Pleasant Valley Care case study

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Pleasant Valley Care

Client interview with Director / Registered Manager, Kacey Akpoteni


Pleasant Valley Care is a home care services provider operating in Birmingham and surrounding areas. It provides personalised care and support so that clients can continue to live independently in their own homes. The company offers tailored care visits which range from 30 minutes to full live-in support.

Prior to implementing the Relias system Pleasant Valley Care was using face-to-face training only. When Director / Registered Manager, Kacey Akpoteni first came across Relias learning management system at the Care Show in October 2019, she was first struck by its comprehensive library of courses for care.

“I just thought ‘wow’, because prior to that I didn’t know there was anything like that on the market. What I liked was the compactness of everything you need in one place, because with face-to-face training we’ve found different companies have different packages but no one company ever really has everything you want. It’s always half of this, and half of that.”

Making inspection easy

At the time, the company was using spreadsheets and paper-based processes to keep track of training but had found this presented problems when it came time for inspection.

“Another thing that attracted me to the Relias system was the ability to both train and record training, and having the records in a place that’s manageable and accessible, because we’re asked for them every time the regulators or commissioning teams come for inspection. Having to manually dig out paperwork to provide evidence of training is very time-consuming, and during our last inspection the inspector requested the actual physical training materials we use, so having to send these by email was a very cumbersome process.”

In addition to managing online learning the Relias system will record face-to-face training, including external learning the team has undertaken, ensuring that everything is recorded in one place and removing the need for multiple platforms to keep track of different forms of staff education and development.

“There are so many things about the system that will help us but that ability to record training is such a big one as it will make our lives so much easier. Sometimes we go to external seminars and conferences and we want to be able to record it all in one place.”

Supporting specialist, personalised care

The ability to record and report on live training events in the Relias system is something that Kacey anticipates will support Pleasant Valley Care in the delivery of specialist, personalised care.

“We often have clients who have specific needs that are not general for everyone. For example, now and again we have a client who needs PEG feeding. One PEG-feed client is usually different from the next, requiring a different kind of feeding tube and so on, so the specialist nutrition nurse will gather the team together and do a training focused around that one person.

“When the CQC comes we’ve previously found it challenging to provide records of this kind of training. But we can now record live events like this in the Relias system so we actually have evidence that we did have that session, can show who received the training, and can even upload a video of it for future reference, so to me the future’s looking bright with this platform, I think it’s really going to help us.”

A painless transition

Pleasant Valley Care has been on a systems improvement trajectory for the last few years, and the introduction of the Relias learning management system is an important step in that journey. Kacey feels these steps are reassuring to staff and that this helps with recruitment and retention.

“The majority of our processes and procedures are now electronic. Our staff are already aware that we’re on this track, and therefore migrating to the Relias e-learning system is the next piece of evidence for them that we know what we’re doing. Everybody’s very much looking forward to using the Relias platform and there will be a strong sense of relief, because prior to this we’ve all experienced angst over having to collate all the manual data.”

“It’s been a painless transition so far. Our experience of the Relias team has been excellent. We’ve had no issues whatsoever; I’d rate it five out of five.”

The confidence to expand

A key benefit of introducing the Relias system is the confidence it gives the Pleasant Valley Care team to expand their home care business.

“Five years on from launching we’ve not really yet expanded our business, because we spent the first few years trying to do everything properly and focusing on a high standard of care … But now we’ve undergone this journey of systems improvement we have everything working seamlessly, so if we wanted to open another branch for example, or get new packages of care in another town, we’re not worried that it’s going to generate unmanageable paperwork. All we need to do is just add everything onto the platform we already have.”

“We’ll easily know what training we’ve offered, the names of the training certificates, how many people engaged, and all the other necessary stats. Previously these weren’t readily available for us, but the Relias system tells us in an instant. And when the CQC inspectors come in, or the commissioning teams make their monitoring visits, it’s impressive for them to see that we have this all under control.”


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