14 May 2024

Homecare provider invests in training at its new branch in Preston

A homecare provider has invested thousands of pounds in training as part of its commitment to continuing to provide the best possible service to clients.

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Westmorland Homecare’s Preston branch, which opened in December last year, provides care to enable vulnerable and often frail people over the age of 18 to live independently in their own home.

It has just opened a special Care Training Academy at its premises at 6 Chapel Street in the city.

It includes a room which simulates a client’s bedroom, complete with a profiling bed, rise and recline chair, a hoist with slings, a walking frame, commode and slide sheet. While one trainee homecare assistant acts as a client, a trainer can teach another moving and handling, washing and dressing techniques and how to transfer a client in and out of a wheelchair and on and off a commode.

“The aim was to create a simulation room that was no bigger than an average client’s bedroom so our new staff gain a realistic insight into the work they will be doing and the potential challenges they might face,” said Russell Crossley, a director of Westmorland Homecare.

“All trainee homecare assistants go up on the hoist themselves so they can gain understanding into what it feels like for a client to use such equipment. This helps them to empathise with the clients who they then visit.”

All trainee staff take part in a two-week training programme at the new Care Training Academy run by the branch’s coordinator for training and recruitment Lisa Fisher.

That includes a mixture of theory and practical training. They learn basic skills, such as helping a client to eat, cleaning dentures and dealing with catheters and pads.

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They also learn safe medication administration from level one, where staff prompt clients to take medicine, through level 2 where staff administer medicine following NICE guidance to level three, which requires specific training for tasks such as administering eye drops.

Trainees also shadow an experienced member of staff, such as a team leader, on visits to clients.

After successfully completing the training programme the new staff receive The Care Certificate.

“Social care is an extremely rewarding career but staff need to feel supported in their role within the community,” said Mr Crossley.

“Through our bespoke training programme we aim to prepare new staff as much as possible for what goes on in a care environment, rather than teaching them by showing them online videos.

“The ethos of Westmorland Homecare is to provide the best possible care and to look after our staff. Our training means that when homecare assistants go out to see clients they feel confident and comfortable and are properly equipped to deliver care to the highest-possible standards.”

The company’s Preston branch covers Preston, Fulwood, Penwortham, Kirkham, Bamber Bridge, Walton-le-Dale, Longton, North Leyland, Ribbleton, Lea and Longridge.

New staff are currently being recruited and as the business grows it will be looking looking to recruit between 30 and 50 extra members of staff during 2024.

The client base has grown since the branch was launched and there is availability for more clients.

Its services include home care, such as help with housekeeping and meal preparation, and personal care, such as help with medication, dressing, bathing and living their life to the full.

Westmorland Homecare Limited was founded in 2017 by Doctors Josh Macaulay and Chris Moss and director Russell Crossley. Both doctors had experience of caring for people in their NHS roles as an A&E doctor and anaesthetist. Russell’s specialities are in business but he also has a lifetime of experience in care.

The company now has branches at South Lakeland; Poulton, Fylde and Wyre; Preston; and Lancaster and Morecambe.

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