Handsale Care Homes adopted Person Centred Software’s digital care plans and has improved efficiency, communication and staff retention.Founded in 1988, the family-run business delivers the highest quality of individual care.
Around 700 staff across Handsale’s eight UK homes use Person Centred Software’s Mobile Care Monitoring system to evidence care for 500 residents. They provide friendly, personal and compassionate care, with an environment where residents feel safe and happy.
Identifying the need for digital care plans
Rishi Sodha, Care Director at Handsale, based in North West London, supervises compliance across the care homes. He ensures the homes maintain the highest standards in how they manage the business, their staff, and their treatment of both residents and relatives. His role includes overseeing care planning, training, audits and HR.
Alongside six other board members, Rishi’s board level role means that he needs to ensure clear, honest and easy communication across all the care homes.
Rishi says, “As we grew the business, a major requirement was to have an overview of how each home was performing. We also needed a risk register at board level to identify any potential events that could impact the organisation.
“We identified that we needed digital care plans. Following a review of the market, we determined that Person Centred Software’s Mobile Care Monitoring was the ideal solution.”
Digital care plan implementation
Handsale started discussions with Person Centred Software at the start of 2017. The software implementation began in August. Person Centred Software worked with Handsale to install the system in a staged approach with eight homes now up and running.
“We’ve achieved an excellent return on investment and I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending the software. It’s worth every penny and then some.”
“The homes are at different stages of implementation and we focus on playing to the strengths within each,” explains Rishi. “The key is to understand a homes’ staff and their specific needs rather than have a set-in stone approach. In that way, you can customise the training and build their enthusiasm.”
Handsale ran digital care plans alongside traditional paper systems for the first month. Once installed, the homes had a six-month bedding-in period. Rishi worked closely with every home to ensure everything is functioning effectively and to embed best practice. Daily, weekly and monthly audits ensure all care is undertaken as planned.
Person-centred care plans
Rishi continuess, “We base our care plans on oral interviews which are extremely detailed to ensure we cover all of a resident’s needs. The care plans on Mobile Care Monitoring automatically link to this assessment. This ensures that residents receive the exact care required, and we miss nothing.
“I’m delighted to say that professional and regulatory partners have credited us with having some of the best and most person-centred care plans in the industry.
“I tell home managers that Mobile Care Monitoring can be their best friend or worst enemy since it cannot lie. It will show best practice but if a home has bad practices, such as a care plan with only two lines, it will show up that they write bad care plans. It highlights any gaps or potential problems. But rather than dampen morale, we’ve found that 100 per cent of managers are fully supportive of the new software and jump at the chance to fix any errors.”
Training with Person Centred Software
Training was a vital part of the implementation process at Handsale. Regular training days took place alongside weekly sessions over the six-month implementation process. This ensured the best possible uptake and usage of the system.”
“Our nurses are saving up to four hours a day and the care staff between 45 minutes to an hour.”
According to Rishi, “After a couple of sessions, everyone can see what the software can do and become excited about it. The key is to go at a pace that suits staff. When one person gets it, they become your champion and start to reinforce your messages, and in turn others are more willing to have a go.
“It’s best to keep groups small and sort them according to skill level,” he adds. “You’re likely to have a large age range across your staff and older members often need more time.
“Whilst older staff may need more training, the return on investment is higher in the long run; they are usually very conscientious. For example, the quality of care report during an incident from an older staff member is usually more detailed and accurate compared to younger staff who can sometimes be less thorough due to their familiarity with mobile technology.”
Time savings benefit of digital records
One of Handsale’s homes, Treelands Care Home in Oldham, Lancashire, went paperless on month four. “At the time, a nurse pulled me into her clinic room and told me it was the first time she’d stepped foot inside there since her morning medication round. She felt it was the first full day of nursing she’d done in 10 years,” says Rishi.
“She also showed me her office, which contained one shelf of paperwork replacing what she described as being a paper mountain rather than an office.”
“Our staff retention rate has increased by 40% for care staff and 33% for nursing staff. Our staff turnover has reduced massively since using Mobile Care Monitoring.”
Rishi points to time saving as a major benefit. “Our nurses are saving up to four hours a day and the care staff between 45 minutes to an hour. I hear many homes complain about lack of staff but if a nurse can save four hours, it’s like having another staff member for a third of a shift.
“Our night staff are now more involved. In some homes, we became aware that night staff only wrote the sleeping care plans, but were, in fact, giving meals and drinks to residents and managing their mobility needs. They were more than capable of updating all care plans. This has led to far less tension between day and night staff. And those homes where they’ve had Person Centred Software’s digital care plans the longest, the tensions are even less.”
Increase in staff retention rate
“This all means that staff morale and staff retention has improved considerably,” he continues. “Our staff retention rate has increased by 40% for care staff and 33% for nursing staff. Our staff turnover has reduced massively since using Mobile Care Monitoring. This is due to the time saved compared to doing paper charts and records.
“Our home managers can go on holiday, confident that the right care is being given to everyone.”
“We’ve improved staff retention because carers and nurses get to spend more time with residents – which is exactly why they got in the job in the first place. Staff also feel more secure in the knowledge that what they’re doing is being recorded accurately and in much more depth than it was compared to paper.”
Rishi sees the biggest benefit is at board level and corporate governance. “At first, we saw it as a way to save time, but it has given us insight into things we didn’t know. For example, we discovered that one resident was missing a sleeping care plan, and we were able to rectify it immediately.
“At a corporate level, we can now sleep well at night. And our home managers can go on holiday, confident that the right care is being given to everyone.” Since implementing Mobile Care Monitoring, Rishi confirms that no risk assessments have expired.”
Return on investment
“Person Centred Software has been extremely responsive to my needs and the software is very intuitive and closely aligned to our care homes’ needs.
“We’ve achieved an excellent return on investment and I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending the software. It’s worth every penny and then some. I know all home managers wouldn’t go back. And if I ever threatened to remove Person Centred Software, I think I’d have a riot on my hands.”