The health and social care business is extremely competitive, and care organisations need to be at the top of their game to be in the game. In this article, you’ll learn why training health and social care staff is so important to developing and maintaining a competitive edge and achieving business goals in the healthcare environment.
Why should people choose your care home or domiciliary care service?
The 2017 Care Homes Market Study published by the Competition and Markets Authority found that the cost of care is not the main factor in decision-making for self-funders and their family members. Instead, providers said that the quality of care is the main way that they attract customers – and the quality of your staff is key to establishing, providing, and evidencing this quality of care.
How do people assess the quality of your staff?
Location and facilities play an important part in choosing a care home or domiciliary services, but your ace card is your staff. Potential customers will ask questions to better understand the quality of care they will receive. They will want to know that your staff:
- Are friendly, and happy to help with physical tasks (e.g. washing and dressing)
- Are interested in the habits, interests, and backgrounds of residents
- Are well managed
- Are capable with the activities that help support quality of life
The key question asked will be about the qualifications and training of staff. Care homes or domiciliary services that are staffed by people with high-level and specific qualifications, and in which continuous professional development is on the list of priorities, tick all the above boxes. The following five reasons why training health and social care staff is so important explain how.
1.Training staff improves the quality of care you offer your residents
People enter the care industry because they want to make a difference to the residents' lives. They want to help others. To do this effectively, they must be trained. In the same way that training improves an athlete’s performance, training of your health and social care employees will improve their performance.
Recognised qualifications such as the NVQ in Health and Social Care provide concrete evidence of that training, and the quality of the care that your staff provide.
2. They improve your CQC rating
People are becoming more aware of CQC ratings as a method of determining the standard of care provided. When the CQC conducts an inspection, they will want to know that you ‘deploy enough suitably qualified, competent and experienced staff’ to enable you to meet all your obligations under the Health and Social Care Act 2008.
On its website, the CQC stipulate that:
“To meet the regulation, providers must provide sufficient numbers of suitably qualified, competent, skilled and experienced staff to meet the needs of the people using the service at all times and the other regulatory requirements set out in this part of the above regulations. Staff must receive the support, training, professional development, supervision and appraisals that are necessary for them to carry out their role and responsibilities. They should be supported to obtain further qualifications and provide evidence, where required, to the appropriate regulator to show that they meet the professional standards needed to continue to practise.”
Little wonder that where ratings of ‘poor’ or ‘inadequate’ have been given, a significant factor is often cited as unqualified or underqualified staff, and poor management of those staff.
3. Training increases loyalty and the benefits it produces
Training staff is a key strategy to improving loyalty. Organisations who are committed to helping employees develop their careers will discover that those staff feel more engaged.
Employee engagement does more than increase productivity. When employees feel valued, appreciated, and part of a successful team, you’ll find that you benefit from:
- Lower staff turnover
- Lower absenteeism
- Fewer safety incidents
- Better quality of work
With improved employee engagement, you’ll also find your image improves, recruitment costs fall, and it becomes easier to attract talented people to work for you.
4. Training staff increases business opportunities
With more highly qualified staff, and with employees qualified in a wider range of related disciplines, your care home or domiciliary services will have the opportunity to offer new services to clients. This increases business opportunities for your care home or domiciliary services, attracting new and different clients in higher-margin care offerings.
5. Increase dignity and choices for residents
With more highly skilled staff, your residents will be better cared for. Your employees will better understand the needs of your residents. They will treat them as equals, giving control of care to the resident. With more choice and greater autonomy, a resident will live a more dignified life in the care home.
Training of staff takes care homes and domiciliary care to a new level
Residents are discomforted by high staff turnover, and clients don’t want to pay good money to a care home that regulators don’t consider offer a satisfactory level of care. Training of staff increases loyalty and decreases absenteeism and staff turnover. It is a major factor in CQC ratings, can improve the breadth of services you offer your residents, and most importantly...increase the quality of care provided.
People today consider care as a consumer choice. They will consider the attitude and engagement of employees, and care provided by staff, before cost. To help them make the choice you want them to make, training your staff is simply essential.