A forum of key decision makers in health and social care has called for the sector to reevaluate its scepticism for remote working in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Health and Social Care Leaders Forum, sponsored by The Access Group, is chaired by Jonathan Vellacott, Executive Chairman of MiHomecare and The Complete Group, and convenes to discuss the most pressing issues in social care.
While many care providers have previously been sceptical of the effectiveness of ‘remote’ operational visits and inspections, the leaders agreed that checking sites remotely could offer a more cost effective and efficient solution.
Raina Somerson, CEO of Agincare, explained that in the past her organisation had been sceptical of how effective ‘remote’ inspections of their care homes across the UK could be but found that they were as productive as conducting visits in person. She added that remote visits are, “in many ways more focused and more meaningful” than in-person visits often were.
The forum also discussed the role of technology in helping the sector respond to the crisis. The care leaders expected digital transformation to continue at increased speed over the coming months and years.
Sushil Radia, CEO of Westminster Homecare said that he and his team “have learned and moved our tech strategy forward more in the last three months than the last five years.”
The forum members all agreed that having a single data source, achieved through integration between different types of software, is a necessity for any digital transformation strategy. With the anticipation that the regulator will demand greater visibility of data, the call for delivering on the promise of digital transformation is more pressing than ever before.
Having that single data source has been the difference between those organisations that have been able to identify areas of interest or concern and take actions fast. They have been able to move from monthly reporting and actions, to weekly, daily and even hourly analysis and decision making.
Steve Sawyer, managing director of Access Health and Social Care, added:
“It was a pleasure to sponsor the first Health and Social Care Leaders Forum and recognise the hard work and resilience shown by the whole industry over recent months. The forum ended with a consensus that the pandemic period was no doubt a challenge for the sector but there have always been and will continue to be challenges.
“Overall the reaction from the sector has been strong and as we move forward there will be outcomes that will create sustainable businesses, providing greater quality of care and an improved working environment for employees.”
The decision-makers comprising the Health and Social Care Leaders Forum are Raina Somerson, CEO, Agincare; Sushil Radia, CEO, Westminster Homecare; Volt Sacco, CEO, Fosse Healthcare; Jose-Luiz Munoz Garrido, Clece Care; Ken Deary, Right at Home; Lucy Campbell, Right at Home; Nicola Mewse, Hales; Christopher Dixon, HICA; and Darren Stapelberg,Grosvenor Healthcare.