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Are you prioritising training in your care facility?

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The Care Quality Commission (CQC) released their ‘State of Care’ report for 2017/18 just last week. The regulatory body concluded that “most people in England receive a good quality of care” however, they also suggested that “quality is not consistent”. The CQC addressed 5 key points that affect the sustainability of good care for people, in their report:

  • Access to care
  • Quality of care
  • Workforce to deliver care
  • Capacity to meet demand
  • Funding & commissioning

We wanted to address these 5 factors, to show you how training affects these.

The report stated that the number of older people living with unmet care needs is continuing to rise, with friends and family now filling this gap. Age UK reported that nearly 1.2 million older people aren’t receiving the care they need. Friends and family members caring for their elders is not a sustainable alternative, yet many older people only have access to care providers that offer poor services, because there aren’t enough domiciliary carers in the area but also due to the cost of care being so high. Fundamentally, all care providers should be working to best practice and one contributing factor here is for staff to be properly trained. Providing staff with the correct training will allow them to do their job properly, to deliver the best quality care possible. This would also see those providers with poorer services deliver exceptionally better care.

It’s great to see that the overall quality of care for people in the UK has improved in the last year. Over 90% of GP practices and 79% of adult social care locations received GOOD ratings from the CQC (2017-2018). Whilst this highlights the quality of care is improving, the CQC have also found that 1 in 6 adult social care services needs to improve. One explained that:

Most of the staff there are temporary, they’re on like a six months or one year contract, you know, so they don’t get any training, you know – or they do get training, but by the time they know anything, they’re gone.”

We shout about the fact that training is essential, so that caregivers are able to deliver the best quality care possible. If carers are given the correct training, they will be able to provide a higher standard of person-centred care, therefore the quality of care will improve for all. So surely this is something that all care homes should prioritise? Training your team brings a wealth of benefits, from a slower employee turnover through increased employee engagement, to better care and better patient outcomes.

In any care home, having the right staff is crucial in ensuring that services can provide the best person-centred care possible. The CQC reported that the highest vacancy rates in adult social care were for the regulated positions such as: registered nurses, allied health professionals and social workers, with figures reaching 15% in London alone. And whilst there are issues recruiting for these members of staff, the industry also seems to struggle retaining healthcare professionals. In any job role, an employee wants to feel supported and valued, and one way of achieving this is to provide the relevant training that staff need. Therefore, if care providers arranged for their staff to have sufficient training so they felt they could carry out their job well, this would encourage employees to stay in their role, because they will feel supported and valued.

The health and social care services in the UK are beginning to face a storm as the number of elderly people continues to rise. Yet, the demand on these services also comes from the increasing number of people living with complex, chronic or multiple conditions such as diabetes, cancer and dementia. Couple this with the failing capacity of healthcare services to meet the needs of this increasing demand, and you will understand why the sector is feeling the strain. Effectively, this means that there aren’t enough people to provide the support and care that the general population require.

“The mental health services in this area are completely shot. There’s too much for them to do. There aren’t enough people to cope with the patients, it’s totally wrong.”

So, how is training affected by demand and capacity on health and social care services? Due to this increased demand and lack of capacity, it’s likely that training is being forgotten about. This means that the quality of care is likely to be slipping and those in need of care will receive potentially unsafe care. It’s become about quantity over quality, when it comes to the workforce of the health and social care sector. It’s important that these services don’t use the increases in demand as a way to excuse poor care-giving, rather, they should work to create approaches to help overcome these struggles.

We are all aware of the funding challenges the sector competes with, and it’s no secret that funding has an impact on the provision of high quality care. With care providers needing to make budget cuts to cope with rising costs and numbers of residents, many are removing learning and development (L&D) from their programmes. Why is this the first thing to go? L&D is crucial to any business, let alone those operating in the industry. Without training and the potential career development, employees aren’t going to be trained to the highest standard, nor will they feel supported in building their career. Providing training to staff will only achieve positives, as they learn the skills required to deliver that person-centred care that the CQC are always on the lookout for. In addition, research has shown that an employer who has a focus on development of their employees is likely to retain a higher percentage of staff than those who don’t.

Good, sustainable care is now achieved by services collaborating as part of one effective system. The ultimate aim is to change the way services are funded and the way they work together, for the better. The provision of high quality training is just one of the fundamentals that will contribute to improving health and social care services nationally. Here at eLearning For You, we pride ourselves on delivering excellent eLearning, as the top eLearning provider in the industry. We have a fantastic team of course developers who work hard to produce engaging and relevant course content, to ensure your learners are getting the most out of their eLearning. With 60+ online mandatory and additional courses, find out more about how we can help you to get your care facility back to excellence again!

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