Case Study Week 8

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Prolix Initiative - Care workers case study
Introduction
Kevin Pudney and Malcolm Rose have worked in the care sector for over 20 years. Their most recent job is part of a European project aimed at improving training and development in business and 'speeding the time to competency'. More information on the research project is available on the Prolix website (www.prolixproject.org). The project was conducted in partnership with Social Care Institute of Excellence. The social care sector in UK was chosen to test the new systems developed as part of the project. The researcher spent 3 years in Suffolk working with 6 care homes owned by The Partnership In Care (TPIC) group. The Social Care Institute of Excellence (SCIE) [1] is responsible for this social care 'test-bed' and will assess the impact of the project. What's the problem?

Statistics from the Labour Force Survey show that Care Assistants and Home Carers report higher than average levels of stress related illness caused or made worse by the work they do. The PROLIX project aimed to develop systems that would help improve working lives of managers and staff at the homes. The project was not about work related stress, but the researchers recognised that there were factors present that can be associated with cases of work related stress. Staff turnover was about average for a sector that has a generally high turn over rate at around 25%. However, it was particularly high in one home after management problems, where analysis showed turnover in the previous two years of 57%. As skilled staff are replaced by unskilled staff, it increases the training demands on management. It is well established that people who need help with social care want the same carer to care for them consistently; especially those who need help with washing, dressing etc. Where homes have a high turn over rate or rely on temporary or ‘bank’ staff they struggle to offer this consistency of care to the people who live at the home. Other...
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