The TV show ‘Four In A Bed’ which has B&B owners from around the country competing to be named ‘best value for money’ has inspired the manager of a Manchester residential care home to engage her staff in a fun new way of delivering quality care.
Emma Jarrett, who manages Manchester-based Homeleigh, a 30-bed residential service for people with learning difficulties and mental health issues, has already earned recognition from her industry by being shortlisted for ‘Special Needs Manager’ in this year’s National Care Awards.
Now Emma has introduced an element of fun into her staff’s routine by launching Homeleigh’s own version of the TV competition.
Emma said: “We have a responsible job to do, caring for a great bunch of people with very special needs, but that doesn’t mean we can’t embrace the lighter side of life.
“I’d just been watching the show, when my friend walked into the room singing the Mary Poppins song that goes ‘You find the fun and snap! The job’s a game,’ and I thought – yes, we could do that!”
The game Emma developed mirrors ‘Four In A Bed’s’ concept of asking people to inject a little fun competition into their work by rating each other on the standard of the service they deliver.
At the start of their shift on ‘game days’ members of the team are given a simple questionnaire with a colleague’s name on, to indicate who they will be judging. The forms are returned at the end of the day with a score of 1-10 on questions such as: how pleasant was this person towards residents? how clean were their rooms? did they go the extra mile? would you be happy if that person supported your loved one?
Questionnaires are handed in at the end of the day and reviewed by the shift senior, with feedback given to each participant and the overall winner receiving a prize such as flowers or chocolates.
Emma said: “Feedback from my team has been overwhelmingly positive, and they say they find it a real morale-booster.
“The game encourages staff to reflect on their own working practice, and helps managers see where improvements can be made or further training is required, enabling them to identify strengths and weaknesses on the team.
“It also gives them an insight into how staff perform when they are at their most productive, which gives them a realistic level of expectation for each team member.
“On top of that, the people who live with us are on the receiving end of a team who are really giving it their all.
“I’d say this means everybody wins, but Simon Daulby – one of our support workers – has won the game twice, so he’s a super-winner!”
Homeleigh is run by The Regard Group, the UK’s fourth largest private organisation which provides supported living and residential services for people with learning disabilities, mental health needs and acquired brain injury, and is in the Crumpsall area of Manchester.
Emma Jarrett and her team at Homeleigh support the individuals who live there to undertake activities which make them happy and meet their needs to be involved within the community and their home, such as promoting college attendance, full involvement in their daily activities and in the community, organising outings, and meeting individuals’ wishes and preferences.