Time for a review?

In the current climate of scrutiny of care homes, we are all familiar with the increased focus on the availability of PPE, infection control, staff training, the availability of staff, frequent changes of advice, strategy, and direction. It is quite frankly, not easy being registered care service, and our care providers should be celebrated for generally delivering excellent care under immense pressure.

Whilst we are all hopeful that the current wave of Covid-19 is on the wane in most areas of the country, there are pockets where the infection rate has remained higher than anticipated, and the impact of this is going to be felt for some time to come as providers continue to protect people in their care, through maintenance of exemplary hygiene standards, testing (when available) organizing alternative means of contact with relatives and loved ones. We have seen some truly outstanding examples of innovation, from drive-through visits, socially distanced café, Perspex® room dividers with intercoms, cuddle shower curtains, inside/outside parties to name a few.

Over the next few weeks, many providers will need to take stock of what has happened, what worked, what needed to improve, and how things might have been done differently. Maintaining contemporaneous files about what guidance was received, what actions you took based upon the guidance, how this was communicated to residents, staff and visitors are vital as regrettably, somebody will not be content that everything possible was done.

At Swift Management Services we are highly experienced in undertaking comprehensive service reviews to enable providers to have the assurance that they are compliant with all aspects of the Health and Social Care Act.  The current pandemic and the level of response has highlighted that some providers of health and social care struggled to source PPE, maintain staffing levels, deal with outbreaks etc. By reviewing your systems, updating information and resources and testing your Business Continuity Plans together with your Pandemic Preparedness Plans, we can help you ensure that you are in the best possible position to minimise risk in the event of a further wave of Covid-19, and help your business to be fighting fit for the future.

The financial burden to providers during a pandemic is considerable, ranging from the increased cost of PPE, additional staffing, waste disposal costs to provision of Covid secure facilities that ordinarily may not be required. We are also seeing a collateral effect on food costs.  With so many providers facing extreme financial pressure, it is important to review the service in the context of fees received from local authorities, which is acknowledged and has failed to keep pace with the true cost of care. At Swift Management Services we have an experienced team of consultants with wide-ranging skill sets from nurses, registered managers, and board level executives all of whom can assist in a comprehensive strategic review.

This will enable you to have the necessary information to approach commissioners to secure realistic fees or redesign your service together with registration changes to best suit the local market.

We are currently offering providers a free no-obligation discussion about how we can assist you.

Care Home Engagement Surveys can help more than you think!

How Prepared are you for Covid

As the lockdown eases, the care home industry will be looking forward to returning to normal. Engagement Surveys can help this process in a number of ways.

There will have been lessons learned in so many aspects of care home life during the lockdown and it is a real opportunity to demonstrate that the provider has good levels of governance in place and lessons have been learned and acted upon for the future.

Another aspect of Engagement Surveys from an external provider can be the validation of the services you provide to both the public and the regulators.

Many care home providers who were expecting the regulators to call, due to inadequate rating being awarded within the last six months, will have worked extremely hard to make service improvements. Given that the regulators are not maintaining their usual inspection regime, if an inadequate rated home has complied with the notice of decision issued by the regulator, they are unlikely to have had a revisit. This will impact on the published rating and this is likely to impact on referrals.

Using engagement survey results to demonstrate satisfaction and service improvement can be an invaluable way to demonstrate a responsive and well-led service. The results can be published on your website to counterbalance a regulatory report or indeed confirm a great report.

Swift Management Services offer both Resident and Relative and Employee engagement surveys and the subsequent report to the provider is anonymised, the data is benchmarked year on year and can be benchmarked against industry standards. We provide templates for actions from surveys. Our team can further assist with advice to complete action plans and keep your teams informed if required.

Our engagement surveys can be digital, or paper-based, and all reports are presented in an easy to understand PDF document which is easily adapted for use on your own web pages or printed as required.

We are able to offer “Off the Shelf” surveys and we are also able to provide bespoke surveys as required.

Many Care Home Providers use internal staff and resident surveys and may consider an external survey as an extravagance, this is most certainly not the case. We have found staff to be more open and truthful in an external survey as the anonymity aspect gives more confidence.

The public and the regulators take more comfort from a survey that has been managed externally as the results are collated externally from the company.

The results are presented in an easy to understand format which enables the participants and the readers to see that comments have been taken on-board and action if required has or is being taken. An external engagement survey can be a really valuable tool for any care home operator.

As a provider there is a need to be constantly monitoring and building your business, our engagement packages gives you the reassurance that your business is moving in the right direction and there are no surprises around the corner.

To find our more email: info@swiftmangement.org.uk

Or visit our website at www.swiftmangement.org.uk

The Swift Management KLOE Inspection process

CQC has a framework of inspection based on what is known as “the KLOE’s”. The term KLOE stands for Key Lines of Enquiry. They are based on best practice and the evidence from the KLOE goes to make up the care providers rating in the five categories of Safe, Effective, Caring, Responsive, and Well Led.

Some of our provider’s comment that their inspection report is repetitive and one or two points have been used in a number of categories, this is because the KLOE inspected has an impact on more than one categories, for example, a medication error caused by a number of staff members could impact on Safe, Caring and Well Led.

The information that CQC gathers throughout the year from many different sources is used as part of the inspection process and allows the inspection team to focus on various aspects of your service using the KLOE’s. When the inspection takes place the inspector already has a lot of information about your service and so it is important for the Manager and the team at the home to showcase the excellent work they do.

There is never a good time for the inspection team to arrive, we all know in a care home, every day is different, and something is always pulling the manager in one direction or another. That said the inspection is a snapshot of the home and depending on how everyone performs will significantly influence the outcome of the inspection. The Swift Management KLOE inspection documentation is designed to help at the time of your CQC inspection as it signposts the good practice.

When we carry out a KLOE inspection you will receive a visit from two consultants, usually unannounced but pre-arranged. This is to make the inspection as real as possible. One consultant carries out an inspection in much the same way as an inspector from CQC would do.

Whilst the second Consultant works with the manager to draw out evidence good or otherwise to support every KLOE. This then provides the home with a comprehensive report, which not only givens you a summary of the day, but details the evidence seen along with an assessment of standards and potential grade for each KLOE. The assessment can then be fed into the Service plan to make any improvements. The very positive aspect of this style of report is the evidence used to make the assessment is listed, meaning if used at the time of a CQC inspection, the manager is able to put forward all the evidence they will need to make their assessment. Given that an inspection is a snapshot of the care home, the more detail you provide the better the picture of the home will be. The Swift Management KLOE inspection report has assisted our clients to have at hand the evidence they need ensuring nothing is missed.

Where things need improvement the service plan produced by Swift Management provides the inspectors with a transparent and honest action plan, with not only the issues but how, and by whom the action is going to be taken and how they are going to be monitored. Any inspector knows that there is no perfect care home, and there are always improvements to be made, but a home that knows, understands, and owns the issues before they are pointed out by a CQC inspection is certainly well led.

Our clients have found our KLOE inspection audits have assisted in the formal CQC inspection process for many reasons. The first being staff have practiced an inspection. The second being there is an action plan to address issues before they are raised. The third being the inspectors are provided with the evidence they need to make a sound judgment because nothing is missed.

To find our more email: info@swiftmangement.org.uk

Or visit our website at www.swiftmangement.org.uk

Retaining a Consultancy can be a cost effective way to grow your business.

Many care home providers look to a care consultancy firm when the going gets tough, usually due to the costs involved they leave it to late. With our retained consultant package, you don’t have to wait for a crisis to hit. Enjoy the benefits an expert consultant can bring without the worry of high costs.

Swift Management Services Limited recognize the difficulties the care industry faces and particularly in 2020. Therefore, we have designed a pay monthly package to enable homes to grow and prosper. From as little as £295 per month + VAT (payable by direct debit) we can offer our basic package of support based on a 12-month program including:

  • 6 X Managers Supervisions.
  • Dedicated Care Consultant.
  • Access to our experienced team of Consultants when a specific issue needs a specific specialist.
  • A tailored Service plan using our proven system.
  • 6 X Support visits to review progress and provide a governance report.
  • 1 X Unannounced KLOE inspection.
  • Unlimited Telephone and Email Support.
  • Access to all the information relating to your home on our server.
  • Assistance with policy writing and review.
  • 15% discount on all other Swift Management Services throughout the year.

This package of support is designed to enhance any service, plus provide the governance detail that goes towards your “Well Led” Rating.

When providers look at client based outcomes, they will automatically improve their ratings with the regulators, profitability, staff morale, reputation and occupancy. Coupling these automatic improvements with systems and service reviews, a consultancy can offer so much more to a client than simply crisis management.

We are suggesting that we avoid the crisis and ensure that your business goes from strength to strength.

Our clients have already benefitted in many ways from our services, including:

  • Increasing Inspection Ratings
  • Client Fee Reviews
  • Crisis and Interim Management
  • Support at Regulatory or Local Authority Meetings
  • Registration support for new businesses
  • Staff and Resident Satisfaction Surveys
  • Bespoke Policies and Procedures

As a provider you need to be constantly monitoring and building your business, this package gives you the reassurance that your business is moving in the right direction and there are no surprises around the corner.

To find our more email: info@swiftmangement.org.uk

Or visit our website at www.swiftmangement.org.uk

Technology changed the way we work and just in time for the lockdown

As a company built on the expertise of Nurses and Care Professionals, we are all about the people we work with. The care industry until recently has been less than up to date with the digital age. Both these factors meant that the Swift Management Team preferred to hold face to face meetings, use direct marketing and work on paper based systems.

When I say this, I do not mean we were total technophobe’s we did use technology, but we certainly did not use technology as fully as we could have.

In early January we started discussions with our web design company Vikinguru Interactive, looking at ways in which we could improve our website, and increase its usefulness. As part of these discussions, we decided to change our email hosting and servers all at the same time. Although the advice was excellent, for a group of people who talk to people it was hard to imagine why we would require some of the technology we now had available to use as part of this major upgrade. We were learning all about Blogs and Wikki’s social media and much more.

In early March we held our staff conference and rolled out many of the new apps available to use and demonstrated their use. At this point Covid-19 was not the daily discussion point it is now, and the UK was going about its business even if the panic buying had started.

Over the coming weeks the team became proficient with the new software. Then the UK began to change, people were self-Isolating, travel was becoming more restrictive and we could not justify our team driving around the country to visit care homes, who were at the time considering reducing visitors or closing to visitors altogether.

In order to maintain the support, our customers wanted without putting either our consultant or the care homes at risk we began to unpack some of the tools we had in our technology armory but thought we would never use.

As a result, our clients now have access to the files we hold for them giving all of us real-time information as we work together on projects. We now hold meetings using Skype or MS Teams meaning those costly time-consuming meetings can be managed without leaving home. We have also been able to provide bespoke face to face type training over the internet, with online question papers and instant marking.

Our teams have been collaborating on projects in ways we have never done before. As we look to a future without infection and without lockdown, we have looked at how we can help those operators who have struggled during the last few months and whilst needing support simply do not feel the time is right, as they need to recover financially. We have decided to respond to this need by keeping our new technology working for us in the new world after Covid-19. This has meant we are able to put together low-cost packages of support for care home providers, as we use technology to assist our consultants to support our clients. They say something good comes from every disaster, and whilst we mourn the tragic loss of life, celebrate the excellent dedication of the NHS and Social Care Staff along with every other front line worker, here at Swift Management Services Limited, we know that our methods of working have been enhanced by the need to use technology more fully.

To find out more email: info@swiftmangement.org.uk

Or visit our website at www.swiftmangement.org.uk

NHS Nightingale Hospital

Proud to have been a small part in providing 4000 additional beds for the NHS at the Nightingale Hospital

The nursing team at Swift Management Services Limited was delighted to be part of the commissioning team which transformed the Excel Exhibition Centre in East London into a 4000-bed hospital to treat Covid-19 patients who need ventilation to support their breathing.

We were not as you might expect part of the nursing team, instead of part of the Facilities Management Commissioning team, working with the amazing staff of the NHS to pull together what is the first of possibly many Nightingale Hospitals across the UK.

The NHS team supported by the Army as mentors, designed and started to build a hospital that opened its doors in only nine days. The thousands of people involved from NHS executives & staff, along with contractors and consultants worked day and night to bring this hospital into use. This is something that can normally take years to achieve. The teams worked on individual parts of the project; every possible consideration was taken into account to ensure that the new field hospital could provide the very best of NHS care that we have all become used to in the current health crisis. Within just 9 days the hospital was taking shape. The hospital wards were named and the equipment was being installed.

There was a training centre established to train the new staff for the hospital on a day by day basis. It was remarkable to see who everyone pulled together. Whilst the project is an NHS project the army leant a hand as mentors to ensure that we all kept pace and we had thought of everything.

In what was known as the Auditorium a massive canteen was opened to feed the workforce and what an amazing job they did, given the hundreds of staff which they fed without falter every day. Whilst everyone working on the project hopes it will never be fully utilised as that would mean the virus continues, everyone has worked so very hard to make this happen and the team at Swift Management Services Limited are proud to have been a very small part of an enormous project.

We are so very proud of everyone who has been involved and we salute the Clinical Team who will work 24 hours a day to preserve life. It goes to show when there is a crisis the UK spirit still steps up to the challenge and it this case it was the NHS.