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January Newsletter

25 Jan 2017

Welcome to the HCL Newsletter for January 2017 and a Happy New Year to you all!

We are very pleased to be able to report that our Service Delivery over the Christmas and New Year period went well and all required care calls were delivered thanks to the hard work and commitment of the staff who were working through the holidays. Winter is always one of the most challenging times of year for Social Care due to hospitals being under great stress to discharge elderly patients as soon as they are fit to be discharged. However, often before a patient can be discharged there is a dependency on a care package being available and at HCL we endeavour to remain flexible and be ready to accept new Service Users.

Service User Survey Feedback

You will be aware from previous Newsletters that the last Service User survey was sent to all Service Users in July 2016. The results of this were shared via the Newsletter and also published on our website. In line with our commitment to excellence in service we decided that we would send additional surveys throughout the year targeting Service Users we felt would benefit from the opportunity to ‘have their say’.

With this in mind, during December we sent surveys to all Service Users who have joined HCL since the July survey was sent.
A total of 113 surveys were sent and 27 were returned. This gives a response rate of 23.9% which is an increase on the previous response rate which was 16.5%.

Generally the feedback was positive and I have listed below some of the comments from Service Users.

‘Main carer S is excellent, most are good and helpful.’
‘Friendly reliable, lovely carers, responsible.’
‘Great carers, very friendly, kind, good hard workers, in fact lovely ladies.’
‘Very friendly professional staff.’
‘My family are pleased with the care and attention my mum has from your carers, always polite and thoughtful and considerate to her needs.’
‘Good staff easy to get on with and help as much as my care package allows.’
‘Carers are caring and friendly. M, my carer’s is absolutely outstanding, she is kind and helpful and very attentive to all of my needs, and it is lovely to see her every day.’
‘Nice friendly staff.’
‘I find the service satisfactory but then I am easily pleased, not certain others would find the service acceptable.’
‘Very useful help but check if meals are hot enough when using microwave.’
‘I would like the same person to come every week and a bit nearer my time which is 10am.’
‘Lots of help given that the family are unable to help due to their family ties.’
‘Staff are polite caring and understanding.’
‘Carers that come are friendly, trustworthy and treat us with respect.’
‘Communication could be better between HCL and NOK/Family.’

Some great comments but also some that need to be considered.

Dignity Action Day – 1 February 2017

Dignity Action Day is an annual opportunity for Health and Social Care Workers and members of the public to uphold people’s rights to dignity and provide a truly Memorial Day for people who use care services. It gives everyone the opportunity to contribute to upholding people’s rights to dignity and provide a truly memorable day for people receiving care.

Dignity Action Day aims to ensure people who use care services are treated as individuals and are given choice, control and a sense of purpose in their daily lives.

Dame Joan Bakewell, Dignity in Care Ambassador said:

Dignity Action Day highlights a more respectful way of behaving towards vulnerable people. The very old and the very young clearly need our respect, but it wouldn’t do any harm to spread the dignity message across the population then we can all benefit.”

We realise that working in the community can make it difficult to come together and organise activities for the day, however there are things that can be done on an individual level on the day that can help make a difference. For example, if you have not already done so, why not sign up to become a dignity champion? A Dignity Champion is someone who believes passionately that being treated with dignity is a basic human right, not an optional extra. They believe that care services must be compassionate, person centred, as well as efficient, and are willing to try to do something to achieve this. So far, over 70,000 people have signed up to be Dignity Champions, all pledging to challenge poor care, to act as good role models and, through specific guidelines issued by the campaign, to educate and inform all those working around them.

Dignity Champions are willing to:

  • Stand up and challenge disrespectful behaviour
  • Act as good role models by treating other people with respect, particularly those who are less able to stand up for themselves
  • Speak up about dignity to improve the way that services are organised and delivered
  • Influence and inform colleagues
  • Listen to and understand the views and experiences of citizens.

Dignity Champions are all committed to taking action, however small, to create a care system that has compassion and respect for those using its services. Each Dignity Champion’s role varies depending on their knowledge and influence and the type of work they are involved in. There are many small things that you can do that can have a big impact on people’s lives, as well as taking on a more active role if you have the time to do so.

Dignity Champions include health and social care managers and frontline staff. They also include doctors, nurses, dieticians, porters, MPs, councillors, members of local action groups, and people from voluntary and advocacy organizations. People who use care services, their relatives and carers, as well as members of the public, are becoming Dignity Champions.

You can sign up to become a dignity champion via the website here. If you do not have access to the interview you are very welcome to sign on at the HCL office.

It only takes a moment but is one small thing that will make a difference on 1 February 2017!

Cold Weather Warning

We are now at that time of year when our Service Users are very vulnerable to the impact of the cold weather. Below are some tips taken from the NHS Choices website to help keep elderly and vulnerable people warm and well in extremely cold weather:

  • Draw curtains at dusk and keep your doors closed to block out draughts.
  • Have regular hot drinks and eat at least one hot meal a day if possible. Eating regularly helps keep energy levels up during winter.
  • Wear several light layers of warm clothes (rather than one chunky layer).
  • Keep as active in your home as possible.
  • Wrap up warm and wear shoes with a good grip if you need to go outside on cold days.
  • If you have reduced mobility, are 65 or over, or have a health condition such as heart or lung disease, you should heat your home to at least 18C. It’s a good idea to keep your bedroom at this temperature all night if you can and make sure you wear enough clothes to stay warm. During the day, you may prefer your living room to be slightly warmer
  • If you’re under 65 and healthy and active, you can safely have your house cooler than 18C, if you’re comfortable.

Health First

HCL continue to promote health and fitness through encouraging staff to complete the Health First Programme. A group of workers have recently commenced the programme and will receive support and encourage to increase their levels of activity, well being and healthy eating.

We have also appointed three members of staff as the Health Champions for HCL who are on hand to provide staff and carers with help, advice and support if needed.

Thanks for reading and we’ll be back next month with some more news and updates.