As the population of the UK continues to increase, our need for care homes are also on the rise. But with studies suggesting that less than 1% of our care homes are rated as outstanding by the Care Quality Commission, it seems we have a long way to go. Under the Care Quality Commission, care homes are inspected on five criteria: safe, effective, caring, responsive to people’s needs and well-led. But what does this mean when put into practice?
Have a business plan
First and foremost, a care home is a business, and as such needs a robust business plan. When writing a business plan, it’s important to factor in the running and start-up costs, as well as hidden costs that could occur like a particularly cold winter, a member of staff leaving suddenly, or perhaps some equipment that becomes out-dated.
Like any business, for a care home to be successful it needs someone who is passionate and motivated leading the helm. Continuous re-evaluation of a business is needed alongside re-assessment of risks and opportunities.
Put residents first
There are over 400,000 older people in the UK living in care homes often suffering from dementia or severe memory problems or other cognitive disabilities, sight loss and hearing impairment, as well as mobility problems, so it’s imperative that their needs are put first.
The most successful care homes involve residents, with a “doing with” no “doing to” attitude. Residents need to still feel independent, and have a say in the decision making process, whilst still remaining safe.
Regular feedback from friends and family of residents will help your care home to be successful – and re-iterates the continuous re-evaluation of your business.
Invest in staff training
A business is only as successful as its staff, and as a care home’s workforce are on the front line every hour of every day looking after the residents, they play a pivotal role. Care home staff need to be trained and qualified, as well as compassionate.
By investing in your staff’s career you’re demonstrating that you value them. Offering progression, and extra qualifications will also lead to a motivated and loyal workforce and demonstrates your commitment to delivering the highest quality of care that residents deserve.
Protect your business and residents
Ensuring you have the correct business insurance not only helps you meet your contractual and legal obligations, but it will give you the peace of mind should the worse happen. Specialist companies like Gallagher, safeguards your care home and allows you to concentrate on the day-to-day, instead of worrying about the future.
The management team of the care home not only need to be visible, but approachable too – think Dr. Lucy Cogan in the film Quartet. Simple things like greeting residents by name can mean a lot to the individuals, and again demonstrates your compassion.
Aside from residents feeling valued, when employees see managers involved in the daily activities of the care home, they’ll feel they can talk more freely about concerns, as well as being more open to change when needed.
The main priority of any care home, nursing home or residential home is providing the right care to some of society’s most vulnerable individuals. By demonstrating a combination of care and compassion, determination and business know-how, you’ll have a successful care home for the long-run.