Top tips to help your social care business plan for 2023 | QCS

Top tips to help your social care business plan for 2023

Dementia Care
January 26, 2023

I remember as a manager and provider the days before COVID-19 when January was a great month. It was quiet and was the time we were able to take a deep breath, reflect on the last twelve months and make plans for the next year.

Now January is just like any other month, where we are trying to manage from one event to the next. From staffing issues, recruitment and retention and COVID outbreaks, spiralling costs, increased demands from social workers, senior managers, regulators and families. For many it seems like one crisis after another, for some hoping the light at the end of the tunnel is not another train heading towards them.

Plan your next 12 months to help your business

It’s for this reason why taking some time to reflect is so important and why it simply cannot be discarded due to time restraints and reprioritising your routine. It may just be the space you need to come up with new solutions and alternatives to how you navigate the next twelve months.

A few areas to consider for reflection and planning include:

  1. Recruitment and Retention

Have a look at your Ultimate Recruitment Toolkit and use tools such as the SWOT analysis.

  • Ask why people are leaving (if they are)
  • What are the barriers to recruitment?
  • Have you considered the local market and where your pay rates and terms and conditions sit against the competition, not only in social care but across other sectors?
  • Check out salaries and perks on sites such as Indeed and see how you compare. Do other businesses charge for DBS and uniform and do they pay for staff to attend training?
  • Take yourself back to the days when you were a carer and ask would you want to work at your service

By completing a simple mapping exercise its findings may surprise you. Better still, it will help you map your recruitment plans for the next 12 months in a more structured and focused way.

  1. Costs

Do you have a preferred provider list and has it been reviewed since it was completed? I hear so many times people just accepting price increases from suppliers. Going back to these suppliers and asking for a review or asking for alternatives to what you are purchasing may suddenly free up some of your hard-earned finances for other projects. I know toilet roll was a big pandemic stock issue but even looking as I write this you can find price differences on 48 packs of £5 – £6. Copier paper price differences of £9 a case. Think about the amount you buy and the discounts that might be available, haggle if you need to.

This may even be an area where you can delegate the exercise. Your kitchen staff, for example, may be able to assist as they know the quality they are looking to maintain. It may be that you even make a list of your top 20 purchases for last year and seek to improve on those items.

  1. Governance and Audits

The QCS Good Governance Planner is an excellent tool to plan this year’s audits, compliance mapping, checks and QA. If you review this now it will hopefully free up some of your valuable time, which you can use elsewhere.

By spending time reviewing this now and planning for the year ahead you will by default take the pressure off yourself during the year as your plans are clear and focused.

  1. Training Needs Analysis

The Oliver McGowan Training requirements are now out, but have you done anything about them? What about other training your staff need? Now is a good time to review your training requirements for the year. Consider if you are getting the best from your training providers both in terms of costs and content. Should courses be online or offline? Full or half day refreshers – meaning you can do two in one day or more comprehensive refresher sessions.

What about the needs of your service users? Have they changed or are there new conditions you are supporting that require a new training need? Take time to review who amongst your staff needs to complete training. It may be that certain groups of staff do not actually need that training your plan says they need as it’s not relevant. This focus will deliver cost efficiencies and focus as you can use the QCS training needs analysis and plan to box the year off. Book all your face-to-face training for the year, then you only need to carry out a small monthly review of your planned training and make any minor changes.

  1. Regulatory Changes

We know that 2023 is going to be a year of significant change if the Liberty Protection Safeguards are finally rolled out. On top of this, the CQC plans to implement its new regulatory and monitoring approach later in the year for providers in England.

Are you aware and are you ready for what this means for your business? Take some time to attend a couple of webinars or a provider forum to see what’s happening in your area.

It may be that you can get involved as an early adopter or link with other local services to see what they are doing to plan for the incoming regulatory change.

If your service is due or overdue for an inspection have you started looking at recent CQC inspection reports in your area to see what key themes are being picked up on? This may be a great tool while completing a service review as you may see things that you need to address or other outstanding areas that you need to put in your CQC evidence folder in preparation for when they arrive.

Finally

Whatever you do in January, do try to reflect and plan for the year ahead. May I wish you and your team every success for 2023 and hope that the light at the end of the tunnel turns out to be the long awaited solution for the health and social care sector.

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