iHASCO’s very own Alex Wilkins was invited to take part in a podcast discussing employment and training during Covid-19 in care homes. Read about some of the key talking points and insights during this discussion...
The Covid-19 pandemic has shone a light on some truly remarkable groups of people in our society, and care home workers are among those that deserve high praise. Facing many challenges to protect and care for the vulnerable and elderly in our society, they continue to provide high quality care whilst managing their own concerns surrounding the threats of the Coronavirus.
We were delighted when we were offered the opportunity to take part in an employment and training Covid-19 special podcast, with Care Home Management magazine.
Steve Hemsley, Publishing Editor of Care Home Management magazine, led the discussion. Alex was part of the round the table expert panel, which was also made up of Steven from MyLearningCloud and Toyah from Ellis Whittam. Key topics included the continued need for training, how & what providers should focus on at this time, how to ensure staff are receiving appropriate training, as well as a number of employment issues including the legal position for staff who feel at risk at the moment due to the pandemic.
Insights and advice for care home managers
You can listen to the full podcast at the end of this blog but some of the key advice and insights from the panel are shared below.
There is obviously a continued need to train during the covid-19 pandemic
Training in the current climate is still important, and Care Home Managers need to find ways to deliver training in alternative ways to avoid training being delayed and ensure staff are confident and capable.
Traditionally people have tended to use workshop mediums, as a way to train their staff and that hasn't been possible or feasible with social distancing, so people are moving to looking at digital formats to get the same outcomes and eLearning being one of them...
Skills for care have highlighted training which remains a priority, which includes the Care Certificate, Assisting and moving people, Health and safety awareness, Fire safety, Infection prevention and control, Food safety, Medication management and Safeguarding adults. Training needs differ for those requiring a rapid induction programme to those that require refresher sessions, or even those that are volunteers.
Rapidly people are opting for an eLearning solution to cover off their [training] needs particularly in the areas of fire safety, food safety and the care certificate…
It is no surprise that often in the care home environment it is difficult for training to be completed due to lack of time or issues of staff committing to training sessions that fall out of their shifts patterns. Care home managers that show a commitment to training and supporting their staff will help create an openness to undertake learning.
People understand the importance of being safe and well trained.
Care home staff are raising more concerns about their own wellbeing and safety (including PPE), and a small number of care home employees are not wanting to come into work. It is important for Care Home Managers to give reassurances to staff that they have completed risk assessments and have appropriate procedures in place alongside government guidelines. Communication is key and relaying back procedures and policies to employees will help give them confidence that their concerns are being dealt with.
Learning Management Systems can be a useful tool for policy and document management, which will allow transparency and give employees confidence that they have the necessary knowledge and know where to find it.
The panel felt that training providers have an important role to play in supporting the training requirements of carers. Training in the care sector in the future is likely to require more support, particularly if as a result of the current times, more people choose a career in social care.
We are going to need to adapt and ensure we can support the training requirements of the industry
This has implications for care home managers to ensure they have solid employment policies and training programmes to help them recruit and retain staff.
When you go from a smaller number of staff to increasing that number, it is even more important that everyone knows what they are required to do, what the rules of your business are and the policies and procedures
In terms of training needs for carers, the panel agreed that providing mental health awareness training was a huge positive for everyone working in the care sector. There have been cases where employees haven’t felt properly supported in terms of mental health due to the challenging nature of the role and during these unprecedented times there are further concerns for employees wellbeing. Therefore educating staff how to deal with their own mental health and spot signs of poor mental health in others can go some way towards addressing the issue.
iHASCO are currently supporting key workers from all essential services with free IOSH approved Mental Health Awareness and Infection Prevention & Control training during these challenging times. These two areas are vitally important and iHASCO wants to make a genuine difference and support these workers.
iHASCO has also formed a new partnership with the NHS which will see over 4,000 care homes in the South East of England receive free Mental Health Awareness and Stress Awareness for all staff.
How can iHASCO help care homes with their training requirements
If you are interested in providing mental health awareness and infection prevention & control training free of charge to your staff, please get in touch today. It is the perfect opportunity to see how eLearning can work for your staff, with no costs involved.