ILS Case Manager, Virginia Bowley told us:
“I recently took over a client who had a 24-hour care team of 9 people that had been in place for the past 12 years. It was clear early on that the team’s working pattern had varied from the plan that was originally in place, mainly due to their changing personal circumstances. The inconsistencies in cover were now clearly having a negative impact on my client’s mother, who was covering the shortfalls in the shifts to compensate. The client was sensing tension in the home and overhearing conversations about staff shortages and how they were feeling about it.
Following consultation with our Client HR team, it was agreed that the best, and most positive approach, was to use our ILS behaviours grid as a reference for client-centred behaviour. I took the care team through the behaviours, keeping the needs of the client at the centre of the discussions at all times, and using our company values as a reference point. The team responded well to this approach, embracing the ideas well, with a clear understanding of the goal. This enabled me to broach the subject of how we could collectively alter the rota pattern, changing shifts to accommodate the personal demands of the care team, but crucially, ensuring the needs of the client would be met. It was time to establish clear boundaries that had become blurred over the years and ensure the team leader was not over- taxed by covering unsociable shifts for others. It was also important to relieve my client’s mother of the additional carer demands and restore her role as a parent.
The guidance from the ILS Client HR Team was invaluable and using this simple tool proved to be really effective. The client now has a full team in place that meets his needs within a framework of a rota pattern that was agreed in a collaborative way. The team leader feels better supported and is now more likely to stay in post as well as the rest of the team feeling that they had the chance to voice their own preferences on what shifts they could do.
The whole exercise also served to unify the team, improving morale, making it stronger and better able to provide the best care for the client.”