How We Offer Support for Carers

If you're wondering how your first month working in care might look, or what kinds of ongoing training you can receive, then keep reading as we lift the lid on our carer support services.


If you're wondering how your first month working in care might look, or what kinds of ongoing training you can receive, then keep reading as we lift the lid on our carer support services.

What would your first few weeks as a carer look like? How might ongoing training go? Here, we lift the lid on our carer support services.

Vicki has been at Bluebird Care Gosport for around four and a half years, having started as a Care Assistant. When we first shared her story just over 18 months ago, she’d just been promoted to Senior Care Assistant. Since then, she’s received another promotion into a Care Supervisor role, where she’s responsible for practical and emotional support for carers in our Gosport office, as well as assistance to help to further our carers’ careers.

We recently sat down with Vicki to discuss her role in a carer support and how she helps the team at every stage of their Bluebird Care journey.

New carer assistance

“My role is really to make sure our team feel supported and loved so they can be the best carers they can be,” says Vicki. “It’s also about letting them know what benefits they have available, so they can always get support when they need it.

“That starts as soon as they join Bluebird Care,” she explains. Our new care assistants have an initial three days of training with our manager Katy at which point I’ll introduce myself and tell them I’ll be there to offer support and any additional training they need."

“I’m also there if they need to change their hours. If they find their current hours aren’t suitable we can work around that and get them amended, or I can add more hours in for them if they need them.

“After their training they have shadow shifts and I’m on hand for them to ask questions and seek extra training and feedback if needed. Then once they’re out on the road on their own I’ll go out and observe them once a week or every other week. I’ll also book them in for regular supervision meetings so they can tell us how they’re doing, how they’re finding their round, if they’re getting on with their customers and if anything needs changing.

“That all goes on for the first 12 weeks while they’re on probation, after which they get a certificate and a nice big bunch of flowers to say ‘well done,’ and it then moves to monthly observations and supervision. Unless they tell us they need more, of course – in which case we can book in additional supervision to make their life better.

“There really is support offered all the time to new carers. We want them to feel at home right away and that nothing they face in their first few weeks is too big or too scary, or on the other hand, that nothing is too small or silly to ask about.”

Care for experienced carers

“At the other end of the extreme is the support we offer to our existing and experienced carers,” says Vicki. “There can be times on the job where they encounter something difficult or sensitive and need some help or advice to decide the right way forward.

“A good example is that we have some customers who are a little lonely and occasionally they enjoy a little bit of a gossip. They mean it harmlessly enough but sometimes their memory isn’t the best – some are in the early stages of dementia – and so the things they tell their relatives, or other carers, might not match what has actually happened. So it can end up a little like Chinese Whispers with the different care staff trying to decide who has said what and what really happened!”

“Those kinds of situations can cause undue stress, so it’s important to have someone whose job is to offer emotional support for carers. In my role, they can come to me, talk about their concerns, and if it upsets them I can make sure they work with customers they’re best suited to."

Stepping up

“Another really rewarding part of what I do is asking and encouraging our care assistants to step up into other roles, like I did,” says Vicki. “For instance, Nicky, who was until recently a part-time care assistant, has now   taken on additional mentoring duties where she helps the team by offering extra support on top of what I can offer in my role."

In particular, Nicky observes our probationary staff which means they get   feedback from more than one source, and is happy to give them her   number so they can ask any questions – though ideally inside office hours! 

 She also works evening care shifts and may increase those hours too now   her kids are at school and she has her days back – so it shows how flexible   we can be, and how the care for carers that we offer is flexible, too.

Supporting our carers’ careers

“We also offer specialist training to those who want to take it,” says Vicki. “Our care assistants can train to be specialists in things like dementia care, end of life care, manual handling… and in general, we offer a lot of different career opportunities.

For instance, we can offer NVQs and related courses. We have a couple of people doing those. I’m actually doing my NVQ level three at the moment which shows just how invested Bluebird Care have been in me. It really is a place that opens up career paths the more you invest in your career."

The extra benefits of being a Bluebird

“We also get the team together a lot to create a family feeling,” says Vicki. “We have monthly coffee mornings, a regular summer BBQ and occasional pub lunches together away from work, getting to have a laugh and get to know each other better.

“Added to that, we offer flexible contracts that work around our care staff’s availability, and things like 28 days paid annual leave, their birthday off, paid travel time and money towards their mileage, and access to the WPA app for workplace benefits once they’ve passed their probation. That includes things like claiming back for dentist and opticians’ appointments, so our carer support services extend to their actual physical wellbeing too."

Empowering you to care

“As a business we believe the better we support our care staff, the more we empower them to be at their best so that our customers receive the best care possible,” says Director of Bluebird Care Gosport, Kat Thomas. “It’s a big part of what makes Bluebird Care special.

“We’re really proud to have people like Vicki making that possible, and we’re always delighted to be able to reward that kind of commitment from our team with more opportunities for them to grow carers’ careers.

“Care work isn’t easy, but it’s such a wonderful industry to be a part of,” continues Kat. "So if you’re reading this and wondering what it would be like to join us, you can be sure you’d be incredibly well looked after.”

Want to work somewhere you’ll feel fully supported to make a massive difference?

If that’s a yes, and you have what we call ‘the caring bone’ in your body, then we’d love to hear from you!

Take a look at the blogs below to get a feel for being a Bluebird, then visit our careers page to see our open Gosport carer roles. Alternatively, get in touch with us to learn even more about carers careers in the blue of Bluebird Care!

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