Tips from an outstanding provider
What makes a care provider outstanding? We have asked one to pass on some of the thoughts and tips that make care homes excel. Tej Sehmi from Rochmills Group contributes.
What are the core values that make Burlington Court among the top 1% care homes of the country?
Residents living here are encouraged to live their life. The service will never expect the person to fit around the service, but for the individual to choose how they wish their care to be assisted with and what social activities they want to join in with as part of their daily life at Burlington. Staff assist with all aspects of physical and social care, ensuring that routine and task-focused care is not promoted and that freedom, choice and control is given to residents at all times. Residents have a choice of where they wish to spend their days with a variety of events and activities happening throughout the day that suits not only their needs, but their preferred lifestyles and wishes expressed to the care team and Lifestyle support staff either throughout the day or more formally at Resident and visitor meetings so that this can be incorporated in the upcoming weeks on the planner.
Staff are trained and encouraged to promote the focus of care being on personalisation and independence with residents having an active voice on how the service runs and the services Burlington offers. This is evidenced in meetings held and quality assurances documents completed by residents and visitors.
How do you maintain an exceptional quality of your service?
Staff are knowledgeable about people’s individual needs and systems are in place to ensure staff are made aware of any changes in care needs or preferences. This means that all staff play an active role in working with the residents and their families. We have a system in place where the care staff team are based alongside the same residents so that continuity between them and relatives are maintained. This includes key Senior staff and unit/suite Managers. Supervision sessions, appraisals ongoing assessments and competencies take place on a regular basis ensuring standards maintain high and consistent. Heads of departments and the Management team meet fortnightly and are always striving to improve and be innovative with their ideas. There is a full training program dedicated to staff’s specific roles enabling them to carry out their jobs effectively and keep up to date with best practice.
The management and senior team remain stable and longstanding. The care home has been awarded the Gold Standards Framework in End of life care.
How important is person-centred care in the success of your care home?
Staff take great care to find out about people’s personal routines and preferences and this is well documented in the plans of care. People who have capacity have a lot of input into their plan of care and are written from the person’s view. ‘I enjoy’ I am able to’ With people who lack capacity, every effort is made to enquire and find out information from loved ones so that previous choices and preferences that they made are continued and cascaded to all staff.
Staff know individuals very well and involve them in decisions on how their care is provided and how they spend their time. Meals are flexible with restaurant facilities open for long periods of time. Menus are not rolling or set as this is always top of the agenda of planning and resident meetings, Chefs then complete menus that change weekly including ideas and requests from residents. Each person has a daily diary which care and lifestyle support staff are responsible for completing with residents. This won an award in 2011 and is designed to capture experiences that people had and the activities they take part in. This is in written and photographic format which we share with residents and their families on visits. Other forms in this folder include ‘Dates important to me’ and ‘all about me’.
Due to the growing shortage of care staff throughout the country, managers are grappling with the added burden this brings to an already difficult job. What advice could you give to homes on how to best support their staff?
Burlington Court received an Outstanding in the well-led section of their inspection. It was stated that staff were very positive about the quality of Leaders and Managers who worked alongside them and supported them. Staff state they are empowered to raise any concerns and know that they will be listened to. Staffing levels allow for care staff to also be actively involved in the social side of resident’s care enjoying group work or one to one time in the community, this is appreciated by care staff who regularly volunteer to assist with outings and celebrations.
Due to the structure at Burlington, care staff can and are encouraged to progress with training, qualifications and position within the company. We have Senior care staff who started with us years ago on the ancillary team and who have worked their way up whilst having role specific training from a Mentor. Staffing levels are regularly reviewed depending on needs (Social and care) so that staff can maintain the standards. Managers work with them so that practices can be observed, monitored and staff supported in areas needed.
What aspirations do you have for Burlington Court and its growth and success in the care sector?
We understand that care facilities are upping their game and in order to continue to ‘stand out’, we are continually meeting and looking for ways to improve the home and facilities offered. This includes improvements with the environment, website, more time spent on marketing the success of the home and to continue to provide Outstanding facilities for those living at Burlington.