Working in a care home can be challenging for most healthcare professionals. Even those with years of experience can find that their role has a number of obstacles that need to be overcome in order to succeed and deliver the highest standard of care.
The very nature of care homes means that healthcare professionals will have to meet the needs of people who may have wide and varied health problems. As this can sometimes be complicated, having clear, independent guidance on how to deliver care can be a valuable resource for those working in this setting.
Having appropriate support for healthcare professionals can enable them to quickly and easily identify the best course of action or diagnose a health problem someone may be facing.
The Living Well Through Activity in Care Homes toolkit was released by the College of Occupational Therapists (COT) in 2013. Since its launch, the body has asked for opinion and feedback on the resource so it can further improve it and make it more suitable for healthcare professionals in these settings.
To encourage more engagement, the COT has opened a new survey to evaluate the guidance and identify areas where it could be boosted to help more professionals provide a consistently high standard of care.
The COT says "great strides" have been taken to significantly improve the quality of life for people living in care homes across the UK and it had seen wide-adoption of its recommendations by healthcare professionals.
Karin Orman, professional practice manager at COT, said there had been very positive feedback to the toolkit, which suggests it has opened up "fresh avenues" for healthcare professionals by encouraging them to work more closely with care homes. These closer ties with care homes can be the result of having connections with them, as well as being directly employed.
The College said it was encouraging its members to put the toolkit into practice and that many were being trained in how to do this. Through this, it hopes that the guidance can be a resource for professionals in a variety of settings other than care homes, especially community-based services that support those with mental health problems.
By launching the survey, the COT hopes to better measure the impact of its toolkit and see how it is making a difference. In addition, it wants to see how it is making a difference and how it could better target practitioners, the public and wider practice culture.
Ms Orman said: "The success of this survey is therefore important for us to be able to continue this momentum into the future so we do encourage members to take the time to respond." The survey will remain open until February 5th.