Home' Community Care Review : CCR Jan-Feb 2015 Contents Better Practice conferences
The Quality Agency's Better Practice
conferences are a perfect avenue for inspiring and
promoting 'quality' care and 'quality of life' in aged
care. In 2015 our conference program is designed to
cater for both the residential aged care and home
The conference covers the areas that matter most,
like dementia, diversity, leadership and providing
services to special needs groups. Don't miss out on
the opportunity to learn and network with people who
share your goal of building better practice and
innovation in aged care.
It's not to be missed -- see www.aacqa.gov.au for
QHome -- Workplace learning on the
Coming this year, QHome is a multi-purpose educational
resource kit specifcally designed for the home care
sector. QHome topics address key quality review and
home care issues related to the Home Care Common
The topics in the kit are fully customisable to meet your
unique needs and are designed to support learning in the
Topics range from an overview of quality review and how
to use feedback from care recipients, to a focus on
expected outcomes like assessment, care planning,
privacy and dignity, risk management and continuous
We're coming your way
Subscribe to our monthly newsletter Quality Standard to stay up to date. Visit www.aacqa.gov.au
Providing education, information and training for the home care sector
brings challenges but has also created new opportunities for staff in
the way of new and different job roles, additional leadership roles
and more integrated and supportive team structures.
As part of this, we regionalised what had been one giant pool of
home care staff within Community Services and Benetas At Home, into
three teams. These three teams, compared to the previous one which
had no sense of connection or belonging, were attached to an existing
Benetas operational region. Straight away, this gave each team, and
each staff member within that team, a sense of membership.
Each team was then assigned an in-home service delivery
manager, charged with recruiting, supporting and training staff and
to provide regular, comprehensive supervision.
We also called upon technological innovations to help us connect
In September 2013, Benetas in-home service assistants were given
access to the eRoster system, which has facilitated a more connected
mobile workforce. eRoster enables staff to view their rosters remotely,
access emails and view important client information on their smart
phone, tablet or home computer. This system has improved client
care significantly, with staff able to receive point in time rosters and
updates on changes to client requirements.
A text messaging system was also introduced to enable us to
communicate quickly to carers. Carers can respond free of charge.
This has resulted in significant efficiencies in our rostering process,
ensuring shifts are filled as quickly as possible and carers feel
connected at all times. It also means that the two or three people
responsible for rostering within a region can manage their large
staff pool effectively.
In addition, a regular 'pulse check' survey has been introduced
and focus groups have been conducted at different sites to get
a sense of how staff are feeling within the new structure, and to
identify and respond to any issues before they have an impact on
staff performance and client outcomes. These sessions have been
supplemented with increased communication activity in the form
of a monthly regional-specific newsletter, a monthly home care
specific newsletter, and regular briefings from myself.
Staff have also been offered increased professional development,
with training and opportunities to 'act' in higher roles presented
regularly. Each staff member is also engaged in a six-monthly
performance review activity, which gives them the opportunity to
identify areas for development with their manager.
Development of a Home Care Learning and Development Plan,
integrating training for all Benetas Home Care, is underway. This
will cover mandatory compliance training, and training specific to
job roles and client needs. A feature of the plan will be the use of
online training making it easier for remote staff to participate.
Feedback from staff has been overwhelmingly positive. Staff
report a sense of belonging and connection with the business that
was completely absent before.
One staff member reflected this in a recent 'pulse check' survey
that: "We are all working towards one common goal -- there is no us
and them." And clients report the same thing, which tells us that
we're getting something right.
While Benetas has made significant inroads to improving outcomes
for staff and clients in this space, there is more work to be done.
We realise we need the best people on board, working in the
most collaborative and connected way possible. n
Jeremy McAuliffe is general manager Benetas Home Care.
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