Job Support Worker

Support Worker – West Chiltington, West Sussex

Part-time available: a) On-call night shifts (including weekend)

and b) shifts during school holidays

(Exemption is claimed under the Equality Act 2010 Part 1 Schedule 9)

We have an exciting opportunity to recruit a permanent support worker to join our small established team. The ideal candidates will have a good sense of humour, an excellent work ethic, and the ability to maximise someone’s potential and enhance their quality of life within their home environment.

On-call Night Shifts (permanent contract)

Shifts: Sunday, Monday and Tuesday from 9:30 pm to 8:30 am.

Staff are required to get our client ready for bed, soothe him to sleep and to check on him during the night as required and get him ready for school in the morning.

School Holiday shifts (permanent contracts)

We are seeking a support worker to cover school holidays. The shifts available are from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm two or three days a week during school holidays. Also, to accompany our client and his family on holiday.

The Client

Our client is a male child aged 10 years who has cerebral palsy and learning difficulties. He is tube fed and is a wheelchair user. He is a loving, sweet and cheeky chap and a pleasure to work with. His care depends on others to support him in a holistic approach ranging from personal care, feeding and toileting to promoting his quality of life within the house and in the community. He lives as full, active and high quality a life as possible, so social and recreational activities are important in his care, together with learning his communication strategies due to him being non-verbal.

Client’s Hobbies & Interests

Our client loves active engagement and interaction; he enjoys being outside on his swing, slide and trike and going for walks in his all-terrain buggy. He loves his hydrotherapy sessions and has his own hydrotherapy pool. He enjoys stories, music, board games, arts and crafts, relaxing massages and watching his favourite TV programmes.

The Roles

You will have experience of working with someone with a learning and a physical disability, and you will commit to provide a high standard of therapeutic support in a calm, caring and professional manner.

Night shifts:

You will get our client ready for bed and settle him to sleep. You can go to bed but need to be alert to him waking during the night via a CCTV monitor. He can have settled nights but is often disturbed a couple of times and can take time to settle back down. He will need repositioning to help him get back to sleep. In the morning you’ll get him ready for school.

You will need to have the flexibility to accompany the client and his family on holiday.

School holidays: Tasks include undertaking a range of activities in the home and supporting our client to to maximise his independence in line with his therapy programme. You will work with other health care professionals that include a Physiotherapist and Occupational Therapist to participate in all of these activities actively. You will also participate in hydrotherapy with our client to promote his physical health and enhance his quality of life as much as possible.

There is the expectation that you will work towards a client-centred approach to improve and promote our client’s quality of life by following the agreed care plans.

You will possess good communication skills, empathy, flexibility and enthusiasm, with the ability to use your initiative and creativity. You will be confident, reliable and caring. Undertaking domestic tasks, such as cleaning and tidying at the end of the shift, is vital.

You will need to have the flexibility to accompany our client and his family on holiday.

Essential

  • You must hold a full, clean driving licence and be an experienced driver
  • You must have the skills and experience gained from working with people with disabilities
  • It would be best if you had a calm, warm and friendly disposition with a good sense of humour
  • Although regular shifts will be agreed, the employer holds the right to change shifts at any time to suit our client’s needs; therefore flexibility is vital

Location: The roles are based at the family’s home in West Chiltington, West Sussex.

Support Worker hours and rates of pay

Night rate – Sunday – Tuesday – £120 in total

Day rate – £14.00ph in week and £16.00ph at weekends

Reference ID: ThoH

Job Types: Part-time, Permanent

Salary: £14.00-£16.00 per hour

To find out more and to apply for this position visit: https://uk.indeed.com/job/support-worker-e28f0a929682bb22

Closing date for applications: 19 March 2022

Job Support Worker

Team Leader – Support Workers – West Chiltington, West Sussex

Part-time available: a) On-call night shifts (including weekend)

and b) shifts during school holidays

(Exemption is claimed under the Equality Act 2010 Part 1 Schedule 9) We have an exciting opportunity to recruit a permanent Team Leader to join our small established team. The ideal candidates will have a good sense of humour, an excellent work ethic, and the ability to maximise someone’s potential and enhance their quality of life within their home environment.

On-call Night Shifts (permanent contract)

Shifts: Sunday, Monday and Tuesday from 9:30 pm to 8:30 am.

Staff are required to get our client ready for bed, soothe him to sleep and to check on him during the night as required and get him ready for school in the morning.

School Holiday shifts (permanent contracts)

We are seeking a support worker to cover school holidays. The shifts available are from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm two or three days a week during school holidays. Also, to accompany our client and his family on holiday.

The Client

To work with a ten-year-old boy with quadraplegic Cerebral Palsy. He is a wheelchair user and is non-verbal with severe developmental delay. The care will involve manual handling, providing assistance with all levels of personal  care, feeding via a gastrostomy and basic physiotherapy led exercises and positioning. He enjoys watching programmes on his iPad, music, arts and crafts and spending time in his therapy/sensory room. He loves hydrotherapy and has his own pool at home. He also likes walks in the countryside.

Client’s Hobbies & Interests

Our client loves active engagement and interaction; he enjoys being outside on his swing, slide and trike and going for walks in his all-terrain buggy. He loves his hydrotherapy sessions and has his own hydrotherapy pool. He enjoys stories, music, board games, arts and crafts, relaxing massages and watching his favourite TV programmes.

The Roles

The Team Leader’s duties will include co-ordinating the team by organising the rota, supervising staff monitoring the quality of care provided and liaising with the multidisciplinary team. The Team Leader will provide some care for our client within the family home and during trips out into the community. Our client attends a special school during term time and support is at night, after school in term time when he is at home, during school holidays and at weekends. He is expected to have two support workers or the support of a parent with one support worker when in the community.

There is the expectation that you will work towards a client-centred approach to improve and promote our client’s quality of life by following the agreed care plans.

You will possess good communication skills, empathy, flexibility and enthusiasm, with the ability to use your initiative and creativity. You will be confident, reliable and caring. Undertaking domestic tasks, such as cleaning and tidying at the end of the shift, is vital.

You will need to have the flexibility to accompany our client and his family on holiday.

Job Purpose

  • To manage the support team, organising rotas, supervision and monitoring performance, ensuring that the highest quality of care is provided. Identifying areas for training.
  • Liaising with the parents and multidisciplinary team and facilitating good communication across the teams.
  • To provide support and care for our client in partnership with his family. Specific tasks include: feeding via gastrostomy, providing assistance with all levels of personal care including changing continence pads, skin care and mouth care.
  • To support our client with his communication needs and methods that he uses.
  • Ensuring all staff undertake tasks and activities in line with the care plan and the appropriate process and procedure.
  • To support our client in maximising his independence in all activities of daily living.
  • To monitor the client’s health and report and changes in condition to the parents and case manager.

Essential

  • You must hold a full, clean driving licence and be an experienced driver
  • You must have the skills and experience gained from working with people with disabilities
  • It would be best if you had a calm, warm and friendly disposition with a good sense of humour
  • Although regular shifts will be agreed, the employer holds the right to change shifts at any time to suit our client’s needs; therefore flexibility is vital

Location: The roles are based at the family’s home in West Chiltington, West Sussex.

Support Worker hours and rates of pay

Night rate – £120.50 Sunday, Monday & Tuesday

Day rate – £15.00ph in week and £17.00ph at weekends

Reference ID: ThoH TL

Job Types: Part-time, Permanent

Salary: £15.00-£17.00 per hour

To find out more and to apply for this position visit: https://uk.indeed.com/job/team-leader-support-worker-707302af90557761

Closing date for applications: 19 March 2022

Embrace HR Aylesbury Time to Hire

Tracking how long it takes to hire new employees in the care sector can help you focus on where you can improve efficiency in your business processes…

Focusing on your recruitment metrics can really help you to streamline your processes and, in the long run to save time and money. We explain why, and how you can improve your ‘time to hire’.

According to a white paper by The Access Group [The Access Group: The evolving world of candidate screening and compliance] around 11% of workers change jobs in the UK – to put that figure into perspective this equates to around 3.5 million people. Furthermore, employers and recruitment services undertook a massive 6 million DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checks in 2019/2020. That is a lot of processing!

The time to hire equation

There are three parts to the ‘time to hire’ equation. The first is the length of time it takes to actually identify the right person for your vacancy. The second is how long it takes for the new person to be hired – which includes how long it takes to move them from application to phone interview, from phone interview to in-person interview and so on.

Finally, you must look at anything that is delaying the recruitment process – such as the ratio of good and poor applications you receive. To improve this ratio you may wish to look at where you are advertising, as a more targeted approach may reap dividends, and consider introducing an incentive scheme for existing staff to propose possible candidates.

You may ask why it matters so much:

  1. If you are slow to hire, you could lose your candidate to another organisation – and then have to start the whole recruitment process all over again, costing more time and money.
  2. The care sector, along with many others, is struggling to find care staff to fit with service users’ needs. It’s important to review pay scales so that they are competitive, not only in the sector, but with industries such as retail.
  3. Another thing to consider is that the care industry has more transient or casual employees at the lower end of the pay scale. When searching for jobs, they are likely to use their mobiles, so make it easy for them to apply. After all, every day they are not working is a day they are not earning.
  4. If you have a member of staff away for too long, work may not be completed to the standard you require, if at all.

Days until hiring

According to Glassdoor [Glassdoor: How Long It Takes to Go Through the Interview Process & Find a Job 04/05/2020], it can take an average of 27.3 days to take a candidate through the hiring process. It varies by sector as the report highlights – we estimate the care sector is somewhere between the 16 days in retail and the 10 days for hospitality candidates.

Now that so much of the hiring process can be done online and through virtual interviews, it is possible that your candidate has interviewed at a number of other rival organisations.

To avoid losing your ideal candidate to another organisation, it is vital to keep your process as short as possible. So how can you do that?

First, ensure that any screening for eligibility to work can be done speedily and simply. If your candidates have multiple offers, they are likely to abandon any that are complicated and take up a lot of time. You should be able to conduct much of the screening process online and do remember it should be mobile friendly – as we have said, many of your candidates may only have access online via a smartphone or tablet.

Identifying delays

When you collect together all of the data, you will be able to identify if there are any hold-ups or delays that can be fixed easily. For example, if there is a gap between getting candidates’ details and your reply, you will need to address why that hold-up is occurring. If screening takes a long time, then you need to think about whether that process could be automated.

If your hiring process appears to be long and drawn out, take the time to sketch it out – even if it is only on a piece of paper. See who does what and when, and make sure everyone is clear about their place in the timeline.

Another very obvious thing to do is to keep a list of prospective candidates – if they have previously been screened and interviewed but were not chosen for the position. There is no reason why you cannot approach them if a similar vacancy arises – by doing that you can skip out several parts of the hiring process. Of course, consideration should be given to the data protection laws in this country – how long you can retain data, and what it should be used for. Ask for the applicants’ permission to retain their details on file for future positions and to introduce them to other prospective service users.

Finally, consider bringing in an independent HR consultant to streamline your sourcing and hiring process for you. It will have a cost attached, but by speeding up your process, and freeing up your time, it could save you both time and money.

Further reading

BABICM (the British Association of Brain Injury and Complex Case Management) recently carried out its own survey regarding recruitment and retention of support work staff. View the initial summary [BABICM:Perfect Storm Survey results 03/02/2022].

If you would like to discuss this subject further, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR Limited.

T: 01296 761288 or contact us here.

If you would like to receive our newsletter, please sign up here.

Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR Limited provide a specialised HR service to the care sector, from recruitment through to exit.

Embrace HR Aylesbury Assistive Technology

Advances in assistive technology are improving the quality of life for people with complex brain injury. Young people, children and babies in particular are benefiting from this technological evolution…

The evolution of technology continues exponentially. A few years ago, none of us would have imagined that we would be able to talk to a smart speaker in our home, get it to order shopping, find recipes, play games and so on. Or that a doorbell would enable us to talk to (and see!) visitors to our home when we are miles away. These developments are making everyday life easier for us all.

But it is in the area of assistive technology where advancements are making a huge difference to the quality of life of people with complex brain injury – especially for children and young people.

Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology is fundamentally any kind of technology or equipment that has been either adapted or specially designed to improve how a disabled person functions in their daily lives. In fact, those smart speakers we mentioned are just the tip of the iceberg – the latest Amazon Echo has recently been advertised featuring people with disabilities, because the voice control can be of great benefit to those who have limited/no use of their limbs.

And why is this technology particularly beneficial to babies, children and young people with complex brain injury? They will get the best start in life if they can develop and engage with their education and with the people around them – and assistive technology can help with that. The sooner they start, the less their disadvantage will be. Assistive technology can help them communicate with others, it can offer them independence, a different way to learn – and of course can also be used for entertainment, helping them to enjoy the things that other children expect to do as a matter of course.

Aids for Communication

Aids for communication can include things as simple as charts and picture books – but technology offers the use of electronic communication equipment that can be operated using a switch or joystick, or even by moving the eyes. The ability to use voice output technology can enable people to take part in conversations with those around them and stop them feeling isolated.

Special software and other adaptations can allow children with complex brain injury to use PCs, games consoles, tablets and mobile phones – encouraging independence as they can use these devices themselves.

For those who struggle with reading, e-books can come as audio files, and PCs, smartphones and tablets can be equipped with text-to-speech software that can read aloud anything on the screen. Audio recorders are useful for children who find it hard to take notes in a class.

For anyone with attention issues, hearing issues, or language processing problems, frequency modulation (FM) systems help to cut back background noise in the classroom and amplify the teacher’s words, to aid concentration.

It can be beneficial for the carers of these children and young people, to be trained in using the technology, and how to update it, so that access to the technology is not interrupted.

Assistive Tech in Action

Embrace HR MD, Cecily Lalloo, saw assistive technology in action when she attended a BABICM webinar by Mike Thrussell of Access Technology. Access Technology use assistive technology to help people with disabilities do what they want to do. Here’s what she had to say after the webinar:

“Mike first introduced us to Al, a 17-year old who is non-verbal and has physical disabilities. Al took over the presentation and showed us how he is studying maths and the sciences using off-the-shelf software with his iPad and computers but with access to his devices in a way that is easier for him to use.

“He is also a gamer and he is so adept and innovative, that he has been contacting Mike, with suggestions and ideas to further make use of technology to help him, and possibly others. He has an adapted joystick to play his games on his Xbox.

“Mike has been working with Al for many years and says that his parents are very supportive so that Al can live a fulfilling life and do things that any 17-year-old would like to do. Al is now an Ambassador for Mike’s company and asked Mike if he could do his work placement with him.

“It was lovely watching him, an intelligent and proud young man, achieve what he set his mind to do. I smiled as he corrected his Mum … ‘it’s an Xbox, Mum,’ he said when she mentioned his Playstation.

“Next up was Kit, who is 7 years old. His parents have been working with Mike since their son was 4 years old.  Mike explained that he had to find a way to make Kit aware of ’cause and effect’. Through much research, he discovered that Kit loved the feeling of being ‘jiggled’. So they sited pads on either side of his head on his wheelchair, showed him that when his head hit the pads, it activated his computer. He took a long and hard look at what was on the screen and this activated his wheelchair to jiggle. This made Kit laugh as he enjoyed the sensation.

“But the head movements weren’t easy for him and through further research Mike set up a pad close to his knee. This enabled him to move his knee to hit the pad, and the same action would present the screen for him to look at to activate the jiggling movement of his chair. Once Kit learnt about cause and effect, Mike went on to set up cartoons that would jiggle and Kit learnt to activate them, which gave him enormous pleasure.

“Over the years they have progressed, and Kit uses his knee pad to switch lights on and off in the home. The lights are controlled by remote, so Kit uses the switches that the rest of the family use. This means he is included despite his disabilities. Using Bluetooth, he also helps his Mum with the cleaning as he instructs ‘Alexa’ to vacuum.”

Mike’s ethos is to enable people with disabilities such as Al and Kit to live the best life they can, making use of technology and what is around us to help them do what they want to do. In a few years Mike says things will have changed dramatically. And we need to keep up.

If you would like to discuss this subject further, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR Limited.

T: 01296 761288 or contact us here.

If you would like to receive our newsletter, please sign up here.

Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR Limited provide a specialised HR service to the care sector, from recruitment through to exit.

Job Support Worker

Waking Night Support Worker, London NW4

Location: Hendon, North London NW4, working within the family environment.

Reporting To: Parents on behalf of their son’s Deputy.

Background Information

The family are looking for a caring, professional and reliable live out Carer / Support Worker to solidify and enhance our night care team. They are a young professional couple who provide a loving and stable environment for their son. He is 15-years-old with special needs and severe disabilities. He is dependent on all daily living activities and requires a high level of assistance.

A Waking Night Carer is required for two weekday nights. You will be required to settle their son to sleep.

The family have a history of supporting a reliable and stable workforce who have been with them for many years. They are seeking someone who is committed and would like to join this team.

Job Purpose

The purpose of the job is to provide assistance to our client’s parents with the care of their son and to take sole charge at pre-arranged times.

Our client will require help with all activities of daily living and in particular to provide overnight care and settle our client to sleep. He is a poor sleeper and has restless nights with an average of 4-5 hours’ sleep a night.

No equipment or feeding is required during the night.

Main Duties

  • To provide waking night care to our client
  • To assist with settling him to sleep by following a night-time routine to include bathing, changing pads, administering medication
  • To ensure his comfort during the night by winding, keeping him hydrated, and ensuring his temperature is consistent. This may require taking him in/out of the bed several times during the night
  • To be vigilant with monitoring his needs throughout the night – average sleeping time is 4 hours
  • To cover shifts for colleagues who may be away e.g., on holiday – by agreement
  • To undertake other tasks and activities as required by the family from time to time

The family are supportive in training for this special role.

About you

You are a patient and caring individual and have experience of looking after individuals with complex needs. You will need to be physically fit and active as you will be employing moving and handling methods using appropriate techniques. Training will be provided.

You will be tidy, organised and efficient; attention to detail for record keeping is key.

We are looking for someone who is kind, caring, flexible and adaptable. You will be working closely with dedicated and committed parents.

It is desirable (but not essential) that you understand and speak English to a fair level and have a driver’s licence.

Experience in using disability equipment would be a bonus.

Working hours

This position is for overnight care for 2 weeknights per week and the hours are from 21:30 to 07:00.

Schedules are set out as far as possible in advance.

Pay

From £13 per hour for weekday nights

From £14 per hour weekend nights – should you be required to cover for colleagues.

Desirable:

Health and Social Care First Aid Certificate
Flexibility to work occasional additional hours

Other

Satisfactory references, an enhanced DBS certificate and proof of eligibility to work in the UK are essential.

Reference ID: JAN22KP/MMC

Part-time hours: 19 per week

Job Types: Part-time, Permanent

Salary: £13.00-£14.00 per hour

Schedule: 10-hour shift

COVID-19 considerations:

Initial interviews are by phone or video conference
Vaccinations are preferable
Government guidelines relating to COVID apply

Education:

GCSE or equivalent (preferred)

Experience:

Complex Care: 3 years (preferred)
working Waking Nights: 3 years (preferred)

Licence/Certification:

DBS certificate for Child Workforce (preferred)

To find out more and to apply for this position visit: https://uk.indeed.com/job/waking-night-support-worker-992b14a3e3299d9a

Closing date for applications: 28 February 2022

Job Support Worker

Support Worker Complex Care, Northwood HA6

Main scope of job: To care for a 13-year-old girl that includes driving to and from school during term time.

Hours: Working days: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

Working hours: Daily split shifts – 06.45 to 10.15 then 13.45 to 16.15 (20 hours per week)

  • Potential for other shifts during school holidays
  • Potential for Saturday and Sunday by arrangement

Term time: approx. 39 weeks per year

Pay Rate: £20 per hour Monday to Friday morning shifts and £14 per hour afternoons/evenings. £16 per hour Saturday and Sunday shifts

Main duties and responsibilities

  • Using the client’s adapted vehicle, to take the client to school and collect after school, ensuring her safety on the journey
  • Work with the client, professionals and family to undertake duties commensurate with the post and as requested by the client and family
  • Be aware of issues of safeguarding and alert parents to any concerns regarding the client’s safety and wellbeing
  • Be reliable and punctual; alert the family, at the earliest possible opportunity, if unable to attend for work in an emergency or in case of illness
  • Participate in meetings called by the parents
  • As a professional member of the staff team, support colleagues where necessary
  • Provide a safe and happy environment

General

  • Ensure that all duties are carried out to a high standard and that the welfare of the client is paramount at all times
  • To be individually accountable for the driving service provided
  • Comply with relevant legislation and operational guidelines and the Highway Code at all times
  • To undertake any other related duties as required from time to time

Person Specification

Essential Requirements

  • Female required – this is an exemption of the Equal Opportunities Act 2010
  • Enhanced DBS Certificate – applied for by employer if required
  • 3 years’ driving experience and must be 26 years of age or above for car insurance purposes
  • Able to drive an adapted vehicle although training will be provided to the right applicant
  • Full clean UK drivers licence
  • The drivers licence must not have drink/driving endorsements
  • Good level of spoken English
  • Enjoy driving
  • Awareness of safeguarding and the rights of young people
  • Punctual, committed and dependable
  • A calm temperament, trustworthy, reliable with a good sense of humour, and a passion for working with children and young people
  • Have a pleasant, cheerful outlook
  • Satisfactory references
  • Right to work in the UK
  • Be willing not to smoke during your hours of duty

Desirable

  • Health and Social Care First Aid Certificate
  • Flexibility to work occasional additional hours

Salary: £14-20 per hour

Schedule: Day shift Monday-Friday

COVID-19 considerations:

  • Initial interview will take place by telephone or video conference.
  • Government guidelines relating to COVID apply.

To find out more and to apply for this position visit: https://uk.indeed.com/job/support-worker-complex-care-b4510b2429fafab7

Closing date for applications: 26 January 2022

Embrace HR Aylesbury Financial Distress

We have made great strides in dealing with mental wellbeing within the HR sector, but the importance of financial wellbeing – which can have major effects on employees – is still lagging behind…

Financial Wellbeing

Each November, Talk Money week encourages people to open up and talk about their finances, in a bid to improve their mental wellbeing.

In HR, we are well versed now in focusing on mental wellbeing – we appoint mental health first aiders, offer counselling, encourage line managers to look out for signs of any issues. Now it is time to bring financial wellbeing into the mix.

Financial distress is a major cause of stress and anxiety – and yet a recent CIPD survey found that among employers with health and wellbeing strategies, only one in 10 actively focus on financial wellbeing, while 57% actively focus on mental wellbeing.

Mental health organisation Mental Health at Work (which is curated by Mind, the mental health charity, and funded by The Royal Foundation as part of their Heads Together campaign) conducted research before the pandemic, which showed that in England alone more than 1.5 million people were experiencing both problems with debt and mental health problems.

They found that facing financial difficulties was more likely to cause people to need treatment for mental health issues. And although the financial problems themselves cause stress and anxiety, this is exacerbated both by the way in which debts are collected and the fact that they (and their families) have to go without essentials. They estimated that every year more than 100,000 people in England alone attempt to take their own life while struggling with problem debt.

Financial wellbeing and the care sector

In the care sector, there are other issues that can come into play and affect employees. In general, pay is lower than many other professions, so your staff may not have a chance to save into a contingency fund to help them get through tough times, and are less likely to be able to access affordable credit to help them until payday.

And of course, in the event of a death of a client in the private care sector, funds can be frozen. If there is a deputyship, which comes to an end upon the client’s death, and their affairs pass into probate, the care staff would not be paid until the process is complete. This can take months.

Struggling with financial wellbeing can also affect people in their work. According to Mental Health, two-thirds of employees who are experiencing financial difficulties show at least one sign of poor mental health that could affect their ability to function well at work. Signs include lack of sleep, poor concentration, and reduced motivation. This can be made more difficult if they are treated badly at work and left without support.

In the care sector, your staff have to look after others, and they cannot do that if they are not being supported. You might want to consider offering access to an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP,) which can provide independent support.

At a time when Covid has adversely affected many people financially – and some will be experiencing the effects of a hit to their finances for years to come – it seems that the time’s right to make it more of a focus.

Getting started

So how can you make a start on supporting your staff’s financial wellbeing? There are three quite simple steps to kickstart the plan:

  • To begin with, make your employees aware of the advice available from the government’s Money and Pensions Service. This advice on money and debit is free, confidential and independent.
  • Also ensure that they are aware of any benefits and offers that might be available – such as medical or dental insurance should you consider offering an EAP – as well as government benefits such as tax-free childcare, which has replaced the old childcare voucher scheme.
  • Make the opportunity to discuss financial challenges that both your employees and your organisation face. Making it normal to discuss these issues will help to break down the stigma attached – just as we have seen happen with mental health issues in recent years.

Of course this is just the start. As an employer you can also look at ensuring you are paying a fair wage, support opportunities for employees to progress, look at broadening your benefits package and even offer financial education.

You’ll also find some useful tools at: www.mentalhealthatwork.org.uk/toolkit/supporting-the-financial-wellbeing-of-your-employees/.

If you would like to discuss this subject further, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR Limited.

T: 01296 761288 or contact us here.

If you would like to receive our newsletter, please sign up here.

Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR Limited provide a specialised HR service to the care sector, from recruitment through to exit.

Job Support Worker

Night Support Worker, West Chiltington, West Sussex

Do you live in the following catchment areas: Worthing, Brighton, Burgess Hill, Haywards Heath, Lewis, Horsham, Storrington, West Chiltington?

Required: Support Worker for Nights in West Chiltington, West Sussex

Shift Pattern: Two nights per week Sunday night and either Monday or Wednesday from 21:30pm to 08:30am

Pay Rate: Sunday night: £126.50 per shift, Monday/Wednesday night: £114.50 per shift

About our client

A young boy with cerebral palsy affecting all 4 of his limbs. Mum describes him as very good natured, sweet, affectionate, non-verbal but does vocalise and uses facial expressions. He is a very happy child. He is fed and has all medication via a gastrostomy. He loves music, TV, swimming, riding his trike, attempts adventurous activities when on holiday. He enjoys school, being with his friends and is sociable.

Key Responsibilities

Your role is to help prepare him for sleep and to settle him when he disturbs during the night. You will also assist in his morning routine and get him ready for school during the term. He has physical needs and requires hoisting for all transfers. No night is the same and this role is not a sleeping night but seen as a “resting night” as you are expected to attend to his needs when necessary, during the night. Some nights he is quite settled and others he is not. You will work in a lovely home where the night support worker has their own room, bathroom and use of a duty room. The parents are supportive, and the staff enjoy the work and working with the client.

A DBS for child workforce is a must.

Skills Knowledge & Expertise

You will have some experience of disturbed nights which could be with your own family. The family are willing to train the person with the right attitude, even if they do not have all the experience. Essentials are:

  • Confident in your own abilities to work with our client
  • Resilient to stay awake or have disturbed sleep
  • Sensitive to his needs, for instance not talking over him
  • Able to relate positively and enthusiastically to young people
  • Responsible to work on your own over a night shift, ensuring the safety, dignity, needs and wishes of the client and follow the care plan. The parents are on hand if needs be.
  • Computer literate to support our client and to communicate with the family and case manager.
  • Be a happy and bubbly person.

Desirable:

  • Experience of gastrostomy
  • Some experience with people with special needs in their home or working life
  • First Aid certificate
  • Previous training in medication provision, moving and handling, safeguarding

Benefits

  • If you are not on the DBS Update Service, we will arrange for you to apply again.
  • Immediate start available
  • Other shifts available by mutual agreement
  • Lovely environment with the use of an extremely comfortable own room and bathroom
  • On the job training

Salary: £114.50 – 126.50 per shift

Part-time hours: 22 hours per week

COVID-19 considerations:

  • Initial interview will take place by telephone or video.
  • Where face to face interview is required, you will follow the instructions at the home, including the use of masks, sanitisers, etc. as the family take account of the government guidelines.

To find out more and to apply for this position visit: https://uk.indeed.com/job/night-support-worker-4090a6a2f5410061

Closing date for applications: 3 January 2022

Embrace HR Aylesbury Psychology of Case Management

Thank you to Dr Shabnam Berry-Khan for allowing us to share the transcript of her recent interview with Cecily Lalloo.

The Psychology of Case Management podcast with Dr Shabnam Berry-Khan, Director of PsychWorks Associates is intended to help Personal Injury professionals use psychological ideas to achieve more for catastrophically injured clients by maximising rehabilitation outcomes and achieving the best level settlements possible.

This particular podcast looks at managing care teams through an HR lens, and the expert eye of Cecily Lalloo, whose company – Embrace HR Limited located in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire – has a specialism in care sector HR, including case management. She talks to us about the importance of empathy, training, communication and relationships, working at the speed of the family, and sometimes having to let people go. Cecily is even writing a book on the subject.

Listen at: www.podbean.com/ew/pb-vwhjr-10fc130.

You can view all published episodes at: psychologyofcasemanagement.podbean.com.

The numbers below relate to the timing of where you can find the particular comments on the Podcast.

Season Two, Episode 5: HR matters in Personal Injury work, with Cecily Lalloo, Director of Embrace HR

Shabnam 0:05

Welcome to the Psychology of Case Management podcast: the show that helps you use psychological ideas to strengthen your relationship with your catastrophically injured clients and their professional networks, so you can achieve more for your clients and feel more fulfilled in your role.

Shabnam 0:20

Hello, and welcome to today’s episode. I’m Dr Shabnam Berry-Khan. And today’s topic is human resources – HR, if you will – and the role it plays in personal injury work. It’s not a union that I – before being a case manager or treating psychologist – would have ever thought would go together. But as I’ve progressed and done this for a number of years now, I realize that HR work, in the work we do in case management, is absolutely crucial to the smooth running of what I understand as being the single biggest component of any personal injury claim, which is the care. It is crucial that we get that right because it has an impact on rehabilitation. We all know that, but it’s the hardest thing to get right as well. So, with that in mind, and thinking about what are the factors that will help us manage – from a human resource perspective – our care teams for our personally injured clients? How will we get the best out of them? What is it that we need to think about? Today, I have Cecily Lalloo from Embrace HR, a company that I have worked with for a little while now, and I have a lot of respect for in terms of their HR support. And it’s a real honour to have Cecily talk to me today in the podcast. So welcome, Cecily!

Cecily 1:50

Hello, Shabnam. And thank you very much for inviting me.

Shabnam 1:56

Not at all, thank you for your time. Because I know you’re a busy lady running Embrace HR, which – now, correct me if I’m wrong – I believe is a specific HR company solely for personal injury clients, or for case management, if you will. Is that right? Have I got that right?

Cecily 2:17

We work with case managers and deputies and families. We do have a few long-term commercial clients, but not many that we look after. Primarily, our work is with personal injury: looking after families, case managers and deputies, and supporting them. But what is a very big part of the scheme of things is care, and the employees who look after our clients.

Shabnam 2:49

Yes, because – like I said earlier – it feels like HR and Personal Injury work isn’t necessarily something that I would – and I think our audience probably have worked this out by now – but it’s not a natural fit, for me, because I think of it as… HR has been something that’s linked to bigger organisations: you need lots of people to justify and warrant HR involvement. But ultimately, it’s really about – I think you said it to me earlier – it’s really about relationships.

Cecily 3:21

Absolutely. And wherever you are, there’s some sort of relationship, and what I say is, whether you’re working for a big corporate, or working in a small organisation, or very much as case managers and teams working with clients, there’s still that employment relationship. Whichever way you look at it, you still have the same issues, you still have the same obligations to the employees, whether they are working in the home, a private person’s home, or working in a big office or big warehouse, whatever it is. Those relationships are still there, they’re still the employee/employer obligations.

Shabnam 4:09

Yes, I think you’re right. Actually, as long as you’re employing someone, HR becomes relevant, I guess. And I suppose my question for you is: why personal injury work? Why case management? You could be an HR member of a massive corporate somewhere, multinational… I don’t know. And like I said, that’s my stereotype of HR, but it’s such a niche, specialist area. So tell me about your journey into HR, I guess, and then eventually into personal injury work. What’s your story?

Cecily 4:40

Right. Okay. I was an HR manager for a small company, local company, after I’d worked for lots of corporates, and working for a smaller company – started off with 20 people, grew to 70, and then came back to about 50. And I realized that the same issues are, as I mentioned before, in a corporate, the same thing happens in a smaller organisation.

By chance, I was actually contacted by a case management company. I did not know about case management: I didn’t know what it was about. I was asked to do an investigation for a case management company. And that’s my first route into case management. And working with that company, they asked me to do a little bit of HR. And I realized this is a sector that I didn’t know anything about. And strangely enough, a few months later, I had a phone call from an independent case manager, who said, “I need some HR help. Can you help me?” And through my work with a case manager company, I understood a little bit about what she was talking about: not completely, but a bit. And that’s when my eyes were opened.

One of the first clients she took me to was a family. And I think my heart went out to Mum, because I could see her point: the case manager was talking to her about how they can help her by getting staff to help her with her child, and she was saying, “Oh, but you know, it means that my home isn’t going to be my home. I’m going to have people here who I don’t know.” And it took quite a long time: it took quite a few weeks, maybe even months, to get her to understand that it’s to help her, because she was so tired. She didn’t have a lot of sleep, because she was looking after her child. And eventually, we did get started, started to get people in.

I was talking to her a lot about the type of person she wants, and what the person’s going to be doing, what they’re going to help her with. And I could see that maybe there’s something that I could help with. Maybe it’s something that I can… because I feel that HR is a very people-orientated place, and I felt a lot of empathy, I think. And through the case manager I worked with, I’ve been introduced to other case managers, and it’s just gone from there. And we now work with quite a few deputies, case managers and families as well.

Shabnam 7:31

That’s really interesting. So it’s something about the client group that you’re working with that is particularly appealing, or that hooked you in, from the sounds of it. You mentioned empathy: my stereotype again, and forgive me, Cecily. It’s because I know you well, I feel like I can say this… the stereotype of HR, in my mind, is quite cold, unemotional people who just – as you mentioned earlier, they have a… there is a framework that you’re working within, effectively. And that almost suggests to me that it’s not a place where you can express empathy, necessarily, that it’s kind of fairly clear-cut, in a way. So I’m really intrigued by this idea of you being actually hooked in with the ability to be empathic within your role as an HR professional.

Cecily 8:31

I think whenever you’re with people, when you’re dealing with people, it is about how people feel. At the same time, as HR people, we need to be able to understand the legalities about employing people, and that’s maybe where the ‘cold’ part comes in. We do follow process… and I know it can be frustrating for people like case managers as well, and families, because sometimes when you’re following a process, it takes much longer than you think it should take.

At the same time, I think that bringing somebody in, helping them to understand what the contract is about, setting expectations from both the family side, as well as the case manager, and then what you expect of your employee and making those communications, that builds every relationship very clearly, and it’s a continuous journey.

So I think you have to have empathy, because we work in a very sensitive area, and I think understanding who our clients are is really important for us.

Shabnam 9:50

Yes, relationships are key. I mean, I would say that: I’m a psychologist, and obviously a case manager, but relationships do feel like they’re key to the work you do as well. And I guess that doesn’t… HR is obviously the overall term for recruitment, and then supporting support workers once they’ve been appointed. But I guess that relationship-building starts from the beginning?

Cecily 10:18

Yes, like everything in life, there’s a cycle, isn’t there? There is a start, a middle and an end, and recruitment is no different. So we start when we decide we need somebody to help us and take them on as an employee; the middle is the actual management.

At the start, also, I think it’s about getting to know people. When you have a relationship, a personal relationship, whether it’s boyfriend, girlfriend, your husband, your family, relationships are things that you you choose – not everything, I suppose: not always family – but you choose a lot of your relationships. Whereas when you’re in a work situation, there’s the recruitment process, and you haven’t built up that ‘know, like, and trust’… you’ve got to take somebody on, because you need their help. And that’s where you start nurturing that relationship.

So I say very much the contract is key, because the contract helps with the expectations. It sets out the way you’re going to work, what you expect, and also what the employee can expect from you, as an employer. It says exactly what it is you expect them to do; it will help with training.

And I think building that relationship means making sure that you’re talking all the time. I very often say to our clients, we don’t always have to have an annual review meeting. Because if you have an annual review meeting, it means you’re only seeing somebody once a year, and you’re having talks about how they’re doing once a year, whereas if you have something more often, like maybe every six weeks or even less, you can start building those relationships earlier. If there’s any issues, you deal with them straight away: nip things in the bud, as it were.

I think that’s what the relationships are. And in a family home, it’s so important, because parents have already gone through quite a lot of trauma, before they come to start taking people on as employees, and the employees should be there to support them. And they will be able to support if they know what’s expected of them.

Shabnam 12:55

I think that’s so important. I’m really glad that the trauma context, the unfamiliarity of having people in your home (which is where I guess that empathy comes in), and so that sense of trust and needing to nurture not just your support worker… not just the employee, but actually the family as an agent within that relationship, and within that dynamic… It’s so important, and it’s great that that is how you frame any involvement. With all these ideas about trauma and the context of people being in a client’s home, where they would normally not have had other people in their home, and these people have a responsibility too… there’s a legal framework around them. I can see how it starts to make sense when you said that actually the frameworks and the processes that you need to follow can sometimes take quite a long time to go through, to implement. I’m a big fan of the saying “You’re only as fast as the slowest person,” and I suppose it’s not just about the side of the relationship that is our support workers and the people that we’re employing, but it’s also the family: that context, that trauma context and with clients who have already had a lot happen to them. They need to be brought up to… they need to be worked with at the speed that they are coming at, with all of this.

Cecily 14:30

Yes. And I always remember – going back to one of my clients, again – I went in with a case manager… and I do like going to meet our clients wherever it’s possible (and obviously it hasn’t been possible). And the more we work with clients, if they’re too far away it’s obviously a cost also for us to go and meet them, but we can do it via things like Zoom. etc. So the clients and I had a mum say, “Well, I can’t come down to my kitchen anymore – it’s not my kitchen – on a Saturday morning, and just be in my pyjamas and make myself a cup of coffee, because there’s somebody always in the home with us. It’s not as if it’s our place.”

And obviously some families have got a place where their care staff have got a separate area, but not as often as that. And, you know, when we are working with people, those are the things we need to take into consideration. So, for instance, if we need to speak to a care worker, a support worker, it may not be possible to speak to them in the home because other care staff are around, and you have a family around. And if you want to talk about something private, you’ve got to find a different way to talk about it. The same thing with parents: now, I had a mum and dad – parents – who used to say they used to go to sit out in their car when they wanted to have a private talk, because there was always somebody in the home. So they would have a little drive, or go to the shops, or something to that effect.

And these are things that, as HR – as I said before, we follow these processes – we’ve still got to take into consideration that sometimes HR doesn’t come high on the list of people in the home, of important things. But at the same time it’s our responsibility also to help to educate the case managers we work with and the family, where necessary, that there are certain things that we need to do.

For instance, let’s take something like DBS [Disclosure and Barring Service]: we need to clear somebody off their DBS before they can actually go into somebody’s home, and it sometimes take a bit longer than you think it is going to take, fetching documentation, maybe taking longer than you want it to take. But all those things are important to be able to comfortably say, okay, you know, we’ve cleared somebody: happy for them to go and work with you now.

From the beginning of a relationship, the more you talk to people, the more you have that communication. And what I find is that very often we have issues that have been because it’s not clear to everybody what needs to happen.

A family took on a support worker: lovely person, just the right personality to fit in with family, but once she started working, it was clear that she didn’t have all the skills at the level that it was expected. There were things that we could do – she was still in a probationary period, so we could have said, “Okay, this isn’t working. We think we should finish, bring our relationship to an end.” But the parents really liked her. She was a lovely person, and she got on really well with their child. And so what we said is, okay, let’s look at what she needs.

And we started working with her on a little training programme. She didn’t pick things up as quickly as we wanted her to. And we’ve given her a timeframe of what she needed to do and how she needed to do it. She had a lot of input from the team leader who was there at the time, and she didn’t seem to be grasping what was needed for the care.

This actually went on for a while, and she was there for almost 18 months. She would improve, and then she’d go back and she would drop down a little bit. And eventually we said to her, “We need to have a look at what’s happening now.” And in talking to her, we guided the case manager and found out that she was actually having personal issues. So although she was learning, she wasn’t taking things in. And by working with her through a performance management type of role, we were able to make sure that she understood what her expectations were, and she was provided with the right training. And eventually something clicked, and we were really pleased that she turned things around.

And it was very much because of the support she had from both the case manager and the case manager communicating with the team leader, as well as the family, that things turned around and she started to work really well, settled in, and she’s still there a few years later. It made a big difference. But it can be frustrating.

Shabnam 20:18

That’s a real success story, I feel: the performance management scenario, if you like, because it doesn’t always turn out like that, does it?

Cecily 20:27

No, it doesn’t.

Shabnam 20:29

And that’s when we need you, Cecily!

Cecily 20:33

And when it doesn’t, what I say is just follow the rules, or follow the way that you know you should manage, and you should be okay. Because at the end of the day, if you think about it, it’s how you do things and how you treat people.

I have worked with someone that we needed to terminate, and it was actually through a redundancy, but by communicating openly and as far as possible, as honest as you can, that person actually, at the end of it turned around and said, “Thank you, you know, thank you for being respectful of my feelings, and of how I felt.” And I think that’s part of it, we’re all people, and we all have got feelings, and it’s how we deal with them, and with people.

I know it can be frustrating, because sometimes when you follow the rules, especially if somebody has been with you for quite a long time, and maybe things aren’t quite working out where you want them to work out, in a small team, working with families, it affects morale. And sometimes you’ve got to take a stronger view. And it might be making decisions that you’re not comfortable making. And I always say: as a case manager, talk to your HR person, because they can help you through it.

Shabnam 22:04

Yes, and I would say, with that idea of managing expectations, and the fact that there are rules to follow, and the process can mean that it takes longer than one would ideally like it to take, there is that… I call it ‘funk’. There’s a ‘funk’ in the air that happens, and it’s not nice for the family, it’s not nice for the team. And I suppose that idea of managing expectations has to extend beyond the employee and the case manager, in that sense.

There is that bringing in, and I think you use the word ‘nurturing’ before, and I think that’s quite a nice word to apply to this situation. There is that sense of kind of nurturing the family into what’s going on: inducting them, and making sure that they’re aware of the process.

I think you used the word ‘education’ as well. There’s a lot of education: for the family, for the care teams – for the other members of the care teams, not the person who is in the spotlight, so to speak – but you can’t overcommunicate in some ways. That’s how I feel, having gone through sort of this type of process, and certainly with you, Cecily, and your team: it feels like you can’t say too much sometimes in terms of following the rules and iterating and reiterating what the process is.

Cecily 23:36

Right, and you know, Shabnam, I think working in the personal injury sector, it’s a very different organisation to a normal business. It’s not your normal organisation: you’ve got to take so many people’s views into consideration.

Shabnam 24:01

And that’s really tricky, isn’t it? Because the family isn’t the employer, but they are the context: they are the environment in which people are working. And often it comes up, doesn’t it? You know, “The family are interfering,” or the family almost are perceived as an unimportant part of the employment arrangement. And sometimes I feel, as a case manager, that needs to be balanced. Because actually, no, you’re right, on some level: the framework doesn’t almost consider them. I know we raise it in contracts and person specs and things like that. But in terms of the way we tend to think about them, almost the family is the weakest link, or the least important of the links. I don’t know if that’s fair to say, but that’s sometimes something I see. But that actually they are quite important in the case management role because obviously we’re working on behalf of the clients, with their families, so actually their perception and their position in the work we do is actually ranked much higher.

Cecily 25:12

This is something that I have noticed, Shabnam: that very often – because the family are so close to the employment – it’s quite difficult to draw that line, if you like, between somebody in your home almost every day, you’re obviously going to get to know them quite well. But at the same time, you are, if you like, in place of the employer: as a family member, you still have to be mindful of the employment obligations that you have on behalf of the employer. And it’s actually something that I’ve thought a lot about, and I’m actually writing a book.

Shabnam 25:54

Cecily, I know, I can’t wait. It’s going to be great! But tell us about it.

Cecily 26:01

It’s coming along much slower than I expected. But hopefully it’s going to be geared to case managers; maybe deputies would like to share with some of their clients. But looking very much at the family and helping them to understand, although they are not the employer, they have got an obligation, as I’ve mentioned, because they have people in their home who are employed. Helping them to understand the things that they need to be aware of.

It’s not going to be a very heavy book, but something that’s going to hopefully be a reminder. You know: what are the things that you need to think about when you’re recruiting? Because not everybody’s got a case manager; not everyone’s fortunate enough to have a case manager. So… things that parents need to think about. And I’m hoping that through the case managers that we work with, and the deputies we work with, maybe more people can get hold of this information.

Shabnam 27:03

Yes, I do think… it is really unusual, because I think the other thing is case managers are not… we don’t necessarily have the skills to do the kind of – not to say that we can’t develop the skills, but it’s not a natural skill set for case managers to have – recruitment, managing disputes, grievances, balancing all the expectations, and the family who are part of our clients’ sphere, if you like, whose priorities we want to uphold, and then the care team are thinking, well, the most important thing is our client, and what’s been set out in our contract… Everyone’s priorities, and everyone’s emphasis is that bit different. And so we as case managers have to kind of juggle that, while maintaining that rapport with our families, while maintaining what’s in the best interest of our clients, and while retaining this care team, who we know are possibly doing a great job, but they may be upset by something in the way that things are going as a result of being in a family home, etc. And so it’s a really, really tricky balance, I find, to juggle. And we have team meetings on a regular basis…

I’m just wondering if there are any other sort of mechanisms for that communication, which is what I pin the ‘managing expectations’ aspects of what you’ve said on. What does communication look like, from an HR perspective? What’s the range of things that we as case managers and Personal Injury solicitors can think about, when trying to manage a team?

Cecily 28:57

As I mentioned at the beginning, I believe contracts are so important, because that actually lays the foundation for what you expect and what the employees expect. And I think it’s a good idea to help the families understand that, as well. You can breach your contract, through different ways.

What we do is we actually spend a lot of time on contracts because we tailor them: every family does things a little bit differently. We have a template for a contract; we try to tailor it so that it actually reflects what happens in that particular home.

Part of the idea is for case managers and families to feed into what we’re doing so that they understand what’s in the contract. And so when something happens or say, for instance, take holiday. Holiday is one of the big issues: everybody wants to know what their holiday is. But in the care industry, it’s not as clear-cut, because we have many people doing overtime – working outside their normal hours; we have what we call ‘bank’ agreements, where you have casual workers coming in – they’re not employed; you have people who are on zero-hours contracts, but they are employed. So you’ve got to manage their holiday as well: their time off, plus their pay. And those are things that a case manager, or the family… well, they may not have the knowledge of how to do it. And that’s something that we can help them with.

So the communication is helping the employee also to understand, and what we’ve been doing with some of our clients is, once we take on a new client, we try to have a staff meeting at some stage, with the team, to talk to them about some of the things that are in the contract: things about absence – how do you deal with absence, because very often, we find that when somebody is off sick, they don’t really communicate as well as you’d want them to. And we talk through these things as part of the staff meeting. And, very often, the staff will come up with ideas of how they can do things.

We had one just recently, where one of our clients said that he was finding it difficult, because some of the staff weren’t able to stay away overnight with him, when he had to go away. And, talking to the staff, we found out that, very often, many of our care staff have got other jobs. So if they went off and stayed overnight it meant that they weren’t in time for their next job. And so those are things we need to take into consideration.

Shifts – the way shifts are managed: we can again help our case managers and families, and it’s about communicating, again. Because it can’t always be, in every team, where there are certain set days that people know when they’re working, or set shifts that they know that they work in, and so they can actually manage their own personal time, where it’s possible to set out clear rotas for specific people.

It’s helpful, both from the client and family’s point of view, because they have a pattern of who’s going to be coming in when; from the employee’s point of view, if they have, say, for instance, other jobs, or they’ve got childcare arrangements, if they know when they’ve got to work, then it’s easier for them to manage that time, as well. So again, that’s all part of the communication: setting the expectations in communication.

Training – I think, as a case manager, you have to have your paid training. But I think most clients we work with have regular meetings with their care staff; they have supervisions. And, wherever possible, I’d say, if something’s not going right, deal with it as soon as possible – nip it in the bud. If you’ve spoken to someone about it, but later it comes back to haunt you, deal with it again. And so long as somebody knows what the expectation is, and they know that “Okay, if I’m going to do this again, I’ve been told this is the second time; next time it’s going to be more formal.” They they’re going to change the way they do things – well, that’s what we hope.

If they’re not told, if they’re not informed that they’re not doing something the way you want them to do it, they’re not going to know. And very often I find that if something’s not dealt with, the molehill starts becoming a mountain: much more difficult to deal with, if not dealt with right at the beginning.

Shabnam 34:23

Yes, it’s not for the avoidant personalities is managing HR, is it? I think that’s a really good point: that you know, nothing should really be left until it becomes bigger, and you can’t bury your head in the sand. I think that’s one of the biggest challenges in case management: that everything has to be dealt with at the moment… the point of them kind of being revealed. And so it can be relentless, which is why I think your point at the very beginning, which was to think about the relationships at the point of recruitment and all the way through to the end, because you will be able to work out who’s going to be a better fit, I suppose, or who’s going to be a good fit for that client, and who’s going to ultimately make life a bit easier in terms of managing, because it could get very, very tricky.

So, Cecily, you’re writing a book. What are your three top tips for us, when working with Personal Injury clients and family members? What would you say would be helpful strategies, maybe, or tips for us as case managers and deputies and Personal Injury solicitors listening in?

Cecily 35:45

I would say from the outset – and you’ve just touched on it, Shabnam – is make sure you know who you want to bring into the team, and why. So I’d say very clear job descriptions, so that it’s much easier when you want to recruit.

Communication is the other thing. I think communication with the care workers, with the employees, with the families, and with the deputies, and with your HR people, keep them in touch with what’s happening, because sometimes, even if you just have a quick chat about something that may be worrying you, or even sometimes we find that we’re not always clear who the staff are. Because things happen, like say, for instance, you’ve got bank staff, it may be that you’re not using them very often, but we may still have them on our books. So, talking about these things, I think, keeping us informed about who’s there. If you have any issues with staff you’re not clear about what to do, pick up the phone and talk to your HR person, and they will be often be able to help you.

Make sure that your contracts are clear about what your expectations are, and make sure that your staff know what the expectation is. And a big one, I think, is: because of the arrangement of employment with personal injury staff, sometimes the staff don’t actually know who the employer is. They may think it’s the case manager, they may think it’s the parents, sometimes they think it’s HR. Because they may not realize it’s a deputy. So that’s something that’s also important, to make sure they know who their employer is.

Shabnam 37:41

Yes, that’s really important. I suppose it then raises the question of, “Well, if you’re not my employer, as a case manager, then why am I even talking to you?” And so that becomes another issue in itself.

Cecily 37:54

That’s it. And that’s why I think it’s really important, when somebody is taken on during that induction period, it’s very important to set the scene: to be clear about who’s who, and what is expected of them. All those little things, even about reporting, keeping in touch; when you need to contact your manager, who you need to contact, if you’re off sick. Do I contact the parent? Do I contact the team leader? Do I contact my case manager?

Those are little things, but in the bigger scheme of things it means a lot, and very often it’s the parent who needs to know first, and very often the case manager or team leader, because then they – say, if somebody is going to be off ill or not at work – they’ve got to get somebody to cover the shift. It’s about communicating what may be seen as little things, but it can make a big difference to the care team.

Shabnam 38:58

Yes, definitely. That’s very helpful. Thank you. I think there’d be a million more suggestions and tips that you, I’m sure, would be able to impart to us, but we’ll stop it there for now.

I guess I find HR, working in the Personal Injury world and as a case manager, and how complicated the HR processes are, I think, for me, as a case manager, maybe my fourth tip, if I were bold enough to say, such a thing would be about how we as case managers would do well to keep in touch with the deputies about why something is taking as long as it is – and then our litigating solicitors of course, as well – why things are following the process that they’re following. Because sometimes some of these issues just feel like they need investigating; they might need more evidence-building; they’re based on receiving information from colleagues, etc. And until I entered grievance procedures – which, Cecily, you’ve coached us through very well – I don’t think I would have even thought about some of the things that you have shared with us over the years.

So you definitely need an HR company involved: don’t try and do it on your own. I think most of the audience will probably have worked that out already. But like you said, it’s a massive responsibility. And I would say it’s really important that people – case managers and our PI professional audience – know that there’s HR, and then there’s HR impact in the Personal Injury world. And you are best off getting a HR company who understands personal injury. Because, as you say, the nuances and the context are just so different to working in the corporate world that we need people like Embrace HR, and Cecily. So tell me, Cecily, if we were wanting to get in touch with you, how would we do it?

Cecily 41:04

Okay. Our website is www.embracehr.co.uk and our phone number and contact details are on there. Just give us a call or drop us an email to hello@embracehr.co.uk.

Shabnam 41:22

Lovely. And your team is pretty stable, isn’t it, at Embrace HR? So you generally will either get you, Cecily, or one of your admin team, which is really great. And I know you’ve got a couple of other people working with you as well, at least, in terms of the core team, which is really good.

Cecily 41:43

We’ve got a senior HR Adviser, Misty; and Deana and Bridgette are our HR Administrators: very, very experienced people and they do a job-share, so there’s always someone around.

Shabnam 41:58

That’s amazing. Thank you. And, of course, look out for your book!

Cecily 42:02

Yes, eventually…

Shabnam 42:04

Eventually. We’ll definitely want to plug that because I think it’s a resource that’s like no other resource out there, so we would probably do well to look into that, when it’s out. Well, Cecily, look: thank you so much for your time. It’s been an absolute pleasure to speak to you, to have you on, and for you to share your expertise. So I guess it sums it up as ‘communications and relationships in managing expectations’: that’s kind of the name of the game. So, Cecily, thank you so much for your time today. It’s been really informative.

Cecily 42:40

Thank you, Shabnam, for having me. I really appreciate it, and if we can help in any way please do give us a shout.

Shabnam 42:48

Brilliant, thank you. We’ll put your details in the shownotes. Thank you all for listening. If you did like this episode, please like, share and comment on whatever social media platform you use, and we’ll see you next time. Bye for now!

Guest: Cecily Lalloo, Embrace HR

Presenter: Dr Shabnam Berry-Khan, Director of PsychWorks Associates

Editor: Emily Crosby Media

Transcribed by https://otter.ai