Some staff have raised concerns about a few issues at Coroneagh Park recently, so we wrote to Respect about them.
Here’s what Respect said:
Dodgy DECT phones:
"Following a review of our Dect phone equipment and the corresponding maintenance requests from March 2021 (of which there were 2), we have found that all Dect phone devices located at Coroneagh Park are in acceptable working order. We find it necessary to correspond with staff at Coroneagh Park from time to time to remind the user to ensure the volume is set to an audible level."
Short staffing has become the norm and staff are often taken off the floor to help with admin duties:
"We can confirm that no direct care staff have been removed from their position within the facility to assist with the workload of our administration team at Coroneagh Park. Recently we had transitioned a Personal Care Assistant into the position of Administration Assistant. The transitioned employee had been completing work in the administrative department as part of a supernumerary return to work program. In regards to the current level of staffing, we can confirm that we have recently recruited an additional 7 care staff during March2021 and will continue to engage additional staff over the coming months to assist with the coverage of both unexpected and planned leave."
Activities for residents have been cancelled because Leisure and Lifestyle staff have been removed from doing activities to help out in admin:
"We have recently deemed it operationally necessary to delay the start of some planned activities by 30 to 60 minutes; however, all activities have been carried out in accordance with the planned schedule at our facility. We can confirm that our social care staff have not cancelled activities to assist with the workload of the administrative department."
There are not enough stand-up slings or hoists:
"Additional stand-up slings and hoists have been scheduled for purchase in our Capex budget for 2021. These additional items should alleviate any ongoing concerns from members. In the interim, staff are encouraged to raise concerns with our Care Manager or myself at the time so that we can assist with the provision of supplies".
The first lunch break for care staff is at 12pm, but staff are told they can’t collect their lunch till 12.15pm in case the kitchen runs out of food, even though staff orders were put in at 9am, and this eats into precious break time:
"All pre-ordered meals are available to staff within the most operationally practical timeframe given that resident meals must be served as the priority. We would recommend staff to bring their own lunch to work on the days where they are unable to obtain a meal from the kitchen at the start of their scheduled meal break."
Workers feel that they are unfairly held to blame for things that are out of their control due to the email content they received from management:
"The management team at Coroneagh Park have increasingly been using email as a primary source of communication with staff due to a reduction in face-to-face meetings on-site during the COVID-19 pandemic. Whilst we deem emails of this nature to be essential to the operation of our facility and the health and safety of our staff and residents, we can appreciate that some staff may not fully understand the tone with which the information is delivered. We will review our email communication moving forward with the knowledge of how it is being perceived by some staff."
Workers are working short-staffed at Bluegum (both during the week and at the weekend) and there’s a lack of meal choices for residents:
"We take on board the feedback regarding the staffing of Bluegum. The meal plan provided to staff in Bluegum is nutritionally appropriate for those residents who are unable to make a choice regarding their daily meals. Alternative sandwiches, sweets, high protein drinks and snacks are readily available to all residents within the facility."
Hopefully management have addressed some of your concerns and will take action on those they’ve acknowledged.
In the meantime you should continue to bring issues with your supervisor in the first instance. If you get no satisfaction with their answers, then let us know and we can chat about where to take the matter further.
This is what union is all about – speaking up and making changes so that your workplace can be a better place for all.