Advanced support level 4 trainees Dana Huhu, left, Heather Whyte, Cathy Blandford, Gay Taylor, Lisha Wellington, Wendy Lintern, Judy Le Gros, and Kath Russell. Absent: Beth Caley. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

JAKE BELESKI
jake.beleski@age.co.nz

Aged care providers in Wairarapa have put aside competition to pool resources in the name of quality elderly care.

Arbor House Trust of Greytown, Martinborough’s Wharekaka Rest Home, and Carterton’s Carter Court Rest Home and Roseneath Lifecare have piloted a joint workplace training collective with the support of their industry training organisation, Careerforce.

Robyn Brady, nurse manager at Arbor House, said smaller rest homes often did not have a big organisation supporting them to provide a clinical educator for training.

“So it usually falls to the clinical manager to do that as well as performing the rest of the role.”

The rest home collective brought together caregivers who are working to achieve NZQA-recognised qualifications at levels 3 and 4 on the national qualification framework.

The managers and their Careerforce workplace adviser, Jo Rea, take turns facilitating discussions on different topics, and they leverage off each other’s expertise and experience to provide guidance on what is expected of the caregivers as they undertake their assessments.

“We’re all in the same boat,” Ms Brady said.

“We all have the same issues, and our caregivers are finding that.

“Through these joint training sessions, they can tap into other people’s skills, experience and knowledge to improve their practice.”

Carter Court Rest Home nurse manager, Lynley Batson, said staff training was crucial.

“It underpins everything . . . doing it this way, we share the load.”

Each of the participating rest homes has committed to providing staff with time to attend sessions once a month, while adjusting rosters to support the training.

Roseneath Lifecare clinical services manager Stacey Smyth said it was all about commitment.

“Management at all levels need to be committed – I think consistency is really important.”

At the group sessions caregivers are encouraged to discuss their work challenges and share how they work to overcome those challenges in their own rest homes.

Dana Huhu, a caregiver at Carter Court Rest Home, said it was a great way to get an insight into how other teams in the same industry work.

“You can feed off each other and learn what works for them.

“Having the support network is a big help.”

Corlette Doherty, manager at Wharekaka Rest Home, said it was about putting the needs of patients first.

“There are so many benefits to pooling resources like this.

“Our residents ultimately benefit with the quality of service and care our caregivers provide.”