As part of a provider management team within adult social care, you are faced with a lot of complex issues and questions. From use of resource and recruitment to optimisation. Basically, how do we create the best care service from the resources at our disposal? It is a difficult question with no fixed answers. In this article, we look at how current workflows within Residential, Nursing and LD can be supported by new digital prerequisites.
The role of the single care home is changing drastically with the future needs of the residents. Further to that, an increase of jobs in the industry – 19% since 2009 according to Skills for Care and NHS Digital data – confirms that the diagnosis palette and complexity of the services are higher than ever. Hence, management must concern itself with bringing the professional competencies as close to direct care and the residents as possible – in order to maximise the service their care home offers.
In such a case, digitisation is a transformational component that helps with attracting and retaining staff. At the same time, focus may shift from administrative topics such as rostering, time tyranny and control to resident-centric empowerment and synergy.
Aggregated information gives eagle-eyed managers
One thing is acknowledging the central management’s questions – another is to translate these from thought to action. It takes a lot of managerial clarity to focus on these in a busy workday, where day-to-day questions take up enormous time.
One thing digitisation helps with is the opportunity to make decisions based on data rather than gut feelings. As a manager, it can be difficult to know exactly how to improve the day for your staff – and the residents for that matter. Here surveillance only gets you so far, while a better overview and unison can ensure that staff members collaborate and provide care in a safer and happier way.
Specifically, it can be the use of tags and adherence to specific frameworks or standards that provide the management with actionable reports. In a professional context, this could mean value-added insights into care delivery and an overview of what we have done well and where we might be lacking. Not to point fingers at anyone, but to highlight the best practice and through data evaluate and improve from here.
Digitisation must always support direct care
It is imperative not to let yourself be blinded by the many possibilities digitisation provides. Ensuring an instrumental and precise support of the core task is what matters, partly around documentation and mainly around attention and rehabilitation. That is why the most important quality for digitisation is to facilitate and support management, ensuring that care competencies flourish in the service. As a leader, if you cannot see or communicate the benefits of being digital, then how can you expect your staff to realise its potential? Vice versa, if you lead the charge and support your staff in fulfiling their ‘work dream’, you can expect a more empowered organisation that has an easier time recruiting and retaining staff.
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Value Based Recruitment by Rosalita Mainwaring, Skills for Care
At the Caring UK event in Torquay on October 4th, Locality Manager Rosalita Mainwaring of ‘Skills for Care’ gave a notable talk about the current state of affairs in adult social care, and how this affects the HR situation operating a sustainable care service.
With more than 1.58M jobs within adult social care and only 1.3M people in the workforce (NHS Digital data) to take on these jobs, the battle for competent employees must have started. With Brexit lingering at the back as a somewhat unknown factor.
Value Based Recruitment is the alternative that Skills for Care and Rosalita Mainwaring advocate. In an analysis across services, specific pieces of advice were found to be useful for providers to gain momentum in retaining and attracting new employees.
The provider secrets to less than 10% turnover
- They invest in their staff
- They keep good rates & working conditions
- They develop a positive culture where staff is supported and valued (Word of Mouth recruitment)
- They utilise staffs' network to attract like-minded carers
- They are clear about the realities of the job and tasks at hand
Rosalita Mainwaring has more than 30 years of experience within the care industry, starting as a support worker, registering as a Home Manager and Director of Care. Rosalita joined Skills for Care in 2006, currently covering Devon, Plymouth, Torbay, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly as a Locality Manager.