How have we managed during this crisis?

A message from our CEO, Paul Tolley

As a country we are still not out of the woods, we are however now moving from crisis management into a period of stability and reflection over the past four months or so and we are now beginning to plan for a brighter future.

Proportionate Responses

  • There is a fine balance between not panicking in a crisis and taking swift decisions when they are needed.
  • Everyone remained calm as we closed external access to our services comparatively early despite this being an unprecedented move for us.
  • Our skilled respite and day opportunities staff were reallocated to our supported living services reducing our reliance on external Agency employees.
  • We swiftly enabled home-working for all non-essential care staff – our Google and Cloud-based packages alongside the use of ‘remote access’ to desktop PC’s have made this much easier than we expected.

Collaboration

  • We have worked closely with Warwickshire County Council as our Local Authority throughout ensuring that we comply with and help inform the latest guidance.
  • We have built strong relationships over time with the infection control team so we were not afraid to ask for and take advice
  • We have embraced technology (as everyone has had to) whether in work or our personal lives. 

Communication and flexibility 

  • We deployed virtual daily check sheets across all services to constantly monitor self isolation, staffing and PPE levels.
  • We encouraged everyone to use the organisational closed Facebook group to share their stories and these gave everyone a huge lift when we all needed it most.

Planning resources – backup suppliers and arrangements

  • All PPE suppliers were affected by the crisis so we put back-up suppliers in place to ensure that we would protect all of our services and shared contacts of suppliers with other providers locally and nationally to ensure we were never left short..
  • We moved quickly to redeploy experienced staff when our day service had to close. We had to work closely with staff to help manage anxieties and model how their skills were transferable. We had to rely on strong leadership to induct staff quickly and safely.

Leadership & Trust

  • All of our managers got their ‘boots on the ground’ and never asked a member of staff to do anything that they as their line-manager wouldn’t do themselves.
  • Our Managers, Deputy Managers and Team Leaders know each of their services and those we support better than anyone else in the organisation. We entrusted them with key decisions and gave them space to think.
  • Rather than micro-manage staff in a time of crisis we have given them the time to shine – and our staff have shone!

We continue to be led by our values

  • We have continued to be guided by our person-centred approach. 
  • Despite having to follow strict guidelines and adapt very quickly in the way we deliver our care we have continued to be led by our values. Staff have been able to bring their personalities to the fore as they have supported each other.

We continued to plan for the future

  • Amazingly we managed to finish and open a brand new 15 apartment supported living facility in the heart of Rugby during the middle of the crisis because we know things will get better and we know that people will continue to need our high quality support to live their best lives.

I’m not going to pretend we have got everything right every day or every step of the way, but I do know our collaborative approach has really paid off resulting in us being able to make sure we can keep our staff and the people we work with as safe and well as possible. I don’t believe we would have kept our infection free record by working differently.

The Pandemic and its effects have been unprecedented and I could not have wished for a better organisation to have been part of at such a terrible and testing time for the country.

I am enormously proud of every single one of our staff.

Paul Tolley – CEO.