Resources » Latest Blogs
Mar 14, 2024

How Champions of care winner Amanda Rae transformed Canford Healthcare through digital innovation

Winner of the Champions of Care Digital Innovation award Amanda Rae talks about how she harnessed the latest technology to improve efficiency and outcomes at Canford Healthcare 

Person Centred Software’s Champions of Care awards provide an opportunity to celebrate and recognise the achievements of our everyday heroes, often working behind the scenes in the social care sector - the champions of change who dedicate their lives to caring for the most vulnerable members of society. 

Digital Innovation Winner 2024

This time, we’re sharing the story of Amanda Rae, winner of the Digital Innovation award. Here is her story. 

For Amanda, a career in care wasn’t something that she consciously chose, rather, it was as she says something she always felt drawn to. For Amanda, caring for the most vulnerable people in society was always something she was going to do. 

“My nan was a carer during the war, but she always referred to herself as a nurse,” Amanda said when considering the influences on her choice to go into care. “I think this is where the idea of care as a career first came from.” 

“And then from there, when I was 14 my school ran a voluntary programme where we befriended older people. As part of the programme, I visited an elderly lady every week, and it was then that I realised that I enjoyed talking to older people and getting those experiences.” 

Over the years she has enjoyed tremendous success in her career, rising through the ranks from a career assistant when she left school, to earning her nursing qualifications and working four years in hospitals before going back into social care and becoming a home manager and then operations manager. Amanda’s qualifications, however, go beyond social care – she also studied business management at Levels 5 and 7 with the Chartered Management Institute, as well as holding a postgraduate diploma in human resources and employment law.  

Amanda has been working at Canford Healthcare for almost ten years, where she now serves as the Head of Quality and Compliance. During her time at Canford, she has spearheaded a digital revolution within the care home group that has seen care outcomes improve exponentially. 

Through her wide-ranging experiences and qualifications within care and beyond, Amanda is uniquely situated to not only see what needs to be done to improve quality of care, but also recognise the evolving challenges and those that still exist within the industry.  

“There has been a challenge in staying ahead of changing regulations, as well as the standard of social care staffing, but the struggle against Covid was new to us all,” Amanda said. 

“None of us had experienced that before, and that is probably where my biggest interest in digital came from, and what it could do for us. In dealing with Covid, I started asking questions like how could I see what I needed to see and provide the information that I needed to provide quickly, without actually having to be in the service every day? 

“Because of course, we have 11 homes, and with the risk of cross infection, I couldn’t get to those services all the time because I needed to make sure there were four days in between visiting each service to ensure I wasn’t taking any infections from one home to another.  

“So while it was definitely the biggest challenge I’ve faced, out of it ultimately came something positive, because it made me rethink how to do things, it made me re-evaluate what we had, how we could do things differently and how we could use digital tools to help us achieve better outcomes for residents.” 

Born out of those challenging times was the system that Amanda designed and implemented that has helped Canford Healthcare achieve unrivalled efficiency and care outcomes – Quality Cycle. 

Quality Cycle is Canford Healthcare’s bespoke internal system that monitors the quality of their homes’ clinical care. It is used to identify risk, ensure the continuance of good governance and to ensure regulatory compliance. The system promotes governance that aligns with and demonstrates the company’s values, and is the system through which the group can audit, record and share action points and information on the way to identifying trends within homes and keep staff up to date with necessary actions.  

“When we were thinking about Quality Cycle,” Amanda recalled, “we had all this information coming to us. I was thinking about what to do with it and how can I make it visual for managers, how can I make it easy to understand and work in a way that it literally completes a cycle? 

“I do a full desktop audit ahead of what we call Audit, Compliance and Effectiveness meetings. In the meetings, we look at how we can respond to what the data we have is telling us. So, for example, we have Person Centred Software’s Digital Reception, and during the meeting we might look at the feedback given through the front of house system. For the feedback rated one or two, we can ask if the manager has gone back to that person to find out what happened. It’s helping us deal with complaints and issues quicker.” 

“I’d be looking at response times, I’d be looking at supervisions compliance meetings, asking are they meeting regularly, and are there actions coming from that? Or I’d be looking at care plan reviews, asking if the care plans are current, do they reflect the current assessment, and are the risk assessments meeting the care plans?” 

“We use Quality Cycle for the meetings, and from the meetings come actions. That then brings on the action plan, which is monitored weekly, and then it comes back into the cycle for review, and then we start again.” 

Implementing Quality Cycle along with the regular compliance meetings and products of Person Centred Software’s Connected Care Platform has proven a huge success at Canford Healthcare and has seen an improvement in care outcomes. It has allowed the organisation to be far more responsive in terms of actioning changes and addressing issues. It has helped them to analyse performance over the long term by way of using historical data against current data and looking at changes. And crucially, it has streamlined operations as well because now, thanks to Quality Cycle and the use of the Connected Care Platform, Amanda and her team can avoid the tedious and time-consuming task of driving to and from multiple homes and sifting through paperwork. 

For Amanda, the goal of constantly improving care outcomes for residents comes down to constant evolution and innovation. But while she always keeps a keen eye on the future of technology in health and social care, for example how AI will be a dominant force in the future of digital care technology, it all comes back to the human element. It all comes back to the passion that is needed to want to care for others.  

“I’d like everyone to come into care – it's so rewarding,” she said when we asked her about getting into care. “At the end of the day, we’re all going to need care, whether it’s in a hospital, a care home, or our own home – all of us will need help at some point. And it’s just so rewarding and there’s so much you can do.  

“There are always ways in if you want to do it, and if you have a passion for care, then you will be supported to get there.” 


March 14, 2024

Other Blogs