Continuity Healthcare

Barry Stephenson, General Manager

Continuity HealthCare Services was started in 2015 and has grown rapidly in recent years. They have a major contract with Warwickshire County Council which provides the majority of their clients, alongside a smaller number from Coventry and Rugby CCG. They also have a handful of private clients.

In 2018, Continuity Healthcare moved to larger premises in Coventry to support their rapid growth. With 90 carers delivering over 2,650 hours of care a week, to more than 145 clients, has also required a significant expansion in their management team. Now, with improved business structure and processes, Continuity Healthcare are ready and prepared to expand through relationships with other councils.

Moved from requires improvement to Good CQC rating

The Problem

Due to the speed of growth, Continuity Healthcare were struggling to apply control measures to ensure all calls were being attended on time, or even attended at all in some cases.  Barry (General Manager) describes the situation:

“We started off small and could run around balancing plates, but as we grew, firefighting as an approach to running a business became untenable. Our second CQC inspection moved us from Good to Requires Improvement.”

Receiving the requires improvement CQC rating was the final straw.  A recovery plan was needed and technology to support this was required.

“we were still creating rotas without any software, we had no real system for planning activities effectively, such as 3-monthly care quality reviews, we had no effective way to schedule a whole range of recurring tasks, no way to comprehensively manage staff training, the recruitment process tracker and reminder, no oversight or control of carer call times.”

“We started off small and could run around balancing plates, but as we grew, firefighting as an approach to running a business became untenable. Our second CQC inspection moved us from Good to Requires Improvement.”

The Solution

Barry initiated an 82-step recovery plan to address the shortfalls in service quality and management.  One of the first steps in this process was winning back control over the management and tracking of call scheduling.

“I created a spreadsheet comparing about 50 different functions across 4 of the most popular Call Monitoring solutions as I went through presentations by each company – from ease of use, easy to understand visuals, to integration with other systems such as accounting software, to how the app works and what reviews the app had on different app stores.”

After two weeks of research and meetings, the result of this research was conclusive. Barry had found the best home care management system for his needs.

“CarePlanner beat all the other systems, hands-down.”

 

“CarePlanner beat all the other systems, hands-down.”

Rostering and Rota Planning

Going into more detail, Barry explained how the rostering and rota planning in CarePlanner resolved his challenges.

“Once your service users and carers have been entered onto CarePlanner, it becomes so easy to create rotas and make changes and certainly saves us a significant amount of time – time we can then devote to other important activities.”

“We have a comprehensive view of our schedules and call-time adherence by our carers, we can track carer performance in areas like punctuality and cancelling shifts at short notice.”

“We can match up carers easily with the skills individual service users require, and CarePlanner can prevent us from sending inadequately trained carers to service users with complex care needs. It can prevent us from inadvertently sending carers to calls where the service user prefers not to have that carer.” 

Managing Training and Care Reviews

Beyond the day-to-day challenge of scheduling and monitoring calls, CarePlanner also helped Continuity Healthcare manage the training needs of carers and care reviews for service users.

“We use CarePlanner as our training matrix. We have set up our training and awareness requirements for the life of a carer, so CarePlanner will prompt us when training and refreshers are required for each person.”

“We use CarePlanner to record Service User care reviews and prompt us when the next ones are due. We can set up ways to track almost all recurring business activity and store files against activities. We also use the system to track complaints and their resolution.”

CarePlanner is even used to support the recruitment process.

“At recruitment, CarePlanner will ensure we tick all of the recruitment process boxes and even prevent us from putting a carer on shift by mistake until we have whatever documentation we have decided we need before start, such as DBS and references.”

 

Simplified Invoicing

CarePlanner was brought in as a solution to specific needs but has been put to far greater use than originally expected.  The system sits at the centre of the business for Continuity Healthcare, providing a single location for data relating to calls, service users and care workers.

One of the upshots of a single centralised location for data relating to appointments is automation.  Invoices and timesheets can now be generated from an exact record of call durations and care delivered, at the touch of a button.

“We can invoice our councils and CCGs with almost one click, automatically calculating staff hours worked. This has saved us an incredible amount of time and is more accurate than us doing it manually.”

 

The Result

The result of all this hard work was validated by CQC at the end of May 2019.  Continuity Healthcare were awarded an overall Good rating.

CarePlanner has enabled Continuity Healthcare to save time, improve visibility of call statuses and, above all, improve the quality of care delivered to their service users.

“In short, CarePlanner now sits at the centre of our business, giving us vital control measures and a significant part of the structure we needed.”

“It is one of those things in life that I didn’t realise I needed, now I can’t envisage us being without. We came looking for call monitoring and came away with a crucial part of our business infrastructure.”

“In short, CarePlanner now sits at the centre of our business, giving us vital control measures and a significant part of the structure we needed.”

County Care

“The most recent update has really taken it to the next level, and they’re clearly a very forward-thinking company.”

Proud to Care

“I’ve now got more time to support staff, be face-to-face with clients and their families, and offer a truly personal service.”

Charlesworth Community Care

“We’re safe in the knowledge that the software works and will keep ticking along. I’d have to rate it 9/10.”

NHS Woodfield 24

“We constantly have new referrals, whilst other patients pass away or need to increase their number of visits at very short notice. Frankly, I don’t know how we’d cope without CarePlanner “

SOS Homecare

“We’re now becoming a paperless company because we rarely have to print anything out”

Apollo Franchising

“The customer service has been brilliant. Really, really good. They’re so helpful. I tell my franchisees – just ring the helpline”

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