Founded in 1988, the family-run business prides itself on delivering the highest quality of individual care within an environment where residents feel safe and happy.
Approximately 700 staff across Handsale’s eight UK homes use Mobile Care Monitoring daily to evidence and monitor the care of over 500 residents.
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 managing the business, its staff, and the 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 and honest communication across all the care homes.
Rishi says, “As we grew the business, a key 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.”
Implementation and training support
Having started discussions with Person Centred Software at the start of 2017, software implementation began swiftly in August. Person Centred Software worked with Handsale to introduce Mobile Care Monitoring in a staged approach, with eight homes across England, Wales and Scotland now benefitting from the system.
Staff across the group’s care homes were enthusiastic and quick to adapt to the system, crediting the customisable training offered by Person Centred Software.
“Regular training days took place alongside weekly sessions over the six-month implementation process, which helped ensure the best possible uptake and usage of the system.”
According to Rishi, “After a couple of sessions, everyone could see what the software can do and became 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.
Time-saving and staff retention
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.
Rishi points to time-saving as a major benefit: “Person Centred Software saves time for staff on all levels. We recently conducted a time and motion study. We found that our carers were saving up to 90 minutes per day, and nurses up to 4 hours per day using Mobile Care Monitoring.
“What became apparent is that a lot of carers go into care because of the human side of the career and the human interactions involved with providing care for people. A lot of their time, however, was being spent record-keeping. Of course, this is a vital part of social care. However, it does take the human side out of it.
“Mobile Care Monitoring means that instead of having to take intervals out of their day to catch up on paperwork, staff can document as they go along. Not only is record-keeping completely contemporaneous and therefore better meets our CQC regulations, but it has been reduced to 20-30 second chunks of time. It’s a much smoother process.
“For the nurses, it’s almost become an assistant to them. It enables them to manage their shift more effectively.
“For home managers, it gives them an extra safety net for if an external stakeholder such as a GP calls. The information they can access through the system is always up-to-date and accurate.
“For me, it saves me time by providing me with the information that I need remotely. I work across 3 countries, which means being on the road 6 days out of 7. It’s nice that when I get to the home, I’ve already done my research, read the care plans, looked at the charts and I know what topics I need to cover. I then get to spend more time with the residents and the residents get to know me better as well, so I get to enjoy my job more.”
Rishi isn’t the only staff member experiencing greater job satisfaction since using Mobile Care Monitoring. Handsale Care Homes has noticed a dramatic reduction in staff turnover since implementing the system.
“Our staff retention rate has increased by 40% for care staff and 33% for nursing staff, which is due to the time saved compared to doing paper charts and records.”
“As an industry, we’ve lost a huge number of great staff who got into adult social care to provide care and ended up just doing paperwork. What Person Centred Software has brought to us, is allowing people to go back to providing care. It’s brought the human side back. It’s completely transformed the way we work, it supports providing the human side of person-centred care.”
Adaptability in an ever-changing world
Rishi also credits Person Centred Software’s adaptability for providing additional support in an ever-changing environment.
“The team at Person Centred Software listen to their customers, they work with us and they’ve adapted the system based on the feedback we’ve given them. They’re so reactive and so responsive – I could ask for a fundamental change to the system, and it would be done within 7 days. Everything that we’ve asked them to do has been done in a timely fashion and with great efficiency.
“A perfect example of this would be when we asked Person Centred Software to introduce an oral health assessment to the system. There had been an increased focus on oral care in Wales, so we asked Person Centred Software if this was something they could integrate into the system. Not only did they do this, but they also saw the merit in the questions we were asking and they improved their tools for their English and Scottish customers as well. Not only did we get it for our Welsh customers, but it ended up benefiting everyone.”
Mobile Care Monitoring’s agility has also helped customers in responding to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.
Responding to a crisis
“Their response to the pandemic was second to none. Person Centred Software was doing things so quickly and responsively, that I didn’t even have time to ask for it.
“A good example would be the symptom checker, which was available even before the government’s track and trace. This has been a godsend, especially now that we’re auditing everything and stakeholders are asking for audit trails. At the tap of a button, I can provide stakeholders with thousands of pages of evidence – it’s fantastic.”
The Relatives Gateway, in particular, has been valuable in keeping residents connected with their families during the lockdown, Rishi says:
“We use the Relative’s Gateway regularly and, I must say, in 2020 it’s been a lifesaver. We completely understand that our residents and their relatives and friends are in a high period of anxiety – they’ve not been able to see their loved ones in a long time. Of course, it’s not quite as good as physically being able to visit the home, but it’s a very close second.”
Reduction in UTIs
Perhaps most importantly, Mobile Care Monitoring has enabled Handsale to improve resident outcomes and reduce infections such as UTI’s.
“If we went back to the way that care operators worked on paper, we’d only have a fluid chart for those at risk of dehydration. Unfortunately, we care for people whose needs can change quite drastically overnight.
“What Mobile Care Monitoring allows you to do is to capture that information with ease and at speed, so that everyone can have that level of support and documentation. What we’ve found is that we’ve been able to respond more effectively when a resident is showing signs of a UTI and to get them the support and treatment they need. Because we’re using live 24/7 data around fluids, any risk of dehydration is acted upon immediately and so we are minimising the risk of UTIs at the source.”
Return on investment
Overall, Rishi says the software has completely transformed the way they work by enabling staff to provide the human side of person-centred care.
“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.”