Andrew Preston, Group MD of de Poel, provides his thoughts on how to build a high-calibre workforce with patient care truly at its heart:
“It has never been more of a challenge for care organisations to be confident they have complete visibility and control over their entire workforce, than it is today. As a leading specialist in managing temporary workforces on behalf of health and care organisations across the UK, de Poel health+care recognises that the individual experience of the patient is absolutely paramount. There are two factors that contribute toward this; firstly, the clinical expertise of the care worker and secondly, how they are recruited and managed to work within a team of care professionals.
“Care workers are part of an extensive team of people, and it is only through efficient management that the delivery of quality care can be assured. When you look back over some of the recent stories to make the headlines, more often than not it has been workforce mismanagement that is most likely to blame. With this, generalisations have unfairly been made and the reputation of the care industry has suffered as a result.
“Problems of staff culture and not responding to customers’ needs are systemic to the internal management of care workers and how they are recruited, not merely the responsibility of the care worker at the point of delivery. Staffing pressures are part and parcel of managing an effective and productive workforce – temporary or permanent – and without robust systems in place and processes that anticipate these challenges, quality of care will inevitability be compromised.
“New technologies have an integral role to play in how we manage a workforce that is in constant, and increasing, demand. Through effective management of information, organisations can reduce hidden administration costs often associated with hiring temporary staff and forecast spend accordingly. Transparency, visibility and compliance are the cornerstones of good management, yet when we think of quality care we tend only to consider the frontline service.
“The ability of care services and health support is constantly brought into question, and the cost of public workforces in this environment is particularly under scrutiny. However, the ability to help organisations in these sectors to find new ways to optimise their management of temporary workers, without compromising on quality of service, is a rare thing. Now, more than ever, those responsible for making people and budget decisions are looking to implement the best technology to ensure quality is consistent, measured and can always be improved.
“Across the UK, the traditional 9-5 working pattern is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the care sector, where the right skills are crucial in order to meet the needs of the patient with competence and discretion – yet these requirements can often change rapidly.
“With a proven 15-year track record, de Poel health+care works with a number of NHS Trusts and private health and care organisations to help them access wider talent pools of high-calibre, quality workers and fulfil vacancies on a 24/7/375 basis – all from one system, known as e-tips®.
“This means that our client organisations can now rely on a single point of contact to act as an intermediary – reducing the layers of complexity and driving better value in the supply chain by optimising every aspect of recruiting and managing their temporary workforce, from start to finish.
“These more strategic approaches to managing temporary labour are far better aligned to the way health and care reviews will be delivered now and in the future. By understanding how the care sector is changing and using more responsible and robust technology, we can manage how care is delivered – and ultimately promote continuous quality improvement across the entire care industry.”