What does fabulous care work look like?
This post also appears on the NACAS website to help promote the first ever celebration of Professional Care Workers Day.
Wow, that’s a big question. Here at Insequa, we deal with care companies on a daily basis, so we understand a lot about what is required from good care. Writing successful local authority tenders for social care (as we do) means we are often called upon to describe in detail how specific care is delivered. Tender documents are complex and dry forms that rarely give the space for us to really expand on this theme, so when we were asked by NACAS (National Association of Care and Support Workers) to write a blog about what makes great care work, we jumped at the chance. Here are our four (very subjective) picks of elements that are non-negotiable when it comes to delivering excellent care:
Find out personal back stories, be interested in the people you care for. You see them regularly so there is opportunity to build connections and nurture relationships. You are engaged in an important role that empowers and enables those in your care – you are a lifeline in many ways. Recognise and acknowledge the importance of this. Finding out the names of grandchildren, knowing their favourite TV soaps, noticing new things about them, listening to their worries, fears and joys, is all part of being a good friend, and all part of giving good care.
Empathy with a capital E
Empathy – the ability to understand and share the feelings of another
Any care worker has to be able to display empathy. Fabulous care workers take it to another level, for them it’s in their DNA.
When providing support for some of the most vulnerable people in society, a good Care Worker must have patience in abundance. It may take some people longer to complete what others may consider simple tasks, and Care Workers have to be there to help people who struggle with everyday independence. So being patient is one of the most important qualities someone can have.
A lot of Care Worker skills are innate, but there are plenty that aren’t. To create a skilled, responsive and professional Care Worker, providers have to take the lead and guide their staff to achieve their potential. The sector shift towards integration of Health and Social Care will open up different opportunities and care workers will need to seize the initiative to undertake professional development opportunities. Investing in upskilling your staff sends the message they are valued and is one of the best ways of retaining them.
Professional Care Workers day is a fantastic initiative that rightly raises the profile of unsung, social care super-heroes. Professional recognition for such an important role is vital to bring people into the sector and to ensure that care as a career becomes an attractive option. Here at Insequa we applaud the hard work and dedication of Care Workers and the work they do with the UK’s most vulnerable, and we stand firmly behind NACAS in their efforts to make a difference for those working in the sector.