New year resolutions are all about leading happier and healthier lives and might include doing something the person has always dreamt of doing. Resolutions often revolve around doing something better and making more time for the things that matter in life, like family and friends.
Social care providers and managers are no different to anyone else in needing to make resolutions which will, over time, improve their lives and those of their friends and family and, where the changes relate to ways of working, often the staff team and, importantly, Service Users too.
In this blog we identify five things social care providers and managers need to get on top of this new year to make 2024 a more productive one for themselves and their teams.
While we don’t normally go in for buzz words and phrases, working smarter is a good resolution to make. Working smarter is about making the best use of your time and efforts to achieve the same outcomes usually associated with a lot more effort.
The key strategy for 2024 in terms of working smarter is digitalising parts of what you do, e.g. care and support planning and evaluation as well as tasks like audits. Another strategy is to stop doing things you don’t need to do, e.g. writing and updating policies and procedures. Not only is this a poor use of time, the policies and procedures have not been tested at inspections and so there is a risk they might not be up to the task – unlike those offered by Bettal: https://www.bettal.co.uk/policies-and-procedures.
Become familiar with the Single Assessment Framework
While many providers are familiar with the new single assessment framework which the CQC started to roll out in 2023, it is going to become the reality for all providers early in 2024.
This means providers not only need to get a grip on the requirements of the new quality statements, but also the evidence categories and ways of working associated with the new framework. It is worth reviewing your paperwork and approaches to keeping records against the new framework – we have some exciting new tools to help customers with this in 2024 – watch this space!
Make sure you learn lessons
There is little doubt that one of the key themes for the year is going to be how social care providers learn lessons. If you are the sort of person who is “too busy” to reflect and learn, then one of your resolutions needs to be the make the time to learn from both positive and negative feedback. One of the key features of social care providers who do well at inspection is the ability to learn and adapt – especially when things go wrong. Making time for, and sharing lessons learnt is never a waste of time and demonstrates that you are a service which is constantly improving and is responsive.
Learn to delegate
One of the reasons social care enterprises fail is because the provider/manager is unable to delegate. Delegation is important for three main reasons. First it provides depth to the team as more than one person can undertake a task, second it says to team members they are trusted, third it allows the manager to do more important things. Delegation also means getting other agencies, like Bettal, to do the things they are best at, freeing time for you to grow and develop your business.
Like delegation and smarter working, prioritising is necessary for social care businesses to survive. Very often we talk to new business providers who are busy tweaking paperwork and looking for new ways of recording things when in fact they have no business to record. Income is a priority for any social care business and avoiding doing tenders is procrastination at its worst. Spend time this January thinking about what your business priorities are for the year, make a list and follow it.
The New Year is a great time to take stock of everything you do in your business as well as your personal life. Taking the time to consider what your priorities are for 2024 is an effective use of time this January as it helps focus you on what is important for your social care business, failure to do so may mean you are not as efficient as you should be or that your business fails during 2024.
Bettal has a well tried and tested suite of policies, procedures and risk assessments which are available to social care providers all year round. Our quality compliance management documentation is there to take the stress and strain out of being a Registered Manager, so why not treat yourself this New Year to our sector leading products – that’s one New Year resolution we guarantee you won’t regret.
If you would like to know more, browse our website, or get in touch:
Peter Ellis MA MSc BSc(Hons) RN
Bettal Quality Consultancy