David Crabtree, owner of Crabtree Care Homes, is angry at how the Government has handled the coronavirus crisis in care homes.
Experience of coronavirus
“I saw what was happening in Europe and locked down both care homes and stopped visitors at the end of February. At that time, we had no Covid-19 cases in our care homes,” explains David.
“I’m still angry that, rather than containing the virus in the ward, hospitals discharged residents back to care homes. At one of our care homes, 11 residents died due to coronavirus.
“The biggest feeling among our staff teams was guilt. They couldn’t understand how the virus had got in with the precautions we’d taken. People felt isolated and alone. At that time, CQC and the council had given us no guidance or support about Covid-19.”
Support from Person Centred Software during coronavirus
“Without profit or gain, Person Centred Software stood by our side. For a company that is technology based, this is remarkable.”
Person Centred Software sent daily benchmarking emails to care homes with anonymised data that showed the daily, weekly, and cumulative mortality rate in care homes. This data was provided more than 10 days in advance of published Government data to help care teams see better days ahead.
David continues, “What I wanted staff to know was that we were not alone. The daily graphs that Person Centred Software sent went sky high on 12th April. I could tell my staff, ‘Look! It’s happening everywhere’.”
Crabtree Care Homes is a family business operating two care homes in Keighley and Bradford, West Yorkshire. David says, “Most care services are single care homes, or a small group like us. We needed to know that other care homes were experiencing the same thing. The daily emails from Person Centred Software were essential contact for us. The company said: ‘We’re in it with you, you’re not alone’. In comparison, CQC only included Covid-19 notifications in April.
“For a company to stand by us and not try to sell us a product shows that Person Centred Software is involved in delivering care, not just delivering software. The emails from Person Centred Software are continuing today.
“Many companies say that they care, but actions speak louder than words. Person Centred Software has proven that it’s a caring company.”
Early-adopter of digital care planning system
In 2014, David chose to install Person Centred Software’s digital care planning system, Mobile Care Monitoring, at both his care homes, Sunningdale and The Raikes.
He reflects, “When we started using the system, district nurses, GPs and external professionals would ask us, ‘Where’s the paper?’. CQC were also sceptical the first time that they visited. However, within months, that changed. CQC love the system now.
“The system saves 35 minutes or more every shift for everyone involved in care. We can deliver better care than we could on paper as the system alerts us to things that we may have missed.
“Person Centred Software’s system has also played a significant part in a legal case with a family over a residents’ death. The coroner was satisfied as our notes were so comprehensive and well-recorded that we could demonstrate our daily drug medication round.”
Identifying Covid-19 symptoms in the elderly
David says that the changes Person Centred Software made to its Mobile Care Monitoring system helped to stop the spread of the infection further in the homes.
Early in the coronavirus pandemic, Person Centred Software incorporated new action icons in the system’s Care App for recording virus symptoms.
“The official symptoms released by the NHS at the time did not include the different signs and symptoms in the elderly. Many of our residents who contracted coronavirus said that they had pain in their legs,” explains David.
“We discovered that this first sign was due to restricted breathing. Residents also had tissue viability issues. Without accurate recording using the system, we would have missed three days of symptoms in our residents.”
Increase in care home occupancy after Coronavirus
David says that Person Centred Software’s system has been instrumental in Crabtree Care Homes’ swift recovery from the Coronavirus pandemic. “Professionals who come to our care homes are amazed at how quickly we’ve come out of the Covid-19 crisis. At one care home – registered for 31 residents – our occupancy was down to just 19 residents. However, in June, it’s up to 25 residents already.
“Yesterday, I met with a prospective resident and their family. They were visiting three or four care homes in the area and chose us. The Mobile Care Monitoring system was part of the reason for their choice.
“The relatives were bowled over by the system. Ever since we’ve had the system, families never fail to be impressed. It’s absolutely a unique selling point for our business. It shows families that we’re committed to delivering care. It shows our transparency and openness. And it means we can give families accurate information about their loved one whenever they want it.”
Benefits of using technology in care homes
“The system shows our professionalism because it’s designed to protect residents. It meets all of CQC’s guidelines and validates that we are committed to recording care properly.
“If you want to protect residents and prove your service’s quality of care to adult protection, CQC and other external bodies, you’ve got to be recording at the point of care. Using technology is the only way that this is possible.
“Person Centred Software’s system improves quality of care beyond measure, in areas like hydration and adequate diet and tissue viability. As the system is a live, operational piece of software that monitors constantly, our staff are always thinking about residents’ care. This improves every resident’s day beyond measure.”
David concludes, “Person Centred Software is the only company that has stood by us through this pandemic. It truly is a company that cares.”