Jovia Bigirwa recommends Advantage Healthcare as a great place to work. The mum-of-two has been working as a healthcare assistant for the national care agency’s Yorkshire branch since 2018.

The 37-year-old, from Leeds, joined following a recommendation from a friend. She said:

“Everyone I speak to here is happy with Advantage Healthcare, they provide good training, interesting packages, fair mileage and reliable pay. The office staff take time to listen to me. They knew I wanted to work with children and found me a paediatric care package.

“At Advantage Healthcare they take a thorough approach to preparing us for new packages, I was given time to shadow another care staff member and become confident in the procedures and also to check that I fit well with the client.

“The office staff call regularly to offer support and training when I need it. I’ve been on training for epilepsy, PEG feeding and other complex care situations. I’ve been with the same client for for nine months and there are still regular checks and feedback.”

Jovia also explained that at Advantage Healthcare client care staff are paid for training and can print their certificates and build up their own record of continuing development.

Jovia has been supported to work family friendly hours and works shifts which fit in around her school run. She said:

“I feel valued and respected, if one of my children is ill, the office will find cover and ask first about me and my child and not put pressure on me to do a shift. Not all agencies are so understanding.

“We take pride in working together to deliver an excellent service for our clients, at the same time I feel the office extend that care to me and my family.”

Jovia explained what she enjoys most about her job:

“I love working with children and learning new things. It’s very fulfilling to work with vulnerable people who rely on your for support and being appreciated and thanked by them.

“I’m very pleased to have found Advantage Healthcare and I look forward to continuing to developing career with this friendly and supportive agency.”

Advantage Healthcare is recruiting for complex care healthcare assistants, support workers and registered nurses. View our current healthcare vacancies by clicking here, or send in your CV as the first step to registering with us, just fill in this short form here.

Elizabeth Jacques (Lizzie) joined Advantage Healthcare’s Yorkshire hub in September 2019 as a branch nurse after several months as a timesheet nurse.

The nurse teacher, from Otley, carries out training, assessments and supervision at the busy Yorkshire branch which looks after around 40 clients. Advantage Healthcare services support people with needs ranging from social to complex around-the-clock care.

Lizzie had previously worked at the University of York and several hospitals as a nurse teacher and at a care home as a manager. Lizzie explained what she enjoys about her new role:

“This is one of the best jobs I’ve had. There’s lots of variety, I meet our care staff whilst training in the office and out in the community. I split my time between the office, catching up on admin at home and seeing clients, assessing their care and supporting and supervising our carers.

“I’m impressed by the supportive approach that Advantage Healthcare takes. We strive to keep close contact with our care staff, with visits and phone calls to make sure they are safe and confident in their work.

“Advantage Healthcare’s training, care planning and record keeping is very thorough. We take all our new recruits through our processes in their induction and we review their skills and competencies regularly. It protects our clients, and means that our care staff are working safely.

“If one of our care staff needs support, we speak to them straight away and will go out to see them and the client with no question. We put in place good care planning but when something unforeseen crops up we are here to work together as a team.

Lizzie also reflects on the advances in medical care and what this means for care at home.

“After working in various settings I can say that I prefer care at home and the personalised care that we are able to provide.

“When I started work in hospitals that was the only place to provide patient ventilation, now with advances of medical equipment we can provide much of the care which had previously only been available in institutions. It means that more clients can live at home in comfort and close to their family.

“I’m also pleased to see how much healthcare assistants can now do, with the right training and supervision, for our clients at home. Many of our staff have progressed through our training to provide complex care such as PEG feeding, medications, wound care. It’s a very rewarding career and at Advantage Healthcare it’s fully supported by our nursing team.”

“The team are amazing, very close and supportive and resilient in the face of a very busy job. I’m very happy to be joining as a permanent member of staff after almost two years working with the team as a time sheet nurse.”

Advantage Healthcare is recruiting for complex care healthcare assistants, support workers and registered nurses. View our current healthcare vacancies by clicking here, or send in your CV as the first step to registering with us, just fill in this short form here.

Sarah Fisher, from Cambridgeshire, joined Advantage Healthcare in summer 2019 to work as a nurse focused on adult complex care at home services. Sarah joins the team which supports over 30 clients in East Anglia.

At the start of her career, Sarah worked as a healthcare assistant for around ten years before training and qualifying as a nurse in 2003. She has managed staff in clinics, care homes and in the community. Sarah has also worked in different institutions including nursing homes, prisons, mental health units, hospitals and sexual health clinics.

Sarah has a busy schedule overseeing client care across Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Essex. She said: “I’ll start my day checking emails and reviewing any issues which occurred overnight and logged in the on call report. Most days will include arranging or attending client visits to assess or review their care needs. I’ll also be training and supervising client care teams.

“I’m excited about this new role. I especially enjoy working in a community setting and the variety of the role. No day is ever the same! We have strong local and head office teams which support the governance and organisation of our service and enable our front line healthcare staff to provide the excellent service which we all take pride in.

“I enjoy training healthcare assistants and using my expensive knowledge and skills to support their development in this role. It’s very satisfying to see the quality care in action and happy clients supported by our compassionate and skilled staff.”

Sarah lives with her husband and four cats.  In her spare time, Sarah enjoys scuba diving and motor racing, spending time in her garden and going to music concerts.

Advantage Healthcare is recruiting for complex care healthcare assistants, support workers and registered nurses. View our current healthcare vacancies by clicking here, or send in your CV as the first step to registering with us, just fill in this short form here.

Linda Di Mucci completed 10 years, with Advantage Healthcare this summer (July 2019), as a healthcare assistant working with clients at home in and around Greater Manchester.

Linda, who lives in Rochdale had been a nursery nurse for many years before moving into adult care after being made redundant. She joined the company, then known as Advantage Healthcare in 2009.

When she started Linda undertook short visits to elderly clients and now works with people with more complex care needs. Linda has been trained in many areas including tracheostomy care, paediatric care and ventilation and is confident undertaking these vital procedures.

Linda said: “I mostly work with elderly clients and also one young boy. I’ve always had good clients, that’s why I’ve stayed in this role for so long.

“Every day I think about how to make my clients feel special. They have lots of limitations due to illness or conditions, but that’s not their fault. I think about how I’d like to be well-looked after if I was ill. I take a pride in being polite, honest and loyal to my clients.

“I know that clients can be frustrated when they have less choice and need looking after so I remain calm, relaxed and softly spoken to put them at their ease. At the same time I’m swift on my feet and there to help them have a good day.”

Linda has five adult children and one grandson. As a single parent she prioritised being home every evening to spend time with her children. She usually works mornings and afternoons through the week and at weekends, and will step in to cover shifts at short notice.

“I feel well supported by the team at the branch office and the nurse who comes out to supervise me on packages and assess my competencies. I keep up with regular training as well as updating my knowledge about policies.”

Hayley Connor, Advantage client manager said: “Congratulations Linda! Linda is a highly valued member of the team. She is reliable, hardworking and never cancels a shift. Linda is at ease with clients and quickly builds rapport with them. She is outgoing and friendly and committed to helping them to live with dignity and independence.”

Advantage Healthcare is recruiting for healthcare assistants and support workers. To apply send in your CV or look out for vacancies by following Advantage Healthcare on Facebook or Twitter.

Photo caption: Linda di Mucci (left) presented with a long-service certificate by branch manager Vicky Judge.

Alaina Banfield, who has cerebral palsy, has received complex and social care from Advantage Healthcare since 2014.

The 27–year-old from Cardiff is cared for a team of healthcare assistants who provide one-to-one care. Alaina requires support for 24-hours, seven days a week including sleeping care overnight.

Healthcare assistants, including Miriam who is pictured with Alaina, carry out regular duties including personal care, food preparation, shopping and medication. Alaina has an active lifestyle and her carers accompany her for weekly horse riding and trips to go clubbing. Advantage Healthcare has also supported Alaina with overseas holidays, including trips to Ibiza and Hungary.

Ten team members from Advantage Healthcare took part in an active team building day earlier this month (September 2019) at Lineham Farm near Leeds.

The day was inspired by branch nurse, Liam Sanders, who is also a qualified climbing instructor. The team spent the early part of the day working together in a crate stacking challenge which involved building towers of crates to stand on. They then took to the climbing and encouraged each other up to scale the indoor wall. Lunchtime included a visit to meet some of the goats and other animals on the farm.

During the afternoon the team settled down to review their roles, purpose and plans for the branch over the coming year. Team members discussed the importance of Advantage’s values: bring better to life, take pride in what you do, everyone has a voice and do the right thing. These guiding principles are evident in Advantage Healthcare’s approach to care.

Advantage Healthcare registered manager for the Yorkshire branch, Sue Williamson said: “As a team we reflected on our shared purpose and reason for coming into work every morning. Every day we are here to make a positive difference for the people who are our clients, no matter what health challenges they have, we work together with our carers to give them safe, effective care and see them thrive. As an organisation we invest time and training in our staff and in our carers which ultimately serves the clients.”

“We also discussed the emotional resilience we need as a team. Its’ a sector where you give your heart and soul. It’s a very rewarding professional but it’s not one where we can leave emotions at the door, and because of that we need to be aware of the team support and trust that we all share so that we can recuperate effectively.”

Advantage Healthcare is recruiting for community nurses and healthcare assistants at all levels or experience. We offer a wide variety of shifts and roles and will provide bespoke training. To apply send in your CV or look out for vacancies by following Advantage Healthcare on Facebook, Twitter.

Feature picture caption: Advantage Healthcare’s Yorkshire branch team members, from left to right, Caroline Healey, Adam Smith, Thomas Hamill, Charlotte Bonini.

Advantage Healthcare has introduced Access Care Planning, formerly known as Mobizio, a mobile enabled electronic care planning tool, to save time for the renal technicians and IV home therapy nurses who work in its community programmes.

Access Care Planning has been configured by Advantage Healthcare with support from Access Group to assist client care staff delivering homecare services across the UK.

By September 2019, 320 staff members in Advantage Healthcare’s community programmes team have been issued with Access Care Planning enabled portable tablets to assist them in their daily work visiting clients at home.

Nurses and renal technicians currently care for over 800 clients each week, either with intravenous (IV) nutrition or renal dialysis needs. They visit clients to deliver home therapies and ensure that the machines and procedures are safe and effective.

Access Care Planning is used via a tablet by care staff working away from an office. Advantage Healthcare, with support from Access Group have configured this single unified platform to connect finance and operational applications. Using Access Care Planning makes processes and data flows more efficient for front line staff in their day-to-day work.

The software saves information, in a secure mobile application which meets GDPR and information governance compliance, effectively eliminating the risks associated with paper based timesheets.

Using Access Care Planning has saved time across the organisation, both for the renal technicians, IV nurses and back office staff, as information is only completed once and seamlessly shared to other departments as appropriate. This has improved the accuracy of the information collected.

Tony Cavanagh, Advantage Healthcare community programmes director, said: “We are delighted with the benefits of this technology for our busy client care staff, who each see several clients each day.

“Having this new visibility of the visits taking place and real time information about visit completions means that if there are delays or incidents which warrant investigation, we are alerted immediately and can take action to remedy the situation with minimal disruption to the client’s day.”

Steve Sawyer, Access health and social care managing director, said: “Access Group is fortunate to work with the best care providers in the sector. Engaging with forward-thinking clients that are focussed on delivering expert care through the use of innovative, flexible technology helps to define our solutions, tackling the challenges of efficiency, compliance and quality in the health and care sector.”

It is estimated that removing paper timesheets has saved approximately 2.5 tonnes of paper, which supports the company’s commitment to reducing its environmental impact.

Advantage Healthcare has been shortlisted in the Nursing Times Workforce Awards 2019 for introducing Access Care Planning, in the category for the ‘Best Use of Technology to improve the working environment’. Representatives of Advantage Healthcare and Access Group attended the awards which were held on 25 September.

Goals

  1. Increase efficiency
  2. Reduce back office costs
  3. Ensure care & visit compliance

Key achievements

  • Visit compliance
  • Reduced back office costs
  • 2.5 tonnes of paper eliminated
  • Reduced administrative tasks
  • Ensuring care needs are met

To find out more about Advantage Healthcare visit www.Advantagehealthcare.com

To find out more about The Access Group visit www.theaccessgroup.com/hsc

Members of Advantage Healthcare’s on call department have started 30 continuous days of exercise as part of Sweatember – an exercise challenge in aid of Cancer Research UK.

Sore feet and worn out shoes are expected by the end of the month-long fundraising event, in which participants are required to complete some form of exercise every day for the whole of September. The challenge is organised by Cancer Research UK to help raise vital funds for their research and to encourage people to try out, or get involved in, new sports and activities.

This year on call manager Aimee Pearson, on call deputy manager Faye Hale, supervisors Emma Gillard and Holly Tinsley and community programmes consultant Alan Kennedy will be walking, cycling or running every day during September.

The team has set themselves an ambitious total target of completing 500 miles. This is the same as completing nineteen full marathons or walking around the M25 over four times!

As part of the challenge, each team member is aiming to cover an equivalent distance for a journey from Advantage Healthcare’s head office in Telford to one of the company’s many UK branches. Aimee will be covering the distance to Nottingham; Faye and Emma will be aiming for Greater Manchester; Holly is taking on South Wales and Alan will be covering a massive 185 miles by foot – the distance from Telford to the Tees Valley branch.

Holly, who participated in the fundraiser last year and clocked up just over 117 miles, said:

“Sweatember is a great challenge as you can really push yourself or just focus on enjoying getting out and being active. It’s all about committing to doing something every day.”

The team has set up a fundraising page at

https://fundraise.cancerresearchuk.org/page/oncall-takes-on-sweatember-28

All the money raised will go straight to the charity and UK taxpayers can opt to include Gift Aid add 25p for every £1 donated. On call manager Aimee said:

“We’ve set ourselves a fundraising goal of £150 but we’re hoping that our friends, families and colleagues at Advantage Healthcare will get behind us to help us smash our target.”

If you are interested in participating in Sweatember, or would like to learn more about Cancer Research UK and its work please visit – https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/get-involved/find-an-event/charity-challenges/sweatember.

Photo caption: Advantage Healthcare’s Sweatember team (left to right): Faye Hale, Emma Gillard, Alan Kennedy, Aimee Pearson, Holly Tinsley

Daniel* and Jacob*, both aged 4-years-old, delighted parents and Advantage Healthcare staff alike at their first school play. The play ‘Under the Water’ took place at a church connected to their school at the end of the summer term.

Advantage Healthcare staff have provided day time care for Jacob since November 2017 and Daniel since October 2018 during both school term and school holidays. Both children have a PEG feed and global developmental delay, Daniel has epilepsy and cerebral palsy and Jacob has a tracheostomy and regular suctioning.

Advantage Healthcare’s Birmingham branch nurse, Rachel Peake said: “It was a privilege to see the boys taking part in this school play. It has been challenging for the boys and their families to learn to adapt to their complex health issues so it’s a delight to see them happily taking part in the school play with their carers and class.”

Daniel’s dad, David*, said: “The play went well and we are very proud of our little boy.”

Rachel attended with client care manager, Kirsty O’Neill and client care staff Tahira khazir, Nabila Aktar and Kahtoon Bibi.

*clients/family names have been changed.

Advantage Healthcare has been awarded a place on the £200 million National Health Service Shared Business Services framework agreement.

The framework forms part of the delivery contracts for the NHS in England and Wales and will run for two years, with an option to extend by up to two years. Advantage Healthcare (IHC) has been named on each of the three Lots which comprise the framework agreement.

IHC is a high-quality provider of person-centred care services in the community. IHC’s registered nurses and trained healthcare technicians are based across England and Wales. Services range from respite care through to live-in services and includes the provision of care for patients with dementia as well as the delivery of intravenous medications and renal dialysis.

The three Lots IHC has been named on include contracts to support the NHS to discharge patients so that they can be cared for in the community and at home. If successful on the framework, IHC will work with the NHS to support patients who require ongoing treatment prior to full discharge.

Ian Mulholland, Managing Director, Advantage Public Sector, said: “We look forward to extending our successful partnership with the NHS by participating in this framework.

“We offer best-in-class care in the community and believe that because of our experience we are very well placed to support the NHS as it seeks to discharge patients from hospital.

“Healthcare represents a core strength for Advantage and this framework accreditation aligns with our strategy to grow the business with clients such as the NHS.”