August 02, 2021

Article

With the care sector gradually opening again, we thought it was time that we gave thoughts to ways to help you increasing occupancy and public confidence.

A successful care home in 2020 has vision, resilience, stamina, smart ways of thinking, a friendly, safe, and environmentally conscious service offering, with a steadfast career development programme and strong well-being policies to offer to your front-line workers. The fact of the matter is that these factors all existed pre-pandemic and now they are magnified.

You need to be collaborative with your fellow care homeowners as well as being different. Collaboration can be hugely helpful for things that you don’t excel at and you should always have the question in your mind “why would people choose to come to this home?”

As well as keeping up with regulation and government guidance regularly stand back and look at your business. Obtain regular feedback from staff forums and people that use your service as well as family members. Appoint a champion to review the feedback and create an enabled action plan. Regularly look at the results of the action plan and revisit it. Always ask yourself and your staff ‘what can be done better?’

We are always asked what makes some care homes have full occupancy and others less than 80%, even before the pandemic took a hit on occupancy and public confidence levels.

Consider these top tips, not exhaustive by any means, but lines of thought that we get regularly asked about:

  • Reputation (whether you’re new to the business or experienced) is all-important, so create positive news stories to get the local community talking about you. As your business grows keep your website relevant, such as your vaccine policy and commitment to safe care. All this goes without saying but you need to communicate effectively to get heard.
  • Focus on your service offering, geographical area and highlight your expertise. Ensure that you are reaching out to potential residents that your care home will be suitable for, reach out to the community, increase daily visits to your vibrant website, connect with local GP practices, hospitals, and local authority, the latter even if you are a solely private service.

  • Hold local presentations at village/town community centers so that people can ask about care and options open to them. Treat these sessions as community giving to help people fathom the intricacies of care and its funding. You will be remembered and the first port of call when the need arises.

  • Consider how to stand out from other care services, including domiciliary and supported living. Many people continue to enter a care home at the point of need. Strong community engagement could lead to people entering your service before this entry point, as a continuation of living life to the full

  • If there is a choice between better or different, think outside the box and think different. Always keep at the top of your mind, why come to your care home as opposed to domiciliary or live-in care or another care home? Think innovative. This applies to the care sector as well as other businesses

  • Analyze your service each week/month and decide what is working or not working. Having those positive reviews and testimonials on your website, whether starting up in a business or a growing group of care homes, is vital to the success of your service offering. Make sure that your team is as excited as you are about your service to ensure all are on board and you take the team with you on your journey.
  • Keep your website relevant with weekly updates if you can manage this – this all helps to keep visits to your website and spreads the word about your service.


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