Caring for the generation
The ’10 Steps’ in Setting up Quality Care with Bright Care
Robust Foundations are Critical for Quality Care
The number one mistake made by families and care providers in setting up care is rushing into a care package which has been cobbled together without though for quality. More often than not a care package which is not carefully put together with the right team of people will fall apart resulting in a lose-lose situation for every involved.
It is of course possible for care packages to work really well through pure luck, but this is no way to run a sustainable business that is committed to delighted its clients!
Because we are committed to working in a consistent way, all new care arrangements need the upmost attention when putting them together. 90% of the success or a new package of care is down to getting the right match between Carer and Client. Laying the right foundations is about finding the right team and getting their absolute ‘buy in’ and commitment to the proposed arrangements. It takes a full understanding of the client we are going to be working with and careful consideration to putting the right team together.
Below is the ‘journey’ you can expect with Bright Care from when you initially make contact with us to using our services….
Initial Phone Conversation
This is where it all starts. We seek to have a very good initial conversation with you on the phone to find out more about your situation. This conversation is likely the start of what will grow into a long-term relationship so it is vital we take our time to establish what your expectation are and what you think you are looking for in a care package.
Some people are very clear about what they want at this stage while others may need more guidance from us.
It is also a great opportunity to get an initial feel for who we are, what we do and what we stand for so you can determine if we would be the right fit for you.
We will also post you out our full information packet at this point which contains all the information about our services and pricing structures.
After this conversation, we do not always know straight away if we can help. We will take some time to discuss your requirements with our wider team and determine to what extent we can help and the next stages.
We will be very clear with you on the outcome to this conversation when we will call back(either same day or very next day).
The Right Fit?
We know that first and foremost you want to know if we can help! Having had an opportunity to discuss your situation we will be in a better place to know that by this point. Firstly, we need to be realistic about whether we can help you in line with your expectations – we will be honest with you about our capacity and position to provide the support you are looking for.
Secondly, we need to provide you with some sort of indication of how long it might take us to get a care package in place. This always varies depending on what services you are looking for but you will likely know if the timescales will work for you at this point. Sometimes people need care yesterday – while we will always work as quickly as we can to put arrangements in place. It is more important we get the foundations right and it takes a little longer than rushing something into place that does not work. Quality support may take time.
If you are keen to progress things, we would arrange to come out to see you at this point and can arrange an appointment right there and then.
Face to Face Meeting
This is the most important part of the journey so far. This is about building the relationship with you.
You need to know you can work with us and can trust us and we need to know we can do a great job in meeting your needs.
This informal meeting is typically an hour or so long and will be with a member of our office team in your house. Often additional family members may want to come too. The person who comes out to see you will become your main point of contact going forward, if you choose to go ahead with Bright Care. We will be very clear about our principles and values – you will experience from our team that they are passionate about what we do.
It allows you an opportunity to get to know us and get all the facts from us you need to know. We will ask you questions to get a picture of your requirements and expectations and of course you will want to find out lots more about Bright Care too. For us this is simply about listening to what you are saying and trying to understand your needs. We can worry bout the smaller details later on.
We will always try to propose to you what is needed to address a situation – sometimes this may differ from your thoughts or what you want.
If we realise at this point that we are not able to proceed we will say now. We know how important it is to be honest with you.
We will also explain some of our key terms and conditions which include:
- Cost of service
- Mileage costs/car fees
- Cancellation conditions
- Information on making changes
- Additional Supplementary management fees(if applicable)
- More information about terms and conditions connected to our Overnight/Live-in services.
- How we bill you for the service and how you pay.
We aim to leave this meeting with clarity on whether or not you want to proceed and exactly what the care package will look like in terms of visits. We will also now have a very good sense of the person we are caring for and the wider family so we know who would be a good fit.
Clarifying the Next Steps.
In follow up to this meeting your point of contact with email you or contact you within a day or two just to confirm everything that was discussed and ensure we are all aligned in what to expect next and there is no dubiety.
Finding the Right Companion Carer for You.
Now it time to start laying the foundations in identifying the right care team. A smaller package of care will only have one or two dedicated carers, but a larger package may involve a team of up to 3-4 staff.
We will start speaking to the people that we think would be a good fit. In speaking to our staff we will talk to them about what the proposed care arrangements look like and it is essential that they ‘buy in’ to it. There is little point in someone half-heartedly taking on a care package!
We know our staff will work together well as a team if they are involved in the set up process and feel included in the discussion from the outset – not just a case of telling someone that they will be going to do a visit. Neither it is just a case of looking at our staff schedule and seeing who is free!
Our managers have the skills to be able to best handle and manage people. It is about listening to our staff on how to best support our clients. At the end of the day, it is our staff who are working directly with our clients on a daily basis that are going to know them best.
Through out this process your point of contact with communicate with you regularly to let you know how we are getting on and who we have been speaking to. We will arrange with you an opportunity to take our carers out to meet you informally. Sometimes introductions may include Carers and Clients talking/showing what their routines look like.
Of course during this process we are looking for your feedback on the staff we introduce – you have complete say on this! We cannot move forward on care packages until introductions are made and everyone is happy.
Setting a Start Date.
Once we have found the right carer(s), we can now work to a start date! This could be a few days away or a few weeks. We will always be clear with you in terms of expectation setting in this area. Setting up a care package is all about robust foundations. We will keep up the communication with you along the way so you never feel like you do not know what is happening. We hope you will enjoy getting to know us along this journey as much as we enjoy getting to know you.
We will not start a package until we are confident we have everything in place. Quality care is always worth waiting for. If you rush these things, it inevitably goes wrong!
Creating the Care and Support Plan.
The Care and Support plan is the primary document which sets out the care arrangements and what the main purpose of visits is. All our staff will refer to this document in the course of working with you. It is always being reviewed and updated as the care needs evolve.
In practice, it is impossible to have a care plan which contains every tiny detail before care packages start. Inevitably, we find that care plans can change a lot once we get started with a client. For this reason at the start of providing our service to you we put together a care plan which contains the main fixed information that is required with some extra detail if we know it. Consider it a first draft(about 60-70% detail) and we can put more flesh on it as we start providing the service to you. The Care Plan consists of the these four documents:
- One page client profile.
- The Care and Support Plan(written in first person)
- Risk assessment – about the environment and the person.
- Medication risk assessment.
The First Visits.
Getting the package off to a good start can make the all the difference – the key here is to make sure everyone feels at ease with the arrangements and knows what is expected of them.
We will put together what we call the ‘Green Folder’ and bring this to your house upon the first visit. The Care Manager will also be present at this visits if she feels this will help with getting the service off to a good start.
Your appointment care manager, will catch up with you after the first visit to see how thing went and from this point on will be in regular contact with you, checking in on the arrangements as required. Care Managers are there to support families, clients and care workers throughout the journey . This support can take a variety of forms: in person, phone call, email etc.
On-Going Support and Communication.
Setting up a care package is certainly lots of work but it is just the start. Your appointed Care Manager will be continually reviewing and developing the Care and Support Plan with feedback from your Carer(s) and communication with the family.
We receive regular feedback from our Carer(s) on how things are going. It is worth pointing out that a Carer who for whatever reason gives us nothing back in communication about their clients simply does not ‘get it’. They are failing to understand the responsibility they have toward high quality communication which is ultimately what lays the solid foundations a care package needs.
The aim is that the care plan reflects the reality as much as possible. It is a living breathing document which is updated regularly.
While your care arrangements are reviewed informally all the time we also have a duty to carry out more formal reviews. These reviews usually take place in the clients home and almost always include the wider family, the carer(s) involved and any other key individuals in the clients life(districts nurses, GPs etc) – ensuring we do this on at least a 6 monthly basis is part of meeting the national care standards.
Building a Long Term Relationship.
We are looking to develop long term relationship with the families and clients we serve. One where compete trust exists and where we can be open and honest with you in all our dealings. From this foundation we can best manage the changing care needs of our clients.
Our clients know if they need to discuss something they just pick up the phone. There is never going to be dubiety about who to call and who is responsible for their care.