The importance of home carers being able to both speak and understand English has been discussed across the BBC yesterday. Following a report given to the Department of Health it is being suggested that a basic language test be a part of the basic skills certificate that all carers will have to have in the future.
Here at Christies we understand the need for good communication. In 2013 we turned away 71 potential carers because their English wasn’t good enough. All carers must complete a telephone interview with our head office staff before they are even invited for training.
And it doesn’t stop there. Once a carer arrives for training they are constantly monitored. Different office staff interview them again, face to face this time. We look at how the carers interact with each other and the people they meet.
Throughout their training carers are taught the importance of communication. Our trainers pay particular attention to non-verbal communication, demonstrating how 70% of our understanding comes from body language and tone of voice. Our carers also have to sit written tests during their induction training to make sure that their written communication skills are acceptable.
Finally there is the feedback loop. Our advisors visit carers in the first 6 weeks to finish the training and evaluation, and to see that the carers are suitable. Our booking team get feedback about the carers from clients. The carer support team call regularly to make sure that carers are happy.
The nature of live in care work is such that it does attract people who aren’t originally from the UK. It doesn’t have to mean that they are difficult to understand.