We caught up with Asim from Smart Care Homes Ltd, which currently has three care homes offering a wide range of support including Dementia care, general nursing and more. We also spoke to Liz at Melrose, one of their homes in the Smart Care Homes group, to talk about their experience with Nourish and how it’s helped them enhance quality care across their homes.
Smart Care Homes Ltd offer support for Dementia care, general nursing and more. They have a caring and compassionate team that can provide care of the highest standards.
How do you think Nourish has helped you to enhance quality care at Smart Care Homes?
Before Nourish, carers would usually spend around an hour to an hour and a half at the end of their shift, ticking off what they’d done. This took time away from residents, which is the main reason they are there. Nourish has saved them so much time being able to log information on the go.
They can build a timeline throughout the day and then that last hour of the day they can spend quality time with the residents, rather than doing admin. It also means that carers can work independently, rather than needing to confer with one another to understand what has and hasn’t been done on shift.
How much time on average do you think Nourish has saved you and your staff at Smart Care Homes?
From a managers point of view, we can easily save around 4-5 hours a month because of how easy it is to read and extract information when doing in-depth audits. The quality of handover information and the quantity of information provided allows for much more detailed reports. I can get answers to half the audit questions just from what carers have already inputted into Nourish. I have since added this process into other homes because it is so successful.
Have you had any feedback from residents or their families about you using Nourish?
The initial response was why have staff got handsets? But once we got past that stage we have had such wonderful feedback from families. Just this week a lady came to thank me and said “Nourish is brilliant”. This is because the families can see how Nourish is assisting the care team in providing tailored support. For example, prompting them about fluid intake. This is giving families peace of mind that care teams are always aware of their loved ones’ needs and providing the best care possible.
“I can see a whole picture of each home and especially during Covid it made the audits so simple. Nourish is constantly evolving and that is the key thing that made the biggest difference for us.”
Have you found Nourish to be scalable across your care service?
Each of our homes is different and their needs are different, but the system is tailored to what I as an owner expect the care plans to look like and what needs to be covered across all homes. But it also gives the care managers the freedom to tailor them to the residents’ needs. We can set a standard of what is expected but then allow each home to work in the way that’s right for them. For example, every home will do a handover on Nourish as standard, but each handover might look very different.
Now that I have personal experience of implementing Nourish, I would have no reservation about implementing it into other homes in the future. It would be a simple and smooth process.
Have you had any feedback from CQC as a result of going digital with Nourish?
CQC has always been really positive about us adopting Nourish, and have been encouraging about digital working. The CQC report at Melrose acknowledged the use of an electronic care planning system (Nourish) which enabled staff to update people’s care plans immediately and in ‘live time’. The system alerted staff using an amber or red warning depending on the severity of action required for the person. They were happy with our use of handovers at Willet and Amberley Lodge and our digital way of working.”
Did you have any concerns about going digital?
I had some to begin with. Is it going to work for dementia care? Will the care team actually use it? Will it be good enough for what we need? What about security and internet connection?
How did Nourish and the team help you overcome these concerns?
All of those fears never materialised because we could do all of the things we wanted to. We could tailor it, we could change things, staff could use it in different ways, so all of those concerns were resolved along the way.
How has Nourish helped you in regards to the Covid-19 pandemic?
We have been able to tailor a number of features on the system to work differently during Covid. For example, we have been able to add an ‘interaction’ for deep cleaning, which only our cleaners have access to. This means that I can now see when cleaning has been completed, and it’s all documented online. Temperature check interactions were added into the system automatically by Nourish which was great as it prompts us to do these checks without us having to think about it.
This is particularly helpful for managers to keep on top of things during this time. The Direct Messaging feature has also been really helpful for speaking with the entire care team while maintaining social distancing. It also means that there is an audit trail of what’s been said and done. Rather than passing papers around members of staff, everyone has a clear view of what’s going on directly through their own devices. We have a nurse at Melrose who is shielding but is able to complete all the care plans remotely with the information provided by the team present at Melrose, which has been invaluable to us in maintaining quality care throughout the pandemic.