Every care provider promises quality care. What makes SweetTree different?
When a new employee joins the SweetTree team, they sign a commitment to the SweetTree Charter; a list of promises including that they will treat people with respect, embrace individuality, support self-expression, and promote freedom of choice for the clients they work with. The first promise of the Charter is to “provide the highest quality of care and support possible”.
“There are many important elements of caregiving that come together to deserve the term ‘quality care’,” says Director of Operations and SweetTree co-founder, Nicki Bones.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) can confirm that the SweetTree service is caring, effective, safe, responsive, and well-led. Client families can report to the Commission that they are impressed with the quality of SweetTree staff, that they feel involved in care decisions, and that their questions are always answered.
“But in addition to this feedback, there are other things that define truly ‘quality care’,” Nicki says. “And these things can only be measured by the people we serve. Things like honesty. Empathy. Understanding people’s emotional needs and having respect for who they are.”
“Quality is not an act, it’s a daily habit, and we’re proud of the care we provide.”
– Nicki Bones, Director of Operations and SweetTree co-founder.
We listen to our clients
Every year, SweetTree surveys its clients, their families, and their network of social workers, district nurses, care managers, and GPs, to give us feedback on how effective and satisfying they believe our live-in care and live-out services to be. Results from the 2016 Client Survey on General Home Care and Dementia Services are now published and can be read here.
96.5 per cent of respondents rated our Carers as ‘Very Good’ or ‘Good’ in the most recent survey – an increase on last year’s 95 per cent result. Separate Quality Assurance Surveys are carried out for our Brain Injury and Learning Disability homecare services, and results of these can be accessed via our office.
Our annual surveys shape the services that we provide, and we are grateful to our clients and their families for their continued participation in them.
We’re independently assessed
The UK’s national Care Quality Commission (CQC) is independent regulator of health and social care in England. Every year it assesses SweetTree Home Care Services against rigorous industry standards, and in 2015 SweetTree was received consistent ‘Good’ ratings across all of its homecare services, staff, and procedures.
“From the discussions we had with people using the service, relatives and other stakeholders we found that people were usually highly satisfied with the way the service worked with people,” the report says. You can find the full 2015 SweetTree CQC Report here.
Our staff are valued and developed
At SweetTree, our professional, personalised in-house training is one of the resounding reasons we’re recognised as an industry leader. We don’t simply work to the highest standards of person-centred home care: Through the SweetTree Care Training Academy, we train all of our team members to understand, defend, and champion these standards as they grow their own skills and careers.
Among a range of national certificates, we provide in-house courses to our team members in elderly care at home, in BILD (British Institute of Learning Disabilities) training, PROACT-SCIPr-UK® training, Gold Standards Framework End of Life Care training, and AIM Awards to grow knowledge on diabetes, dementia, and more. Our 12-week Care Certificate has been held up as a national example of best practice.
We hand-pick all of our care team members, and SweetTree’s highest levels of management are involved in vetting applicants. We nurture their skills and value the importance of their personalities in delivering our high quality home care. This is just one of the reasons that SweetTree has once again ranked 35 in the The Sunday Times Top ‘Best Companies to Work For’.
What you see is what you get
“There’s nothing glossy about delivering true quality care,” Nicki says, “and it’s disingenuous to pretend that there is. No one wants to have to rely on somebody else to live comfortably in their own home. No one wants to require help to meet their daily goals.
“But if we can understand this as carers – if we can bring a genuine desire to improve a person’s quality of life into our work and a will to make the care right for them – then we can say we are delivering on the promise of our Charter. Quality is not an act, it’s a daily habit, and we’re proud of the care we provide.”