We’re all taught that oral health is essential to keep our teeth healthy but what does this really mean? Poor oral health can lead to malnutrition, pneumonia and a weakened immune system which can make it harder to recover from common illnesses. Studies are being conducted to see whether dental hygiene has any links to dementia. So how can we encourage better dental hygiene?
Getting people you support to the dentist is no easy feat. Dental practices aren’t always accessible, medical settings can be quite distressing and getting there requires accessible transport and extra staff. Instead of taking the people you support to the dentist, why not bring the dentist to you? Domiciliary dental services provide dental care right at home.
Some local NHS trusts offer training on dental health for a few members of staff, appointing these staff members as Oral Health Champions. These Champions undertake the training and the responsibility of training existing and new staff. Ensuring your service is working to the NICE guidelines and the Oral Health policy could also become part of the Champions’ role.
Activities are a simple and fun way to encourage conversations about good oral health. Brushing your teeth may not seem fun but, depending on the people you supports abilities, it can be! If you have any keen knitters, download knitting patterns for knitting teeth, tooth fairies or tooth fairy pouches for grandchildren, young relatives and friends’ children. Arty people could have a go at crafting teeth and toothbrushes out of leftover cardboard and painting them. If you have any connections to a local school or nursery, invite them over (Covid-19 permitting) for a lesson on mouthcare. You could even have a sensory afternoon of science experiments, making elephant toothpaste, growing plaque with yeast and sugar and, egg brushing.
The Nourish platform allows dental hygiene to be logged, tracked and managed and provides an Oral Health Assessment Tool (OHAT) for new admissions. In Nourish, you are able to plan, manage and evidence dental appointments and visits and use the OHAT for regular reviews on the oral health of those you support. The Alerts and Warnings function can ensure appointments and reviews are not missed. Because dental health can have a significant impact on the general health of the people you support, the ability to monitor means early intervention is possible.
Electronic care planning isn’t just improving the lives of those in care, it’s improving the lives of those working in care too.
Personalised care plans are the best way to ensure your care team provide the most person-centred support to those they care for.
Each individual is different, therefore a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t always work, especially when you care for people with very different needs.
When it comes to working with personalised plans on paper, things can be quite tricky. With care teams looking after many different people at the same time, a lot of carers’ time is spent looking at care plans, writing up notes and analysing information by hand, which can become very time consuming, and ultimately takes away from the time they could be spending with those they support.
As personalised plans become far easier to create, manage and analyse online, they can also be shared easily with members of a care team so that everyone can see the information they need at the click of a button.
This results in people receiving a much more personal and bespoke level of care, and ensures care teams are always working with a person-centred approach. There are many benefits to personalised care plans that are empowering teams to provide a greater level of care.
Having a team of carers who enjoy their job is so important when striving to deliver outstanding person-centred care. When care teams are happy, this shines through in their delivery of care. Here’s just a few ways personalised plans are empowering care teams working digitally……
The most common way care teams are feeling empowered by personalised plans is through increased efficiency.
Having each care plan easily accessible at the touch of a button can save carers a huge amount of time looking through stacks of paper and spending lengthy periods writing up notes. It also means there’s no confusion or questioning when shifts change, as you handover to the next carer they have all of the same information readily available. Knowing what’s been done and what needs to be done allows carers to ensure people are getting everything they need in a timely fashion.
The Nourish system has a handover feature which allows carers to quickly scan through what a previous member of staff has done that day or night, which means that change overs are seamless and consistent care is provided at all times.
With personal plans for each individual they support accessible at the touch of a button, carers are feeling empowered through that added confidence in their role.
Personalised plans provide in-depth information about a person and their needs, including everything from their allergies and medication history to their likes and dislikes. Having this information to hand allows carers to get to know the people they support, and in having this deeper understanding of their needs, carers can feel confident they are providing the safest form of care for individuals.
The Nourish system has the ability to log notes and send direct messages to other members of staff, so if something doesn’t look right or they’re unsure of something, this makes it easy for care teams to communicate with each other and support each other in their daily tasks.
Those who work in care do so because they want to help and make a difference in people’s lives, but when there’s mountains of paperwork to do at the end of a shift, this can sometimes make carers feel like they could be doing more if it wasn’t for all the admin that comes with the job.
Personalised plans that are created digitally allow carers to spend less time on admin and paperwork, and more time doing what they do best, which is caring.
“Saved around 30% of the time care teams would have spent writing their notes” and “quite easily saves staff around 20 minutes per shift”.
Personalised plans empower care teams to work with a person-centred approach, as it gives them the time to spend with those they support in a face to face environment. Spending quality time with those in care is good for both the person receiving and giving the support.
The majority of carers’ job satisfaction comes from being able to make genuine human connections and really make a difference to those they care for. Admin is often seen as a necessary evil of the job, but a digital way of working can cut down this admin time immensely, which makes a huge difference to the way in which care teams work.
Autonomy is the key to a smooth running team, and personalised plans can help provide greater clarity on what each individual needs, without any uncertainty.
With a comprehensive care plan, handover notes and direct messaging available within the Nourish system, carers no longer need to search high and low for specific information about a person. A personal care plan will have all the important details of what that person needs, so that the carer on duty can simply get on with their work efficiently and effectively.
The Nourish system has a comprehensive care plan and personalised timeline that can give carers an extensive overview of a person’s biography, care needs, medication, emergency information and more.
Having easy digital access to personalised care plans is empowering care teams in the workplace with a better understanding of what is required of them in their role. Working digitally eliminates a lot of the uncertainty and groups all information together in one central location, which provides greater structure and direction for care teams.
With a clearer view of the needs of each person under their care, their work becomes easier and they feel more motivated to go above and beyond. With a more streamlined system that everyone has access to, admin time is drastically cut down and teams are empowered to provide more person centred care, there’s no doubt that a digital way of working is going to boost morale in the workplace.
With the structure and efficiency of a digital personalised plan, teams can put all their effort into providing outstanding care for everyone.
As you may have already seen, we’ve developed a close working relationship with former CQC inspector Anne Weston. Anne is now part of RHW Care Consults, a specialist team designed to help care providers with their regulatory commitments, which helps to provide Nourish with critical guidance when it comes to regulatory updates and compliance. Her direct experience of how the regulatory bodies operate, along with her vast knowledge of the care industry, make her perfectly placed to help guide care providers on a range of different technical topics they may need advice on. This week, we spoke to Anne regarding one aspect of care recording that is often overlooked when working in a busy care environment – “positive person-centred care”.
Person-centred care is a way of providing care so that those receiving and giving it are on equal footing when it comes to developing, monitoring and undertaking care, ensuring it always meets a person’s individual needs. This doesn’t mean that you give people whatever they want, nor does it involve mindlessly providing information, it’s about considering a person’s individual and personal wishes, family, values and circumstances, then working with them to create the best possible solution for care that’s tailored to their individual needs.
When recording care, being positive means communicating in a manner that reflects the positive aspects of the care and support being described, and not just the negatives. It’s the difference between – “Gladys is unable to get to the toilet herself and frequently wets the bed” which is a negative way to record care. Instead you should record in a style that highlights what she is able to do, such as “Gladys is able to use the toilet when aided by one of the care team” and “This means that she needs to be helped to go to the toilet before she goes to bed and first thing in the morning”.
Here are my top areas for ensuring your care planning is both positive and person-centred:
The Nourish care management system allows you to style your recording in a way which is completely customised to the individual receiving care. With person-centred timelines at the heart of the system your care teams are helped to record care that is bespoke to the individual.
If you’d like to find out more about how Nourish’s care plan software can help you deliver person-centred care planning and management, then give us a call on 02380 002288 or email the team at caring@Nourishcare.co.uk and one of our experts will get in touch. To find out more about how Nourish can benefit your care service, book your personalised demo today.
Let’s face it, when you work in care there can seem to be an overwhelming number of different buzzwords, jargon and acronyms involved in the information you get given. This is especially true when you look at the practices involved with providing people with good quality care. Today we’re going to be looking into integrated person-centred care planning – we’ll help you to demystify the term and try to encourage you to adopt the practices it involves into your care provision.
To begin with we’ll be looking at what “person-centred” actually means in regards to care. Simply put, it’s a shortened way of expressing the creation of a series of activities aligned to specifically cater for a person and their requirements. In a way it’s how you choose to culminate your care pathways & activities in a bespoke manner to provide someone with actions, activities and results that are focused totally on the individual.
Person-centred, applies to care planning, when you take into account the clinical, holistic, desires, needs and wants of person when creating their care plans. It doesn’t stop there, however and in order to be truly person-centred, care plans must be created collaboratively with the person in control of the care interventions they want to accept, how they wish to receive them and designed to enable the person at every opportunity.
Here’s where things get a bit trickier. In order to provide integrated person-centred care planning, care professionals from all areas need to work together in order to ensure that the person in care has a seamless provision of their care, no matter the setting. When you have a person whose care requires the interventions from a variety of different social care and healthcare organisations, this can become fairly complex and has only realistically been achievable with the introduction of electronic health records and electronic care planning systems.
Here at Nourish we focus firmly on empowering person-centred care for those who provide and are in care. You can read more about our vision in our recent article on “framing personhood to manage frailty, needs and wants” from our founder Nuno Almeida. It’s why we’ve designed the Nourish system from the ground up to help enable people to receive tailored care and empower carers to do just that.
Nourish’s care planning system helps care workers, care teams, care managers and senior care providers with person-centred care planning by:
Our team of experts are always happy to help talk through how the Nourish system empowers care teams and care providers – talk to us today to find out more.
Recently Nourish was approached by a journalist from The Guardian and asked to comment about several key issues currently impacting the world of care, both for those that provide it and to those who are being care for. The following is a full response breakdown from Nourish’s MD – Nuno Almeida and contributing to the Guardian’s article “The tech making a difference to social care“.
How big an issue is effective resource management for care providers and what are the type of tools Nourish is providing to help them streamline their operations?
The need to recruit and maintain good care teams and pay them appropriately whilst the sector is under the constant pressure of negative news and budget cuts means that managing a care provider operation is far from straightforward, now more than ever.
On top of these pressures, care homes are having to align with two competing trends: on one hand there is a race to luxury, with the wealthy ‘baby boomer’ generation setting higher expectations of quality and transparency. But on the other hand there is a trend for people who require financial assistance to avoid admission into a care home until very late in life, in circumstances that determine high degrees of dependency, which is at odds with the trends for councils to slash spending on adult social care.
Navigating these trends, managing change and resources, while ensuring compliance with CQC or CSSIW, NHS and local authority auditing teams makes for a perfect storm, and one that exposes clients and providers to clinical and business risks. Most care providers use paper based systems as the main support to plan and manage care and support. Beyond the high costs of archiving, and all the stationery, carers, who tend to be recruited for their empathy, are expected to write daily notes of all their services provided and observations. And care managers are expected to interpret these notes, and update care plans accordingly. This is known to take carers time away from face to face care.
By empowering carers and care managers to manage all care planning and daily care information through digital platforms with smartphones and tablets, Nourish helps care teams in improving their care information while reducing the time carers spend recording their notes, and ensures care plans are continuously updated. Most providers using the platform report a substantial savings, but the main impact is the increased reassurance of the quality of care provided. Care managers say they “sleep better at night” with “an increase of 40% in the time spend face to face with residents”, owners say that “it feels as if we have an extra carer per shift”. Financially, using a well-designed digital care management system means that carers don’t require as much training, meaning that turning a home into a paper free environment is done in hours rather than weeks or months. Most of our clients are reporting savings that exceed the cost of our product.
Is smart, mobile technology better at putting the person being cared for first?
The real potential of digital systems is by creating views of data and user journeys that bring the right information to the right person at the right time. At Nourish we designed the entire system and design based on the person receiving care. It is by most measures a counter-intuitive decision. Usually systems are designed for the client, the person or organisation who is paying for the solution. But we made the call to make the person in care the focal point of all design decisions. This required a significant investment as we had to develop a whole framework of data management that allows Nourish to serve carefully selected information to carers and care managers. A care provider can manage all aspects of care for an individual effortlessly. Things such as nutrition, mobility, tissue viability or continence are easily managed, while taking into account the cross interactions between all those areas for an individual. Because the information for an individual is laid out in a way that is naturally centred on them, it becomes possible to create algorithms that check for missed support or clinical interventions, or trends that may indicate reasons for concern.
We have several examples of people who used to skip services, e.g. refusing a breakfast, and because all of the information about them and their services is now structured in person-centred way, the reasons for those services being skipped became immediately obvious. This allowed care providers to make changes to their service that resulted in clear improvements of the care they provided.
Good care providers also know that good care involves acknowledging the abilities that the person has, not just their frailty. Recognising this, Nourish is developing a self-management app that allows a person to engage with recording their daily routines, to self-manage their long term conditions, report their wellbeing and the care they receive. This will allow providers, families and individuals to become an integral part of a coherent circle of care in giving people the support they need, when they need it.