What is the most important thing that you can do for your care home and for those who live in it?
When I ask this question I receive answers like…
“Make sure my residents receive the best care they can.”
“Make sure my home is safe and secure for those who live in it.”
“Keep my home as fully occupied as possible.”
“To pass CQC inspections.”
“I don’t know. I just try and keep it working as well as I can.”
Except for the last one, which was more a cry for help, these are justifiable aims. But to make any of them your top priority is to set your home up to fail. Here’s why.
These, and others like them, are great aspirations but they are outcomes and therefore shouldn’t be your top priority.
For example, if you’d said the first answer then your time would be spent in the home watching your care and nursing staff and making sure they looked after your residents according to their needs, and according to yours and industry standards.
Of course, if you have a separate Registered or Home Manager then you would have them do this as well.
You would be correcting mistakes, crisis managing, reporting incidents and accidents, handling complaints, investigating safeguarding issues and so on. You would be stressed and your home would start to fail.
Instead you would of course do what you could to prevent these things from happening and negate the need for you or your RM/DM to be watching your staff. You would ensure your staff received quality training on a regular basis, that shifts were run efficiently and staff well supported, and that they were paid better than average.
You would do the kinds of things that reduced turnover and that made for happy employees who knew how to deliver quality care and wanted to.
So, that becomes your top priority, because get that right and the quality care will be delivered without needing your intervention.
But looking after your staff like this and making sure they receive all the training they need, which would require more than just mandatory training, is expensive.
Where’s the money going to come from? If like most homeowners, you don’t command the fees you need but instead, receive the fees authorities tell you they’ll pay, then you can’t look after your staff in this way.
And hence the quality of care being delivered won’t be as relatives expect, which could easily lead to upset relatives, complaints and further investigations, and won’t meet required standards, which will lead to poor CQC inspections.
And all of this adds to your time being reactive managing one crisis after another.
So, what should your number 1 priority be?
Your number 1 priority should be to command the fees you need.
And not just so that you can look after your care staff and give them all the training they need, but so that you can:
- Make sure your building is a lovely place to live in and for relatives to visit;
- Make sure your residents receive healthy, nutritional food;
- Employ enough staff to give the residents the attention they need;
- Organise trips and get your residents out and about;
- Meet industry standards and pass inspections without sleepless nights;
- And much, much more.
And not least, so that you can step back and relax knowing that your home is in good hands and your residents cared for.
In other words your top priority should be for your home to be a profitable business that gives you the return you need so that you can invest in your people and home and deliver the best care possible.
So, if someone asks you what your numbers 1 priority is, you should say something like…
“To make my home a profitable business.”
“To make sure my home is financially viable.”
And to do that you need to command the fees you actually need so that you can meet the true cost of care.
If you’re not receiving the fees you need then contact us and let us help you command the fees you do need – even for your current residents.