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At Nourish Care we’re committed to continuously improving the accessibility and inclusivity of our technology, working towards our goal of developing a solution which truly works for everyone. We spoke to our Head of Product Design, Kate Horn, to learn more about our approach to embedding accessibility and inclusivity at the heart of our product design process.

“Accessibility and inclusivity have accidentally become a bit buzzwordy in the design world recently,” explains Kate, “and most definitely in health tech design. Why? Finally, we are all talking about ensuring that anyone can access the products we are creating. At Nourish these are not just words, they form the basis of design values that go right to our core, we are person-centred. We believe in a better life for everyone. To achieve this, we need to make sure anyone and everyone can use Nourish.”

Accessibility and inclusivity are hot topics in care technology right now, but what do those terms really mean?

“Honestly? They mean quite a lot of different things! 

“It is a common misconception that when we talk about accessibility, we are only talking about how we apply colours to designs and how we can make it high contrast. This is a factor, but it barely scratches the surface of the work to be done to make a platform, or an app genuinely accessible to anyone who wishes to use it.  

“Hold on a moment though, we are talking here about using something that is in your hand already. We need to take a step back and think about the technology and very basic level of access first and how, as designers, we can get the app into your hand or onto your desktop in the first instance. Given that you are reading this digitally, this is clearly not a problem for you but consider this; in 2022, 13-19 million people in the UK over 16 lived in a state of digital poverty. That means they did not have the tech, skill, or resources to fund internet access on one or more occasions a week.  

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“So, before we’ve done any designing, we need to think about the technology that is being used by the people we are designing for.”
Kate Horn Head of Product Design

We cannot just build for the latest and most shiny versions of everything. Accessibility means we need to think about making sure what we create is available to everyone. In a way which does not exclude people, starting at the point of access and empowering them to enjoy the full experience of the platform.

“Inclusive” needs to go even further and it is worthy of a blog post on its own. For now, I want to touch on the importance of ensuring that inclusivity extends to individuals feeling genuinely included, seen and represented within our platforms.

How then do we approach design at Nourish to be accessible and inclusive?

First of all, we aim for the highest possible standard. There is a framework for accessibility in digital design for us to follow called WCAG. Within this there are levels, the highest of which is standard 2.2. This is what we strive to achieve. Standard 2.2 covers everything from the use of text, audio, layout, contrast, colour, platform adaptations, use of imagery, operational considerations, inputs, consistency of design and ensuring the platform is robust. And that’s just to start!

It is a solid start, however, a framework does not go far enough for accessibility and it doesn’t answer the requirement for inclusivity. To achieve this, there are several other elements to consider, starting with words.

Words are a powerful way for us to be both engaging and human, when used correctly. They are also one of the quickest ways for us to disconnect people from Nourish. If we describe areas of the platform or tasks using inhuman or technical language you first have to understand what we really mean and then have to choose if you really want to do it. We’re to make things simpler for you, not more complicated! So, step one for us is to speak in common English and start to create a comfortable experience.

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“Great design should be comfortable, like pulling on your favourite jumper and jeans – you shouldn’t have to think about it.”
Kate Horn Head of Product Design

Next on that list is understanding who we are designing for. This requires us to become so embedded in the health and care sector that we are a part of the furniture. Great insight means we understand the everyday challenges the people who are using our platform experience. This ensures we craft experiences for our platforms that work to solve these problems in a way that is comfortable for everyone.  

How do you focus on solutions that work for everyone? 

Throughout this blog I have used the words “anyone” and “everyone”. These are crucial terms for defining our approach. Typically, designers aim to design for the bell curve, that is, the biggest group of users.  

We simply cannot do this in health and social care. We have to step back and design solutions that truly work for anyone. This “flattening” of the curve is really important. It goes to the core of what we work to achieve as a company and the heart of our values as a design team. We want to create technology to truly wrap around the user in a great experience.

So what does this mean for the Nourish platform?

As users of Nourish will know, we’re continuously improving the accessibility and inclusivity of the platform, these really aren’t just buzzwords to us. We are working towards our goal of creating a system which can be easily used by anyone. There’s always more that can be done but by keeping these principles and our users at the heart of our design processes we are able to keep our person centred goals firmly in sight. 

Book a demo to find out more about Nourish and how we can work with anyone, and everyone in your community. 

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Social care is in a state of change. Care providers tasked with being the steady hand through this change have consistently risen to the challenge. Despite having little control over the changes as they happen. At Nourish Care we are embracing this change by working with our users to develop a social care future we are all proud of.  With increasing standards, new regulations and extended funding availability it is clear now why so many care providers are embracing change themselves and switching to Nourish.  

A Multitude of Choices

Care providers have a wealth of options when choosing a digital partner. Under the original standards for the NHS Assured Solutions List (ASL) there are 24 Digital Social Care Records (DSCRs) to choose from. That’s without mentioning the systems who don’t reach these standards. The ASL is enjoying notable success so far, as it continues to work towards its target of 80% of care providers on DSCRs. Digitisation is widespread through social care now. To the point that many care providers are shopping around for a better system to match their service

The ASL was always intended as a starting point for the digitisation of social care. The Department of Health and Social Care has announced the second step of this journey, with the recent release of the 14 new standards for DSCRs on the ASL. We are one of the few providers to have achieved all 14 of these standards. You can read about the specifics of the standards here. 

Our New DSCR Standards

The Well-Rounded Option

We are the largest software supplier to have achieved the new standards. As well as being one of the first to get listed on the ASL following its initial launch. Our legacy of forward thinking and innovation consistently aligns us with the future direction of the social care sector. We are proud to be working closely with key decision makers in health and social care.  

We support care in a huge variety of settings. Including older person’s care, nursing, home care, learning disabilities, dementia, supported living, assisted living, substance abuse, mental health, children and young people and more. Each care setting is unique, and each care setting requires specific understanding to support effectively. 

Our experienced and understanding customer success and support teams will work with you to make sure our system fits your service. Whatever your needs are, and whatever they may become in the future.  

Sense and Scalability

Once you switch to Nourish, we are with you every step of your journey. Should your journey lead you to new business opportunities we are the best equipped software supplier in social care to support your expansion. Whether you are focussed on a single type of care or support a range of different needs. 

You can also scale your functionality as desired, thanks to our comprehensive partnership programme. The programme unites key best-in-class innovators like Camascope for eMAR, Radar for incident management and PainChek for pain management. All while keeping a finger on the pulse for emerging technologies that will substantially impact the social care sector. 

Additionally, we offer more in-depth data packages called ‘Insights’ and ‘Analytics’. These features provide a much richer insight into the data gathered across your service. Perfect for larger care providers who collect vast swathes of information every day, but have no clear way to transform this potential into insightful, actionable information. 

The New Root of Inspections

The Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) rollout of their new Single Assessment Framework (SAF) is enduring some understandable teething challenges. Initialisms aside the ambition of the project remains clear. The regulator wants to streamline processes and better respond to the needs of the people who draw upon care.  

We facilitate these new developments as effectively as possible. We work with organisations like the Care Software Providers Association (CASPA) to share our voice and insights on the development of digital social care with key decision makers in local and national government. Our work on alignment with #socialcarefuture helps to guide the future of our system as much as they guide the future of the wider care communities. Socialcarefuture are the co-authors of the ‘I/We Statements’ that define the SAF scoring.  

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There is always something new to be considered, a fresh function to be explored or a new piece of legislation to be adhered to.  

We cannot know the future; all we can do is prepare for it. We have read the tea leaves, built our houses from stone and made hay while the sun shone. All so we can continue to lead the way in digital social care, through innovation, understanding and collaboration

Social Care is in a state of change, and with that ever-present uncertainty comes a great opportunity. Switch to Nourish today and take control of your change, with your team, your service and your community.  

Find out more about switching to Nourish

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? 

Thank you to Warrington Community Living for sharing the following article on their website. We love hearing how Nourish‘s digital platform  is helping and improving care services across the country!


Digital Social Care…

Moving away from what we know and stepping into the unknown can be a daunting experience. For both businesses and individuals, change isn’t easy and is often something we fear given it isn’t something that comes naturally; but should it be or should we actually fear just standing still? . In the words of Susan Jeffers sometimes we just need to ‘Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway’. This is particularly true when it comes to using digital in social care.

This notion of change and not being fearful of it is something that our founder and CEO, Nuno Almeida, touched upon at this year’s Care Show. Representing the ‘Care Software Providers Association’ (CASPA), Nuno addressed the issue of change in relation to the use of digital technology within the care sector.

Although more and more care services are adopting the use of digital technology, there is still an enigma that surrounds the evolution of it within the care sector. It’s hard to believe that in the UK, over 75% of care providers still use a pen and paper for planning and record keeping, rather than using electronic care planning systems. Whilst the care sector has evolved over the years, changes have been slow. There are still a lot of fears associated with digitalisation and its perceived risks. Key concerns revolve around:

All valid and understandable reasons as to why care providers are cautious of changing to a digital way of working. However, as Nuno raised the point, could paper present a bigger risk?

Records can be lost; information can be hard to find, and it can be hard to provide carers with context in terms of what is needed for those they are supporting. In the main paper records are seen more as a statutory obligation. A log of evidence to show standards of care to the likes of CQC and local authorities. The data isn’t being used in a way that can help us to improve and enhance care, something that digital technology can help overcome.

The Benefits of Digital Care Management…

When records are input into a digital system, they become so much more than just evidence for inspection. They open up a whole new world of possibilities that simply wouldn’t be possible with stacks of paper. For example using an electronic care planning system to record digital records enables:

Overcoming the fear of digital…

Clearly digital technology such as electronic care planning can provide care providers with a range of benefits, but how can the fear of change be overcome?  Like with most things, when you are armed with the right information and the right guidance, change becomes less like something that should be feared and more like something that is manageable and exciting.

In Nuno’s words ‘with the right co-ordination, the right strategy and the right partners, we can get the right digital use in social care’ and this is one of the key aims of CASPA. To help promote and continue to grow the use of digital technologies in the social care sector to improve the quality of care delivered.

Getting Digital Care Management Right…

To ensure a smooth transition, there are a number of actions care providers can put into place to help when moving to electronic care planning. CASPA suggest the following guidance on how to source and implement digital transformation software.

  1. Define what you want – it is important for you to know what it is that you want to get from digital software. Are you looking to save time when it comes to admin, do you want a better way of reporting and evidencing care?
  2. Identify providers – Task a team with creating a list of potential suppliers based on identified business needs and the criteria that needs to be met by them.
  3. Complete Due Diligence – For each of the providers you have identified carry out due diligence. Meet the suppliers and involve key stakeholders e.g. registered managers, nurses and care workers in the process.
  4. Make a Shortlist – Shortlist suppliers based on feedback from your team and ask for proposals. Check how they fare against your criteria.
  5. Choose Supplier – Invite the top supplier to negotiate and agree timescales for roll-out.

Implementation of Digital Care Management…

So you’ve chosen the provider you want to use, but what next? Well you will need to consider how you will implement the new digital system. CASPA suggest following a three-step process for implementation:

  1. Prepare

Ensure you communicate with families and care teams in a way that is reassuring and clear about the reasons for adopting digital. Try to build excitement and show that this change is positive and something that they don’t need to be nervous about.

  1. Train

Agree whether your chosen supplier will train all your staff or just your internal training team who will then deliver the training to the remaining members of your staff. Once this has been agreed deliver your training accordingly. Give your team reassurance that they can tackle and deal with the change and help them to feel in control by showing them that there are clear plans in place for training and roll-out.

  1. Roll-out

Agree how devices are prepared and deployed. Tell staff where they need to be and when. Ensure you know how user accounts are created and how records are created for the people you support.

What to Look for in a Provider…

Good providers will be able to provide you with all the information you and your team need to ensure you are comfortable and ready for the transition to digital. From giving you clear guidance about GDPR responsibilities to how to manage devices and lock them down should they go missing. When looking for a provider CASPA recommends asking the following questions to help you find out whether they would be a good fit for you:

About the Care Software Providers Association (CASPA)…          

CASPA has been established in the UK as an independent, not for profit, member-driven association. The association is currently led by a volunteer group of founding board members, each of whom manages a well-established software company that provides solutions for social care providers

CASPA Mission…

Find out more about whether using an electronic care planning could help you and those you support here.

As a previous care home manager, our Head of Customer Experience, Dan, knows first-hand what impact electronic care planning has on care and the teams who provide it. We asked Dan to give us his thoughts on something we get asked a lot – is electronic really that much quicker than paper?

Are there many busier environments than care?

We all know care is a very busy world to work in.

Visitors, GP’s, hairdressers, chiropodists, maintenance operatives, CQC can be around at any time of the day. Then we think about all of the support we provide throughout the day, how things rarely go according to plan and the notes that we need to record to show what care we’ve been providing.

Often teams are so busy that all of their notes are ‘remembered’ until the end of the shift – a full days notes for a range of different people with varying degrees of support. We see at Nourish that the average provider completes 600 records per day – 600. That is an awful lot of information to be remembered and it’s no wonder that people can quickly forget to write something down.

How many times have you had the following situations in your service:

Electronic platforms help us to tackle all of that.

So, when can electronic be quicker?

Daily notes

With platforms like Nourish that can be used on mobile devices, care records can be recorded at the point of care. Recording as something happens means that what we record is more accurate, live and always available to the rest of the team. This not only helps to make sure everyone is informed throughout the day, but it ensures that important tasks or targets are not missed.

It also means that records take less time. With dropdown options, checkboxes, pre-determined fields and free text, carers can record a lot more detail in a lot less time.

Also, for staff members where written records can be difficult to complete, they can take advantage of the speech-to-text option. This allows you to speak into the device and have your notes typed out in text for you.

Interestingly, recent research from Standford University found that speech-to-text is three times as fast as texting, and even more so than writing. The study found the following average words per minute:

What previously might have been recorded as “All ok” or “joined in with…”, soon becomes a more natural in-depth report of conversations, enjoyment and participation; all in a lot less time than they could achieve on paper.

Automated assessments

Another way electronic care planning can save you time is in assessments. Scored assessments in particular are a great tool, but there is a lot of room for error when they become complicated, you have to complete calculations and you’re trying to do all of that at speed.

Electronically, these scored assessments can be created to automatically calculate for you. You simply have to put in the answers and the score will self-generate. Not only is that quicker for you, but it also reduces the chances of errors in your records.

One assessment that we find can be significantly faster to complete is the MUST (weight records). The self-calculating MUST assessment can work out the BMI, percentage weight loss and create a score using historical records, whilst pulling that information straight into a graph for you to see. Alone, that’s a saving of at least five minutes per assessment. Combine that with other assessments and those saved minutes soon start to add up.

The ability to personalise forms can also really cut down the time taken to complete. With paper, all options need to be present for the team to be able to fill in, whether they are relevant to the person or not. With the ability to remove non-applicable questions, we can speed up form completion by around 30%.

Audits, reviews & inspections

Without a doubt, the area where electronic recording really results in time being saved is during audits, reviews and inspections.

All of your information is recorded in one place and can be pulled at the touch of a button. Regardless of whether that’s information for what happened yesterday or three years ago, that information is easily recorded and quickly retrieved should you need it.

Ffion Roberts from Jewish Care noted herself in a recent webinar: “It’s only when you get your first complaint or investigation and you need to find historical information that you realise what would’ve taken me all day now takes me only ten minutes to locate. And it’s only taken as long as that because it was my first time”

Having all of your information accessible at all times, recorded accurately and stored in the correct location saves you invaluable time. We know from experience that care providers look back on their days of paper and can’t quite believe how much time they spent looking for information and preparing for inspections.

High-level management

Another time-saving aspect of electronic records is if you manage more than one care location, and need the visibility of information across services. Without even accounting for the time-saved not having to travel to each service, being able to group together key records across services (i.e. accident records for group analysis) means that you quickly and simply see the information you need to submit provider information returns and complete audits.

Head office and management can have instant access to the type of information they need to see, without any extra time or effort from other members of the team. Quicker access, but also more efficient and sustainable.

But, it’s really not all about speed

So, answering the question of whether electronic is really quicker than paper? It absolutely is.

However, as you’ve no doubt picked up by now, it’s also about a lot more than just speed of recording. It’s having all of your information in one place, ensuring your whole team has the information they need to provide the care they’re giving and allowing you to be prepared and ready for any audits or inspections.

Care providers far and wide are already making the transition to digital care management; benefiting from higher quality care plans and notes, compliant and accurate audit trails and a greater degree of control across the management process.

These benefits are being felt at every level, from care managers and carers to the people they care for and their families. Here, we talk to three experienced care providers about the individual impact Nourish Care is having across the entire care service.

How does Nourish impact carers?

For carers, Nourish is empowerment at the point of care. By using well designed and easy to use applications on handheld devices, carers can record notes as they go.

Carers are thereby able to focus a lot more on the person they are working with, and encouraged to record the person-centred care notes that inspectors say distinguishes a care service. Recording notes alongside care also promotes greater clarity, adds useful context and ensures all information is recorded as soon as possible – not forgotten over the course of the day. Recording as they go, carers have the opportunity to really demonstrate the great quality of care they are giving.

Simon Francis, IT Project Manager at Silverline Care, commented: “The main thing for our carers is that the recording of notes is a lot easier. What they were doing beforehand was having to provide care and then try and hold all that information until the end of the shift. Care for residents is now much more to the point and accessible. There is better communication between staff and everyone involved in the client’s care can see what care has already been provided by others. This has made handover a lot easier. It also means input from the carers feeds directly into the care plan, meaning it’s updated within minutes of it taking place. Recording in real time means we don’t lose any important information.”

Paul Dennis-Andrews, Operations Manager at Encompass, has been working with the Nourish Care since spring 2016. He added: “The digital care management system has had a highly positive impact on the overall culture of our service – more than we ever would have thought. Staff who might have had difficulties with the written word are enthused by the ability to speak verbally into the devices to record information. It has been a refreshing and efficient change to a longstanding process of handwritten documentation.

“The large collection of paper files has been replaced with discrete modern handsets and tablets that staff can keep on their person, promoting highly person-centred support exactly how the individual would like to receive it. Documentation is recorded live and visible immediately to anyone with permission, and every aspect of the system is customisable and can be evolved to needs.”

What is the impact on care managers?

Probably one of the biggest benefits for senior carers and care managers is that all information is in one place and accessible at any time. Care notes and assessments feed directly into the care plans and can be accessed by all who need to see them. This develops a culture of knowledge-sharing and allows for more effective care monitoring and visibility of critical information in real-time.

Digital care management also allows for instant reporting, which gives managers back their time to ‘walk the floor’ and interact with their staff and clients.

Megan Read, Care Home Manager of Grassington House emphasises how the digital system has improved her ability to manage: “Because I have a digital overview of real-time information I can easily monitor what is happening within the home. I can set up anything I want to be recorded, schedule things for the carers to be aware of and make sure that nothing is getting missed.

“For when I’m conducting care plan reviews, I can look at the logs that carers input to directly review and evidence any changes made. Beforehand, you would have had to look through endless files and pages, and you simply wouldn’t be able to go through it all. Now, I have no files in the office, everything is on the system; my office can literally move around with me anywhere.”

Simon agreed: “In leadership, the digital system is allowing managers to spot issues more quickly; alerts raised by carers come straight through to the manager, who can then respond quickly and with all the necessary information”.

Paul added: “Monitoring the quality of the support provided is much more efficient and less intrusive; utilising the Cloud to view live records. It is easier to ensure care is being given and support is provided how the individual would like to receive it. Teams are now positively communicating and sharing ideas, and where changes are required, managers can make these instantly, either across the organisation or simply for individual.”

Managers can also easily establish what information they want recorded, and monitor whether this is being followed. Megan states: “As a manager I can literally prompt what information I want recorded from carers and when. The amount of detail I can now see in recorded notes is amazing compared to what it used to be on paper.”

Simon has also experienced improved quality of care information: “During the transfer to digital care management, we’ve been able to see the quality of our care plans. It is an impossible feat to trail through reams of paper plans for every single resident, but with digital we can check care plans easily and demand the quality we want. It’s meant we can really see the overall process and make sure the right care is being delivered in line with the residents wishes.”

How does the digital care management system impact the people you care for?

As Simon and Paul state, by recording care as you go, you create a more person-centred and accessible quality of care and you have more time available. Carers have the tools and information they need to provide personal and responsive care, and with extra time, can involve the resident directly and sociably in inputting the care notes.

Megan encourages her carers to be sociable and engage the residents when writing notes; this can mean sitting down with the resident, having a cup of tea and a real conversation about how the resident is doing. She has found that residents prefer the digital care management system once they understand it because carers are able to spend more time with them. Megan commented: “Carers can be sociable and engage with residents so they can contribute to their own notes, keeping them much more involved with their care. Beforehand, carers would have to spend time away from the residents at the end of the shift completing paperwork. The digital system is also really useful for bi-annual reviews; I can hold a meeting in the lounge and connect my laptop to the main screen so we can all see the information and have a really good chat about the care plan with the resident – it’s a lot more involved, but also efficient, and residents like to be able to see their care plans so easily.”

Care information recorded electronically is also much easier to share; not only with other medical professionals, but also with close friends and family. Innovative care providers can utilise existing resources and involve these other parties from the very beginning; you can enable a service user to design their own care plan, involve family members in the on-boarding process or allow informal carers to contribute directly to the care notes. Having a digital system opens up vast opportunities to get better connected with the whole circle of care.

By enabling better communication and ensuring information is shared with those who need to know, your care team will be more aware of the individual service user’s needs; and ultimately, informed care leads to better care.

Get in touch today to see how digital care management can work for you.

Let’s Chat! 

We spoke to Anne Weston from RHW and asked her what she would say the, “Top 10 essential care planning tips care providers need to consider when considering care plans and their management” would be. This article covers the areas she feels care providers can really make positive gains and improve the care they are able to provide.

The care planning process needs to follow an organised, systematic and deliberate format, which supports and guides care delivery. This means there should be a logical and systematic flow of the information, right through from the initial assessment to the final evaluation.

The Top 10 Essential Care Planning Tips

  1. Care plans must be specific and measurable
    For example ‘Make sure Mrs Smith is comfortable when sitting’ is not sufficient. The care note should read ‘Mrs Smith should be made comfortable when sitting by providing a cushion for her back and a footstool to rest her feet’. This provides a specific task and a measurable outcome.
  2. A care plan is a legal document treat it as such
    This means that it shows accountability and identifies the care to be given. It should guide the work of others and be a basis for continuity of care
  3. Use a positive care recording style instead of negative
    Instead of recording “Mrs Smith can’t reach the toilet and is frequently incontinent”; you should endeavour to record your notes in a positive style. “Mrs Smith is continent when supported by staff to use the toilet frequently and regularly. Give Mrs Smith the opportunity to be supported to use the toilet before and after all meals, after mid-morning and mid afternoon tea, and before going to bed” this demonstrates more respectful approach and brings us onto the next point.
  4. Record person-centred approaches showing respect, value and appreciation
    Using a person’s life history to help enabling control, choice and participation; promoting an enabling environment; maintaining and developing relationships, knowing what is important to someone and why it’s important helps to promote effective care provision.
  5. Focus on a person’s abilities and strengths
    Rather than concentrating on what someone cannot do, you should record what the person can do and what support they need to enable them. For example you should record that ‘Mrs Smith is able to wash her face, hands and front but needs help to wash her back and lower half of body’ rather than ‘Mrs Smith is unable to fully wash herself’.
  6. Focus on the person’s perspective
    Rather than focusing on the staff’s perspective; you should accept and enter into the person in care’s world. Don’t force them into your perceptions, which can cause distress to the person.
  7. Record any preferences the person has
    A great example of this is when the person in care has a preference as to how you as a carer, should assist to provide personal care and in what order. Never forget that their preferences have priority over yours as to how you deliver care.
  8. Do not use labels
    Examples we come across regularly include ‘wanderer’ and ‘difficult’, these do little to explain and understand behaviours. You should focus on understanding behaviours and contextualise their ‘To be aware that Mrs Smith starting to pace up and down the corridor is a strong indicator that she needs to use the toilet’ or ‘ Mrs Smith expresses her lack of understanding of what is happening by trying to hit out at care staff if they do not approach her in a way which suits her’. ‘Therefore you should always approach Mrs Smith directly in front of her, do not approach from behind or from the side’.
  9. Demonstrate the involvement of the person
    Written evidence of their involvement in the activity is always preferable, “Gerard had a great time this morning playing bridge” rather than “played cards”.
  10. Show compliance with the Mental Capacity Act
    Record clearly if you have involved other people in the assessment and care planning and why, according to the requirements of the Act.

Want to know more about how our care plan software can work for you? Get in touch with our team today and book a personalised demo.


You may also be interested in reading:

Electronic Care Planning: Is it really that much quicker?

THE BIG INTERVIEW: Our founder Nuno Almeida in Care Home Professional

Positive and person-centred care – what the experts say

Embracing digital technology in the social care sector has many obvious benefits; not least time saving, more accurate note taking, simple reporting capabilities and a significant reduction in paper storage.

However, we are now also seeing that once care providers have fully integrated Nourish Care into their service, they are constantly finding innovative ways to utilise the technology.

Soon after the digital recording of care notes and updating care plans has become second nature, care teams become excited by the flexibility of the system and endless opportunities it encompasses.

The more time we spend with our care providers, the more we are impressed with the how forward thinking they are. Here are just a couple of examples of how our clients have been thinking outside the box when it comes to flexing the capability muscles of Nourish.

Encouraging new interactions

One home we recently revisited has started to record an interaction each day of wishing every resident a ‘good morning’. They also record their responses and any conversations that followed. It’s such a simple addition to their list of daily tasks, but encourages care staff to interact with the residents that little bit more, and on an emotional level. It also gives great insight into how the resident is feeling that day and can be a helpful indicator of their mental health.

Involving the animals

Many of our clients provide care to pet owners, some of whom live in the home with them. Whether it’s cats, dogs, guinea pigs or chickens, carers have started to create daily records, and even care plans, for the animals. This is a fun and engaging way to use the system and ensures our fluffy and feathery companions are also fed on time, given any care they require and taken for those all-important walks.

Pets are often an integral part of a residents’ or service users’ life and happiness, and it’s just common sense to keep them healthy and happy too. Having care plans for the service’s pets also provides a great talking point when engaging with residents and their families, and we love how our care partners are using the system to encourage communication.

Tailoring to individual needs

The flexibility of the Nourish system means that anything you want to personalise or remind staff of can be built into the daily records. Maybe Frank is trying a gluten-free diet; maybe Margaret likes a cup of tea while she reads in the afternoon; or perhaps Victor is going to start chair exercises once a week. Whatever the preference, goal or need, the daily records can reflect this, helping to keep the care team up-to-date of any changes.

Reporting maintenance issues

Another innovative way we’ve seen care providers using the system is to also report maintenance issues. This could include task reminders, so that maintenance checks are completed, and even to ‘flag up’ maintenance concerns. For example, if a carer notices that a light bulb has blown, the carer can take a photo and note its location from a drop-down list of rooms on the Nourish system. They can then set a warning for the maintenance team who will see to the maintenance issue and turn off the warning when it has been resolved. It’s great to hear how the system is being used, not just to support care teams providing care, but also to support the smooth running of the overall service.

Using NFC tags to ensure fire doors are secure

A final example of where our care partners have taken a unique approach to using our system is with regards to checking fire doors. We currently offer NFC tag technology, which many of our care and nursing homes use for night checks. These small tags are placed in the residents’ rooms so that when a carer completes a night check, they can tap their Nourish device onto the tag and it will record accurate information for when the check was completed.

Some of our care providers also use this technology to ensure fire doors are secure. The tag has been placed on the fire door, and when the relevant staff member taps their device onto the tag, a form appears which asks the staff member to check the fire door and record the task as complete or if action is required.

Our system was created to empower carers and support care teams to provide the best quality of care possible. However, we are so pleased that the flexibility of the system is encouraging care teams to think creatively and find new ways of making the most of the technology to support their care provision.

Digital transformation in the care sector is no longer the future and the benefits of the technological revolution have been felt far and wide across the sector.

Despite this, and the numerous benefits that technologies have shown in all areas of care, we are still seeing some reluctance towards digital transformation. While there is a common misconception that this is down to many care professionals fearing technology, this is simply not the case.

Past research from Skills for Care revealed that 95% of those working in the sector use digital technology in their work; and that the great majority are strongly positive about the potential of digital technology to improve efficiency and quality of care services. We also know that digital transformations are occurring, because we work with care providers up and down the country who are looking to digitise their care records every day.

It is, therefore, not the fear of technology that acts as the barrier, but, in fact, the fear of change.

Perceptions vs. truth of digital transformation

In our experience, there is a clear misunderstanding between what the perceived barriers are to adopting technology, versus what the actual barriers are.

Few worry about job automation. There are many instances where advancements in technology remove the need for physical people – you only need to go to your local supermarket to see self-service check-outs, or go online to realise how much of your daily life you can manage without interacting with a person.

In the care sector, however, suggestions that Pepper the Robot will eventually replace carers are disregarded because there are two key things that computers cannot impersonate: social intelligence and emotional interpretation. The adoption of technology in care is not about replacing human interaction, but facilitating more of it through time-saving.

In contrast, the biggest barrier that we do hear care providers talk about is their concern that their staff will not have the necessary skills or inclination to adopt technology. In reality, we actually find the opposite is true.

According to Skills for Care’s The State of the Adult Social Care Sector and Workforce in England, 2017, the average age of a care worker is 43 and a fifth are aged over 55. Data from Statista shows that in these age groups, smartphone ownership is at 88% and 47% respectively. So, the physical use of technology is not alien. With a new younger generation of care workers coming into the sector, all of whom have grown up using technology, confidence in ability is only likely to increase.

The level of notes we have to record in care is often a point of contention and this can also act as a barrier. However, the fact of the matter is that we have to record notes, because without doing so, we have no method of evidencing care. After all, ‘if it wasn’t written down, it didn’t happen’.

It’s not about working out how we can get away with recording less information, but instead how we can improve the amount of high-quality information we record in the least amount of time. This is exactly what digital solutions allow you to do.

Further to this, technology also allows you to make use of all of that recorded information, so that it can be better used to directly benefit care; rather than being filed away in a locked room.

Effective change management is key

The problem, usually, is not care team capability or the use of the actual technology, but how the digital transformation process is approached, and the tools and support provided during this process.

Going from paper to electronic care notes and care plans is not just a change in the physical process, but also to the content that is recorded. As a result, the approach to managing the change must address culture as much as technology.

In the latest issue of Care Management Matters, our Head of Digital Transformation, Luis Zenha Rela, explains how care providers can implement an effective change management process.

You can read the full article online here.

Digital transformation will never be a ‘one-size-fits-all’ scenario, and the power of technology comes just as much from how it is integrated as the functions of the technology itself.

Embrace this innovation, choose the right solution for you and give special consideration to the change management process, and you might be surprised by how much technology can enhance the quality of care your service provides.