CareLineLive, the complete home care management software provider, has shared some insights around the CQC’s State of Care Report, the annual assessment published by the regulator to highlight areas needing improvement and evaluate emerging trends.
The latest annual report, published on 20th October 2023, covers the 2022/2023 reporting period and applies across England's health and adult social care sector.
Highlights From the 2023 State of Care Analysis
Founder and Managing Director of CareLineLive, Josh Hough, explains that many of the key issues raised within the report are similar to those from the previous year, with the added pressure of strike action.
Industrial disputes have impacted many primary care providers and, albeit in a less critical way, some home care agencies relying on nursing staff and practitioners within their communities to support their at-home care services.
The report states that:
- Around 500,000 people are still waiting for social care assessments.
- Vacancies remain high, creating further strain on the current workforce.
- Seven million individuals are on long waiting lists pending elective treatments.
For many of the agencies the home care planning software solutions provider works with, the focus will be on comments made by the CQC that have a direct impact on their specific area of care, not least the reiteration that the NHS must work on discharging patients more quickly when they are medically fit to return home.
In the NHS England summary, the National Medical Director acknowledges that 13,200 beds were allocated to patients well enough to leave, reflecting a 34% jump from the previous year.
While, in many ways, this is beneficial for home care agencies looking to scale their service provision and support more families in their communities, the pitfall could be where their internal controls, recruitment processes and staff retention approaches cannot keep pace with the anticipated spikes in the need for home-from-hospital and domiciliary care.
Aspects of the CQC State of Care Report Affecting the Home Care Sector
Some of the statements directly relate to home care services, including the information about financial difficulties impacting informal carers – primarily family caregivers, many of whom are cutting back on their needs to manage rising costs.
Within England, there are roughly 10 million unpaid caregivers, with those receiving support from visiting carers or overnight carers reporting the value of respite, an extra pair of hands and a familiar face to assist with practical chores and personal care.
Hough notes that there is a clear and urgent need for greater home care support for these families, coupled with the shift within primary care services, creating more reliance on home care agencies to deliver a wider proportion of care at home rather than in a residential care setting.
Advice for Home Care Agencies Preparing for Changes to Demand in the Year Ahead
Josh Hough recaps that one of the biggest challenges for home care agencies is maintaining and growing their workforces, with a reported shortage of 2.2 million hours per year, and 31% of organisations within the adult social care field finding that staff shortages have negatively affected their services.
However, there are some positives, with a reduction in care home staff vacancy rates, dropping from 11% in the first quarter of 2022 to 7% in quarter two of 2023.
The key, Hough adds, is to ensure that any home care provider, whether a general home care service or specialist care firm focusing on rehabilitative care or supporting individuals with conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s, invest time and effort into their processes and HR policies to create a solid foundation from which to grow.
Introducing Home Care Management Software to Improve Capacity and Revenues
As a market-leading home care software provider offering tailored solutions to assist with compliance, rostering and care management, eMAR, payroll and financial administration, CareLineLive has published multiple case studies that show how efficient and well-managed care can address many of the ongoing problems within the State of Care Report.
Examples include home care agencies and trusts that have transitioned to fully digital, paperless systems, reducing clerical costs, making processes faster and often automated, and creating a reliable, instant and accessible communications system for carers and care coordinators.
Others have found that by introducing advanced software, the agency can free up capacity by making everyday reporting processes significantly less time-intensive, helping to manage more care visits with the same number of carers.
Tools such as automated mileage calculations or consistent care checklists to log medications administered and tasks completed can minimise the admin time between care appointments while providing audit trails and patient safety management to improve the quality of care.
Hough adds that while home care agencies might reasonably expect the year ahead to bring fresh challenges, the use of technology can be transformative. It offers enhanced regulatory compliance, cost savings, improved workforce satisfaction and efficiencies that will stand home care providers in good stead.
Read more about CareLineLive - CareLineLive Outlines The Need For Home Care Agencies to Urgently Implement Technology
CareLineLive is an award-winning UK care management software system that delivers complete functionality for home care businesses. Set up in 2014, CareLineLive has used the latest technology to develop for agency owners and managers an innovative, easy-to-use, cloud-based home care management system that is truly fit for purpose.
Source Company: https://carelinelive.com/
Source: Woya - Digital PR
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