Whenever speaking with care teams in whatever sector – community, acute or long term we are often examining how to improve care and I always get the three usual suspects of ‘solution’ – More Time – More Staff – More Money.
Unfortunately in the current climate none of these are going to materialise. they are clearly elements that have an impact upon how we operate, but because they will not in the vast majority of cases be supplied, we have to re-visit how we operate. Do we just work harder and faster at what we do? Of course not. Speaking to any care staff they are all shattered and working to capacity already.
When one day I said you have to be like Johann Cruyff I got a lot of blank looks. I then went on about how fantastic they were in the 1974 world cup and how they were robbed in the final by West Germany thanks to a dodgy referee decision by Jack Taylor a Wolverhampton butcher. – It was great reminiscence for me but the point i tried to make was that Cruyff was free to express himself in his role and in fact every player was capable of playing in any position on the pitch. Everyone was able to do everyone else’s job so – in response to the question about never having enough staff ( I can see you’re ahead of me here) – although they had the same number of player as the opposition it looked as though Holland had more players on the pitch – It then got us looking at a greater flexibility in our roles; about operating more smartly, about adapting job descriptions if necessary to give the ‘jobs worths’ license too; about shifting the work load to match peak periods of business; of supporting each other, building in an informal culture of reflective practice. We looked at making better use of the staff grapevine ( unsurpassable in its efficiency when there is a bit of juicy gossip) in order to share magic moments, learning points, questions much more efficiently. And of course we looked at matching what was on the agenda of those people with dementia using our services rather than making them fit into the bog standard current offer – So, to carry on the metaphor it is the person who is pulling the strings in the middle of the park – the midfield general, the maestro – the Johann Cruyff.