A group of university students spent time at Riversway Nursing Home in Bristol as part of a project to tackle some of the care sector’s biggest challenges.
The group, from Cardiff Metropolitan University, is competing in the Care Innovation Challenge, a national competition set up to kickstart new ideas and solutions for the care sector.
The challenge invites students from a range of disciplines to look at various issues facing the industry and ways that they can be tackled.
It was established by high profile sector figures including Alex Ramamurthy, the CEO of the Care Workers Charity, and Ben Allen, the founder of Oomph! Wellness, the UK’s leading provider of exercise, activity and transport services for older people.
The team from Cardiff, including students Olly Webb, Verity Moorehouse and Alex Whelan, are all studying for an MSc in Product Design, and are looking to tackle the challenges of staff retention in the care sector.
The Cardiff students have designed a mentoring app – a project known as Blossom – for the care sector to make the process easier to manage, along with offering guidance and daily motivation and feedback tools.
Research shows that mentoring is a tool which results in new members of staff feeling more connected to the sector they work in and less likely to leave within the first 12 months. The idea has also been presented to the National Care Forum conference to showcase a solution for streamlined mentoring.
Jan Wilkins, director of operations at Riversway, said: “The Care Innovation Challenge is set to come up with some really interesting concepts for how the care sector can develop in the future and it was great to meet with the students to hear their ideas.
“We’ve found ourselves that mentoring really helps cement the relationships between staff and the home and we were only too happy to hear what the students had to say and give our feedback. We wish them the best of luck in developing the app and look forward to hearing more about it in future.”