It is vital that Borough Care designs and delivers care that meets the needs of the communities we serve. For 30 years, we have sought to encourage and support our residents to live their best lives, whatever their age, health, or capability. We work hard to recognise, respect and cater for all abilities, races, cultures, beliefs, orientations and identities in our care homes. Our aim is to create environments in which older people can stay well and live ‘Life in Colour’.
We are committed to hearing from a range of people about their expectations, fears and wishes for current, or future care needs.
We have commissioned an independent agency (Community Catalysts) to engage with our residents and families to hear directly about their experiences.
We have commissioned a research partner (PS Research) to explore and identify methods, or channels of engagement that might better enable the effective flow of information between our residents, families, staff and others.
We hold periodic ‘listening events’, to help us hear from groups of people whose specific needs we want to understand better, most recently working with specialist agencies and self-selecting autistic people, to understand how we might provide care in a way that better meets the needs of older autistic people.
We are working towards the Pride in Care accreditation with Opening Doors and separately with Stonewall to review, improve, diversify and promote our approach and our openness to better meeting the needs of LGBTQ+ older people in our homes, and supporting their choices and interests.
We are talking to local community leaders, through a series of focus groups with second-generation family members in the local Gujarati community. Again, we are hoping to better understand how we can provide suitable, high quality and culturally competent care for members of the Gujarati community and their friends and families.
We have developed and are building upon our partnership with Vegetarian for Life, an organisation which represents older vegetarians and vegans, to gain accreditations for all our homes, but more importantly to diversify and improve our dining choices. We continue to work with our catering teams to expand the range of options available to vegetarians, vegans, and those who simply don’t fancy the meat option on any given day!
As an Employer…
We are continuously developing our commitment to inclusion, and one way we do this is through celebrating our differences and inviting employees to take part. Here are some of the ways we celebrate difference in the workplace:
We celebrate and uplift our LGBTQ+ colleagues and residents during Pride month celebrations and all year round.
We recognise and promote many significant calendar events such as International Women’s Day, or Mental Health Awareness week.
We encourage events in our care homes where employees are invited to showcase the foods of their culture.
Gender-inclusive language is, of course, an important part of diversity and inclusion as one of our company values, and encouraging employees and leadership to share their personal pronouns is a way to create an inclusive working environment. We are making pronoun badges available to all our team members at Borough Care to celebrate Pride Month in 2023.
We are completely confident that men and women are paid equally for doing equivalent jobs across our organisation. We continue to review our recruitment practices to aim to attract more diverse applicants to our sector. We also continue to support flexible working practices. Find out more in our Gender Pay Gap Report 2022.
It is hugely important for us that all our employees feel supported at work. We have a flexible approach to holidays and enable employees to have days off, wherever possible, to observe and celebrate personally important days, cultural and religious holidays, and a range of other events to support inclusion as a core company value. We recognise significant cultural events and encourage our wider teams to learn more about different religious and cultural holidays, such as our recent work around supporting colleagues during Ramadan.
We promote open communication and discussion throughout our workforce all year round and encourage employees to feedback on their thoughts and opinions. We have commissioned an independent external provider, ‘Say So’, to provide a completely anonymous and confidential reporting facility (using cost-free telephone or online options) for staff to report any issue that affects our services and standards. We deliver quarterly Staff Forums where we welcome a representative from each service to speak to our senior team on behalf of their teammates. We hold a schedule of regular Home Visits, which see our CEO, Dr Mark Ward and our Chair, Isla Wilson, visit each care home (day and night) to meet privately with staff member and give them space to raise any issues. Most importantly, we act on the feedback and information received through all these engagement initiatives, making changes in our approach to care; making physical changes to our homes; changing policy, such as introducing new Sick Pay and Extraordinary Medical Leave policies; or developing a new means by which to provide good food to residents, who are most active at night.
We are proud to be a multi-generational workforce and respect that people from different generations have varying world views, ways of working, core values, and experience – all of which make for a more diverse workplace. We have apprenticeships, international students and people starting their first ever job, whilst some of our wonderful team members have worked with us for over fifty years, and the expertise and dedication of every person is welcomed, admired and celebrated.