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Teamwork makes the dream work, though a good partnership is hard to find. At Nourish Care we are committed to working with our users throughout their digitisation journey. A journey that continues beyond tomorrow’s horizon and into the future of care. The results of our partnerships are present for the over 385,000 people who are cared for with Nourish software solutions. People define partnerships, and by putting partnerships at the centre of our approach we ensure that people are always our focus.  

A Good Start is Half the Battle

From the moment you first speak to Nourish there will be someone on our side working with you every step of your journey. This applies to care providers of all shapes, sizes and disciplines. 

Digitisation can take time, whether you are looking to reshape systems or just starting off your journey. We make sure all our users have the right guidance alongside them to make this process as smooth as possible for your team and as specific as necessary for your community.  

Project managers are available to help care home groups and large franchises transition to Nourish. They work with your team to ensure an effective digital rollout. We have dedicated customer success managers to work with medium and smaller care providers, as well as being another helping hand for large groups. These managers are adept at supporting the unique needs that emerge when providing care for your community. They know how to guide our users during their set-up process to ensure you receive the maximum benefits from Nourish. 

Our partnership doesn’t end at the onboarding. We continually work with our users. Offering you an open line and a dedicated point of contact for your service, so you can continue to grow the way you want to and flourish with Nourish. You can read more about how Nourish has supported the teams and growth of home care providers Nexus Care and Priory Group’s care homes.

Visit our Case Studies page for more examples.

Case Studies

Expert Outlines with a Personal Finish

Expertise is essential to success, and our partnerships with services excel at combining our knowledge with yours. We have researched and developed robust libraries alongside care and clinical professionals with a deep understanding of the sector and needs of the population. Each library contains interactions, assessments, care plan templates and more for managing specific pathways, conditions, needs and day-to-day operational requirements. 

We combine this wealth of best practise and experience with your understanding of your community’s needs. Nourish boasts a depth of customisability. This promotes the individuality of your service in line with the established requirements of commissioners and regulators. The only assets that are not customisable are locked to ensure compliance with a particular protocol or standard. This empowers your coordinators to wrap your system around your service and provide for the specific needs of your community. 

Care Specialisation

There is a reason we are the largest software supplier for social care in the UK. We do not settle for general. Nourish is filled with functionality that supports the unique requirements of different care types. Including residential, domiciliary, nursing, assisted living, learning disabilities and many more. 

For Home Care

Strong rostering is the backbone of efficient home care management. We built our rostering with over a decade of experience working with home care providers. It can be set up on repeating schedules of up to a month. Our drag and drop rostering and customisable carer rating system gives you the tools to quickly adapt to changing circumstances with your workforce and the people they support. Your rostering can then be simply invoiced and time-sheeted with our comprehensive finance functionality. Ensuring you pay everyone the right amount at the right time.  
 
Nourish’s mobile app for home care is another product of our strong partnerships with care services. We work with providers to keep our app up to date and empowering their care teams and communities. Carers know where they’re going and what they’re doing, while keeping you up to date on how it went through their appointment notes and audit tracker.  Travel times, upcoming schedule, care types, medications and notes are all designed alongside carers and available offline. So your team have everything they need, anywhere they go.

For Residential Care

Nourish is designed by care professionals for busy care environments, combining icons, imagery and text to create a smooth, easy experience. Keeping carers informed is crucial in residential settings as well. The care plan summary on our care home mobile app provides a detailed and concise snapshot on mobile for a particular need to ensure nothing gets missed and you have all the information available. Carers have access to all the information on the mobile app which empowers care teams. They can see the handover, review recent and historic appointment notes. A level of autonomy unrivalled by any other DSCR platform. The app also features ‘back’ and ‘save’ buttons wherever you go so no records can be lost when completing a record/interaction. 
 
Data is a hot topic, but one that has burnt the finger of many a service. With Nourish managing data can become a simple part of your daily process. We provide several prebuilt dashboards within our system to provide data oversight to your team. These dashboards can become a cornerstone or a starting off point for your team’s application of data. We have experienced people on our team to help you get what you need from your data in your reporting. So you can focus on providing, responsive, effective care.

Partnership People

All of our success at Nourish has come through collaboration. Collaboration between our teams, between our integration partners and between our users. We believe the best solutions are produced through teamwork. A process without an end, but an enduring, enjoyable journey. We’re in this for the long haul, with true partnerships, the lasting kind.  

Care to join us? 

Digital technology is a key part of the future of social care. A future the majority of care providers have already embraced. Digital social care records are a common sight, and many users are familiar with the benefits and potential of digital technology. Benefits that vary from platform to platform. The decision is no longer about finding a digital platform, but about finding the right digital platform for your service. An increase in digital literacy and skills experienced across the social care workforce has led many providers to reconsider their care management platforms, and shop around for new options before switching digital social care records systems.  

If you are shopping around for a better platform for your service but are concerned about the process of switching to a new digital social care records system, we understand. The change from one digital platform to another is not the same as ‘going digital’ in the first place.  

We put together this blog, based on our extensive experience onboarding users to our platform, to help familiarise care providers with the realities of switching digital platform. 

Platform People

As with all things in care technology, and all things in care in general, people play the defining role. Switching systems is not going to be seamless. The simple reality of the technology is there is no small combination of clicks that will move your database from one system to another. They are not built for it. That’s why people still define the experience. 

Our user support teams, from onboarding, to client success and support have years of digital care experience. As well as many of us having started our careers in care. We understand the challenges of changing on both a technical and emotional level. 

Switching digital social care records means different things for different providers. Much like when first picking a system, the process is shaped by your unique service. Our experienced teams will take the time to get to know what makes you unique, guiding you through the transition.  

Our focus is on collaboration, throughout all stages of your Nourish Care experience. We are active participants alongside you, to ensure you retain everything you need from your previous records and can apply it appropriately to the features of your new system. This collaborative process helps reduce the impact of the transition on your teams and the people utilising your service, especially for larger providers with multiple branches. 

Data Security

It is vital you have the records you need, when you need them. Our focus on collaboration means you can highlight the hierarchy of information you need transferred, in a secure, and reliable way. Throughout this process it is crucial your data is kept secure.  Nourish is at the forefront of digital security standards. 

We work with the Professional Records Standards Body to develop standards for social care. We are also fully ISO 27001:2022 certified in line with Local Authority commissioning guidance and Cyber Essentials Plus certified. These certifications reflect our commitment to preserving the confidentiality, integrity and availability of your system.  

Data requires storage and Nourish backs up data continuously to a cloud-based system. We do not use onsite data stores and all our cloud-provided solutions are backed up automatically and built into our disaster recovery plan and testing. This ensures the highest standard of security for the data of our users and the people they support. 

A Fresh Start

A new system is a whole new world, a new fantastic point of view. You can build upon the processes you have previously developed or create new ones. We have a deep library of resources available for all our users, backed up by our experienced and understanding support teams.  

There is no set way to apply digital systems to your service and community. It is a natural learning process discovering how to best utilise the tools at your disposal. At Nourish we have seen our users come up with creative and innovative applications, specific to the needs of the people who draw upon their support. In fact, some of these ideas have proven so effective we’ve asked to share them with other Nourish users!  

What’s the Hitch with Switching Digital Social Care Records?

Everything should be as simple as it can be, but not simpler. An adage that proves truer with each new piece of digital technology released in social care. In the past five years we’ve seen simplicity give way to necessity, and now necessity turn into potential. Finding the right digital partner for your service can help unlock your potential for the future. The process can be intimidating at the start, but with the right people, and the right support, you’ll only have to change systems once. 

If you’d like to find out more about the benefits and process of switching to Nourish contact us

The annual clash of ideas, innovations and insights held at the Excel London is only a few weeks away. Care Show London is a highlight of the year, bringing together people from every corner of social care. We will be heading down for the event on the 24th and 25th of April, with a few of our team taking to the stage themselves!

Big Chats in the Big City

Engaging People and Families: The Role of Digital Technology 
24 Apr 2024 
11:45 – 12:15 
Technology Theatre 
 
With increasing pressure on the health and social care system, enabling people, their loved ones and carers to take a more active role in their care journey may prove imperative. Join Jeremy Baldwin and Al Frisby from Nourish, who will explore the transformative potential of digital technology to promote self-management, family engagement and shared decision-making across social care.

Key Points to be Covered: 

Changing Dynamic: Moving from passive care recipients to active partners in care. 
Digital as an enabler: Practical role of mobile apps, patient portals, wearables, remote monitoring in facilitating communication, collaboration and safe care. 
Providing access to relevant health information, treatment plans, and educational resources. 
Overcoming challenges and ensuring inclusivity. 
Addressing barriers to digital adoption. 
Ensuring accessibility and inclusivity for diverse populations. 

Our aim is to provide valuable insights and practical strategies for professionals, policymakers, and industry stakeholders interested in harnessing the power of digital technology to engage and include people and their families in the provision of safe and supportive care.

Outstanding Conversations

We will also be joining The Outstanding Society on stage for a selection of their panel discussion. 

Data + Analysis = Outstanding 
24 Apr 2024 
14:00 – 14:30 
The Outstanding Society Learning Lounge 

Data has become a hot topic in social care recently. It has a huge potential to shape the way we care, and the way we review the care we provide. Join our Chief Product Office Jeremy Baldwin as he explores the incredible applicability of data to social care processes to help care providers deliver outstanding care. Jeremy will be joined by a panel of industry experts, including friends from our partnership programme, PainChek’s Head of Business Development, Tandeep Gill, and Camascope’s CEO, Kehan Zhou. 
 
Out Standing Diversity Forum: DE&I – done the outstanding way! 
24 Apr 2024 
15:00 – 16:00 
The Outstanding Society Learning Lounge 

Our Chief Marketing Officer Lee Gilbert will be joining the stage with some Outstanding Society colleagues to discuss diversity, equity and inclusion. Social care has always been rooted in people, community and the goal of helping us to achieve our best lives by working together. In this pursuit our diversity is our strength. The panellists will share the experiences and approaches to promoting the differences that make us who we are, and how they can unite us. 

 
Reducing infections and improving lives. VIVALDI Social Care 
25 Apr 2024 
11:35 – 12:20 
Care Keynote Theatre 
 
VIVALDI represents a commitment to using collaborative academic research to address common challenges in Social Care. Through our work with The Outstanding Society we have played a key role in developing and supporting this research. Joining our Clinical Lead and Safety Officer, Carrie Taylor, is an experienced panel to discuss their research into reducing infections in care homes. 

The Care Workers’ Charity Fundraiser

We are hosting a competition on our stand for The Care Workers’ Charity. When you visit our stand be sure to scan the QR code. To be in with a chance of winning a £100 shopping voucher! We ask that you make a donation to the Care Workers’ Charity when you enter the competition. However, it is not required to be included in the prize draw.

A Ticket to London

There are plenty of exhibitors to check out when you arrive at Care Show London. It can be a little overwhelming at first, so we teamed up with Home Care Insight to put together this ‘Top 5’ guide.  

With so much to see, say and do Care Show London promises to be an incredible event not to be missed! You can get a free ticket by following the link below.

Free Care Show London Tickets

Digital technology has rooted itself in social care over the past few years. There are a lot of options for care providers looking digital social care software, ranging in size, shape and functionality. Over 60% of providers have some form of digital social care records, with more digitising every month. This shows the adaptability of the care sector as it utilises new tools to address long standing challenges. However, with these new tools come new challenges too, and many providers are starting to realise not just the power of using digital technology, but the potential of using the right digital technology. 
 
Finding the right technology is like finding the right people. You must know who you are and what you want, to get what your service needs. Are you looking for cutting edge innovations and reporting to transform your processes? Do you want to shape your system to your community and improve how you engage with the people you support’s circle of care? Is reliability, in both technology and people, your focus? Your requirements list may include all of these and so much more, your current digital system may meet some of your requirements but might fall down in other areas. It’s important to review whether your current system is working for your service and if there might be a better system out there that truly enhances the important work you do. In this blog we cover why it might be time for you to switch to Nourish. 

At the Forefront 

Social care is in a state of change. Departed from the old standards but still developing its true form. This can breed uncertainty as much as excitement for digital social care software users. That is why Nourish are always engaging with decision makers, researchers and care sector leaders to make sure our user’s voices are heard. We have consistently led the way for digital innovations in care at both the technical and legislative level. We were the first digital social care records system to join the NHS England Assured Solutions List, as we wanted to make it as easy as possible for care providers to go digital. We are also the first supplier to attain level 3 conformance against Professional Records Standards Body’s (PRSB) standards for personalised care and support planning.  

We lead the discussion about future developments of digital social care through our role with Care Software Providers Association (CASPA). While taking steps to innovate the relationships between existing software suppliers in social care with our Partnership Programme. We accept it is not possible to know for sure what form the future will take, but it is well within our powers to prepare for it.   

Digestible Data 

One of the major benefits of increased digital system application in social care comes from how we use our data. Every interaction generates data, each appointment, activity and report. Many care providers are sitting on a wealth of information with no way to spend it on the people they support. Nourish’s robust reporting suite empowers users to take control of their data. We give you the tools to identify trends, respond accordingly and review the success of these changes. With more information at their fingertips coordinators and carers can respond effectively to the needs of the people drawing upon your service, in a safe, well led manner. 

We include several prebuilt dashboards within our system, to help our users get what they need. These dashboards can become a cornerstone or a starting off point for your team’s application of data. We want to demystify digital and help everyone in your organisation use a digital system to improve human care.  

Attention Behind the Curtain 

Care is human and so are we. That might seem like a strange thing for a software supplier to proclaim. If there’s one thing we’ve learned from years of developing technology, it’s that people drive everything. That’s why people remain central to the Nourish experience. With us, there is always a human on hand to help. From your onboarding stages, through to our comprehensive Customer Success Managers and support teams. We maintain a high standard for user experience and support because we appreciate the people that drive social care. For all the impressive and effective technical advancements we make, there are some things that will always require a personal touch.  

Wrap Around Digital Social Care Software 

The people who utilise your service require a personal touch too. We know that no two care providers are the same. Geography, demography, psychography, the number of varying factors is off the charts! That’s why Nourish is built to be customisable. You can match your system to your service and ensure it delivers exactly what you need. This customisability empowers your team to provide truly person-centred care, with more information and less effort than ever before! There’s no need to force your community to fit into a box off the shelf. Our team will work with you during your onboarding to make sure Nourish is set up exactly how you want it to be. We can even help introduce you to new features and functionality that align with your service! 

Family Matters 

Introductions can be tricky things in fairness. Especially when it comes to those we love. With the increase in digital social care solutions there has been an increase in accessibility. Naturally, interested family members and friends are curious to learn more about the care their loved one receives. Family portals offer a great opportunity to share this insight. However, it can also be a challenge. With Nourish you stay in control. Welcome people into the world of care you provide, while still maintaining control over what they can and can’t see. There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution in care, but thanks to our customisability you can easily find the size that fits your community. 

Safe and Secure 

Of course, you only want the people with invitations to have access to your system. Security is paramount to us here at Nourish. With 83 million rostered appointments in last 12 months in home care and 10 million residential data records updated on care plans every day in Nourish we know how crucial security is and we are dedicated to protecting the confidentiality, integrity and availability of your system. 

Nourish backs up data continuously to a cloud-based system. We do not use onsite data stores and all our cloud-provided solutions are backed up automatically and built into our disaster recovery plan and testing. This ensures the highest standard of security for the data of our users and the people they support. 

We worked with the PRSB to develop standards for social care. We are also fully ISO 27001:2022 certified in line with Local Authority commissioning best practice and Cyber Essentials Plus certified. 

Now That’s a Fine Looking System, Why Doesn’t Mine Look Like That? 

Digital social care systems have come a long way in the past few years. So have the people using them. Digital literacy is at an all-time high, and care providers are experienced enough to ask software suppliers detailed questions they wouldn’t have thought of previously. These are important questions to finding the right system for your service, and ones we’d be delighted to answer if you contact us.  

With so many options available to care providers today, is it time for you to branch out? 

Social care is a special thing, and it requires a special person. We all know that it takes a certain something to work in care. The purpose and pride that comes from supporting your community drives so many people in our wonderful sector. For our UK Care Week Voice of the People blog we wanted to know what it was that drew people to work in social care, so we asked them!  

“What drew you to work in Social Care?”

S. Ferron, Birmingham Community Healthcare Trust  
“I’m very passionate to be able to deliver high quality care to palliative and end of life patients at the most important time of their lives.”   

Katie Thorn, Digital Care Hub  
“I work in social care because I basically grew up in it. My grandparents had a nursing home, which my mum then ran. I have many, many happy memories as a kid of running around, just spending lots of time with our residents there. I’ve worked as the carer, worked in operations, worked from the kitchen, and I just love this industry. I think it’s so amazing to get to support people, to really get know them, to find out all of the amazing things they’ve done throughout their lives, and I’m really excited to continue working in social care.”  

Linda Knock, Harmonized Care Limited   
“I’ve worked for Harmonized Care for not quite five years, but I have worked in health and social care for 37 years and I do it because I want to be able to make a positive difference to people and I want to be able to help them to stay in the place that they want to be in, which is their own home usually.”  

Adam Purnell, The Caring View  
“For me it was around the understanding that each of us is going to get old and each of us are going struggle with things that we need in the future and I want to have good care when I’m older so I wanted to join to provide that support for people now but also to inspire future generations so that as a country we can come together and provide the support for the needs that people have.” 

Mathew Onwochei, Dignified Services Limited  
“First of all, because i needed a job, but when I came into the care industry, I found out that I’m giving my best because I’m a passionate about the work. I love people, I’m passionate, I’m compassionate about people. So I give my best because I want to. And I find that I’m doing it and I love it. Now I’ve been there for one year, and I’ve got an opportunity to get a better paying job. I said no because I love what I’m doing. I’m there to put smiles on their faces.”  

Joshua Richardson, Care Workers’ Charity  
“I’m working in care because my auntie is a care worker. I can see how much she cares, see the work she does and how hard she works and how much help that care workers need. Working for the Care Workers’ Charity is a brilliant way of giving back and giving as much help to care workers as possible.”  

Emma Kildare, Birkdale Park Nursing Home  
“The reason I ended up in social care was because I worked in the NHS as a hospital matron for a very, very long time and it became exhausting. I started to go to Burkdale Park Nursing home working on nights just to try and step back from the mainstream but then after a couple of years went on to days and now I’m back being a matron. It’s a completely different environment being within the nursing home sector than it is in the NHS.  

What I enjoy the most is I’ve got an amazing team behind me, the manager is really good, we’ve got a very good relationship, the team are great behind me and I’ve got lots of autonomy to do what I want, to create my own team, I’m allowed to invent new things, implement new changes and we are in the middle of doing an improvement program to try and add loads of bits in that will enhance the home, enhance the resident’s care and we’re also developing all of our staff quite a lot as well.”  

Vicky Lewin, I Care MK  
“I needed to get experience with vulnerable adults which is why I joined care, but I enjoyed it so much that I never left.”

An Industry of Passion

We all come from different walks of life, on different journeys to different destinations. Yet, as we spoke to people for our UK Care Week Voice of the People blog we found the common denominator of compassion and commitment from everyone we spoke to. It takes something special inside you to work in care, and there is something special in care that connects that part of us all together.

You can read more about our time at UK Care Week 2024 here.

Growth requires reflection. The first step to getting what you want is knowing what you need. Our previous blog went through steps for evaluating your existing system. Once you have a clear understanding of your current processes and needs, you can start to develop your vision for how to satisfy them. As you may be aware, there are a lot of options available. Since the launch of the ‘Digitising Social Care’ campaign in April 2021 the number of social care software suppliers on the Assured Solutions List has grown by 450%. This is a source of great opportunity and reasonable consternation for providers. In a crowded market it can be hard to settle on the right choice for you, but with the right questions and advice you can find the right system. 

The Grapevine

Care is a community, and it is in our communities we find the best answers. Speaking to other providers about their experiences with different technologies is a fantastic place to gain a better understanding of what is available on the market. People with first-hand experience of a system can highlight its strengths and weaknesses in the specific context of their service. While your service might not align entirely with theirs, direct experience with technology in a care setting is a valuable insight for your decision-making process. 
 
There are several ways to gain insights or ‘social proof’ from other care providers. The most straightforward route is asking for case studies from existing tech suppliers in care. All suppliers will have a selection ready to go, and most should be able to give you a case study that is similar to your size and structure. However, these will obviously come with a bias towards the company that wrote them.

Social media groups and online care communities are a great source of social proof. There are a number of groups on social media platforms, like Facebook and LinkedIn, which you can join. These range in size and location and are typically filled with like minded care providers looking to support each other. There are also local care associations and paid provider community networks you can join.

Planting the Field

Once you have enough examples of the digital systems available to you, you can put together a shortlist of viable choices. Start with key necessities or ‘must haves’ and build from there such as: care type supported, customer experience reputation and interoperability capacity.  
 
This initial list might be very long, it can help to organise the information important to you in a spreadsheet to make it easier to compare your options.

Cutting the Chaff

After completing a self-evaluation, you should have a list of questions for potential digital care suppliers that help illustrate how they would address your service needs. These questions will form the backbone of your assessment when engaging with the short list of potential systems. 
 
All digital providers will be happy to give you a free demonstration of their system. These are generally whistlestop tours of the system, highlighting the strengths of the platform and how they relate to your service. Your self-evaluation will help you focus the discussion and direct the person showing you the system to the features most pertinent to you.  
 
In many instances it is possible to record these demonstrations so you can share them with your service. As the new system will impact everyone in your service, it is beneficial to share your insight into the options available with your teams and gain their perspectives as well.

Blue Sky Thinking, Green Grass Reality

Digital systems can be transformative, but selecting the right one can be time-consuming. It is important to understand the nature of the agreements you are being offered as well. If you are about to enter a two-year contract, all of these evaluations and discussions with other providers will be worth it! 
 
It is also possible that through your evaluation you may conclude that there isn’t a better alternative currently available on the market. If that’s the case, then it’s a good prompt to engage more forcefully with your current provider to influence them to align with your requirements.

Find out more about the benefits of Nourish by contacting our team for a personalised demonstration of our platform.

Spring has come and with it the new blossoms of ideas and opportunities. UK Care Week sits at the start of the social care events calendar, putting winter to bed behind us. We headed to the NEC in Birmingham excited to connect with so many people from across social care. Throughout the two days we enjoyed a wealth of examples about the potential and power in the future of care. 

On the Stand

Our team immediately felt the energy of the event when we arrived on Wednesday morning. Our stand was a hive of activity as we welcomed old friends and new prospects. Many attendees were curious to learn about the specifics of our system, showing just how experienced with technology social care providers have become.

It also presented us with the wonderful opportunity to catch up with existing Nourish users and share our experiences first hand. Communication is the cornerstone of care for us at Nourish, and one of our favourite reasons to attend trade shows.  

Our Partnership Programme Neighbours

Care is a community. Through our partnership programme we continue to develop integrations with many quality software suppliers in social care. Several of whom were also attending UK Care Week.

Within close proximity were Camascope, Sona, Workforce.com and Blaucomm, turning our section of the show floor into a fun Nourish Partnership Neighbourhood! While only around the corner you could find our friends PainChek, Homecare Association, and the Care Workers’ Charity. Plus Ally came by to say hi while they were visiting the show! 
 
You can find out more about our partnership programme here.

On Stage

UK Care Week has a reputation for big name guest speakers and insight full industry experts and this year was the best yet.  
 
There were a number of talks on the development of digital in social care. Digitising Adult Social Care (DiSC) provided an update on their programme, and the success so many providers have experienced since moving from digital to paper. Digital Care Hub shared their expertise, helping to illustrate the importance of safeguarding data and making sure we are able to use technology to innovate in a secure way. In keeping with this theme, they also led a discussion on generative AI and its potential impact on social care. Sharing insights from their ongoing ‘AI in Social Care’ roundtable events, which we are taking part in. 
 
Our friend James Tugendhat, CEO of HC-One, shared his experience covering a range of topics in his conversation with Sam Lewis, editor of Care Home Professional. James highlighted the importance of having great managers, and how many of the Managing Directors of their homes started as carers, reflecting the understanding and ‘kindness is key’ ethos of HC-One throughout their organisation. 

The CQC was, of course, a common source of discussion. While the new system is still in its teething process it is reassuring to be able to share experiences openly with so many different providers as well as the regulator themselves.

Yes, Minister

The headline act of the event was saved for Thursday afternoon. The Minister of State for Social Care Helen Whately. Care Minister Whately opened her seminar with a reflection on the commitment her government has made to social care, the funds they have made available and the reasoning behind them. She shared her vision for social care, a system with many a range of shapes and sizes, joined but different from the NHS, allowing it to respond to the unique and varying needs of communities across the UK. She also spoke about the success of the digitising social care programme and her continued desire for the adoption of digital social care records. Her session concluded with an open call for questions from the crowd, and a round of one-to-one conversations and selfies with attendees.   

In Bloom

With UK Care Week behind us we are inspired by what we’ve seen and energised for an exciting show season ahead of us. We have Care Show London in April, as well as a number of smaller shows on the horizon. There is nothing quite like meeting people in person and immersing yourself in the wonderful wider community of social care.  

If you’d like to get a more direct idea of what people were saying at UK Care Week you can check out our Vox Pop blog from the event here. 

People drive social care. The people who provide care, those who utilise care, our families and our wider communities. When you want to know about the reality of social care you need to speak to these people directly. So that’s what we did! Starting off at the Care England Conference.

Championing Change

Care England are a force for empowerment and growth in the social care sector. Their recent conference ‘Championing Change’ reflected this focus. The day was filled with engaging discussions and shared insights as a who’s who of positive change in social care shared their stories and perspectives. There remains a lot of work to do in social care to achieve the future we want. But there was also plenty to be proud of on the day, and several attendees took some time to share their experiences with us. 

“What makes you happy to work in social care?”

Sarah Jennings, Majesticare 
“The people that we look after make me happy. Making them happy makes me happy.” 
 
Prof Martin Green, Care England 
“I think it’s the impact we have on the people we support and I see lots of people who tell me that their lives have been transformed. 

For example, I was with somebody the other day and she told me that she’d been living in her own home, she was really frightened, her husband had died, and then she came into a care home and she said it was a new lease of life.” 
 
Raina Summerson, Agincare 
“My happiest moments in social care are when we’re taking over the transfer of services that have not been invested in or at risk of closure and you go in and you breathe that new life into someone’s home or someone’s service delivery. You work with them and you work with the workforce, you turn it around and you just have that positive buzz of making a difference in people’s lives.” 
 
Vic Fitzwalter, Jewish Care 
To increase staff involvement, we introduced a board in the office when a member of staff does something exceptional. They come in, use a different colour pen and write on the board. 
Then we speak about it and give them a clap. The board is full of exceptional stuff. It helps staff morale.  
 
A lot of times the care team, they’re doing a great job, but they’re not recognised, so this is awesome. 
 
Emmanuel Ali, Care Managers Ltd  
The technology that we brought into play has really helped us, technologies like Alexa were quite useful because [the people utilising our service] don’t need to wait for anyone of us to do anything for them. They can just talk and get what they like, [such as] people who like music, they just play it without waiting for anyone to come around to help them. It’s about enablement, you know, which they are very happy with. 
 
Tony Seagroatt, HR Fit for Purpose 
I think of my mum’s experience with social care. To me, what was good about the care home was that, from the manager down, the communication was good with all the staff. Mum’s personal needs were taken care of brilliantly. She also had things that were important to her, like having her hair done. That was done every week. They involved her in all the activities. She was a very social person, she loved being with all the other people in the home. They were very welcoming when we went too. Whenever we wanted to go and visit her in the home. I think it was just a very positive experience for her.” 

Anita Goyal, Goyal Foundation 
My passion and interest is really encouraging young people from schools and colleges to come in and learn about social care so that they can plan and design their career pathway. There’s a great space for careers in social care. And we have our second annual National Care Careers Conference. Which will be held on the 19th of November at the amazing Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Where we’re just going to give young people an insight and education around the social care sector. It’s a really positive experience. We’re going to have some amazing exhibitors and workshops that will teach and educate young people about various things like dementia. 
 
I think that there’s much work to be done around that. Especially with educating young people so that they can grow up as being the citizens of the future. Where they can support help and understand how they can contribute to this area of work. Especially with research, with discoveries, also supporting on social care side as well. 
 
Jodie Allen Cawley, Lifeways Care 
We have an initiative called Quality Checkers, and we have a hundred Quality Checkers in the organisation. They are people with lived at experience, who we support, who tell us about their experiences of the kind of support we provide, and what good looks like. 
We have some quality checkers that go on tour and give us this whole raft of feedback [across our services]. We have 11,000 staff who support almost 5000 people. So we harness all that feedback and then we come together once a year in our national workshop and we work through it all together.  
 
What people have told us is working about the support we provide and what isn’t working about support provide. Then we co -produce solutions around how we can improve what’s not working and we would celebrate the stuff that is working and we’re doing that in a really interactive way. 

A Care England Conference Celebration

There is so much to celebrate, so much to enjoy, and so much to champion in social care. It is our pleasure to work with so many amazing people, and our privilege to be a part of a community committed to driving positive change.

Digital systems have gone from a ‘nice to have’ to a ‘need to have’ in social care. Most providers have moved to a digital system or are in the process of implementing one. With widespread digital uptake the question has changed from; ‘are you using a digital system?’ to ‘are you using the right digital system for your service?’

Just under two years ago the government launched its ‘Digitising Social Care’ campaign, delivering the three year £150 million investment for digitally transforming adult social care, as was set out in the 2021 white paper, People at the Heart of Care.

This campaign built on a decade of digitisation in Social Care that, driven in part by the pandemic, had seen care providers take on a variety of different digital systems to help them deliver outstanding care.

The driving force of the ‘Digitising Social Care’ campaign has focussed on ensuring 80% of providers, and at least 80% of people in receipt of care, have a Digital Social Care Record (DSCR) in place by March 2024. While it fell slightly shy of this target, there has still been a significant uptake in digital social care records from the 40% of providers using them at the start of the campaign. These positive results have led to the government extending funding for the campaign until March 2026.

Evaluating Your System

Nourish Care was the first system to join the NHS England Assured Solutions List back in 2021. Since then, the list has grown significantly, so how do you choose the right one?

Incompatibility between systems and services is a rising source of operational frustration for providers. ‘All-in-one’ systems can be limited by the applicability and lack the resources to support more complex or person-centred care, while specialised systems can be disconnected, leaving your team to fill in the gaps between them manually.

Routine system evaluations are a great way to uncover and address these frustrations. This process involves identifying the issues with the platform you are using and evaluating the impact of this issue on your organisation. It takes time and effort to establish the best criteria sets for your service. We have included a guide which you can use to help you get started.

It Takes a Village

Digitisation has impacted everyone involved in care, so it is best practice to include your entire organisation in the evaluation process. Any frustrations caused by your digital system will be felt by carers and coordinators alike.

Your organisation has multiple roles and responsibilities, and it is important to involve them in your evaluation process through interviews and surveys. An example of some common roles are:

If possible, you should also involve the people who utilise your service in this process, such as when evaluating the effectiveness of integrations with other systems like PainChek or GP Connect as well as circle of care functionality like a family portal.

The more experiences you can account for when evaluating your system, the more complete your picture of its impact will be.

Considering Your People

Digitisation in Social Care happened at such a rapid pace since COVID that, understandably, some people have been left behind. When evaluating the impact of your system it is important to consider not just the functionality, but also the user experience.

Do your team feel confident not only with the system, but with the support they have around it? Are there resources and training available to help your team improve their understanding of the system? Is there a customer support team they can reach out to for guidance and support?

Many issues with digital systems come from their misapplication. When evaluating your current digital platform, it is vital to consider your team’s comfort with the system. It might be a matter of reviewing and reworking the way you are implementing the system, as opposed to changing your system all together.

The Right Roadmap

To provide outstanding care, you must constantly be reviewing and improving upon your processes in a responsive and caring way. It is natural to expect the same of your system, as you both adapt to the always evolving reality of care provision.

Digital skills develop over time, and with that time it is common to look for more ways to apply your skills to support your care, such as through data reporting and analysis. By routinely reviewing the capabilities of yourself and your system you can make sure you are maximising the benefits of your digitisation journey.

The Power of Knowledge

With so many options available to care providers for digital systems, it is the perfect time to review the needs of your service and community. There is a wealth of suppliers eager to explain their system and its capabilities to you. By knowing what you have and what you want from a digital platform, you will be well-equipped to get what you need.

At Nourish we are well versed in helping people to transition from an underperforming digital system to ours. We have resources, guides and team members who would be delighted to talk to you about the process further. If you would like to learn more contact us.

The Home Care Association Conference is a special event for home care providers. It brings together Association members from across the UK to share the experiences and insights. This makes it a unique opportunity to meet with a wide range of providers, suppliers and key decision makers in home care. We have been eagerly awaiting this opportunity to connect directly with the home care sector and show everyone why we’re so enthusiastic about Nourish Community.

The theme of this conference was ‘The Future of Homecare’, something we at Nourish Care are very excited to be a part of. The day certainly lived up to its billing. Politics, commissioning, and workforce development were just some of the topics we covered, and thanks to the openness and understanding of the attendees there was plenty of positivity to take back home with us. 

The homecare community

The Home Care Association is the premier organisation for home care providers in the UK. Its members include providers of all sizes and locations, and their conferences bring these members together to great effect. Home care can at times feel like the ‘little brother’ of the ‘little brother’ in social care, overlooked and underappreciated. 

We know the reality is far from the truth, as demand for home care continues to grow year on year in the UK. People want to be able to live long, fulfilling lives, in their own homes and communities. We relished the chance to speak to so many amazing providers about exactly how they can help the people who utilise their services achieve this ambition. These discussions are crucial to both our understanding of the realities of providing home care, and the future developments we prioritise for our own system.

Headline conversations

The big attraction for events like ‘The Future of Homecare’ are the talks. The headline acts if you will, ready to light up the stage with their passion and perspective. We kicked things off with a bang this year as the HomeCare Association’s CEO Dr Jane Townson OBE was joined by Strategy Governance and Policy Consultant Dr Anna Dixon MBE. Dr Dixon recently chaired a Church of England Commission on ‘Reimagining Care’, drawing upon her wealth of experience which includes being the Chief Executive of Ageing Better and Director of Strategy and Chief Analyst at the Department of Health to name just a few of her previous roles. The talk highlighted the deficit of awareness around social care and the fact that we still lack enough ‘political salience’ to bring about much needed reforms. Work is being undertaken to try and address this issue, especially by fantastic organisations like Social Care Future but a lot of effort remains ahead of us. 

Practical advice

The other talks followed a similar trend of practical insight and experience being combined with actionable results. ‘Commissioning for Better Outcomes’ was a fascinating panel delving into the challenges of commissioning. Thea Stein, CEO of Nuffield Trust revealing a long held suspicion for many in the room that ‘The NHS does not understand Social Care…we are working through it but it is very slow’. Tim Ryley, Accountable Officer for NHS West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board shared some tips on connecting with your local ICB as a care provider, finding the right contact and the benefits of going through the Place Committee where possible.

The talks on the future of caring and workforce were similarly dappled with actionable advice. A particular point of interest for us was when George MacGinnis, Healthy Ageing Challenge Director for UK Research and Innovation pointed out that; “Tech can be complicated and designed at care providers rather than with them.” An important lesson for all suppliers and one that speaks to the mission statement at the heart of Nourish Care. 

Joining the Discussion

The Home Care Association Conference is not just about coming and listening, but about taking part so you can be sure to take something back home with you. The morning and afternoon workshops covered a wide range of topics and offered something for everyone. Perhaps too much at times as it was difficult to settle on which workshop to attend!

Business growth, financial management, technology applications, recruitment, retention and PR were all up for discussion. These talks were led by people who had an in-depth understanding of the topic, but driven by the participants. The interactive sessions further reinforcing the engagement and community that makes being a part of the Home Care Association so worthwhile.

At the end of the day

Our team feels energised by our time at The Kia Oval and ready to embrace what the future holds for home care. We could spend thousands of words going through all of the great insights, conversations and people from the conference. (Not to mention the food, quite a spread) However some things you have to experience yourself to truly appreciate and ‘The Future of Homecare’ was certainly one of them. So make sure you don’t miss out on next year, because we can’t wait to go back!