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CEO Report – Murray Coates
Hi and welcome to this latest edition of CBS Connect.
I’ve been with the team at CBS now for about three months. There’s been a lot going on and it’s been great to learn how passionate, enthusiastic and dedicated the CBS team is.
We have been keeping a close eye on the Federal Government which continues to roll out its aged care reforms with the transition to consumer directed care and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) which expanded its national age cohort to include 12 to 14-year-olds on 1 July 2016. CBS is well positioned to meet these changes and we are happy to give you more details if you would like them.
CBS recently carried out some client focus groups to find out what people are thinking and we thank all those who participated. There were some clear messages for us, including the need to shorten service window times, sending the same support workers where possible and helping people to get what they need. As a result of this, we are currently trialling two new systems that should assist with service windows and the names of support workers. We will continue to strive to find solutions to meet the needs of those who use our services into the future.
Thank you to all those people I have met and those who have sent in feedback. It is most valuable.
As time goes on, I look forward to meeting many more of you and to sharing some stories over a cuppa. My door is always open.
Advising office of not being home
At CBS, we understand that sometimes you need to make appointments that can conflict with times that you would usually receive support services from us. We also understand that life can often be unpredictable and completely out of your control.
When the unexpected happens, please call us to let us know so that we can reschedule your support to another date, where possible, and cancel the original booking for you.
By notifying us, you assist the overall situation in a number of ways:
CBS workers really care about their clients and you are one of them. When they arrive at your home and you are not there, they worry about you. You could avoid this by calling us and letting us know.
If you can call CBS prior to 5pm the day before your service is due, you can avoid having to pay short notice cancellation fees.
We also understand that sometimes changes occur with little or no notice. However, even in these circumstances, please try to call us as soon as you can so we can let your worker know that you are OK.
Introducing the Rostering Section of CBS
The Rostering team at Community Based Support works very closely with your coordinators to find the most appropriate workers for you, both in your home and in the community. The team also works closely with the Royal Hobart Hospital to arrange support for its patients, and coordinate the Day Surgery Support Services.
The team is responsible for managing the rosters of more than 250 staff, ensuring approximately 200,000 visits to about 5,000 people across Tasmania per year get the best possible person for the job each and every time. As you might imagine, they are a busy bunch.
The manager of this team, Aaron McClurg, says they are best described as a diverse, mature, focused and close-knit. He says they work hard every day to ensure that CBS clients have their needs met, despite the ongoing challenges of unplanned staff absences, planned time off and staff availability.
The staff themselves say that they are simply “here to help and very happy to help”. They strongly encourage people to phone them anytime they need to.
Are you getting the most out of your visits from CBS?
We talked about this topic in the last edition of CBS Connect, however, we thought we should take the opportunity to go over it with you again.
Do you find that sometimes your CBS worker finishes his or her allocated tasks much quicker than you or they anticipated? They have been rostered to stay with you for the whole time that has been allocated to you and, as such, they would like to stay with you for the duration. If they finish the set tasks early, CBS workers would like you to ask them to help you with other tasks around the home to fully use their time.
These tasks may include (but are not limited to) assisting you to change your bed linen, hang out or bring in your washing, assisting you with some dishes, gathering your mail, cleaning out cupboards, ironing or assisting you with cooking. Perhaps you would like to find out about other services that CBS offers that may be exactly what you have been looking for? You could have a cuppa and a chat with the CBS worker. They would love to talk to you.
There are many options and your worker may be able to help you with other ideas for additional tasks.
If you or your worker are unsure, please contact the coordination team at CBS and we can help you with ideas before the worker leaves.
CBS workers want to make sure you get the most out of every single visit they have with you.
If your worker regularly finishes early and you are unable to find additional tasks and do not need the allocated time, we can talk to you about adjusting your time band to suit your specific lifestyle needs.
Client Advisory Group
CBS exists in your community for one reason, to maximise client independence. We try to do this by providing a wide range of services that support the needs of people who:
- Are aged and/or frail.
- Have a disability.
- Have a mental illness.
- Are primary carers.
We need your help to make sure we are getting it right.
We are currently putting together a client advisory group that can assist us in ensuring we are offering the best support to you at home and in the community.
The group will meet once a month with a CBS staff member to discuss thoughts and ideas about CBS support services. The information will be collated and fed back directly to CBS senior staff and the CEO.
If you are interested in being a part of this group, or if you would like further information, please call Tracy Ferguson at CBS on 6208 6600.
Expressions of interest will be open until the end of July.
We have received feedback from some of our clients that there may be some confusion around the idea of ‘service windows’, what they really are and why they exist at all. This is a great question, and we hope the following helps to clarify things for you.
A service window is a period of time in which a worker can be at your home to perform the requested tasks. It outlines the earliest time a worker can arrive and the latest time which they must leave your home. Normally, the service windows are ‘flexible’ however, depending on individual circumstance, some of the service windows are time critical and therefore are ‘fixed’.
The following is an example of a typical ‘flexible service window’:
Mr Smith has an ongoing arrangement for one-hour of domestic assistance every fortnight. Mr Smith knows he is usually home all day on Thursdays, but he prefers that the service occurs in the morning as he sometimes walks his dog in the afternoon. Mr Smith is usually up and showered and has had breakfast by 9.30am. Based on this information, Mr Smith has told CBS that he would be happy for a worker to come to his home any time after 9.30am and would prefer that they have their tasks completed by 1.30pm. This is a four-hour ‘flexible service window’. Mr Smith knows that the worker will arrive any time between 9.30am and 12.30pm.
Having this four-hour service window also means that CBS will more likely be able to roster Mr Smiths preferred workers for the shifts as they can now fit in with the needs of other CBS clients as well.
Everyone is happy
However, Mr Smith has an appointment with his podiatrist next Thursday and he will not be home during the service window times, so Mr Smith calls the CBS rostering team to advise he will not be home. Mr Smith discusses all possible options and then chooses the next available time for him to receive the service so he doesn’t miss out.
Everyone is happy
The following is an example of a typical ‘fixed service window’:
Mrs Jones lives on the eastern shore and she has an arrangement for three-hours of social support every week. Mrs Jones uses this time to access a yoga class that runs on a Monday from 11am to 12noon. After the class, the group get together for a coffee and a chat before Mrs Jones does her weekly shopping. Mrs Jones also has a nurse visit her on Monday mornings to administer her medications. The nurse visits at 10.15am and leaves by 10.30am.
Due to the time constraints listed, Mrs Jones has requested a ‘fixed service window’ of 10.45am to 1.45pm every Monday. Mrs Jones understands that this means that her preferred worker may not always be available to her, but CBS will always ensure that the worker is appropriate to her needs and is the best fit for her on the day.
Everyone is happy
Is your home safe for you and your CBS worker?
At CBS, we like to think that we work in partnership with you to ensure that we offer safe working conditions for all our staff and clients. All CBS workers are trained to a minimum of Certificate III in Community Services (or equivalent), they all have relevant police checks to ensure it is safe for us to send them into your homes and they are regularly trained in both back care and manual handling and St Johns First Aid that assist them to deliver services to you that are of a high quality, assuring you that you are safe in our hands.
Part of your role in this partnership arrangement with CBS is your obligation to provide a safe working environment for our staff while they are in your home. It is not reasonable to expect any staff member to undertake duties that may put them at risk such as standing on a chair to change a light bulb, moving heavy furniture during regular domestic assistance services, smoking in the home during a worker’s shift (if you smoke inside your home, please air the home out for at least half an hour prior to the expected commencement of a shift) or using electrical equipment with frayed cords. If a CBS worker identifies any potential risk they are required to call the CBS office prior to undertaking the task.
If a risk is identified, we will work with you and your worker to try and find a solution.
If you have any questions please contact a coordinator on 6208 6600.
Piloting of client portal and SMS notification
You have told us that you would like us to communicate with you more regularly, and that you would like to have more information about who will be coming to your home and what time they will arrive.
We are therefore pleased to advise that we are currently running two pilot programs that will provide you with this information and will in turn give you better control over the life you want to live.
The first is a ‘client access portal’ whereby you will be able to use your computer, tablet or smart phone to access your own individual roster, in real time, to find out who your worker will be and what time they will arrive to your home on the day the support is due.
The second is an ‘Opt-in SMS notification system’ that will send a message to your mobile phone advising you of the name of your worker and the time they will be arriving to your home on the day the support is due.
Both the client access portal and the opt-in SMS notification system will only be available to those who wish to use them. CBS will continue with the usual communication methods for all other clients.
We will keep you informed about both pilot programs in the coming months.
What would you like to hear about?
Is the CBS Connect newsletter giving you the information you are seeking? Do you find it interesting? Is there something you would like us to include?
If you would like to discuss your ideas, or if you have any suggestions, please call Tracy Ferguson at CBS to let us know.