• OPINION: Improving the image of care

    By Care Home Management

    With Care Home Open Day just around the corner (June 28), care home managers may well be wondering whether it’s worth the effort to get involved.

    After all, unless you work in, or have a friend or relative in a care home, why on earth would you be interested in visiting one? 

    There is no doubt that care homes have a PR problem. In our recent exclusive online feature, Winning hearts in your local community (visit https://chmonline.co.uk/portfolio/winning-hearts-in-your-local-community/) the King’s Fund tells us that public dissatisfaction levels with care run at one in three people.

    It goes without saying that this made more headlines than the Adult Social Care Survey 2017-18 that found only 2 per cent of service users were “extremely” or “very dissatisfied”. This kind of coverage doesn’t always make it easier to change people’s perceptions.

    Many homes can worry about receiving bad publicity and this could make them reluctant to take part in CHOD. But training is available from the Care Home Management team to help homes deal with potentially-difficult questions from the public and the media. 

    In our work media training care homes and their suppliers, we know that the key is to be prepared. So, before the day think through what could go wrong and what you might be asked. What are the most difficult questions that could come your way? Once you have considered the difficult areas, you can think about your answers. Perhaps, people think residents are not active enough or that care is old-fashioned. If so, make sure you talk about all the activities you do and your investment in this area. Even demonstrate some of them on the day. 

    Perhaps, the public have heard reports of poor food in care homes. Why not ensure you show them your menu and demonstrate some of the food that is served during the week and allow people to taste it?

    If the media pick up on a more serious negative story from the past then think about what changes and investment have been made since that time to show that you have taken concerns seriously and improvements have been made.

    Events such as CHOD are designed to help change negative perceptions and raise awareness of the high quality environment and care that care homes can offer. Make sure your home gets the most out of the opportunity it presents.  

    Care Home Management will be at the Care Forum, so if you’d like more information on how to improve your home’s image, visit our website or come and talk to us on our stand.

    www.chmonline.co.uk

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