Workforce Matters Policy & Practice Lead, Caroline Deane, highlights the critical role of care home staff and sees Care Home Celebration Day as one of many times we should thank them #carehomecelebration19
The care home workforce is diverse and innovative and provides support to thousands of individuals across Scotland. Although faced with many challenges staff continually deliver high standards of care and support to ensure that individuals can access the care they need in a manner that is respectful and dignified and takes into account their increasingly complex needs.
The ongoing demand for services enabling individuals to stay in their own homes for as long as possible means that when people move into a care home invariably their level of support is much greater. Care homes have risen to this challenge and due to an incredibly dedicated team of nurses and care and support workers are able to ensure that people are well cared for which reduces the number of hospital admissions and the upheaval that results from stays in hospitals.
Care home workers are known to be willing to take part in projects and pilots that can introduce improved ways of working to ensure that they are continually improving their support and adapting to meet changing needs in a person-centered manner. This takes into account the individuality of the people who move into care homes with their diverse histories and backgrounds.
It is always a privilege during forum meetings to meet with care home providers and to find out the work that they are involved in. This can be around staff working within the promoting excellence in dementia framework, working to the new national health and social care standards and work around palliative and end of life care.
Whether a provider is a well-established organization or a relatively new and small provider the really innovative and fascinating work that takes place is inspiring. Again the willingness of staff to go above and beyond the remit of their roles really displays the values that this workforce has and a completely unique set of skills that at times cannot be taught but is wholly taken for granted.
The staff and managers at Glenburnie Care Home have been continually updating and improving their care and support workers dementia learning and development journey. At Glenburnie Care they have developed a new dementia training programme which is now being rolled out to all their staff members to ensure that they have a “whole home approach” to dementia care.
They have utilised a new resource consisting of a dementia skilled level train the trainer course with a view to train more care and support workers to become trainers. This is partly due to their limited capacity as a smaller organization but has resulted in a huge impact on the outcomes for their services users and taps into the bigger picture of shared learning amongst staff and career development.
Across the country care home providers are continuing to invest in their workforces learning and development across a wide variety of care provision.
At Crossreach the managers are ensuring that all their valuable care and support workers are receiving dementia training to the enhanced level of the promoting excellence framework. Crossreach have also incorporated some of the skilled level dementia elements in other training courses for example in their induction training for new staff members.
They currently have nine in house trainers and they also have 36 dementia ambassadors with a view to having another eight staff members becoming dementia ambassadors in the near future. Their dementia ambassadors receive good support from their organisation and they meet up to three times a year to discuss further learning and development needs.
At the end of the year staff produce evidence on “what we did well” which results in more effective leadership skills and they have used SSSC step into leadership resources to provide better support to their workforce.
At Scottish Care we would like to thank the incredible care home workforce for their dedication to their work and to the individuals who they support. Time and again the relationships that are developed and built between care workers and service user can be pivotal to the quality of life experienced. Care workers are great advocates for their service users and are best placed on many occasions to be instrumental in obtaining the best support that cares for individuals but ensure that their independence is also maintained. The social care workforce skills and knowledge must be recognised and listened to when planning care and support for the future.