It is fairly simple to choose words to represent a Care Home however for most companies, the impact of the words and values that have been chosen to embody their organisation is often limited to the company website or the corporate office walls. Getting those words into the people, the residents, the families and the leadership team is a task which can seem insurmountable, particularly when an organisation has its own worries with staffing numbers and compliance to take care of.

This was the objective for Sonnet Care Homes who have made a dramatic transformation after being originally at the centre of a TV investigation into poor care with shocking video footage played into UK homes of residents being harassed by their carers. The investigation resulted in jail time for the abusers and the home was put on notice.

Although the abuse that occurred was not seen to be happening on a larger scale, Julia Clinton, who became CEO of Sonnet Care Homes three weeks prior to the allegations, accepted that there was clearly an issue with the culture of the home where it was allowed to happen.

Kindness, Comfort, Respect

Three words that needed to be adopted through all elements of the organisation and they started with the leadership team. Many of the supervisors and managers had been excellent carers but were struggling with the leadership tasks so training and support was put in place to develop the necessary skills to lead a successful care home that not only meets the government requirements but also the expectations families have regarding the level of care.

Kindness, Comfort, Respect (KCR) was put in each care home to help carers make daily decisions and evaluate what they were doing with residents. This has had a knock on effect to not just the carers on the ground but the leadership team and even the chef’s as well with a number of awards being won since the new culture has been introduced.

To make KCR a reality, the adoption of the Judgement Index also made a difference. The computer software offers an extra layer of ‘interrogation’ to identify whether a person has the right attributes to give care. It does not determine whether a candidate has skill set competencies, rational intelligence or emotional stability but tries to determine an individual’s capacity for good judgement.

Once a carer’s Judgment Index values and decision making capacity have been established, they are interviewed by not only the home managers but by residents as well and the interview questions all centre around how well that new staff member embodies the KCR principles.

Since implementing the Judgment Index for recruitment and development, Sonnet Care Homes were able to reduce their turnover by 50% within 6 months of the introduction of the JI and completely eliminated the need for agency staff. As well as saving money on the reduced turnover, the company culture saw a dramatic increase. Sonnet Care Homes received the coveted “Outstanding” rating for being well-led and won “Care Employer of the Year” for two years running at the British Care Awards.

Sophie Coulthard from Judgement Index UK, who also hosts a Care dedicated podacast ‘The Road to Outstanding’ has been working with care homes across the UK and, through the extensive testing completed, has developed a custom report specifically for Care Workers which is now available for use in Australia.

If you would like to learn more about how Judgment Index works and how it can assist your organisation please contact Petrina Scott at petrina.scott@jiau.com.au

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