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5 simple steps to check the quality of your carers

We understand how important it is that you get the best care for your loved one, but care is only as good as the carers providing it. How well a care provider values and rewards their staff has a direct impact on the quality of care provided to your loved one.

In this article, you will learn 5 steps you can take to check that a potential care provider trains and takes care of their staff, to ensure you get the highest level of service and care for your loved one.

At the heart of every poor-quality care service is a care provider that provides poor leadership and training. Many care providers worry about investing in their staff and have them leave, but what is more worrying is the care providers that don’t invest in their staff and have them stay.

The impact of a poorly trained, unsupported carer can severely affect the welfare of your loved one. Missed medication, improper moving and handling techniques, and unprofessional behaviour are just some of the issues that can arise, so it’s important to know how to recognise which companies offer the best for their staff.

It is widely believed that the nature of the care industry is that it has a high turn over of staff and, in turn, there is a slim chance of receiving regular carers. With the right leadership and training this isn’t always the case, there are care providers out there with the opinion that their staff are their greatest assets, which is great news for you as your loved one will receive better trained, regular carers. So, how do you choose the right care provider?

Whatever stage you are at in the process of choosing a care provider, make sure you take the following steps to safeguard your loved one…

  1. Ask potential care providers what they pay their staff. When choosing a care provider many people only focus on how much care providers charge their customers, yet a care provider who pays their staff too closely to National Living wage, currently set at £7.83, is less likely to be able to retain good staff
  2. Some care providers feel they can meet training requirements by using online training programmes, however this is often just a ‘box ticking’ exercise and doesn’t offer the same value as face to face training. Make sure that, at the very least, the care provider you choose offers face to face training and that their staff have been trained to support the needs of your loved one in areas such as medication, moving and handling and first-aid. A superior care provider will also offer their staff a Diploma in Health & Social Care as well as additional training which ensures caring expertise as well as improving staff loyalty and retention
  3. Ask how many care staff a care provider plans to send to your loved one. Unless your loved one has a very large package of care then a small team of 3 or less is best as it allows a relationship to build up but ensures that there is cover available from someone who is familiar with the routine if one staff member is off. Should you find that a care provider plans to send too many different members of staff each week this should ring alarm bells
  4. By law, every care provider is regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), who rate care providers following regular inspections. Ratings range from Inadequate to Outstanding and a report is created which details why this rating was given. Looking at these inspection reports, which can be found at cqc.org.uk, will provide insight into what support they provide to their staff. The best information relating to the management of staff is often found under the ‘Well Led’ section. Whilst all reputable care providers strive for an Outstanding CQC Rating, most of the 1% of care providers that achieve this rating tend to be small specialised services. Realistically, you can be confident that any care provider with a Good rating can provide a professional and reliable service and anything below a Good should be avoided
  5. Gather any feedback you can from existing staff. This is usually easier when care has already started, although it could be obtained through staff review websites such as GlassDoor (glassdoor.co.uk) where you can search for a care provider to see if their staff have reviewed them, or via reviews on the care providers Facebook page

It’s difficult deciding which care provider to entrust the care of your loved one to. Many care providers seem to be saying the same things, so it’s difficult to know if what they’re saying reflects reality. Understanding that the quality of care can only be as good as the carers providing it and taking the time to follow these steps to better understand how a care provider values and invests in their staff and their well-being will help you get better insight to make the right decision for you and your loved one.

Doing your best to ensure you’re able to find a care provider that employs and retains the best carers to deliver your loved one’s care is just one step in an important process. So, to recap:

Do

  • Gather as much information as you can about potential care providers
  • Take the time to read what CQC and existing or previous staff members have to say about care providers

Don’t

  • Expect all of your loved one’s care to be covered by just 1 person, as this is unrealistic for most care packages
  • Be afraid to ask questions, if there are any doubts in your mind you should always get these addressed

Next Steps

I hope you found this article useful and it’s made you consider the importance of how a care provider looks after their staff and how that has a direct impact on the quality of care your loved one will receive. If you want to learn more about CQC or staff review sites such as GlassDoor, please follow the links below. Or should you want some more advice about finding the right care for your loved one, please call us on 02392 704190 or email info@nightingalesgoldencare.com

Resources

www.cqc.org.uk

www.glassdoor.co.uk

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