Putting care at the heart of training

There are some people you meet in life who have an uncanny knack of making everything seem better. Annie Porter is one of those people. For Annie knows first-hand the difference people can make to the lives of others.

As Better Healthcare’s Training and Development Manager, Annie trains staff in all seven branches from induction right throughout their career including domiciliary staff, nurses, support and admin, physiotherapists and specialists across our elderly, children’s and mental health divisions. No matter what role they perform, there’s one clear message: “We do this job because we care.”

Giving the care that you would hope to receive is the cornerstone of Better Healthcare training. It’s an ethos that Annie instils from day one. “I say to trainees, please put yourself in someone else’s shoes. If you were looking for someone to provide care for your mum, dad, sister, child, how does the care you’re giving compare? Look to you and yours. Are you giving the same care you’d be looking for?”

It’s a simple sentiment, but a powerful one. And one that’s at the heart of the Better Healthcare ethos: The company was founded when co-owner Marc Diamond, who runs Better Healthcare with wife, Samantha, was himself looking for care for his own mother.

Annie has worked in healthcare for 37 years, and with experience as a carer, nurse and support management, knows first-hand just what it takes to ‘get it right’. Intensive training is given to every aspect of safety and Annie’s acutely aware that sometimes it can seem that she goes into too much detail, but is adamant that everything is covered down to the minutia- from the correct way to wash hands – and forearms – to disposing of PPE safely. Especially in light of Covid. She’s a huge ambassador for back health too. “It’s imperative that best practice is always followed and there are no gaps in knowledge. It keeps everyone safe.”

But as Annie points out, there’s more to getting it right than simply following the correct process. There’s the standard way, then there’s the Better Healthcare way and a final check Annie insists upon.

“When you’ve finished with your client and get to the door, stop for a moment and ask yourself: Is there anything else I could do for them that would make their day better? Only if the answer is no, should you walk through that door.”

The value of individuals is at the heart of our training. Making people feel valued isn’t just for the clients, it’s a principle that extends throughout the company which Annie perfectly articulates:  “Everybody needs to feel valued. It’s important to make people feel good about themselves to be motivated. People need to believe that they are of value in order to bring value.”

There’s a particular exercise which Annie does with new staff, which many have described as  a ‘lightbulb moment’, as they learn to appreciate the value they bring and that with us they are never just an employee. As Annie says: “Everyone who stands in front of me has something very special to offer. The uniqueness of each and every one of our staff is priceless.”

Annie herself is undoubtedly priceless and has been with Better Healthcare since 2008. It’s only in the past few years that she’s made the shift from support management to becoming an instructor.  So what prompted the move? She laughs and says that was down to Samantha and Marc. “They watch and help you learn. I’m a people person and perhaps because they both come from a recruitment background, they could see that I’d have an affinity in this area. They put me forward for intensive professional training and certification and thanks to them I’ve found my niche. They put a lot into career development.”

With that in mind, what one thing would Annie tell anyone considering a career with Better Healthcare? A smile comes over her face as she says: “I never tire of telling people that I work for a company that cares.”

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