To “care” so thoroughly is what makes PJ “Care” unique. As Elsey explained: “There are companies that offer parts of what we do, but nobody covers our business model. We work with families, charities and the NHS to ensure high quality care for their residents. We also have three specialist neurological units available in Milton Keynes, as well as four care units and a rehabilitation service at our Eagle Wood centre in Peterborough.”
Never was there a better time to shine a torch on helping with a smile. The sector is facing numerous challenges, not least funding, bed shortages and an ageing population, according to Elsey. He pointed out a national shortage of qualified nurses. However, there have also been improvements in terms of understanding, diagnosis, prevention, cure and advancements in care.
He places much emphasis on the word “understanding,” telling Real Business how it proved an obstacle in PJ Care’s growth journey – and how it impacted on the company’s culture.
“When Eagle Wood opened, there was a lack of understanding in the adult social care team working for the City Council, which to some extent was replicated through our colleagues in health. The complexity of the needs and the presentations of residents, was on the whole, incomprehensible and the result was a ‘blame culture’ and suspicion on both sides,” detailed Elsey.
“From the perspective of PJ Care, the safeguarding team sought opportunities to find fault and did not know the difference between an ‘Incident’ and a ‘safeguarding issue’ was. And from the perspective of the safeguarding team, PJ Care and specifically Eagle Wood, demonstrated a defensive and uncooperative stance. There was a breakdown in relations that resulted in the involvement of legal teams.
“A sequence of meetings were undertaken with senior adult social care officers of the council and the senior management team of PJ Care. These meetings had a positive outcome and, consequently, there were a number of changes in personnel, creating an opportunity to rebuild professional relations from all sides.
“Through this process, common ground was found and a mutual desire to move forward in a coherent and constructive way was sought. It was agreed that a forum, populated by local care providers, the adult social care team, the safeguarding board and partners from health, would help. This would enhance communication and understanding, devising a framework for collaborative working with the aim of caring for and protecting vulnerable adults.”
Since then, the company has gone from growth success to growth success, with Elsey suggesting the business will “never stay still.”
Pointing out what was in store, he added: “We are continually reviewing what we do, we are a learning organisation so we are always looking for ways to deliver better care. We are currently finalising the location of our next care centre so we are hoping construction will be underway before the end of the year.”
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