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Opening a care home? op 5 things you need to do first

A 2019 report from the ONS in 2019 says that the UK’s population is ageing. By 2050, one on four people in the country will be over 65 years old. This is up from the current figure of one in five. Although healthcare is getting better all the time, it’s likely that many elderly people will need care services. Opening a care home looks like to be more demanding in future.

What are the steps to opening a care home?

opening a care home - girl taking care of an elderly man

Running a successful care home is more important than ever to meet the growing need for quality older people’s care. Providing compassionate care with long-term business planning is the most important thing you need to know about opening a new care home. So, here are five areas to think about.

1. Build a business plan

As with any business idea, putting together a plan for opening a care home business is important. It sets out what you want to do, how you plan to do it, and what you will need. Having a plan written down for opening a care home also keeps you focused and motivated when things get tough. Make sure your business plan includes the following:

  • Basic idea of what you want to do
  • Strategy and actions you plan to take
  • Risk assessment
  • Services and what makes them attractive
  • Markets you are aiming at
  • Your team and their strengths
  • Finances: how much money do you need to open a care home?

Don’t forget to think about other issues like heating cost hikes, emergency repairs, recruitment costs, infections and so on. 

2. Put your residents first

The Care Quality Commission , which oversees health and social care in England, places huge importance on people-centred care. As a result, a successful care home must put their residents’ needs first. Residents fare better when they lead fulfilling lives with as much independence as possible. Allow residents to have a say in how they are looked after.

opening a care home - residents

Share information about residents’ needs to the right members of staff because they can then make sure people receive the right care. As the registered manager, get to know people from the start. Walk the halls, join in activities and be available for meetings with staff, residents and families. Ask for feedback regularly via questionnaires and chats. Open a visitors’ book for comments because you should take people’s responses seriously.

3. Look for your USPs

People have a huge choice these days when it comes to choosing residential  and nursing care in England. Make your nursing care home stand out for the right reasons by employing the best people to deliver excellent care. Offer a quality experience with delicious food, comfortable facilities and interesting activities. Ask people what they would like to see happen. This approach will be popular and will help spread the word when you open your new care home as a result. Organise a programme of regular and one-off fun events to keep things interesting.

4. Health and safety

Getting the health and safety rules right is the most important aspect of opening a care home. Especially since COVID-19 hit, leading to all kinds of new guidelines, laws and advice. Make sure these areas are covered, for instance:

  • Staff training in health and safety, manual lifting and first aid
  • Proper storage and dispensing of medications
  • COVID-19 care home procedures
  • Infection control and emergency medical care
  • Care home visiting guidelines
  • Cleanliness and safe storing of chemicals
  • Fire safety protection for staff and residents

Make sure you and your staff follow all health and safety rules and share a passion for protecting everyone’s wellbeing. You cannot do this alone, so delegate what you can to trusted employees to share the load. Offer excellent training and support – and set an example of your own high standards right from Day One.

5. Secure savvy software

Finally, a successful UK residential care home will only be as good as the management systems that support it. Therefore, choose a software that is going to be implements with care before opening a care home. Invest in decent software to help with accounting, resident care, ordering, medication and anything else you may need. Update this regularly and take any training on offer around its use.

opening a care home - softwatre

Software like this can be invaluable in the early days of opening a new nursing home. This is because can help with business planning, housekeeping, medications, family visits and helping residents communicate their needs.

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