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Well organised schedules ensure best use of limited care staff

The shortage of Care Workers to meet the needs of the aging population is a well-publicised concern. As Providers struggle to recruit and retain the additional staff they need, it is vital that available care staff are utilised in the best possible way. 

There have been a number of recent industry reports which highlight the need for flexible, real-time scheduling which can accommodate sudden changes. This is very difficult and time-consuming for Providers who use manual systems or rely on spreadsheets.

CSSIW (Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales) published a ‘National review of domiciliary care in Wales’. One of the issues highlighted by this comprehensive report is the need for effective rostering to ensure the right staff with the right skills arrive at the right time to provide the care and support people need.

Similar messages were echoed in Scotland’s ‘National Health and Social Care Workforce Planning’ report. It identified the need for a systematic approach to workforce planning informed by accurate, coordinated and relevant data, allowing available capacity to be deployed flexibly.

Effective scheduling can also ensure sufficient time is allocated between calls to accommodate travel time. This was an issues flagged up in the CSSIW report which mentioned Provider’s requirements to keep travel time down to make the best use of the Care Workers they have.

CM2000’s comprehensive scheduling solution is also available in a ‘Lite’ version - ideal for those who use our monitoring solution and want to automate staff scheduling. If you’re manually rostering care visits using white boards or excel spreadsheets, SchedulingLite! will improve your administrative processes. It’s easy to use and will save staff time.

Interestingly, the CSSIW report also highlighted the benefits that effective scheduling can have on staff who work in the community. Care Workers indicated the importance of having their visits well-organised and being made aware of last minute changes. It’s extremely frustrating to rush to a visit only to find that the Service User was admitted to hospital a couple of hours earlier.  

Mobile phones are transforming every aspect of our lives, and many Providers are now choosing them for recording visit information. Even on Council contracts that are using landline monitoring, the low-cost options to upgrade to mobiles make this a viable proposition for Providers. The additional communication benefits allow up to date schedules to be shared in real-time, meaning Care Workers are immediately informed of rota changes. 

Sirona Care & Health have been using CallConfirmLive! Scheduling for the last couple of years and have been impressed with its flexibility. Dawn Cronin, Service Support Manager says “Staff have found the system easy to use. Everything can be done from one screen so it is very quick to make changes. The variety of data formats means that whether you like to see things visually, or prefer a list, you can work in a way that suits you.”

Scoring preferences ensure the most appropriate Care Worker is assigned to each visit. CallConfirmLive’s ‘Best Match’ functionality, which uses parameters such as skills, qualifications and Service User preferences to assign staff to visits.

If you’re already using CallConfirmLive! monitoring, you’ll find that adding the scheduling gives you a fully integrated system which is a benefit that shouldn’t be underestimated. Helen Vowles of Trusting Hands was using systems from two different suppliers before discovering CallConfirmLive! She tells us that moving to a fully integrated service completely transformed their use of scheduling and monitoring technology.  She explains “The interface never worked properly and the systems were always going down. The difference between what we had been using and CallConfirmlive! was unbelievable. I would definitely advocate having a fully integrated system.”

Now’s definitely the time to ensure you are efficiently organising care staff rotas to meet the needs of as many Service Users as possible. Technology can help you achieve this so if you’d like to find out more call me on 0121 308 3010 or email richard.gathercole@cm2000.co.uk



 

Written by:
Richard Gathercole
Private Sector Market Manager

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