In a world which has been thrown into chaos by the Covid-19 virus, many organisations have struggled with the pace and ferocity of change to their industries. Care provider Draycott Nursing & Care on the other hand, have seemingly vaulted their own considerable Covid-19 hurdles elegantly. The company employs 40 nurses and 122 carers who provide high quality care for a wide range of people in the safety and comfort of their own home. These include individuals who require support with physical injuries, dementia care and end of life care.
The acute dangers of Covid-19 to their clients (some of whom would be classed as very vulnerable) and its very contagious nature, made dealing with the virus in a comprehensive way, imperative for Draycott.
KCW talked to Draycott’s Chief Executive Officer, John Turk and Client Liaison Manager, Lauren Pickles to uncover how they have thrived where so many have not.
Preparing for Covid-19
One of the keys to Draycott’s triumphs in managing the virus so well, is its thorough preparation and planning. As Turk says, “Way back when the virus was just breaking out in the UK, we were having daily strategy meetings discussing the threat to our clients and the best way to avoid these”. Due to these frequent meetings, staff and management have had a clear understanding of the most up-to-date methods of dealing with the virus. According to Turk, “Lauren has been phenomenal over this period in digesting and organising a vast volume of information in order for us as an organisation to always be in step with the latest guidance”.
Draycott’s team somewhat unsurprisingly (given the background of its Chief Executive as a Royal Engineer and Gurkha in The Queen’s Gurkha Engineers) has gone about tackling the virus with military precision. This has meant the implementation of an impressive and comprehensive 22-page Covid-19 contingency plan. This plan stipulates how to deal with a VUCA (Volatile Uncertain Complex and Ambiguous) situation such as the Covid-19 outbreak. At its core, the plan as Turk puts it is about “developing novel practice with the information we have”. Not only is the plan robust but it is “agile” and has led to such great outcomes; enabling our nurses and carers to continue to deliver the same outstanding level of care as in normal times, creating an atmosphere of calm and reassurance that is so important to maintaining the spirits and wellbeing of our clients and the peace of mind for their family that their loved ones are well looked after.
Staff and service quality
Another factor as to why Draycott continues to repel the dangers of the virus, especially from the point of view of the organisation themselves, is the excellent quality of the staff that they employ. “Each of our carers and nurses are subject to multiple levels of vetting and are trained to the highest possible standard” says Pickles. Indeed, as Turk points out, it is not enough that they have the best qualifications, but in selecting prospective employees he says “We look for people who have an innate passion for caring and people who are truly compassionate towards their fellow human beings”.
As with any operation, the importance of the staff is always crucial. Yet when both medical and emotional care is involved, as they are at Draycott, this is twice as critical and probably why Draycott places such a keen focus on having the best staff.
When it comes to the actual service that Draycott provides, the company incorporates a policy born out of two disparate but complimenting ideals. These are, according to Turk, of “old school standards” and “innovation”. Old-school standards to Draycott means that care is specific, and relationship based, rather than based on what some might say are the new-school ideals of efficiency and expediency. This is exemplified in the care provider’s minimum 1-hour care policy. Pickles says that “Whereas some care providers might be content with staff visiting for 15 minutes or so, we make sure that our staff visit for a minimum of an hour”. This is important because as Pickles explains, it allows time for not only the clients’ various physical needs to be addressed but for the emotional requirements to be met also. “We provide a very personal service” says Pickles. So personal in fact, that each carer or nurse is assigned to their clients based on both training required and overlapping interests. “If a client has a love of cooking for example, we would try and match them with a carer who also enjoys being in the kitchen” says Pickles. The level of specificity that goes into each client’s care is again another strength which underlies how Draycott have thwarted Covid-19 and kept standards so high.
The other ideal of innovation is about being flexible under pressure and as previously mentioned building novel practice to deal with new issues. A good example of how Draycott has upheld this value is by equipping each nurse and carer with a Covid-19 utility pack, meaning that no Draycott staff working in the field is ever without appropriate PPE.
When it comes to looking forward for Draycott Nursing & Care Turk says, “We are embarking on a new venture and have partnered with Auriens Chelsea as their official care partner. The inaugural Auriens scheme situated in the heart of Chelsea, due to open in summer 2021, will deliver 56 exquisitely designed residences alongside unparalleled services and an exceptional health and wellness offering.
As a part of Auriens, residents are offered a wide range of amenities, which include a restaurant, wine room, cinema, speakeasy bar, pool & spa, gym, beauty salon and a beautifully appointed courtyard garden. A first-class team will also be on hand to cater for any requirement; Claridge’s, the Four Seasons group, Mustique Island and Jumeriah Hotels are just a few of the names on the Auriens team’s resumes.
In terms of less tangible goals, Turk says that the team at Draycott are focussing on “getting better and better, developing our team and becoming stronger as an organisation”. A most essential value both Turk and Pickles agree on when facing this virus in the context of a global pandemic, is a sense of humour. “In a role which is very serious and intense, it is hugely important to have the ability to relieve tension by being human”.
Finally, Draycott “take pride in being regarded as the most discreet and professional homecare service provider in the nursing and care industry” says Turk.