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The standard of care homes across the country has been a prominent topic for many years, with campaigners avidly raising the issues to the powers that be and the media dedicating serious column issues to the conundrum. Unfortunately, the overwhelming consensus is that standards are in decline – a sentiment that has been corroborated by recent industry reports.
A review by the Good Care Guide, which allows residents and relatives to rate care services, has pointed to a lack of satisfaction among these groups, with one in four care homes now being scored as bad or poor. In 2012, this figure was one in 10, meaning the proportion of care homes with an unacceptable rating has more than doubled in the last five years.
As a result, stakeholders and the public are now calling for solutions to improve the care received by – and therefore the standard of living of – our most vulnerable members of society in thousands of institutions up and down the country.
While some complaints in the report cite rude staff and accounts of isolated wrongdoings, inadequate training and poor timekeeping were listed as key downfalls across the board in the sector. Families complained about staff not knowing how to lift patients properly or care for those with dementia, amongst grievances relating to poor hygiene and incorrect dispensing of medication. Complaints were also made about care workers not turning up on time or at all – both to care homes themselves and for home visits.
An issue such as this is theoretically easy to fix. A simple investment in software, for example, can reduce risk of human error in timesheets and scheduling, in turn reducing incidences of missed shifts and ensuring residents have adequate staff to care for them.
This leads the care industry looking for cost-effective software solutions to improve skills provision and evaluation, as well as the more administrative elements of shift monitoring. Galvanised by the above shocking statistics, it’s likely that key organisations will begin searching this year for ways to track training renewal dates more effectively and streamline rostering processes to ensure employees are both on time and up to scratch.