DepenSys is a dependency tool that can calculate care home staffing in a way you have never been able to do before. Here’s how...
DepenSys, a solution that is completely unique within the health and social care sector, provides a way of quickly and efficiently recording each resident’s individual needs and, using its carefully designed algorithm, converts these needs into the total hours required to provide a good standard of care in a 24-hour period. In the way that it gives care homes a clear picture of their current staffing hours compared to required hours, DepenSys is a dependency tool that gives care homes the chance to fully maximise the staffing resources available, as well as other benefits.
Why DepenSys first came about and what makes it so successful
Studies have consistently shown that dependency in care homes has risen exponentially over the last 15 years. According to a report conducted by Savills: “much of Europe has an increasingly aging population. That results in more people needing increasingly complex care, and for longer periods of time.”
They also concluded that, “the old age dependency ratio [the number of people 65 or older compared to the number of working-age people] is also increasing sharply – there are more older people being supported by fewer working-age people.”
Traditionally, it has often been the health authorities that determined staffing levels in nursing homes and local authorities in residential care settings. These determinations were often based on pre-set ratio models of 1 to 5 in the morning (1 carer per 5 residents in the morning), 1 to 8 in the afternoon and 1 to 10 at night. Some homes are still working on these models which in an increasingly complex, challenging and demanding care environment are proving inadequate to provide the foundation for person-centred care, which is the effective distribution of staff hours and staff skill.
This is what makes DepenSys such a powerful solution: rather than operating on ratio models that are not set by individual needs, the platform’s calculations give care ratios that are much more accurate in terms of painting a picture of each particular home and each resident therein. Using DepenSys, care home settings have the tools to ensure that as little time, energy and money as possible is wasted.
DepenSys – for the wellbeing of staff as well as residents
Staffing has long been an issue within the health and social care industry – ensuring that a care home has the appropriate level of staffing, as well as the appropriate mix of skills within the staff, is paramount to providing an outstanding level of care for residents, not to mention ensuring the best quality of life possible for staff, who can sometimes suffer with burnout, stress, or even leave the professional altogether because of the strain of short-staffing.
Aside from the benefits of maximising staffing resources for the quality of care of residents, DepenSys’ ability to calculate staffing needs means that care staff are less likely to find themselves overworked, their time and energy overstretched, and at risk of burnout.
In this sense, DepenSys is a crucial tool to support the mental wellbeing of staff.
What are the key benefits of DepenSys?
- The platform ensures staffing is matched to resident needs
- It can help to provide the right skill mix to deliver high quality care to residents
- It can optimise and accurately calculate the right number of staff needed on duty – meaning care homes are far less likely to find themselves understaffed or even overstaffed.
- It helps to demonstrate compliance with regulatory requirements on staffing and for the use of a staffing system
- It can help to save care homes money and generate more income by reducing the likelihood of bringing in unnecessary agency workers and helping to set more accurate fee levels by being able to quantify needs for each individual resident and therefore the level of care they will require.
Did you know?
DepenSys helped one care home group increase their turnover by 18% in a year through increasing levels of income by providing the data to negotiate higher fees and by controlling the use of agency staff that were not necessary.
Meeting regulatory requirements
DepenSys is a powerful means of evidencing to regulators across England, Scotland and Wales that care homes are taking active measures to maximise staffing resources as well as ensure the right skill mix is in place to always ensure continuity of care and outstanding outcomes for resident wellbeing.
More specifically, DepenSys ensures adherence to:
Regulation 18(1) in England for the CQC
"Sufficient numbers of suitably qualified, competent, skilled and experienced persons must be deployed in order to meet the requirements of this Part."
Regulation 34 in Wales for the CIW
- "The service provider must ensure that at all times a sufficient number of suitably qualified, trained, skilled competent and experienced staff are deployed to work at the service."
Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Act 2019 for the CI
"Any person who provides a care service must ensure that at all times suitably qualified and competent individuals are working in the care service in such numbers as are appropriate for-(a) the health, wellbeing and safety of service users,
(b) the provision of safe and high-quality care, and
(c) in so far as it affects either of those matters, the wellbeing of staff."
Investing in DepenSys means that care providers can meet these regulations by ensuring that sufficient numbers of staff are available to care for residents, as well as keeping control of the ratio of care staff to residents and how that ratio might change in different circumstances, as well as the appropriate mix of skills needed to ensure all aspects of care are delivered.
What challenges does DepenSys solve for care providers?
DepenSys is able to calculate the staffing and skill mix required for individual homes and it can also give a larger picture of home groups for regional or group managers. For example, using the dashboard DepenSys will tell you based on the information given, you have 200 DepenSys hours of care vs 205 actual hours. This informs care staff that they are within the threshold of staffing allocation to provide a good level of care
The evidencing of needs
Using the dedicated resident section, residents in care homes can have individual needs inputted and scored, which then goes into the calculation for staffing allocation in the home
Tracks the resident journey
The needs and dependency levels for those living in care homes can sometimes change very rapidly. But DepenSys can be updated in real-time whenever needed and resident scores on various areas of need can be adjusted – this not only helps to track their dependency needs but it can also be used to adjust fee levels.