The leading care home group is acting in response to staff exhaustion across the care sector following two years fighting the pandemic at the front line
Leading Scottish care home group, Renaissance Care, has implemented a full review with its staff across each of its 16 homes to overhaul the traditional operations across the care home sector.
Following interviews with staff across all levels, the group, which employs 1,200 people across the country, is reviewing the culture, working practice, and its health and wellbeing offering across the board, as it responds to rising resignations of care staff across the industry on the back of the pandemic.
Staff across the homes are now to benefit from a range of new benefits including flexible working, a pay review across all roles, and a health and wellbeing package.
In response to feedback around long shifts within the care sector, which have historically been 12 hour shifts as industry standard, Renaissance Care will now offer staff a flexible working pattern based on their individual requirements. The move means that those who want to change shifts around childcare commitments, or want to cut down on long shift times can do so, while office staff will have the option to move to a four-day working week.
The group will also implement a minimum 5% pay increase for all staff and has committed to becoming a Scottish Living Wage Employer.
In line with the review, the care group is also undergoing a project to promote inclusivity and security among its workforce. It has committed to supplying sanitary items for female staff in all of its facilities, as well as becoming a menopause-friendly workplace with plans to roll out training for staff later this year, and is ensuring an inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ staff and residents with an understanding that identities can be complex.
The home will also introduce a health and wellbeing package which includes free access to danceSing for all staff members – encouraging health and wellbeing through fitness classes with a saving of £400 per year for each individual. It is also to invest in upgrades to the staff rooms in each home to ensure its care teams have a space that promotes a positive culture throughout shifts.
In addition, the care home operator is currently investing £500k on its operational management and accounting systems to improve administrative processing for all staff as it responds to feedback about time spent on paperwork throughout shifts.
Louise Barnett, managing director at Renaissance Care, said: “It is absolutely clear that staff retention and recruitment across the care industry is a massive issue on the back of the pandemic. It comes as no shock that staff, who have had an incredibly difficult two years looking after our most vulnerable in society, would consider changing careers.
“For most organisations, people are at the heart of the business, but within the care sector it is no exaggeration that staff play the most crucial role in ensuring that elderly residents receive care that goes above and beyond, and we see time and time again the difference that our teams make to peoples’ lives.
“Operationally, the care sector has always functioned in a certain way but now, as we begin to recover from the pandemic, it is time to turn it on its head and set a high benchmark for what the industry will look like for years to come. We need to modernise the offering for care staff and ensure that they can remain dedicated to delivering the best quality care while having a work life balance that allows a career around family and personal life.”
Robert Kilgour, executive chairman of Renaissance Care, has been a consistent industry voice throughout the pandemic, calling for more support for care homes across the country. Last year, he spearheaded a group of the country’s leading care home operators who joined forces to help uncover answers to the many questions around the handling of the coronavirus pandemic in Scotland.
Robert Kilgour, executive chairman of Renaissance Care, said: “The last two years have been an incredibly tough time for residents, families and hard-working team members in care homes across the country and it is important to us that we provide the best possible care and facilities for our people.
“Despite all that we have been through since the start of the pandemic, we remain very positive about the direction of the business and at the heart of our plans for recovery is our people. We are investing, developing and working alongside our team, ensuring that we can attract and retain the very best of talent to perpetuate a person-centred approach across each of our homes for staff, as well as residents.”
Renaissance Care has a strong people service strategy which focuses on learning and development for individual staff members, as well as onus on creating a person-centred culture of inclusivity and care.