Your employer and management team have a legal duty to ensure that the practice, and the working environment, complies with current standards.
Their obligation as an employer or manager requires them to follow legal and ethical guidelines from professional bodies.
Are You Well-led?
The CQC outline five key questions which they ask of all their care services, one of which being ‘Are they well-led?’ This question means that the CQC want to see leadership, management, and governance within the practice which ensures the delivery of high-quality care. The practice must be person-centred, support the learning needs of the staff, and promote an open and honest culture.
Recruit, Induct, Train & Develop
Practices should have robust policies and procedures for recruitment and HR. Ensuring these policies and procedures are in place, available to all staff, regularly reviewed, and communicated allows for the practice to successfully recruit, induct, train, and develop team members.
As a team member, you should ensure that you are provided with access to the relevant policies and procedures for your job role and that you are fully aware of all processes in place.
GDC Standard 1.9 States ‘You must find out about laws and regulations affecting your work and follow them’ - This places the responsibility on all members of the team, not just the management, to ensure safe working practices.
The practice and team members should ensure that job roles and duties are being fulfilled; failure to do so should raise a concern. The management should have an open door policy with you which allows free flow of speech in a confidential manner, allowing staff to raise concerns and ask for extra support should they need it.
What Is Well-being?
Well-being is ultimately about personal happiness – feeling good and living in good health. This means not allowing work to undermine your basic needs in life and by extension those needs of your families and loved ones.
It is a relevant and necessary consideration for all practices to ensure the well-being of their staff. To gain real benefit, well-being must be integrated throughout a business, embedded in its culture, leadership, and people management.
Team members who are not looked after end up feeling deflated, untrusted, and undervalued which all result in a poor quality of work. If the practice places employee well-being at the centre of their business model, the rewards for the whole team and the practice itself can be significant, with heightened levels of employee engagement, while creating a workforce who are committed to the success of the practice.
Does Your Practice Have these?
Are you Stressed?
Stress places immense demands on a person’s physical and mental health and well-being, which impacts on their behaviour, performance, and relationships.
Stress is a significant cause for long-term absence from work, and all team members, especially the management team should be able to identify and manage the many different signs of stress. A change in a person’s behaviour or performance is often a key sign of excessive pressure or stress.
To help reduce workplace stress everyone should feel adequately trained and supported to fulfil their role, more so during periods of change and uncertainty, you should never feel over-worked, and conflicts should be defused. If you ever feel stressed or under excessive pressure, you should always speak up.
A Winning Culture
To ensure a winning culture, practices require a ‘Culture Policy’. The policy should outline a set of rules that determine workplace behaviours. As a team, create a document that details expectations of behaviour from team members, outlining how they should act in the workplace, how they should treat and communicate with each other, and how they expect to be treated by others. By having team members complete this exercise, it should create ownership for the policy and be more willing to reinforce it.
Practices should remember that the culture of a team trickles down from the top. Management should set an example for the whole team by acting with integrity and honesty, and should always remain approachable, even on their bad days, allowing for team members to ask for guidance and support. It is important for you to feel supported.
Opportunities & Career Development
Team members will feel valued if a practice invests in training and development to enhance their career opportunities. Enhancing skill sets enables team members to feel confident in their ability to fulfil their job role, and offers each person a sense of pride in their work. This, in turn, will push team members to engage more and seek out new learning opportunities, enhancing the team’s skills sets and setting your practice apart from the rest.
How Is Communication At Your Practice?
Communication is Key – Meetings, appraisals, daily huddles, monthly 1-2-1’s, newsletters, memo’s and feedback are all examples of effective communication.
A team should never underestimate the daily huddle. It is one of the most crucial aspects of any successful team. The huddle offers an opportunity for the whole team to get together, who may not otherwise see or speak with each other, and discuss the day ahead ensuring for a seamless patient journey and an efficient day.
It’s always a good idea to ask a different member of the team to chair each day to ensure everyone gets involved. It also offers the management a chance to highlight a team member’s strengths and weaknesses, allowing for further training and career progression.
Communication is only as effective as the person sharing the information.
Daily huddle Top Tips
- 15 mins at the start of the day
- Whole team attendance
- Rotate team member to chair the huddle
Focus - Be aware of the expectations of the day and discuss obstacles that may occur.
Record - Keep a record of your huddle sheets as evidence of patient care and team communication for the CQC fundamental standards.