When it comes to care home policies, it’s often the case that small, seemingly mundane practices can reap serious rewards.

‘I don’t take on big things. What I do, pretty much, is make the big things small and the small things big.’

Larry David

The Curb Your Enthusiasm star may not be the first person that springs to mind when you’re a care home manager looking for a guiding light, but there’s something to be said for his process. The small things matter. Here are three care home policies that could save a life:

1. The Care Certificate

Designed to ensure that your staff are able to do their jobs properly and confidently, the Care Certificate should be at the top of your list. Not only is it now a requirement of all care home staff – laid out in the CQC standards – but it’s also a fantastic way for managers to guarantee that their staff know what they’re doing.

Made up of 15 minimum standards that candidates have to meet, the Care Certificate covers everything from effective communication to basic life support and infection prevention. Making it a part of your onboarding process for new staff, and giving existing employees the option to refresh their knowledge, is a simple way to check that all of your staff are equipped to do their jobs. Whether it’s day-to-day tasks or a high pressure situation, their training will kick in.

2. Statement of purpose

Incorporating a statement of purpose into your care home’s governance might seem like a bit of a box-ticking exercise, but it can be an invaluable process when it comes to running your facility effectively.

A thought-through statement of purpose provides a standard reference for all of your staff when they’re not sure about the core functions of the care home, and the goals you have for the care you provide. This can be incredibly handy when onboarding new team members.

The life of a care home manager is a busy, sometimes confusing one, but purpose statements are there to help you prioritise your work and attention.

It will also include an inventory of your current assets, whether that means equipment, staff, or the state of the building itself. Creating this sort of paper trail gives you an overview of the resources at your disposal as a manager.

3. A detailed maintenance schedule

Take Alexander Graham Bell’s advice when it comes to crafting a maintenance policy:

‘Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.’

When it comes to looking after your facility and the equipment within it, proactive maintenance is the best policy to adopt. Keep a detailed schedule for you and your staff to check that everything is clean and in working order. You’ll catch any issues before they get the chance to become serious, and be the apple of many a CQC inspector’s eye for doing so.

Small investments, big rewards

‘Making the small things big’ can mean that the really big things take care of themselves – especially when it comes to care home management. 20 percent of care facilities aren’t up to scratch, and they’re not just annoying inspectors, they’re potentially putting lives at risk by missing the mark.

Make sure you’re integrating these policies and others like them into your care home operations, and you’ll be safeguarding against life-threatening slip-ups further down the line.

Thanks to freepik.com for the photograph.

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