During these uncertain times, there is one thing that is certain: That we are supporting our franchisees to continue offering Clients and their families the very best care and companionship. Whilst we always try and go the extra mile, now it is more important than ever to ensure all our Clients receive exceptional care and support. Especially as so many of them are shielding or self-isolating at home.
Franchisees tend to be attracted to the homecare sector because it’s highly rewarding and incredibly resilient. This has never been more evident than during the current situation. While many SME owners have seen their businesses close under lockdown, the most vulnerable people in the community are reliant on visits from their care workers more than ever before.
But in order to ensure that our care and support services are delivered safely, many aspects of our business model have had to change. Here we outline some of the changes we’ve put into place to support our franchisees, their staff and ultimately their Clients.
How are we actively supporting franchisees and their teams:
• Innovating our care services to keep loved ones safe
In April, we launched a new service, known as Right at Home Lite, to support even more people to continue living independently in the comfort of their own home. Clients are either given a specially designed device with an OKEachDay button, which they press once a day, or they receive a daily check-in call from a trained adviser. Find out more about Right at Home Lite here.
• Facilitating CareGiver recruitment across the country
A new national recruitment hotline is now manned 24/7, and relationships have been established with furloughed workers in the hospitality, travel and entertainment sectors.
We have put measures in place to recruit, onboard and train new staff quickly, in an increasingly virtual environment. All face-to-face contact is managed so we meet the rules on social distancing. Temporary new fast-track systems have been approved, so new recruits can be background checked, trained and out into the field faster. They work alongside more experienced staff, so we can meet increased demand, as well as cover for existing staff who isolate or are unwell.
• Interpreting guidelines and updating procedures
The National Office support team has been working with a task force of Right at Home business owners. Together, we can facilitate the changes to our operational guidance, training materials and operational documents. The leadership team has implemented a communication strategy that has successfully kept franchise owners and care managers up to speed with fast-changing national advice.
• Protecting our CareGivers
With all Personal Protective Equipment stock in desperately short supply, we prioritised taking proactive action to ensure Right at Home business owners continue to receive the essential supplies they need to deliver safe care. Our CEO has given direct financial support to help each offices’ cash flow, investing significant amounts in additional PPE, and liaising closely with the banks.
• Meeting demand
Our previous focus on private, self-funded care has had to shift, so we can meet the greater need of public health and social services.
What we are doing to support Clients:
• Reducing the impact of isolation
During this time, it’s even more important that we offer our Clients companionship, as well as care. Social interaction is very important for mental health and wellbeing. A visit from a CareGiver can really put a smile on a Client’s face and boost their morale.
• Helping Clients to stay connected with family
We are also enabling Clients to use technology, so they can make and receive video calls and talk to family members and friends.
• Supporting with shopping and prescriptions
We are on-hand to pick up essential items for our Clients, as well as collecting their prescriptions. This helps to keep them safe by minimising unnecessary contact with others.
• Ensuring our Clients remain safe
Our CareGivers receive robust training which includes infection prevention, handwashing and the safe use and removal of required PPE. This minimises the chances of spreading infection and ensure Clients are as comfortable and safe as possible.
• Maintaining health
Maintaining regular visits with Clients means our CareGivers quickly spot any changes in their health and can adapt their care and support appropriately. They can also notify loved ones if anything new arises. This is a worrying time for families who are separated and can’t meet together. We provide family members with peace of mind, knowing our Clients’ safety and health is our number one priority, whilst we maintain their comfort at home.