Improving the performance of your care home

There are many ways in which we work closely with our health and social care customers to help them improve their performance and effectiveness. In this article we want to focus on one type of healthcare organisation in particular – care homes.

Of all healthcare businesses, care homes are among the most overlooked, often due to a tendency not to think of them as businesses. This is even though the financial success of a care home business affects more than just the business owners and employees. After all, the more successful and better performing a care home business is, the better the quality of care it can provide to the people living in it.

Here, we look at the areas which care home businesses must address in order to improve their performance and secure their future success.

1. Recruitment and Staffing – Keeping Your Employees Happy

One of the most significant challenges that care home businesses often encounter is their ability to recruit and retain staff. In a sector that is growing and growing due to an ageing population more care staff are needed on an ongoing basis. There is not a bottomless pit of people available and many employers struggle to find and retain staff. Naturally for this type of business, the type of staff being employed is of great importance, as most will be the employees primarily interacting with the people residing in the care home. One industry report suggests that the average care home will have staffing costs of just over 52% of its turnover.

Staff are an extremely important asset to your business and failing to retain them can have considerable consequences. Relying on a constant turnover of short-term staff has even led some care homes to closing their doors. It is therefore vital that, as an employer, you ensure that your staff are kept happy and satisfied. This should be something that all employers keep in mind, but for care homes there is significant evidence that says that happier workforce leads to significantly more positive outcomes for service users, as well as the decreased turnover of staff members. Managers should hold regular meetings with their teams, engage in staff only activities, and promote a positive atmosphere for both staff and service users. In addition, the cost to employ and train your workforce can run into thousands of pounds for each employee so it is vital that once you have recruited and trained them that you retain them.

2. Occupancy – Keeping Your Care Home Full

The most effective way of measuring the success of a care home business and ensuring that you can continue to offer the best quality of care is by keeping high rates of occupancy at all times. Ideally, you should also have a waiting list for your care home, to keep the number of occupants at a steady amount. This will involve finding ways to effectively promote the quality and value of your care home. However, it is also important to ensure that the care home itself is always of a high standard so that both service users, and those close to them, will happily recommend your care home to others. Your reputation is paramount as word can travel fast if your service is not performing to a very high standard.

3. Regulations – Keeping Your Care Home Compliant

As we know the care home sector is a highly regulated industry. Running one successfully requires a significant level of due diligence to make sure that you do not stray into non-compliance. As we know the Care Quality Commission have published a series of detailed regulations that all homes must comply with known as Key Lines of Enquiries (KLOEs). There are five questions they ask of all care services. They’re at the heart of the way they regulate, and they help them to make sure you focus on the things that matter to people in your care.

  • Are you safe?
  • Are effective?
  • Are you caring?
  • Are you responsive?
  • Are you well led?

This covers everything from employment regulations to the acceptable conditions for care home premises. While researching these regulations yourself, or requesting the services of a care consultant, may seem like an unnecessary use of time and resources, it should not be overlooked and will benefit you in the long-term.

How we work alongside healthcare businesses?

Any healthcare professional knows how delicate the balance can be between keeping one eye on their service users, and the other on the health of their business.

Here at DJD Social Care Consultants we have expert experience of helping healthcare businesses with most aspects of home management – raising the quality of care, improving occupancy, increasing staff performance, supporting managers, staff rota management, undertaking audits, compliance visits, and help with PIR’s. We offer a turnaround service to homes that have compliance and CQC related issues, and act as operations managers for smaller businesses who do not want to engage a full-time operational manager. Most importantly you’ll benefit from ongoing business advice. No matter what type of healthcare business you are, we work closely with you to determine your unique situation. DJD Consultants has a vision around improving the care for people and the commitment to this, and the business, is almost tangible.

Our role as Care Consultant means that we are very much “hands on” within the homes we help. We focus on:

  • The turnaround process of improving underperforming homes
  • Building relations within a local area authority
  • Dementia and person-centred care
  • The challenge of motivating and encouraging managers and staff

Get in touch with us today to make the most of your care business.


Want to know how we can help your care service?