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Top Tips for Care Homes, Both Nursing and Residential

Decide what type of care you can give. Are you a Nursing or Residential establishment? Staff your establishment accordingly for safe practice.

Recruit Staff that meet your ethos: staff that want to give Client Centred Care, which means running the home and client care around the needs of the client, and not the needs or ease of the home or staff. The Care Quality Commission value this aspect of care highly and it can make a big difference on the award the home is given when it is inspected. Examples of client centred care include Clients being able to eat when they wish and not having regimented meal times, bath times, and bed times etc.

If you are running a Nursing Home make sure all qualified staff RGN/RMN are registered appropriately. Keeping a list of Registration Renewal Dates can be essential in monitoring this.

Invest in training such as:

  • Moving and Handling;
  • Medication;
  • Alzheimer Awareness;
  • Hearing Awareness;
  • Listening Skills;
  • Effective Communication skills – which are vital in helping to diffuse situations.

The Care Quality commission place a high value on Care Accommodation that invest in staff training. From an Employer’s point of view this also has the benefit that staff can be more flexible in the roles and tasks that they carry out. It can also be vital in avoiding Personal Injury claims for back injuries, staff assaults, and stress etc.

Keep training records up to date and ensure policies and procedures are regularly reviewed, updated and communicated to staff. This can be important in the case of both internal investigations and external investigations. The Care Quality Commission put great emphasis on this too.

Have strong policies on Medication Administration. If using HCA’s to administer medication, make sure that their training on administrating medicine is up to date and that they understand the medication they are giving and possible side effects that can arise from such medication.

Make sure all staff are adequately trained in keeping care entries in the client’s daily notes. Training on this is a good idea as these are legal documents and are vital evidence should a mistake occur, or a Client die unexpectedly.

Decide on the levels of staff you employ. A good mix of trainees and less experienced staff only works if you have the experienced, or qualified staff at either Registered RGN/RMN or NVQ Level 2 or 3, who can support trainees.

Many Care homes use overseas workers either from the EU or further afield such as the Philippines or Asia.  Make sure their communication skills are adequate for the service they are to provide to clients. Excellent verbal and written communication skills are vital for safe practice.

Make sure that all staff are eligible to work in the UK and that copies of documentation to show their right to work in the U.K is retained securely on their HR file.  Failure to ensure this can lead to heavy fines by the UK Border Agency of up to £20,000 per employee.

If staff are on Low pay (borderline National Living or National Minimum Wage) make sure that any hours worked over and above a shift is not breaching the Minimum levels required for pay. The Average pay should meet the Nationally set standards when calculated over the contractual reference period. If staff are paid weekly this will be the weekly average. If staff are paid monthly this will be the monthly reference period for calculating the average pay. Failure to do this can lead to the Employer being fined.

The team at Clover HR has significant experienced in providing support to employers in the Care sector. If you would like support and advice we would be delighted to talk to you. Please contact us via our email info@cloverhr.co.uk or by phone on 01905 824051.


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