Empower care workers and personal assistants

Empower care workers and personal assistants

Involve care workers and personal assistants in decision making, care assessments and reviews. Include all key people in this process, including care workers, care providers and people who rely on care. Empower care workers and personal assistants to feed back if the level of care is not right for the person. Include the person relying on care in decisions about their own care plans. Give care workers the power to put care plans in place quickly to avoid delays or crisis. Put in place a structured way for care workers and personal assistants to challenge the current ways of working. Draw inspiration from models such as the Timpsons Model. Give staff more power to make decisions that they think are in the best interests of the organisation.

Points

This has to be a negotiation between the cared for person, the unpaid carers/family and the service provider. Carers should be able to contribute. But I think at the end of the day the most power should be in the hands of the people the carers are commissioned to help. What we find is not that services are tailored to the individual but rather what the service is able to deliver given its own constraints. We have had arguments with managers because they don’t find our contract profitable enough. We have had to argue our cared for persons behalf when carers have been unable to manage challenging behaviour leading to carers stating they won’t work with our cared for person. Rather than train their staff to care for cognitively impaired people they just put them off the books. So, this has to be a partnership so that cared for people and their family/carers have some control. Giving that to carers takes their control away.

This is established good practice. An inspection framework with bite wound help but inadequate finding has to be addressed first. Without funds to implement, enough staff surplus to minimal service delivery, this is wishful thinking.

How about an AirBnB directly connecting carers and clients: higher pay by cutting out the middlemen?

National and regional care bodies should have independent oversite panels that include care giver representatives.

The trust and understanding between the carer and the client should always be listened to. It is no use someone in an office miles aways making decisions when the client is just a name on a form

Firstly, we have issues with care companies in the past where we have been told that our cared for person is “too disabled” for them to be taken on or when we had a service, for them to meet their needs. This is the negative impact of putting the responsibility for overseeing assessments in the hands of care companies themselves. We have had some good paid carers though who would put our cared for person first and realised the contract was never going to meet their needs. We have also found services unresponsive to changing needs and unable to adapt their service. Further we have found when a persons disability gets progressively worse that it is very difficult to get a new assessment of need done. Some assessments and mental health assessments have been done without unpaid carer / family input and when issues of capacity to make decisions are involved or the effects of a persons choices on their family/unpaid carer are overlooked by carers this leads to problems.

“Give care workers the power to put care plans in place quickly to avoid delays or crisis.” I just don’t see how this would be possible. We have experienced (pre-pandemic) delays of 18 months after a care company tried to put us off the books for complaining the care provision was inadequate. We have had a care company withdraw on their first shift after suddenly realising just how disabled our cared for person is leaving them with no care provision at all, and at the time of writing this is has been 9 months without care. We have experienced having to self-discharge after a hospital stay due to neglect in hospital. Our cared for person would still be in hospital now due to delays in care services in the community. This is the reality of what needs fixed. Giving carers more power does not strike my mind as being possible. Not when services are this far away from being able to deliver anything at all. We have social services unable to provide direct payment.

This is a good idea, but there needs to be safeguards to stop abuse of the system. In the short term it could get care up and running quicker. May need some legal underpinnings, alongside family (if any) to make it work and protect carer's.

Sometimes what the person receiving care wants is at variance with what their immediate family wants for them, which can result in unfair pressure on care providers to 'take sides.'

The involvement of key workers requires time, and workers already under pressure should not have their involvement tacked onto their other duties without the addition of a paid time allowance for assessments and review. Certainly those relying on care should be involved in their own care plans.

This should happen, it’s good practice.

In my 23 years as a disability support worker for people with profound needs, I have often found myself in conflict with my employer and consultants when representing the needs of the people I support. Professionals spend a great deal of time and effort defending decisions they paid scant attention to when making them. I have seen lives severely impacted by consultants/social workers/care managers not bothering to read more than the front page of a patient's file before making critical decisions without any multidisciplinary panel consultation, and anyone who challenges them threatened with safeguarding investigations. Consultants cannot possibly make informed decisions if they neglect the information presented to them by family, care workers and key workers, or even the evidence of other consultants. Perhaps the problem is the way information is recorded. Where I currently work, the information crucial for a supported person's survival (such as medications, allergies, fluid intake, etc) is hidden amongst innumerable generic risk assessments and pretended person centred pen portraits of likes and dislikes. The whole system of documentation seems like a complicated masquerade to please CQC inspectors (who usually recommend to keep it simple), instead of a dynamic tool for supporting people. If care providers were more open, they might consult each other's methods to develop a responsive and proactive system in which all supported people are properly supported.

An excellent idea! Too little credibility is given to people who push the broom and far too much to the who designed the broom cupboard

Award to the outstanding care workers and personal assistants on the case to case basis nationally

It is impractical to get everyone on board with each decision. To maintain a standard.

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