The Stroud-based company set up the facility, which is set out like a client’s home, to help their trainees understand what it will be like when they are out delivering care.
The room has items like photos and ornaments which give clues to what the client – dubbed Doris DoCare – likes and is interested in. And there are also potential hazards in this room – including a rug with a curled edge – which the trainees need to spot, to help reinforce their risk assessment skills.
“We’ve not heard of this being done anywhere else before, but it is an idea we have had for some time and we are lucky enough to have the space,” said DoCare director Una Mills. “We’ve converted an empty office at the end of our training room into a ‘home’ for our honorary (if imaginary) client, Doris DoCare. The room contains many of the features we see in our real clients’ homes, including a hospital bed, pictures, phone, furniture and ornaments. We even have a toy dog with a food bowl, as many of our clients have toy animals because they are no longer able to have the real thing.”
More items are due to be added to the room, including a walking frame and a shop dummy, which trainees can practise dressing, moving and handling.
Una added: “It will really enhance our training, and help recruits learn to risk assess and to gain an insight into our clients. Our team are completely committed to ensuring that all new staff get the best training we can offer and we are really keen to use this new area to its full potential, so we are adding more items gradually, to make it even more like a real home.”
DoCare, which is run by Una and her husband and co-director Steve, offers homecare across a wide area, including Bristol, South Gloucestershire, Gloucestershire and West Oxfordshire. All training is carried out in-house, using a dedicated ground-floor training suite.