SSC (Tas) Home Care - Building Relationships and Increasing Consumer Engagement

Building Relationships and Increasing Consumer Engagement

Southern Cross Care (Tas.) is a not for profit organisation founded and sponsored by the Knights of the Southern Cross. Southern Cross Care (SCC) understands that more than 90% of older people prefer to live in their own familiar surroundings rather than enter residential care. For some this alternative is achievable with the assistance of a flexible individually tailored package of care.

The Southern Cross Care (Tas.) Inc. Community Division is able to offer a variety of home based services in Hobart, Georgetown, King Island, Devonport, Burnie, Somerset and Wynyard. Services in Launceston include Veterans Home Care, DVA Community Nursing and private fee for service.

Southern Cross Care has an enviable reputation for the provision of quality care, punctuality and reliability. We pride ourselves on service with the consumer at the centre of the care model.

Each consumer has a budget for their care consisting of income from the Government and their personal contribution. This budget is discussed and formulated in the home in unhurried discussions between the consumer and the case manager so the consumer can see exactly how their needs and aspirations can be best met.

Support in the home is provided by qualified and experienced staff who are selected for their personal attributes such as respecting the dignity and independence of each person ensuring a high standard of care in an individualised personal manner. All staff have a National Police Check and all programmes have achieved the Quality Reporting and Accountability systems assuring quality of care. Southern Cross Community Care has an enviable reputation for quality, reliability and personal service with a person centred care approach.

Consumer Experience Surveys

Southern Cross have continued to increase their survey participation rates and overall consumer experience survey results over the last 4 years and Judy shares with us some of the key reasons leading to this successful achievement.

Pre Survey Communications

Surveys are preceded by communication activities such as newsletters and staff communication. The communication campaign begins at least two weeks prior to the beginning of the survey period. The purposes of these communications are:

  • Make known that a survey will be administered,
  • Discuss the issues to be addressed by the survey,
  • How the information from the survey will be used,
  • What kinds of decisions will be made based on the survey responses, with particular regard to how they will affect individual participants,
  • How previous surveys have shaped decisions

Direct Access to the Survey

Getting the survey into the hands of the consumer with little or no effort on their part is a key to boosting participation.

We distribute our Consumer Surveys by giving them to our field staff and they deliver them directly to the consumer. We also attach a customized letter explaining the process and how their feedback and results will be used to identify areas that we do well and can improve.

The Family Representative Surveys are posted in the mail with a covering letter attached explaining what the survey is about and what we do with the results. A self-addressed stamped envelope is provided to make it easy for family members to return the surveys.

Increased Awareness and Communication

Consumers and families must be shown that the survey results are attended to and have an impact. Soon after the conclusion of the surveys, information is shared proactively with all key stakeholder groups.

These post survey communications include:

  • Newsletter detailing the major survey findings and next steps in the use of the data, such as how the data will be used for making decisions or other change.
  • Findings are also discussed at the Risk Management meetings and the Senior Executive meetings.

Relationship Building with Consumers

One of the key reasons we continue to have such good responses and results is because we visit our consumers frequently and have built up very good relationships with both consumers and their families. Also contributing to this is the exceptionally high staff retention with consumers and families seeing familiar faces over a long period of time. We pride ourselves in providing consistent quality care that is delivered at the times and days that have been arranged with the Consumer/Family representative.

Both Judy (Community Care Coordinator) and the RN (Case Manager) have worked with SCC for 8 years also providing consistency with case management services.