DIGNITY TO THE CARE WORKER
To improve the value and status of carework, to support mutual respect between people who provide care and people who recieve it.
COMISSIONERS & PROVIDERS SHOULD:
- Allocate adequate resources to produce the best outcomes for people using services. Low pay is unlikely to motivate workers or improve the status of the work. The alternative may be costly in terms of recruitment, retention and reputation.
- Ensure that staffing levels and time allocated for home care visits allow workers to carry out their work properly in a way that respects the individual.
- Promote autonomy for care workers, moving away from task-centred and time-restricted work schedules and reflecting the wishes of people using the service.
- Ensure care workers are provided with the training they need to do their job well. Training should be structured, ongoing and largely work-based, focused on the needs of the people using the service and provided, at least in part, by people who use services and those with experience of frontline care work.
- Ensure that care workers are supported by other professionals (e.g. social workers, community nurses, occupational therapists, dieticians, continence advisors) who can provide practical and emotional support, develop their knowledge and skills, and enable them to cope with difficult situations e.g. challenging behaviour and family conflict.
- Respect the experience and the knowledge care workers have of the people they work with.
- Assess applicants’ attitudes at interview and regularly monitor thereafter.
- Provide a clear definition of the care worker role and a clear career path, from induction onwards, associated with training, learning and skills development. The framework for progression should reward achievement and be linked to pay and other benefits.
- Promote and reward quality time spent on compassionate, person-centred care. Ensure the complaints procedure also encourages compliments.
- Provide strong leadership, regular supervision and ongoing practical and emotional support to frontline care staff.
- Provide training and awareness-raising, to reduce any negative effects of cultural and racial differences (including language and accent) between care workers and people receiving the service.
- Ensure that abuse against care workers is taken seriously and that policy and procedures, as well as training, supports people to understand and respond to challenging behaviour in positive ways.
- Involve care workers in day-to-day decision-making and service improvement.
- Ensure workers do not feel isolated, either by working in isolated services or, for home care workers and personal assistants, by the nature of their work.
- Promote connections with other community services and peer support groups.
- Promote awareness of how to raise concerns about safeguarding and whistleblowing.