Advantage Healthcare has published its fifth Annual Quality Report which highlights achievements and improvements made by the teams who contributed to over 2 million hours of care delivered in 2018.

The report covers Clinical Effectiveness; Assurance and Quality; Health & Safety; Clinical Governance and safeguarding clients.

Joanna Grant, Advantage Healthcare’s chief nurse, said: “Our quality report demonstrates our approach to providing the highest standards of care to our clients. We continually reflect on how we are performing and seek out better ways of working where changes is needed. Our Quality Report is available to all our clients and customers, as we are open about the outcomes of the systems we have.”

The Advantage Healthcare Quality Report 2018 provides information about our values, culture and operations. It includes details about our Clinical Governance Framework, the results of our Safety Culture Survey, KPI Dashboard and our commitment to health, safety and safeguarding.

The report features Oli Pink, who has muscular dystrophy and receives overnight care support from Advantage Healthcare staff.

Oli’s story

Oli Pink receives complex care support from Advantage Healthcare to help manage his muscular dystrophy.

The 18-year-old, from Worthing, has received overnight care managed by the company’s South Coast branch, for the past three years.

Oli’s carers stay in his room overnight to assist with his overnight feeding tubes, regular medicine and oxygen at night, as well as general requirements such as showering and getting dressed. The package is overseen by the branch nursing team and client care coordinator, Kinga Struzyna.

During the day Oli is an active young man, attending college part-time and playing on his X-box, syncing up with friends over the internet. Oli is also a keen Brighton football team fan and goes to watch most of the local games. Overnight care means that both Oli and his family can get adequate sleep.

Paul Moseley, is one of Oli’s healthcare assistants. He has been in the care industry for over 10 years. Paul said: “As a Healthcare Assistant I look forward to my work. I’m a bit nocturnal so night work suits me. “I enjoy the friendship I have with Oli; feeling included in family life and knowing that I have the back up of experienced professionals.”

“A typical night shift will run from 8pm to 8am. It will start with me spending time with Oli whilst he plays with friends on his X-box. When he’s ready I help him prepare for bed and I set up the overnight PEG feed and Oli’s ventilator to ensure that he gets enough oxygen overnight. Some nights we sit up and talk late in the night.

“In the morning I will help Oli to prepare for college or appointment or let him sleep longer if he has time for a lie-in.”

Before the package with Advantage Healthcare, apart from a few agency shifts, the family had mostly managed Oli’s medical care by themselves, leaving them tired and family life strained.

Emma, Oli’s mum, said: “Oli is really happy with his care. He gets on well with his carers. As his parents we can sleep easier knowing that he is in safe hands. The branch are very supportive and we have regular reviews.”

David Colley, from Minehead, Somerset, joined Advantage Healthcare’s Community Programmes team in 2017. As a trained nurse, he started working on a flexible agency work basis with just a few appointments each week assisting patients with IV home therapies.

Since he started David has also helped clients with dialysis as a renal technician. David is part of Advantage Healthcare’s rapid response team who visit clients around the country to help them to learn to manage their own IV or renal care. In recent weeks, David has been supporting clients in Norwich and Bangor.

The 55-year-old has had a varied healthcare career to date, including being a hospital surgical nurse, carrying out project work for a strategic health authority and as a general manager of a Community Trust.

David explained: “Many of these roles were highly pressurised, whilst the hands on work with clients providing home therapies and renal care has been enjoyable. It is great fun to build rapport with regular clients, have a fair amount of time to spend with them and in the case of IV patients to help them to become competent and confident in managing their own care.”

David travels around the country to meet new clients who he trains to administer their own medication on IV, or to support patients with the setup of their dialysis machines or provide care in doing manual exchanges for therapy on dialysis. “It’s intensive work to train someone, especially after they have returned from hospital, sometimes after several months. Often clients need reassurance, as well as clear and patient instructions.”

Visits to clients can vary from a few weeks to ongoing visits. IV home therapies will include the administration of parentarel nutrition or antibiotics via central lines, either daily or several times a week. David is also a renal technician which involves setting up renal peritoneal dialysis for clients with kidney failure. In both these cases the clients, with help from family members can learn to manage their own care. Whilst a nurse or renal technician will continue to visit clients who live on their own or have mobility limitations.

Visits may also include health checks such as blood pressure readings and especially with the IV home therapies.

David explained: “Whilst my role involves a lot of driving, something that I choose to do when there are less clients being discharged from the hospitals more local to me, I enjoy the face-to-face nature of this work. I’m employed on a flexible basis which means that I can choose when not to work, such as next weekend when I’m going to Dublin.

“The clients are great fun. I enjoy the regular contact and learning about their lives and seeing them settled in their own homes. After many years in management it’s especially rewarding to be working in the community in a role where I have the time to get to know clients and become the friendly face of care.”

Advantage Healthcare is recruiting for renal technicians and IV home therapies nurses. To apply send in your CV or look out for vacancies by following Advantage Healthcare on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Paul Moseley, from Worthing, has been a healthcare assistant with Advantage Healthcare since 2017. He chose to work for the company, despite other job offers, after meeting the branch staff and hearing about the placement with Ollie.

The 35-year-old spent a number of years running a bar before moving into the care sector over ten years ago. Paul hadn’t set out to work in healthcare but took a chance on a job at a care home when he was looking for work. It turned out to be the start of a long-term carer. Paul has experience people with learning disabilities, and a number of conditions such as epilepsy.

Paul said: “The work at the care home was incredible but in intense. Unfortunately overtime the emphasis on paperwork grew and I found myself wanting a change. It was then that I found the job with Advantage Healthcare and I’ve never looked back.”

Paul’s skills and aptitude were matched with Daniel, 12, who lives in Brighton and has muscular dystrophy. His role means that he stays overnight within the family home to take care of Daniel.

Paul describes Daniel as “very smart, with a brain that moves at the speed of light, and who likes to challenge me with maths questions.”

Paul explains: “It can be tiring caring for children with Muscular Dystrophy. When I come in, I can take over and give the parents respite. They can relax knowing that I’m awake and alert caring for their son and watching out for him whilst he is sleeping.”

Paul is supported by Advantage Healthcare’s branch nurse and from time to time receives new or refresher training. He said: “Advantage Healthcare take their training seriously, it’s very good. And I’ve really enjoyed being trained by professionals who have many years of experience in the field. It makes me more confident in my job and I know I have people to call on if I have questions or worries.

Paul said: “Being a Healthcare Assistant makes me feel very good about what I am doing. I don’t complain about work, I look forward to it. I’m a bit nocturnal so night work suits me. I especially enjoy the friendships I have with my clients; feeling included in family life and knowing that I have the back up of experienced professionals.”

Advantage Healthcare is recruiting for complex care Healthcare Assistants and support workers. To keep up-to-date with Advantage Healthcare news follow on FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn.

Advantage Healthcare has been shortlisted in the Nursing Times Workforce Awards for introducing Access Care Planning, also known as Mobizio, a mobile enabled electronic care plan solution, to its community based workforce. The nomination had been entered in the Best Use of Technology to improve the working environment category.

Advantage Healthcare provides care at home services across England and Wales through its high quality, reliable and nurse-led workforce.

Access Care Planning has been adopted by care at home staff and enables them to quickly and easily record information about home visits in real time. It was first introduced to select teams in 2017 and has since been rolled out to community programmes, predominantly nurses and healthcare assistants carrying out IV home therapies and renal dialysis for patients in their own homes.

Advantage Healthcare’s digital transformation team has worked with the software supplier, Access Group, to configure this single unified platform which connects HR, finance and operational applications. Ultimately Access Care Planning makes processes and data flows more efficient, while giving more support and information to front line staff in their day-to-day work.

The Nursing Times Workforce Awards are judged annually by prominent leaders in the healthcare sector. The awards recognise the best work carried out by healthcare organisations across the UK.

Advantage Healthcare chief operating officer, Jon Neal, said: “I am delighted that we have been shortlisted for this award. Our mobile workforce carry out over 10,000 care visits each week to patients at home. As well as high quality training and supervision, we look for the best technology available, such as Access Care Planning, to support staff in delivering a truly modern, efficient and safe service.”

Advantage Healthcare operations improvement lead, Andy Hopper, said: “I’ve worked on our digital transformation over the last year and it’s exciting to see the benefits being realised for staff out in the community. Access Care Planning saves time and reduces administrative paperwork to free up more time for our healthcare staff to focus on the face to face client work they enjoy.”

Steve Sawyer, Managing Director, 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 technology helps to define our solutions, tackling the challenges of efficiency, compliance and quality in the health and care sector.”

The Award Ceremony will be held on 25th September.

Photo caption: Photo caption (left to right) Advantage Healthcare Chief Operating Officer Jon Neal; Operations Improvement Lead, Andy Hopper; Business Analyst, Clare Watkins and Chief Nurse, Joanna Grant.

Advantage Healthcare Renal Technician Sherryl Badder will be undertaking a Wing Walk this summer to raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society.

 

Sherryl from Wareham, Dorset joined Advantage Healthcare in December 2018. She is also a registered nurse and works in a local nursing home.

As a renal technician Sherryl travels between Corfe Castle and the New Forest to see regular clients. She said: “It’s a lovely job, I see the same clients each week and it fits in well with my nursing job. I’m very happy to work for Advantage Healthcare and to have found a job where I help people affected by renal problems. I am especially touched to do this work, as my sister died from renal failure at a young age.”

The wing walk is scheduled for 19th June, at an airfield in Essex. Sherryl admits that she is a bit of an adrenaline junkie and she has already done a couple of static line parachute jumps to raise money for Cancer Research.

The inspiration for Sherryl’s charity challenge is her cousin Linda, who has lived with MS for 40 years. Sherryl said: “Linda has defied the doctors and specialists by having a full life of dancing, singing and performing professionally. She has lived such a remarkable life showing bravery and determination regardless of how her MS affected her. She participates in trials that may help her and others even though they have no guarantees.

“More awareness and funds is desperately needed to help these brave people fight the symptoms which is so debilitating.”

To follow Sherryl’s challenge and donate to her cause visit her Just Giving Page: https://www.justgiving.com/WingwalkforMS?utm_source=Sharethis&utm_medium=fundraisingpage&utm_content=WingwalkforMS&utm_campaign=pfp-email&utm_term=nKMPgg3wr

Healthcare Assistant, Cecilia Ampofu, has been chosen by Advantage Healthcare’s Peterborough team as their Carer of the Year 2018. She received her award and flowers earlier this month.

Cecilia has worked for Advantage Healthcare since 2015. During that time she has cared for many adults and children who have highly complex health needs.

Branch manager, Lisa Downs, said: “Cecilia is always willing to travel, learn new things and is happy to help with additional shifts, when needed. She is dedicated, hardworking and has shown resilience in some very difficult circumstances during her time working for the branch.”

Cecilia was unanimously nominated for the Carer of the Year Award 2018 by the branch team in Peterborough for her commitment to her clients and her positive attitude to all aspects of her role as a healthcare assistant.

Congratulations, Cecilia!

Photo caption: Cecilia Ampofu (middle) receiving her Carer of the year 2018 award from branch manager Lisa Downs and branch nurse Carl Harris.

Beata Wypart, from Eastbourne, has received a Recognition Award for her dedication and commitment as a Healthcare Assistant at Advantage Healthcare.

Beata joined the company in 2016. She works mainly in paediatric complex care working with families and children. In some placements Beata has taken on the role of lead carer.

Branch manager, Sue Knight, said: “I’m pleased to award Beata this Recognition Award. She has shown exceptional care and sensitivity with a family where care centred on a child receiving palliative care. Beata demonstrated professionalism and commitment above and beyond the job role. This has been recognised and praised by the family.”

Beata works mainly for clients with complex care needs across East & West Sussex and Hampshire.

Richard Wiliams, who lives in Northampton, has worked as an Advantage Healthcare Assistant since 2014. He originally joined on the recommendation of his brother who worked for the company (then known as Advantage Healthcare). Richard has worked in several care packages over that time and he has progressed from a support worker role to an established and sought after complex care Healthcare Assistant.

The 42-year-old was born in Nigeria and came to the UK in 2002. After several years studying IT, Richard reassessed his choices and moved into care work. Before he joined Advantage Healthcare, Richard worked in a nursing home. He soon realised that he wanted to increase his knowledge of healthcare and train to assist clients in a more varied and challenging environment.

Richard said: “For me, healthcare is the perfect career. I like to understand people, whether they are old, or young or have reduced capacity, I have sympathy with them and their frustrations.

“As a father, I know that when young people shout and argue that they aren’t angry at me, often they are scared. So I stay calm with them and take time to explain what is happening. I feel young at heart therefore I find it easy to build rapport through humour and taking an interest in what’s important to them, like fashion or computer games.”

During his time at Advantage Healthcare, Richard’s training has included tracheostomy care, ventilation, peg feeding, incontinence care and epilepsy. He has worked in a number of long term care packages, often as a lone worker, or as part of a new team where Richard’s experience and calm manner has helped to establish the smooth running of packages at an early stage.

Richard’s clients have included a young man at Colchester University who was pursuing his studies whilst managing multiple sclerosis; a young man with a spinal cord injury and an elderly man with a spinal injury who needed tracheostomy care at night so that he could sleep. On one occasion Richard had to make a quick decision to call an ambulance for a client who has a head cold which was causing life threatening complications.

Richard explained: “I knew that he needed to be seen by a doctor so I called an ambulance straightaway. The young man spent five days in hospital and I stayed with him to provide reassurance and be a familiar face.

“At the hospital, once his condition had stabilised, they let me continue with his tracheostomy care. I’m confident in my decisions and I know that I’m trusted by my branch so I called the ambulance first and spoke to the branch later. I’m happy to say that the young man has recovered.”

Richard works in placements across the East of England. He follows care plans which have been devised by a branch nurse and client care manager.

Deputy Branch Manager, Fiona Faircloth, said: “Richard is a valuable member of the team who is frequently requested back by those he works with.” Advantage Healthcare is recruiting for complex care Healthcare Assistants as well as registered nurses.

Two new branch nurses and a new registered manager are now at the helm of the Advantage Healthcare hub in Yorkshire. Registered manager Victoria Wilde and branch nurses Liam Sanders and Susan Williamson all joined last autumn. The new team are supporting the expansion of the service which took on four new clients in the last three months of 2018.

Registered manager Vicky Wilde has worked across most healthcare roles in her 24-year career. Most recently she had been regional manager for a domiciliary care service and has also worked in residential and complex care.

Vicky said: “I am keen to grow the number of clients we work with across Yorkshire and take on staff who are enthusiastic about a career in healthcare. Within our branch we provide complex, clinical and social care at home services. We have wide expertise in this area and we work extensively with elderly and paediatric clients including those with learning and physical disabilities, brain injuries, dementia and spinal injuries.

“We are actively recruiting nurses and healthcare assistants and we can offer staff interested in training with us care work in local residential homes whilst they are learning those complex care skills which make healthcare especially interesting and rewarding.”

Branch nurse Liam Sanders, a specialist learning disability nurse who has to date always worked within NHS Community Nursing Teams, has also joined us. Early in his career he worked for Advantage as a member of its client care staff and he was impressed by the quality approach the company takes. Liam is also the scheme nurse for a children’s charity in Leeds, Aireborough Supported Activities Scheme which provides leisure opportunities for disabled children.

Liam said: “I love working in healthcare, there is never a dull moment. I enjoy dealing with challenges and ensuring that our client receive the quality care they deserve.”

Completing the new leadership team is branch nurse Sue Williamson who has extensive experience in community and family nursing after starting out as an intensive care nurse. Sue has managed community nursing teams and enjoys training new healthcare staff.

Sue said: “I very much enjoy teaching care skills to team members and designing individualised care plans. Working in the field of community nursing allows us to put the client’s needs at the centre of our service. We adapt to their lifestyle and their family so that they can stay living in their comfort of their own home.”

Advantage Healthcare is currently recruiting experienced client care staff who want to develop their career with interesting work and free training. Visit our Work for Us page to find out more about the benefits of working with us.

Photo caption: left to right – Vicky Wilde, Liam Sanders, Sue Williamson

Anna chose Advantage Healthcare because of high standards and its commitment to patient safety

Anna Paskell, from Colchester, has worked as an Advantage Healthcare Assistant since 2015. She originally joined after being recommended by a previous manager and has since referred a number of friends to work for the company.

The 46-year-old worked as a midwife in Russia before moving to the UK in 2004. Anna brings up her daughters, aged six and 14, whilst working on complex care packages and delivering support for renal patients which includes setting up and monitoring their dialysis machines.

In September 2018, Anna started a full time nursing degree and she plans to become a renal nurse working in the community when she graduates.

“Advantage Healthcare is a great employer for many reasons. They have high standards and are committed to patient safety. I feel well supported by my manager and the team at the local office. The work is secure and I’ve been offered hours which I find family friendly, such as the two overnight shifts I do, and the day time renal appointments. Since I’ve started my nursing degree they’ve helped me to adjust my hours so that I can fit that in too.

“I chose a career in care because I enjoy working with people and families and because meeting clients and seeing their progress is so rewarding. I currently care for a two-year- old girl who needs expert complex care, such as tracheostomy, ventilation and PEG feeding. Even though she has a degenerative condition, she is bright and alert and I love to hear her call out my name when I arrive.

“Advantage Healthcare has provided training in complex care procedures and the care work so that I can keep up my skills. I get assessed by a nurse every six months so I feel confident that I am giving safe care.

“I’ve recommended friends to work for Advantage but I only recommend those who are reliable and committed to patient safety. It’s important to me that clients receive continuity of care, otherwise they can get distressed. This is one of the reasons I’ll be working on Christmas Day.

“I’ll take a break from time with my family to make two renal appointments. But it won’t feel like a chore, since I see these clients regularly I’ll enjoy seeing them on Christmas Day. Even with dialysis it won’t stop them getting into the festive spirit.” Anna works in Essex with Advantage Healthcare’s Colchester team. All her work is overseen by the registered manager and branch nurse. Advantage Healthcare is recruiting for complex care Healthcare Assistants as well as registered nurses. For more information visit www.Advantagervehealthcare.com or follow Advantage Healthcare on FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn.