23 Jan 2018

The Core Values of Care

Dr Eleanor Worthington from the Caring for Care Homes team visited St Teresa’s Home on 22 January to train the staff, management and sisters in the Core Values of Care. What is a ‘core value’? This is what participants said:

A tool to help carry out the service
The root underneath the expression of your work
The heart inside your work
The foundation of who you are. It is what makes you

We all have values and we have to identify as individuals how to connect to these. So the first step is to recognise them in order to reflect them in our daily choices. People often do something without knowing why they did it; however, all our actions are a reflection of our core values, even if we haven’t identified them yet. That’s why it is so important to know them: if we are aware of our values, then we will be driven by them.

It takes time to step back and reconnect to the Core Values

Residents experience our behaviour rather than our values but if we work on roots, behaviour will flourish.

The Core Values of Care are: commitment, communication, care, compassion, courage and competence.

A commitment to our residents is a cornerstone of what we do. We need to build commitment to improve the care and experience of our patients, to take action to make this vision and strategy a reality for all and meet the health, care and support challenges ahead.

Communication is essential for successful caring relationships and to effective team working. Listening is as important as what we say and essential for “No decisions about me without me”

Care is the heart of what we do every day, the care we deliver helps the individual person and improves their health and wellbeing. Caring defines us and our work. Our residents receiving care expect it to be right for their individual needs, choices and wishes throughout every stage of their life.

As a team, we also need to care for each other, to “share the load”. During difficult moments, we may end up having to cope with stress. How do we do that? Have a change of scenery, have a break, talk about it and try to build a supportive network.

Carers also need to be cared for

Another advice Dr Eleanor gave us was to not take decisions when we are:

  • Hungry
  • Angry
  • Late
  • Tired

Compassion is how care is given through empathy, respect and dignity and is central to how residents receive their care. We all have different life experiences and shouldn’t make assumptions about others.

Courage enables us to do the right thing for the people we care for, to speak up when we have concerns and to have the right strength and vision to innovate and embrace new ways of working.

Competence means all those in caring roles must have the ability to understand an individual’s health and social needs and the expertise, clinical and technical knowledge to deliver effective care and treatments based on research and evidence.

We thank Dr Eleanor Worthington and all the staff and sisters for their input. It was a pleasure to share the afternoon reflecting on the necessary values at our work place.