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Embracing Direct Employment - Support from Bush & Co Care Solutions

The choice of employment model is critical in shaping the quality of care provided to clients following a catastrophic injury. Embracing a direct employment approach delivers a host of benefits that not only enhance the well-being of those receiving care but also provide a support framework for caregivers and contribute to a more sustainable and rewarding care environment.

As the name suggests, direct employment uses the funds available to allow clients to employ dedicated support workers to deliver their social care, as opposed to using a care agency to source staff on their behalf. Sources of funding include settlements from court action, a local authority direct payment, or a personal health budget, with bespoke packages of care developed and implemented to align with client needs.

Control is placed with the client or deputy as the recognised employer, with support from their case or care manager and once support workers are recruited, the client has continuity within their care team and the opportunity to develop trusted relationships with those providing their care.

Benefits of direct employment.

Direct employment has been gaining popularity in recent years and this approach has several benefits that make it a suitable option when clients need to employ care support for themselves at home.

Quality and Consistency: Direct employment models establish a direct relationship between the caregiver and the client, and this connection fosters a deep understanding of the unique needs of the person receiving care. Caregivers can therefore provide tailored and consistent support, which promotes a higher standard of care that can sometimes be challenging to achieve through agencies.

Trust and Companionship: Trust is the cornerstone of a successful relationship between clients and their support workers. Direct employment allows caregivers to build long-term, trusted connections with those under their care. This continuity not only enhances the quality of care but also fosters the sense of companionship and emotional support needed to promote overall well-being.

Flexibility and Personalised: Directly employed caregivers have the flexibility to adapt their care approach based on the evolving needs of the client, alongside the care manager. This adaptability is particularly crucial in the dynamic field of care services, where the health and requirements of those being cared for can change over time. The ability to create tailored care packages ensures clients receive the specific assistance they need.

Satisfaction and Retention: For support workers, the direct employment model brings job security, fair compensation, and a supportive working environment. This contributes to higher job satisfaction and increased retention rates, which can give caregivers a greater sense of pride in their roles and lead to improvement in the overall quality of care services.

Resource Efficiency: While the initial setup of a direct employment model may require careful consideration, it can prove to be the most cost-effective option over time. Removing the reliance on agencies enables available funding to be allocated directly to optimising the quality of care, staff training, and other essential elements of the caregiving process.

Bush & Co Care Solutions

Bush & Co Care Solutions uses the direct employment model to provide comprehensive, cost-effective patient care management, with dedicated case managers and care managers operating under delegated responsibility from the client or a court-appointed deputy to oversee a client’s care plan and perform a supervisory role over support workers. Fixed-fee (or hourly rate) bespoke packages of care can be developed and implemented, providing clients with all the benefits of being an employer and the peace of mind that the administration is all taken care of.

From recruitment and onboarding to comprehensive training and ongoing supervision, the Bush &Co Care Solutions team ensures care staff are fully equipped to deliver services to the highest standard. Essential aspects such as payroll management, case audits, regulatory compliance with CQC guidelines, personalised care planning, nursing support, and comprehensive management of all employment-related elements can be handled by the team.

Dedicated HR Support

Bush & Co Care Solutions provides dedicated HR administration services for care managers and case managers to support the recruitment and ongoing management of support workers. The HR team handles all delegated tasks related to the hiring process, including advertising vacancies, screening CVs, conducting interviews, and verifying qualifications. They also manage the onboarding process, ensuring all necessary paperwork is completed and that new support workers are fully trained and ready to provide high-quality care services.

In addition to recruitment, the HR team also manage all aspects of employee administration, from payroll management to regulatory compliance. They ensure all employees are paid accurately and on time, and that all employment-related documentation is up-to-date and compliant with regulations. This includes managing sick leave, annual leave, and other entitlements, as well as ensuring that all employees complete Bush & Co’s comprehensive training programme that ensures they know the latest best practices and regulatory landscape.

Support workers receive ongoing support and supervision including regular performance evaluations, ongoing training and development, and support for any issues that may arise. The HR team is dedicated to ensuring that support workers are happy, motivated, and well-equipped to enable them to provide the best possible care services.

Working together for the client.

The safeguarding of clients is of paramount importance, which is why Bush & Co have a dedicated team that works collaboratively to respond to any safeguarding concerns raised by care managers. The team complement each other in a variety of situations, for example where concerns are raised regarding the treatment of a client by their support workers. Once a concern is reported, it is then escalated to the Bush & Co Care Solutions team for investigation.

The team would immediately review any available materials, such as video footage, and initiate a disciplinary process, which may involve the suspension of the support workers involved and the start of an investigation. The process may then involve disciplinary meetings where team members not directly involved in the care of the client would lead and document discussions. After a thorough investigation, it would be determined whether the support workers had breached the code of conduct and failed to uphold the high standards of care Bush & Co required. If found to be at fault, it could result in dismissal.

The full process would involve the coordination of several team members, in addition to external legal advisors and regulatory bodies. By working together, the team would be able to quickly respond to the concern and take appropriate action to ensure the safety and well-being of the client.

A further example of the team working together seamlessly could be when undertaking the due diligence on support workers and discovering they had previous drug convictions recorded. If the support worker and client were related, the HR support team would coordinate with the case manager to complete a risk assessment to ensure the client’s care would be delivered under the plan and that no safeguarding dangers existed. After the assessment was complete, the care plan could proceed if no concerns are identified. This situation highlights the importance of a collaborative approach to diligently following internal processes to ensure client safety.

Sue Bowers is the Support Worker HR Administration & Recruitment Team Leader at Bush & Co and is highly experienced in delivering a wide range of support services to a broad network of caregivers. Sue highlights the challenges in meeting the needs of multiple stakeholders:

Decisions on client needs are made by case managers and care managers, but we take ownership of managing the process of ensuring we recruit support workers with the necessary skills and experience to provide the care that meets those needs. Our responsibilities are therefore to all parties involved in delivering a care plan, including the case manager, care manager, support workers, and of course, the client, or a deputy if one has been assigned”.