COVID-19 Sector feedback

Share your COVID-19 challenges 

Help support the sector and complete our short survey!

Our survey is based on your experiences during past couple of months and the potential impact they might have on your service in the future.

We're sharing feedback with the Department of Health and Social Care regularly, and with other partners, as well as using the information we gather to inform our work to support the sector in the coming months. There are 10 questions to complete in the short survey service in the future.       

⇨  Start the survey 

This information will be combined with the data we capture through Adult Social Care Workforce Data Set (ASC-WDS) to give vital intelligence on what is happening across the country.

Tell us your story

We want to make sure that the vital work you’re carrying out is recognised and shared as widely as possible so others can learn from it. Share the outstanding work of your workforce this could be a best practice, innovation or evidence of the vital role of social care.

Send your stories to marketing@skillsforcare.org.uk you MUST not exceed 200 words and include the following:

  • Organisation/service name
  • Location

Join our Twitter campaign! 

We're sharing the positive things happening every day in social care with the Twitter community.

Get involved by sharing a short video of your good news story using #socialcareisvital and @skillsforcare

Sector feedback stories... 

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Serving up care

Home care manager Carly Rochester recently went above and beyond to show the people who are supported by Lodge Group Care that they are not alone during this crisis.  

They did this by serving up over 200 dinners of home cooked food for all people who use their service and the people living with them. 

This heroic effort was all done at Carly’s house cooking for 20 solid hours all just using her little range cooker. Carly wasn’t alone in her efforts and was ably assisted by her dad, husband, daughter Chloe who works with the Lodge Group Care and Chloe’s boyfriend too! Between them they managed to peel 19 sacks of potatoes and cook 211 delicious meals. 

“I have a newfound respect for chefs,” says Carly. “WOW it’s no easy job and I will never complain again about my dinner taking too long in a restaurant now we know the extreme pressure they face!  The clean-up is another level too. 

All 211 dinners were out by 12pm for the lunch rounds to start. When Christmas comes and we cook our normal 25 meals it will feel like a walk in the park, especially after peeling all those spuds! We also put a little note in with each of the dinner parcels which Chloe had prepared. 

“We’ve had lovely feedback and have had repeat orders in for more next week! Sadly the chef’s whites have been hung up, but were so glad all the hard work and effort was worth it. None of us want to see a roast dinner again for quite a while!” 

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Rosslyn Court help families to be with loved ones at the end of life 

One elderly gentleman who lived at Rosslyn Court was nearing the end of his life. It had been previously arranged that the gentleman would have no further hospital admissions should he become seriously unwell. It was very recently recognised that the gentleman’s time was nearing and his family wished to be close to him during this time. 

We all recognise and understand the importance of having those close to us when we reach this stage of our lives and it is equally important to family members that they can be there for their loved ones at this time. 

Registered manager Kiran understood this and she and her staff did everything they could to ensure that the gentleman’s daughter and granddaughter were able to continue to visit him during a time when some care homes have closed their doors. The gentlemen passed peacefully and was able to share his last moments with the people who were most important to him. 

To ensure the well-being and safety of the residents, the staff and other relevant parties, the home asked the family members to follow the same protocol as the staff. This included the use of protective masks, aprons & gloves and the use of hand sanitiser after handwashing. Relevant risk assessments were also put in place. 

Using the same protocols, one gentleman was supported to visit his wife who was nearing the end of her life. With this careful and considerate approach being taken by the home, a lady was able to spend her last moments with her loving husband. 

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Complete Care West Yorkshire ltd, Wakefield 

Registered manager Sara Booth wanted to thank her team for the dedication and positivity they have shown so she called in Occasional cakes to help create and deliver a cake box for everyone to enjoy.  

The team were so grateful to receive these gestures of kindness and acknowledgement for the work they are doing out in the community.  

‘’What a lovely gesture Complete Care with these scrumptious buns. A much needed sugar rush. Thank you xx – Maria’’ 

‘’Thank you for my lovely surprise, I can’t wait to have my tea and get stuck into them x x x – Lisa’’ 

I honestly don’t know where to begin in singing the praises of my team. I am so proud of what we have all achieved during what is unprecedented times. 

We have adapted the way in which we work quite quickly and with some ease. A couple of the senior team are out working in the community to support our care team, whilst two seniors remain in the office to maintain the running of the business.There is a great sense of camaraderie amongst everyone” - Sara Booth Registered Manager.

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Home From Home Care team featured on local TV news 

Home From Home Care were featured on Look North for East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire showcasing the work staff are doing to maintain a normal life for the individuals they support.  

Footage was taken from Home From Home Care’s YouTube channel, which shows everything from life in the homes to the changing recruitment process and updates from managers. Families of the people they support were happy to see their loved ones during this time when visiting isn’t possible. Watch the video. 

Care staff in Yorkshire rewarded for their efforts 

Gail Sykes, Managing Director of Burgundy Care Services in Holmfirth, explains how they are rewarding their staff. 

“We have got them a pack together, with things they need Laundry bag, goggles, alcohol gel etc, we added to this bag an Easter egg, car sticker, some handmade soap and some hand cream. We have just ordered them some small figurines.  

“For the team members with children we have ordered them some rainbow paper and felt pens for the children. We have some other things in the pipeline too, so we can keep giving them little thank you gifts as we go along. At the end of all this, they are all going to get a nice big bonus.” 

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Skills for Care Graduate Management learner transforms learning and development delivery

Due to COVID-19 learning and development activity between Milton Keynes Council’s Learning & Development department and Buckinghamshire University 4th year medical students was suspended.

Skills for Care Graduate Management learner Victoria Church, who is spending her social care placement year the council, stepped in by producing an on-line package to facilitate remote learning so the activity could continue under social distancing. Her actions protected the learning experience to undergraduates and preserved service delivery from Milton Keynes Council social care department to their committed student learners.

Victoria produced a remote package of learning for Buckinghamshire University 4th year medical students on the work of Adult Social Care and in particular how closer working relationships between health and social care staff can provide better, more personalised outcomes for service users.

The package includes the identification of suitable online learning opportunities in subjects such as safeguarding, dementia, mental capacity act & deprivation of liberties safeguards. It also provides information on the services provided by Milton Keynes Council’s adult social care service and its strategic partners in the voluntary sector.

Victoria also identified a variety of useful sources of research and information for the students on areas such as telecare, assistive technology and equipment services.

Once they have completed the pack medical students are required to answer key questions including: ‘describe the positive outcomes for patients/elderly frail people resulting from multi professional working across health & social care’, ‘When, how & why do adult social care staff undertake mental capacity assessments?’ and ‘What role does telecare play in regard to delaying the need for long term care?’

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Exemplar Health Care develop Associate Carer role    

Exemplar Health Care have developed a new Associate Carer role to help meet their growing demand for workers. 

They say the role is ideal for people who work in the hospitality, leisure or travel sectors who will be looking for extra work over the coming months, as well as anyone who wants to start a care career. 

People are asked to apply online, then do a video interview and if successful can start in their new role within 2-3 weeks. In their adverts Exemplar Health Care are looking for people who are caring, have good communication skills and want to make a difference.  

They’ve already had candidates interview and start their careers, many of whom don’t have any experience in care, but showed that they have the right values. Induction for the new recruits involves buddying an experienced colleague and eLearning. 

Read more about the Associate Carer role.

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Ade goes above and beyond 

Sarah Boardman, Registered Manager at Supported Living Services, explains how one of her team went above and beyond the call of duty. 

We are a service for adults with a learning disability, and have a gentleman who lives within our supported living service who sadly lost his Mum in July last year. Since then his Dad, who is in his late 80s, lives alone. We have been making regular contact with Dad to ensure that he is OK, and doesn't need anything during a time when the safest place for him was at home. 

Senior Care Worker Ade had tried to ring Dad on Sunday, he tried all afternoon, but no answer, so Ade telephoned me to say that he still wasn't answering the phone, and he was going round to check on him. Ade arrived and there was no answer at the door, so I advised him to try shouting through the letterbox, he did this and got a reply when he looked through the letterbox. He could see Dad’s head on the floor in the doorway of his bedroom. Ade telephoned for an ambulance and the police to be able to gain access. Dad was very poorly, and had likely been on the floor for up to 24 hours.  

The paramedics and police were amazed that Ade had cared enough to check on Dad, especially at this worrying time. Unfortunately, Dad is now in hospital and very poorly, but without Ade, he may have died on that floor alone and afraid. 

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Scarborough care group gives food hampers to staff 

Saint Cecilia’s Care Group teamed up with local bakers Cooplands to provide staff with a food hamper as a reward for their hard work during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The North Yorkshire based group called in the Scarborough bakers to create 160 hampers for each of its staff who have been delivering services during lockdown. The delivery of a hamper to each member of staff follows on from the company’s decision to give them a COVID-19 pay bonus. 

“This has been the toughest, most challenging period for any care provider to go through and we are truly proud of our staff’s efforts throughout, they have been magnificent,” says Managing Director Mike Padgham. 

And the bakers were happy to create the hampers for the care team. 

“We were very pleased to help Saint Cecilia’s when they called to say they were looking to supply their staff with food hampers,” notes Belinda Youngs, CEO of Cooplands. “It is wonderful that they are supporting a local baker in this way as we all have to work together during these tough times.” 

 

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Easter Bunny visits Radfield Home Care 

A surprise visit from the Easter Bunny delivering gifts. 

Registered care manager Gemma Bristow was taken aback to receive an email from carer Gillian checking that it was okay on Easter Sunday when visiting her regular clients to give them all an Easter Egg and spring flowers. 

Gillian joined the Radfield care team in February this year, and according to Gemma goes above and beyond in every aspect of her role. 

“I was overwhelmed with Gillian’s offer and generosity to give her clients these Easter gifts, as it was something she wanted to do and pay for herself,” says Gemma. “I hadn’t realised that she was also going to dress up as an Easter bunny with ‘bunny ears’, so when Gillian shared the photo with us, all set and ready to go with her gifts in the early hours of Sunday morning, we were all taken aback that she was going to such effort.” 

And the visits from the bunny proved very popular.  

“I visit 6 clients every Sunday, with the first of care call at 7.15 am,” recalls Gillian. “My first client is always in her nightie and dressing gown when I visit, ready to be helped to get dressed, but on Sunday, my client howled with laughter at the sight of me with my bunny ears, and delighted with her Easter treats".   

I also visited another regular client of mine who is in a wheelchair. He was so taken aback with my Easter gifts and bunny ears, the expression on his face, will stay with me forever!  Another client commented that she had not received an Easter egg, since she was a child, bringing back lots of childhood memories that she went on to share with me.” 

 

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Supporting new recruits 

Caroline Southgate. Managing Director at Doris Jones Ltd, Gibraltar House in Westcliff-on-Sea, reflects on how they are supporting their new recruits who are joining social care in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. 

We put together a training day for new recruits in week one of the lockdown to stay ahead of the demand.  

I did a basic version of our usual induction, and the new team are to be used to back fill the less complex care needs such as meals, shopping or just a companion or welfare visit. 

Of the eight on the day we had a few who had done care before - one used to work for us years ago and is now a swimming teacher with no work, and one was an 18 year old pre midwifery student who, although daunted, was keen to try care of older people.

One of the new recruits was a European Tour caddie who obviously has no bag to carry or putting tips to give right now as his sport is stopped!

The key message was it’s all about VALUES, and it’s not that we think this is a low skilled job that anyone can do. Far from it, and we wanted to have back up for the less onerous tasks, so that our highly skilled workforce can be deployed efficiently where we need them most.

 

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Stow Healthcare innovate to find new staff

When Stow Healthcare were looking to recruit staff as they dealt with the impact of COVID-19 they decided to target people who had been laid off in industries being heavily impacted by the crisis.  

“The idea came to me when I heard about airline staff losing two month’s pay,” says Stow Healthcare’s Operation Director Ruth French. “Clearly people cannot survive without the income that they are used to, and I realised that there were many sectors facing the same problem, including retail and hospitality.

“We need extra staff right now, and we are in a position to train and support staff on a temporary basis, if they want to return to their normal roles in the coming months, or even permanently if they love our homes! ”

The company were offering opportunities across care, catering and housekeeping across its five homes in Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex who support around 250 residents.

They have been delighted with the response to their adverts appealing to workers from hard hit sectors to work in care with people responding positively to coverage in local press, BBC Look East and social media campaigns at a targeted local level. 

The advert seems to have been particularly well received by self-employed people from a variety of backgrounds. The positive response means they are now set to eradicate any agency use at all from the care homes this month, which is a vital part of their strategy to reduce the possibility of COVID-19 entering the homes.   

They have also supported self-employed hairdressers who have previously visited homes to provide services who are now coming to them to work as carers.