The importance of qualifications in care home work

The importance of qualifications in care home work

As we have covered previously, care home work is extremely varied and the best care workers should understand how to tackle a number of problems simultaneously with the level of care they offer to residents. Vulnerable people with complex needs have to be cared for in a timely, appropriate fashion, which requires a great deal of knowledge, skills and experience. That’s why recruitment for care home staff is such an integral part of the whole process of providing care.

Staff members being recruited for care home work have to go through multiple stages of checks and tests in the vast majority of cases, and in the UK especially there are numerous hoops people must jump through in order to be considered for a job in care. While some of this may be seen as overkill (and bureaucracy is often criticised within the sector), most of the necessary checks are indeed essential. The potential costs of employing people without appropriate skills to work in care could be extremely damaging to confidence in care providers. Continue reading The importance of qualifications in care home work

Increasing literacy levels among care home staff

Increasing literacy levels among care home staff

Among care home recruitment specialists and within homes themselves, it is common knowledge that many of the people employed in care positions may not have a high degree of proficiency when it comes to the English language. Although people may be able to offer medical and practical care to a very high standard, this may be offset by poor communication skills, which can actually present problems for both care home residents and managers. Literacy levels among care home staff are lower than they should be, and this is often an unspoken truth in the sector.

However, there are steps being taken by various care homes across the UK and hopefully we will continue to see these changes roll out in other places. Programmes designed to improve literacy rates are seeing success, with care home workers and managers alike reporting successful results. Training has been found to work best on a one-to-one basis, as group sessions were easier to run but yielded disappointing results. Personal tutoring is evidently the key to equipping staff with the knowledge and command of the English language they need to excel in care work. Continue reading Increasing literacy levels among care home staff

Cancer social care

The social side of cancer care

Over a million people in the UK are currently caring for someone with cancer at any one time. This statistic may be shocking and it is still increasing, although some of the figures are more positive. The proportion of people who survive cancer is also gradually increasing, and we have millions more people in the country right now who have survived the disease. However, the point where these groups of people interact is still somewhat blurred with uncertainty, and despite our improving methods for battling cancer, many people still don’t have access to the help they need, whether they are patients or carers.

A major factor involved with this problem is that the social side of cancer care is so often overlooked. From the moment someone is diagnosed, their needs quickly become complex and this goes far beyond immediate medical needs. Someone coping with a diagnosis will mostly likely need a lot of emotional support, but identifying this need (and offering a solution if there is not a simple one to hand) may not be easy for a professional, let alone friends and family members who don’t even consider themselves carers. Continue reading The social side of cancer care

UK government provides extra £1 billion for mental health

As care home specialists we focus on a number of very different areas within the sector, including residential services designed to help with mental health problems, as well as homes for the elderly or other rehabilitation facilities. One thing that is common across the board is that funding tends to be tight, but a lack of understanding and awareness has meant mental health lagged even further behind for many years.

Recently the UK government has made it clear that mental health care is an area that improvements need to be made in. For the first time, the extent to which people are being affected by mental health issues is being recognised more clearly. For example, in any given year up to a quarter of people in the UK could be affected by a diagnosable mental health problem. Recent research also found that less than half of these people are in employment, a significantly lower percentage than the general population and even people suffering with other serious illnesses like cancer and diabetes. Residential care services for people suffering with mental health issues tend to focus on assisting with this, as finding a job has long been established as a positive influence for many people in their rehabilitation, and something many people struggle to achieve without support. Continue reading UK government provides extra £1 billion for mental health

Tips for looking after someone with dementia

Nearly one million people in the United Kingdom have now been diagnosed with dementia, in fact almost 20% of people over the age of 80 will suffer from the disease. For every new person who hears this diagnosis, many more people will find themselves in the difficult position of caring for someone suffering from memory loss and other issues. Whether this person ends up in a care home or you are looking after them at home, here are some of the best tips to bear in mind if you find yourself in this position.


1) Expect things to change

People mainly think of memory loss immediately when they consider dementia, but it’s important to know about the other behavioural changes someone will probably experience with the illness. Anything from exercise to simple daily activities like getting dressed could quickly become difficult for your loved one to deal with alone, and it may be up to you to help them overcome the inevitable frustration and feel supported. Continue reading Tips for looking after someone with dementia

The top 7 qualities of a great care home

Many people with experience in the field would argue that the most important factor in ensuring UK care homes are up to a high standard is listening to the people who experience the sector first hand. In our own experience, here are the top 10 features the best care homes will have.

1) Culture

The values held by the care home as whole will be vitally important, whether this is a small company or a larger organisation. People at the top should genuinely and honestly want what’s best for patients and staff, and if this happens it will trickle down and create the necessary positive culture.

2) Regulation

It is the responsibility of the government as well as authoritative bodies such as the Care Quality Commission to ensure these people on the front lines are listened to, and any necessary changes to the system as a whole are implemented. This allows individual care homes to follow the necessary guidelines properly and enjoy the benefits of having a framework in place, rather than following bureaucratic rules for the sake of it, and at the expense of residents. Continue reading The top 7 qualities of a great care home

GPs encouraged to continue visiting patients in care homes

In the UK there is always a lot of talk about the constant pressure on the National Health Service, and it’s currently even more of a hot topic than usual. Doctors specifically are under a lot of strain, and being forced to push back against the government over pay and other issues to do with their mounting workload. The British Medical Association was recently forced to speak out, saying they are looking at what they can do to stop care homes being left behind as more inevitable cuts are made.

The fear is that NHS doctors won’t be able to visit the 400 thousand care home residents in the country as often as they should, and there are concerns that this is already becoming the case. Specialists in medical care for older people in care have argued that it is necessary for NHS doctors to continue with routine visits to ensure that their patients are not discriminated against compared to others. With pressure on doctors building, it’s feared that only people who are physically able to travel to surgeries and attend appointments will be seen, and those who have to wait for help to come to them at their care home will be left without that important support.

Continue reading GPs encouraged to continue visiting patients in care homes