. By measuring the impact that our changes make in the pursuit of improvement, we’re better able to determine whether that change could also be applied successfully to other similar challenges in the business.

 

Creating a sound continuous improvement programme

A sound continuous improvement programme should be able to demonstrate a number of features which Peverel Court Care’s leadership team aim to embrace:

  • Baseline – the current situation the service is trying to change
  • Planning – improvements and the expected benefit to the care recipient
  • Monitoring – systems to monitor a new process or activity during its implementation
  • Evaluation – systems to monitor a process or activity once it has been implemented, which should help ensure its sustainability and capture the actual improvements.

The following framework has been utilised to help drive and support the process and to ensure that all changes we make are fully aligned to our business strategy and values:

  • Care recipient focus
  • Strategic planning and implementation
  • Involvement of key stakeholders; crucially ensuring that staff feeling involved and listened to
  • Innovation – particularly in terms of gathering ideas from staff
  • Regular monitoring and evaluation.

Progress to date from our continuous improvement programme

At Peverel Court Care, our continuous improvement programme has already been in place for a little while. So we wanted to share a couple of great examples of how it’s already working for us as we seek to improve the day-to-day lives of our residents and staff.

One recent example came from Hillary, one of our Activities Coordinators, who proposed a number of suggestions, including “Around the world through takeaway”, “Virtual family time” and “Glam day ladies club”. There were some brilliant ideas, and we have already incorporated suggestions such as the bespoke takeaway evenings, which take our residents to different places around the world via their cuisine. 

We are also implementing quarterly reverse mentoring sessions with our CEO. These sessions are constructive and fun, and allow employees to tell the CEO what they would do differently and why. We’ve found this opportunity has improved insight and communication across management and employees.

 

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, Best Care Practices, Business, Care Home Recruitment, Care Management, Community, Future of Care, Leadership & Management, Merryfield, Real life, Stone House, Workforce Development, Workforce Intelligence

How our carers feedback helps us stay on top of running a leading care business

How our carers feedback helps us stay on top of running a leading care business at Peverel Court Care

 

At Peverel Court Care, we know that whilst we have an excellent reputation for the care that we provide to our residents and for the way we look after our staff, there are always opportunities to do even more. That’s why we partnered with local business WorkBuzz last year, to conduct regular staff surveys to obtain carer feedback and to identify areas for further improvement.

 

The surveys help gather real-time feedback from staff across our care homes, gathering vital understanding, and helping to build a more inclusive culture. All survey responses are anonymous and they are sent twice a year to the entire team, allowing us time to formulate and implement action plans, and gain vital regular insight.

 

Benefits of employee feedback in the care sector

Whilst most care businesses will be quick to acknowledge that feedback from residents and their families is crucial in driving improvements in service delivery, taking regular feedback from carers and other employees is equally important.

In post pandemic and post Brexit Britain, the recruitment and retention of staff is a universal challenge for care businesses. Ensuring that we’re listening to our employees, and then working to address their concerns and implement their suggestions will help to not only improve the services we deliver, but also to reduce the friction that our team experiences in their day-to-day work. In turn, this then helps us to better retain our talented team and to make their working lives, in some small way, less stressful and challenging wherever we can.

nibusinessinfo.co.uk is the official online channel for business advice and guidance in Northern Ireland. In a recent article they described how “Encouraging your staff to voice their ideas and contribute to finding better ways of doing things can have a positive impact on your business performance”.

Amongst the key business benefits of encouraging staff feedback, opinions and ideas, they identified:

  • Better awareness – you will be more aware of what is going on at every level of your business
  • Increased productivity – it helps to increase employee engagement, motivation and productivity
  • Business solutions – you may find solutions to business problems that otherwise may not have been established
  • Innovation – it encourages effective decision making and drives innovation
  • Valued contribution – it helps employees to feel that their contribution to the business is valued
  • Staff retention – it encourages employee retention and reduces staff turnover because employees feel more valued and allied to your business and its goals
  • Adaptability – improved communication helps with organisational change and cultural change

 

What changes have been implemented as a result of staff feedback?

In addition to the scores and carer feedback, we received several anonymised comments in particular that were extremely insightful and which we have been able to take action on to make rapid improvements to the way in which we operate the business day-to-day.

Overall, there was a theme in the feedback with people commenting on staffing numbers during covid. We recognise it was an incredibly challenging time and we recognise in particular that the most important resource in any care service is the team. That’s why we know that not only our growth, but our ongoing performance, will ultimately be determined by the effectiveness of our recruitment strategies and implementation.

In addition to the scores and feedback, we received several anonymised comments in particular that were extremely insightful and which we have been able to take action on to make rapid improvements to the way in which we operate the business day-to-day.

Laura will assist us all with the implementation of the recruitment and retention strategy, assist the in-house recruitment and retention schemes, work with the local community, digital media partners, and industry contacts to ensure Peverel Court Care is a leading care employer in the local market; attracting and retaining high quality candidates with caring values.

Laura will also assist in developing defined career pathways, and will work with staff across our award-winning care homes in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire to refine our rewards and recognition package.

We will also be implementing new software that promotes our employee referral programme, providing our staff with direct access to refer candidates and secure vouchers, making this quicker and easier for them to do.

Other projects we are working on that will assist employees include introducing an electronic rota system. Again, we’ve listened to their feedback and noted the challenges they’ve raised and believe this will streamline processes around payroll and annual leave. An electronic system will provide staff with more transparency prior to receiving their pay, simplifying shift work, and minimising errors. We are currently reviewing suppliers and hope to implement this new solution in the coming months.

There are also other projects we hope to implement in the next 6-12 months based on feedback received, including updating our nurse call systems, and electronic medication administration.

 

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, Business, Care & Technology, Care Management, Community, Future of Care, Leadership & Management, Merryfield, Personalisation, Real life, Social Care & Society, Tech

Merryfield piloting GP Connect for Nourish

Merryfield piloting GP Connect for Nourish at Peverel Court Care

 

For Peverel Court Care, any opportunity to help advance the alignment between health and social care is one not to be missed. So when our digital care management software provider Nourish approached us asking if we would beta test their new GP Connect integration, we were delighted to help.

 

Merryfield, our nursing care home in Witney, Oxfordshire, was selected as the ideal place to beta test the new solution. By undertaking the pilot programme, Merryfield became the first care home in the country to access GP Connect via the Nourish platform.

Following a successful trial at Bartlett’s, we had rolled out Nourish to our homes as our chosen digital care plan solution in late 2020. More information about Nourish and the benefits we’ve seen can be found in our article on the digital care plan roll out.

 

GP Connect on Nourish

GP Connect is a service that allows GP practices and authorised clinical staff to share and view GP practice clinical information and data between IT systems, quickly and efficiently. The service makes patient medical information available to clinicians when and where they need it leading to improvements in the care they’re able to provide.

“The introduction of GP Connect is a huge step towards delivering interoperability and establishing a connected care environment within health and social care. Nourish customers will be able to review relevant and timely medical notes for people they support, leading to better continuity of care, and resulting in safer, improved outcomes. I look forward to seeing the positive impact this delivers for care teams and those they support.”

Nuno Almeida, Founder and CEO of Nourish Care

With the support of our digital partner Nourish, we now have access to the GP records and medical notes for our residents, facilitating more informed decision making. We will have access to clinical history, medications, allergies, history of immunisations and more. This valuable information will enhance the work we do and surface the right information at the right time.

As the first to test the GP Connect extension within Nourish, we will be shaping the way care environments interact with GP services and taking a significant step towards a joined-up care environment. We look forward to seeing how our care teams engage with GP Connect and the impact it will have on care practice.

 

 

GP Connect feedback from our team

As a business, we are always looking for ways to put our residents first, to provide them with the best possible service, and to make a positive contribution to the community. We believe that beta testing the GP Connect extension in Nourish aligns with all of those values.

“By using GP Connect we now have a better understanding of our resident’s needs. Accessing the GP record helps us to understand the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ around an individual’s needs. If there are concerns regarding medication, we can review the record and make more informed decisions. GP Connect is particularly helpful when admitting a new resident, by having this information at hand we can provide the best possible care from the start. Before GP Connect we would wait for an email or phone call from the GP. Now we can access the relevant information instantly, which is great!”

Kefas Jeshua, Peverel Court

 

“By switching on the GP Connect extension in Nourish we have key clinical information at our fingertips, helping us to minimise adverse events, providing better support. This information really helps!”

Francisca Torres, Peverel Court

 

GP Connect – Nourish beta test

It’s not just our team that are seeing the benefits of the pilot GP Connect programme:

“Peverel Court was the first to participate in Beta testing for the GP Connect extension. Preet, Kefas and the team were very engaged with the trial and were extremely committed and helpful. A driver for enabling GP Connect was to support new residents coming to the home, to access all their key information beforehand so the team could make the resident feel as comfortable as possible. It was great to see Peverel Court testing the latest system and striving for continuous improvement within their service.”

Elise Featley – Product Marketing Manager at Nourish Care

 

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, Best Care Practices, Care Home Maintenance, Care Management, CQC Inspection, Health and Safety, Infection Control, Leadership & Management

Bartlett’s CQC Inspection

Peverel Court Care Bartlett's CQC Inspection Infection Prevention Control Aylesbury Buckinghamshire

 

In response to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) have introduced new Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) inspections in order to share good practice, uphold high quality care and keep people in care safe.

 

CQC Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Inspections

It is no surprise that the CQC view effective infection prevention and control as “essential” in the fight to protect people from acquiring COVID-19 and that care homes “need to make sure they are taking action to minimise the risk of cross-infection”.

As a result, the CQC have introduced IPC inspections as part of their response to the coronavirus pandemic in order to check on “the preparedness of care homes in relation to infection prevention and control”.

Kate Terroni, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care at the CQC stated:

We’re committed to ensuring safe, effective, compassionate and high-quality care and are working with the Department of Health and Social Care and others to support the care system through winter. We have seen some providers using innovative and exciting practices to keep people safe. They have been supported by staff who have gone the extra mile to keep the people in their care healthy, stimulated, and as independent as possible, while keeping family members and carers informed and engaged. 

By continuing to monitor and inspect these care locations we have and will continue to take action to protect people, share best practice and support providers to protect against the spread of COVID in care homes.

 

CQC IPC Inspection – Bartlett’s Residential Care Home

Following an IPC inspection by the CQC at our Bartlett’s Residential Care Home in Stone, near Aylesbury, in Buckinghamshire on 18th February 2021, we have now received our report. This was a targeted inspection looking at the infection control and prevention measures that Peverel Court Care have in place. This inspection took place on 18 February 2021 and was announced.

In response to the pandemic and our need for first-class infection control now more than ever, we have introduced a new Testing Co-ordinator role. The Covid-19 Testing Coordinator plays a vital role in ensuring the health and safety of our visitors, colleagues, and residents, by providing an optimum level of direct administration and organisational support. The purpose is to enable us to adopt best practice and identify continuous improvement opportunities for our homes in order to streamline and formalise effective customer service processes.

To find out more about some of the initiatives we have put in place to ensure outstanding infection control in our care homes, please visit our previous article here.

 

Bartlett’s IPC Inspection – CQC’s Summary of Findings

Bartlett’s Residential Home is a care home located in Stone, Buckinghamshire and is owned by Peverel Court Limited. The home is registered to support older people, some who are living with dementia. The original building is a Victorian country house built in 1856, over the years it has been added to and now provides care and support for 50 people. At the time of our inspection 48 people were being supported.

The CQC found the following examples of good practice during our IPC inspection of Bartlett’s:

  • People were supported to keep in touch with their families throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. This included individual visitor plans as part of their care plan to make sure their social contact needs are met. There was a booking system in place to stagger visitors and visit times to minimise visitor numbers. Prior to each visit, visitors completed a lateral flow test and had the visitor expectations and procedures clearly explained.
  • Additional cleaning schedules had been introduced to reflect additional tasks such as cleaning of frequently touched surfaces. Regular audits took place which led to improvements and safety.
  • Staff and people using the service took part in regular testing for COVID-19. Additionally, staff carried out lateral flow testing twice a week, which enabled them to receive test results within 15-30 minutes. This helped the service to reduce the risk of spreading infection and allowed them to closely monitor and act immediately to ensure government guidelines can be followed where positive test results were discovered.
  • Staff told us the management team had been and continued to be supportive of staff, and risk assessments had been completed with staff who identified as facing higher risks. Managers were positive about the commitment staff had shown throughout the pandemic and a variety of initiatives had been implemented including ‘Thursday Thank Yous’ and personalised gift boxes.
  • There was a strong emphasis on the use of technology and innovation during the COVID-19 pandemic. This included the use of video technology to enable people to keep in touch with their families throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and collaborative work with NHSX (the unit tasked with driving digital transformation in the NHS).

We spoke to the Manager of each of our homes to find out whether there was anyone in particular who had stood out as a care hero over the past year.

 

Is the Service Safe? Bartlett’s CQC IPC Inspection Findings

How well are people protected by the prevention and control of infection?

  • We were assured that the provider was preventing visitors from catching and spreading infections
  • We were assured that the provider was meeting shielding and social distancing rules.
  • We were assured that the provider was admitting people safely to the service.
  • We were assured that the provider was using PPE effectively and safely.
  • We were assured that the provider was accessing testing for people using the service and staff.
  • We were assured that the provider was promoting safety through the layout and hygiene practices of the premises.
  • We were assured that the provider was making sure infection outbreaks can be effectively prevented or managed.
  • We were assured that the provider’s infection prevention and control policy was up to date.

Read the full report on the CQC website here.

 

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, Best Care Practices, Business, Care Home Recruitment, Future of Care, Leadership & Management, Merryfield, Real life, Stone House, Training & Development, Workforce Development, Workforce Intelligence

Careers in adult social care

Careers in Adult Social Care at Peverel Court Care

 

As the Department for Health and Social Care launch their major new recruitment drive for the social care sector “Care for others, make a difference” we take the opportunity to explore some of the career opportunities and initiatives designed to encourage people to consider careers in adult social care.

 

At Peverel Court Care, we have long appreciated the dedication and commitment of our team, who work tirelessly to provide exceptional levels of care to the residents of our care homes in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.

 

The Values that make a Great Carer

Building on the existing “Every day is different” campaign, the latest campaign features new messaging which enhances the current need for further urgent recruitment in the sector. It focuses on encouraging those people who possess the desired values to consider a future in providing care.

Under the strapline We need you now. They need you always, adverts will run across national broadcast and online TV, radio, social media and online to inspire people to make a difference now by working in social care.

Public Health England

For the management team at Peverel Court Care, looking at values when assessing someone who is interested in a career in adult social care is something we have long considered important. Underpinning this belief is the development of a set of core values which we strive to adhere to as a business and the recruitment processes we have put in place to align our selection process with those values. As such, we consider this new national initiative to be a fantastic way for the sector as a whole to ensure it is sufficiently staffed, both now and in the future.

 

Career Pathways in Adult Social Care

While recruiting staff who share the values required to provide high levels of care is important, that is just the first step. Retaining and further developing high-performing staff within the business, and the sector as a whole, for the longer term is another challenge in itself.

Peverel Court Care have long utilised career pathways for several key roles, including Healthcare Assistants and have seen a number of our staff who have joined the business as carers promoted into management roles.

After we have recruited new members of staff, we first ensure that they have the relevant training to do their jobs today. However, we also develop 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 of our care homes to support them through the new Assistant Practitioner course at both Oxford Brookes University and Buckinghamshire New University.

We aim to provide a structured pathway for those with aspirations to develop and progress their careers in adult social care. Upon completion of the Assistant Practitioner course – our staff then have the option to 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.

We also work with training provider Hemsley Fraser and all of our Registered Managers attend at least one course per year. Despite the challenges of COVID-19, we are still committed to this in 2020, and the managers will be attending virtual courses.

 

Carer Happiness means Resident Happiness

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 introduced staff reward and recognition programmes, which allow us to thank our dedicated team for their commitment. 

While we already had a number of recognition programmes in place, the challenges of COVID-19 that have been faced globally during this year have lead to the introduction of a number of other initiatives to support our staff. By supporting the employees who ensure the consistent, high levels of care for the residents of our homes, we hope that we have made the difficulties faced this year as manageable as possible.

We hope that by investing in making our staff feel valued and by enabling them to progress their careers in adult social care with us via the new career pathways, Peverel Court Care can continue to buck sector-wide staffing trends and to maintain the exceptional levels of care for which we’re renowned.

 

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 & Technology, Care Management, Health and Safety, Infection Control, Leadership & Management, Merryfield, Real life, Safeguarding, Social Care & Society, Social Care Strategy, Stone House, Wellbeing

Supporting employees through COVID-19

Supporting employees through COVID-19 at Peverel Court Care 1200x800

 

The past few months have been an extremely challenging time for people across the UK. However, this has been especially the case for key workers, such as our dedicated employees, who have continued to deliver first-class care for our residents.

 
At Peverel Court Care, we always pride ourselves on being proactive. When the Government initially advised that care homes would likely be the least affected in the community, we took a more strategic approach and put an ‘Action Plan’ in place. This was prior to any ‘official’ guidance being put into circulation. Naturally, we took advice from Public Health England where necessary.

Our ‘Action Plan’ is a live, working document, and is in effect a contingency plan which sets out what our objectives and guidelines are to enhance appropriateness of practice; improve quality of care; strive for better resident outcomes; improve infection prevention control measures; and enhance business continuity measures, with particular importance on maintaining staffing at optimum levels.

 

Protecting our staff

We know that balancing the health and safety of residents and families is a really difficult one for our employees. In anticipation of requiring PPE at the very outset of a possible national outbreak, Peverel Court Care embarked on a procurement programme very early on, ensuring adequate supplies of all required PPE throughout. At no point did Peverel Court Care run out of supplies, nor were we required at any point to ration supplies. Spending a significant sum on commercially available stock ensured we were adequately provided for.

Peverel Court Care have embarked on a procurement programme to make sure we are adequately stocked on an ongoing basis for any future national outbreak and any further changes to Public Health England guidance around the use of PPE.

At Peverel Court Care, we encourage a supportive culture; where people are free to speak out about perceived risks and adverse outcomes, without fear of blame or repercussions. A safe culture provides a compassionate, inclusive, and trusting environment: one that shares insights and empowers staff with the skills, confidence, and mechanisms to improve the care we provide. This culture means we will hear more, learn more, and act more to improve care.

We created a bespoke platform for the team to provide anonymous feedback and ask questions to the senior leadership team. The bespoke survey supplemented our regular Insights surveys – a pulse survey tool for gathering and acting on feedback in a way that improves company culture and performance.

 

Supporting our team

At the onset of the pandemic we recognised that our team needed access to essential goods and services. Amidst the confusion at supermarkets and schools we wanted to ensure our employees had access to these vital services. All employees were supplied with professional staff ID cards and a supporting letter, allowing them to access opening times and services reserved for key workers.

Communication at this time has been vitally important. We launched a series of newsletters for both staff and relatives. Staff newsletters focused on wellbeing and assistance, with a host of resources being made available to them, such as supermarket opening times for key workers, which the team could easily access via our website. We firmly believe that communication across the entire team increases employee satisfaction, wellbeing, and motivation. We utilise the communication hub on our dedicated employee app to provide video updates from the CEO, Anil Dhanani.

We 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.

 

Employee Assistance Programme

The Employee Support Hub, powered by Health Assured, gives employees access to qualified therapists over the phone or via live chat.

The Employee Assistance Programme 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, our helpline is available 24/7, 365 days a year so they will always have the support they need.

Peverel Court Care have also partnered with Perkbox Medical to provide employees with 24/7 access to an online GP as we appreciate how tricky it can 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, or Wi-Fi 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.

 

Employee Reward Programme

We acknowledge that this time may be particularly stressful for some of our employees, with the resulting difficulties being presented by COVID-19. The admirable efforts that are being demonstrated by staff in ensuring the homes remain fully resourced – when our workforce is being particularly stretched – was worthy of recognition.

In light of this, we put together an employee fund of £100,000 to recognise the burden of responsibility being shouldered by our employees at work. Regardless of position, seniority or length of service, employees on the premises helping to care for our residents over this period, will be rewarded for their selfless efforts.

Total hours worked will be recorded over the period until the end of June and proportionate funds allocated. All employees will receive an equal monetary value per hour worked, regardless of post or position.

 

Employee Initiatives

We recognised the challenge our team faced, particularly at the outset of the pandemic, in purchasing some essential items. Each staff room therefore now receives regular “essential” and “movie night” gift boxes, in addition to regular fruit deliveries. Employees can access essential food items and toiletries for themselves and their family. Employees can also set up a personal account with our provisions supplier, Creed. Food provisions can be delivered directly to the care homes on our main order as supermarket delivery slots were difficult to come by.

We recognise that outstanding teams start with reward and recognition. We use our dedicated employee app to thank them for their outstanding efforts during this challenging time and reward with personalised vouchers. We celebrate and inspire our team with a company-wide recognition feed that celebrates incredible work.

To say thank you for their hard work, we also created a competition, giving employees the chance to win a selection of prizes every week as part of our “Thursday Thank-Yous”.

 

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 & Technology, Care Home Maintenance, Future of Care, Leadership & Management, Merryfield, Stone House, Workforce Intelligence

The importance of feedback

The importance of feedback - Peverel Court Care

 

At Peverel Court Care, we recognise the importance and value of feedback. The three most important pieces of feedback we collate are from our residents, relatives and staff. In this article we explore why the feedback we collect is so important and how it influences the way in which we operate our business.

 

At Peverel Court Care, we have been collecting regular feedback from our residents and their families for some time now; and the data we have gathered has influenced a number of decisions that we have made for the business.

However, one key group from which we haven’t been collecting feedback in a regular, formal way up until now is our staff. With the recent introduction of Perkbox Insights, that has changed, and for the better.

 

Perkbox Insights

Perkbox Insights is an employee feedback tool which collects results anonymously and in real-time. It will allow us to gather timely and honest feedback from the teams at Merryfield, Stone House and Bartlett’s. Unlike normal engagement surveys, the platform aims to make sure employees don’t suffer survey fatigue, through making responding to each survey quick and easy. It works by sending just five questions to employees each time a survey is conducted. The questions are carefully chosen from a pool of 100 that have been generated through scientific research.

In response to each of the questions, employees are asked to provide a score for each on a scale of one to five. They are also encouraged to leave written feedback on a chosen area of the company; giving us both qualitative and quantitative insight into employee satisfaction.

 

The Benefits of Feedback

The Peverel Court Care management team hope that by adding additional insight provided from by employees to that already collected from residents and their relatives, we will have a 360 degree view from which to make data-driven business decisions. Like many businesses, it sometimes longer than we’d like for exceptional efforts by employees, or day-to-day problems, to come to our attention; and it has hoped that the introduction of the Insights programme will give us greater visibility.

So from process improvement to celebrating success, regular feedback from as many of the people at the heart of our business can only help us further improve the way Peverel Court Care is operated and managed.

 

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.

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