Dr. Raja shares his passion and knowledge with CHJ

What do you enjoy the most about working in care home industry?

For me, working in the care industry is a passion and a vocation giving me an opportunity to make a positive difference to the lives of vulnerable people every day whilst affording me a tremendous amount of satisfaction and achievement. Of course, it is incredibly challenging but because of the diversity and uniqueness of every person we support and the situations faced, no one day is the same and its great to be able to apply my passion and creativity with a team equally as dedicated and driven, to achieve positive outcomes.
What is the key issue facing the care home industry in this country?

Senior couple at home with many bills

Clearly the main headline grabber is rightly the underfunding of the sector whilst costs escalate. This takes providing excellent services to the breaking point where staff aren’t paid meaningfully and services cannot be further invested in to improve. To make matters worse, the ever changing and ever increasing burdens of bureaucracy and red tape are stifling at best and confusing and demotivating at worst.

There are examples of good quality services that have closed and are facing distress. Staff morale and improvements within others are problematic and the media’s negative portrayal of the sector is disheartening. The threats and challenges from all sides diminish further the capacity and resilience to continue the fight to improve the lives of the most vulnerable in society. Everybody in the sector is affected from front line care staff through management to owners and directors. In fact the sector deserves credit more than ever for its compassion, warmth and care when it feels very exploitative since so much is built upon the extra mile….. above and beyond that is given by those, most often women, that enter the profession because of a heartfelt commitment to caring.

In a world where austerity rules supreme where government support is reducing and health costs are rising, how challenging has it been for the care home industry? What are some steps you home have taken to manage through the current climate of economic uncertainty?


We have focussed our efforts even more on being closer to service users and front line staff and to empower and support them to assist in maintaining excellent relationships and communication which helps to improve the service experienced by all. We have applied technology to take the burden of many aspects that previously distracted from the time and costs of managing and administering the service including introduction of computer systems, iPads and mobile phones for remote staff which link in with planning and finance.

We have streamlined and restructured our management and moved more people from the office out into the places where people receive care and support and have adopted management functions that break away from service lines but are more responsive in terms of the support people and the organisation needs.

What are some of the areas that the care home industry can improve?

Individual homes and organisations have often been isolated and very bunkered in their outlook and it is now more important than ever for greater unity in the sector. From keeping in touch with local providers, sharing knowledge and resources through to formal membership of local and national trade associations, will help keep knowledge up to date with best and innovative practice whilst possibly opening up opportunities for growth and development and reduction of costs and improving quality as a result.

We as a sector need to celebrate success better. So much happens day in day out within our services we provide yet we too are modest and humble to the point that the only stories that are heard are the bad ones. We should shout from the rooftops about our achievements and success and make sure the local community is engaged and aware of what we do. So many of us hold and take part in Open days, craft fairs, are involved with local churches, colleges and other community groups and activities for example but how many of these feature in news articles let alone interviews?

A strong unified voice representing providers in the sector, sending clear messages to stakeholders including the public as well as commissioners and the government is needed now more than ever and Care England will undoubtedly build on the success of the National Care Association and the English Community Care Association following merger on the 1st january 2014 and will help shape the sector in a way that works for service users and service providers.

 

Care-home-asif-raja

 

Dr. Asif Raja bio:

A lifelong commitment to health and social care has seen Dr Raja apply himself to make a positive difference as a founder and Managing Director of SummerCare. He has championed improvements in the quality of services and is a Director of the National Care Association, a Board Member of the Care England Transition Board, trustee of Shields people parliament, Board Member of the National Leadership Forum and a member of the steering group of the Driving up Quality Alliance.

care-home-great british care awardsHe was recognised as the Best Employer in the country by The Great British Care Awards in 2013 as well as for excellence in customer service in the 2013 Business Awards as well as for his contribution to the community in the 2012 Business Awards.  A prominent national contribution has seen him recognised as one of the top 30 Social Care Leaders in the country as well as a Care Personality in the National Care Awards 2012.

The first interview with expert!

We are very excited to launch ‘Interview with Experts’ column with an in-depth interview with Daniel Tidmarsh. During the interview, he talked about several key areas of the care home industry, primarily focusing on the human capital side of the business.

What are the most important qualities a care home professional should have?

From my personal experience to work within the care sector and provide an adequate care service I personally believe that one would need the following traits to qualify as a care home professional:

Enthusiasm is one of the most important assets, staff must focus on the job at all times.

Compassion and humanity has to be on the forefront of a nurse’s or member of care staff’s mind. What they do every day has a massive importance on the quality of other people’s lives. They have the clinical expertise, compassion and humanity with which to shape the care and support system which we all take for granted.

Empathy is such a powerful communication tool, 9 times out of 10 it is misunderstood and underused. Effective empathetic communication increases the therapeutic effect of the carer-client relationship massively & is more important than most people realise.

All care givers must have patience with all their service users, there will always be frustrating & difficult situations to deal with, however without the ability to be patient and take a step back the quality of care will be affected massively.

One important characteristic of a carer is the ability to take direction and to work on their own initiative. They must take responsibility for their own actions and above all act in the correct manner adhering to policy’s and procedures laid out by government.

 

What are some of the areas that the care home industry can improve?

Right across the sector in my honest opinion there are fundamental issues that are in need of addressing before the sector as a whole can improve to the level that the general public determine as acceptable and a few areas that need addressing includes funding, wages, training, retention, facilities, listen to clients, families & the closest professionals to the person to ascertain there accurate needs.


To all the people out there looking for a care home for themselves or their loved ones, what is the best advice you would offer?

Some of the best ideas for taking care of  your loved ones often come from other carers, the formula is quite a simple & with the use of technology today, quite an obvious one as well. The internet should and must be your first port of call. Here are a few suggestions I believe will help you no end:

  • Investigate, Investigate, Investigate & use the internet to find out about a home’s quality!
  • Check the CQC reports, they will save you lots of time straight away.
  • Talk to the current residents to see what they have to say about their care and the staff that care for them.
  • The best time to visit a nursing home is around 6 p.m. on a Saturday. Dinner has been served, few if any managers will be in the facility, and it’s likely that you’ll get a true reflection of how the home is run when lowly staffed.
  • What should you look for….. staffing, staffing, staffing. I recommend for a daytime staff patient ratio should be around one to five.
  • Find out if the nursing home uses agency staff and how often they are used. Homes usually use agency staff when they’re desperate short of staff. Sometimes, the agency staffs have to care for 30 or 40 residents they have never even met before.

 

You have spoken very passionately about the job and this industry. What is your personal motivation to work in the care home industry?

I have a younger sister who suffers with a disability that affects girls called Rett Syndrome, her disability has demobilised her completely. She cannot walk, talk, feed herself and she is incontinent but despite all of this she doesn’t let it bring her down, she is always smiling and laughing in her own little world. She is my inspiration for everything thing I do, not just the reason I work in the care industry. If I can make her life a tiny bit better by either putting on her favourite music and dancing around with her or just buying her favourite treat I will 100% do it, she is a beautiful person both inside and out and she makes me want to better myself to make her proud. That’s my reason for being so passionate about the care industry because I live it every day of my life knowing that maybe one day my Mellissa may have to go into a care facility. It is a very real and personal target for me to try my very best to make the care industry a better industry for everyone involved.

 

What do you enjoy the most about working in care home industry?

Job satisfaction, knowing that you’ve helped someone to achieve something that they may not have been able to do without you being there!

 

care-home-Daniel Tidmarsh

A bit about Daniel Tidmarsh

Since leaving school, Daniel has worked effortlessly, learning from professionals and developing his skills through real life experiences. He is a self motivated and driven with a passion to succeed, thrives on a challenge and under pressure.

As a director of Health Care HR, the company was established to be unique in the world of Health Care recruitment & staff training. The main company ethos & aims being driven by the quality of care and standard of living for service users and not for profits as many companies within this industry. For more information on their services please visit online at www.hruk.biz or call 0845 500 4901.

CQC allowed 4000 care homes to break the law

 

care-home-CQC allowed 4000 care homes to break the law

More than 4000 care homes are being allowed by regulators to break the law, with no registered manager in charge of all residents at homes. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has turned a blind eye to the failing, even hough its chief executive has admitted that said such homes are far more likely to be putting vulnerable people at risk.

There are more than 3900 care homes in the market operating without a registered manager according to a recent report to CQC. Registered managers of care homes are supposed to be held accountable for the quality of services in care homes and be held accountable for failings.

CQC chief executive David Behan said, in a recent interview,  that the organisation is preparing to use powers of prosecution against persistent offenders including issuing fines. He insisted, homes without a registered manager have very high levels of non-compliance and it is not acceptable to run a home without a registered manager in place and to do so will result in a sanction.

Don’t-care Centre?

When two former care workers were jailed in June for abusing, assaulting and humiliating severely disabled people in an NHS hospital day centre, there were calls for a wide-ranging inquiry into why it had taken six years to bring them to account after a whistleblower had raised the alarm.care-home-abuse,  don't-care centre

But last month some of the agencies responsible for the failures in care and the delay in securing justice for the 12 victims at the Solar Centre in Doncaster, let themselves off the hook announcing that there would be no inquiry or serious case review. Public raised eyebrows and wondered, is this a don’t-care centre?

Nursing assistants Susan Murphy, 44, and James Hinds, 59, were jailed for two years and nine months for 25 charges of serious ill-treatment of several disabled patients. The victims were often slapped and hit around the head; Hinds was said to have dragged one man across the floor by his hair and stabbed another repeatedly with a needle on the arm and hand because he wouldn’t sit down; Murphy was said to have locked another patient in a cupboard.

Mistreatment at Selborne Care Home in Birmingham!

The resident is sleeping on a sofa at Selborne Care Home, Handsworth Wood, Birmingham, when the carer attempts to wake him by appearing to slap his stomach and then pull on his ears and nose. Police are now investigating the mobile phone footage which was secretly recorded and handed to the force by Esther Lee, 23, a former employee at the home.

Mistreatment at Selborne Care Home in Birmingham!

The care home has also reported the matter to police and has stated the worker in the footage has since left the company. Miss Lee said:  ‘I want this video out there so that people can see exactly what happened in the home where I worked. I haven’t done this for money, but simply just to raise awareness.’

Ironically,  the company website boasts that Selborne Care prides itself on being a quality provider of specialist, flexible and innovative care and support for people with learning disabilities.

A spokesman for Birmingham Social Services said: ‘Our priority as ever is to protect the welfare of vulnerable people in Birmingham and in the case of Selborne Care Home we have worked with the management team to ensure acceptable standards of care are in place.’

Care Quality Commission have also confirmed their acknowledgement about this incident. CQC has been in regular contact with the council regarding its investigation of these matters and has been monitoring the home closely.