Everyone in the UK has a right to expect safe, compassionate and effective care. But a perfect storm has been brewing for some time. Largely created by economic cuts, frontline care workers have been doing more with less for some time now. With demand for services continuing to rise, many providers are struggling to cope. The crisis has led some in the NHS to conclude that “the sector needs a long-term plan and significant investment”.
However, against this challenging backdrop, there are some providers who are showing themselves to be role models for efficiency and productivity – while at the same time maintaining the highest standards of care.
Take Premier Care, a domiciliary care agency operating in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and South Yorkshire, for example. Rated as ‘good’ by the CQC, it’s a relatively small organisation, but it’s one that is punching well above its weight.
With just 350 staff, Premier Care collectively provides 6,000 hours of care each week to its 660 clients. Astonishingly, that equates to around 11,000 visits each week. The question is how has it become so efficient without ever needing to compromise on high quality care?
“The answer,” says Charlotte Lumley, the agency’s Head of Community Innovation, “lies in technology.” Charlotte, who has worked in the care sector for 16 years in a variety of senior managerial positions, joined Premier Care eight months ago. During that time, she’s managed both private sector companies and local authority providers. The one common theme that stands out,” she says, “is that technology is an enabler, that can drive improvement and efficiency.”