Millions don’t raise their concerns over care. Let’s put this right.

Few people like to complain, especially when there is a risk of conflict. The same applies if it involves issues of a personal nature. That’s why it is so difficult for most of use to raise concerns about care, whether it involves us personally or a loved one. We often feel that carers are doing their best under difficult circumstances and we don’t want to add to their burden.

Improving the quality of care is everyone’s business, whether it is in a care home, a hospital or a medical centre. This is more likely to happen if we have an open and honest public conversation about the care we experience, whether it is good or poor. We need to raise concerns about poor care, so that it may be put right. But we also need to highlight good and best practice, so that others may learn from this positive experience.

Cura Means Care: Cupid visits Fulford Nursing Home on Valentine’s Day

Love is in the care! Cura spreads the message of love by surprising the residents of Fulford Nursing Home on 14th February 2019.

“We work with hundreds of providers and suppliers all the time but Cura make a difference, not every company goes above and beyond, and Cura always do.” - Ms Elizabeth Hancock, Managing Director

John Rowley: A 30-year digital journey

John Rowley: A 30-year digital journey

A respected veteran of the care industry, John Rowley is Cura Systems’ Senior Sales Manager in the UK.

How do you think digital systems have transformed the care sector?

Enormously – I believe they are essential.  Care has improved and digital systems help hugely. They make life easier for staff, save them loads of time and release them from the endless burden of records keeping. Digital systems also remind staff to do important things at the right time. It’s only a matter of time before they’re mandatory.

What is the key to successful digital transformation?

Digital transformations do not happen overnight. We must start empowering our caregivers by giving them the right tool that will make their care time so much more productive.

12 days of Christmas

On the 1st day of Christmas, Cura gave to me: A wonderful way to save so much time on paperwork

On the 2nd day of Christmas, Cura gave to me: Easy Apps that help me to spend more quality time with my residents

On the 3rd day of Christmas, Cura gave to me: forms that are filled in by speaking to them

On the 4th day of Christmas, Cura gave to me: A way to keep my residents healthy and safe with individualized checklists

Why digital systems are vital for smaller care homes

It's not just the large homes that benefit from going digital. Taking away wasted time on paperwork will make your care time so much more productive, a digital platform can introduce greater efficiency, along with the freedom to spend more time delivering excellent services.

Care homes that introduce a digital system quickly benefit from results such as boosted productivity, improved communications, and better outcomes for residents. A digital platform can eliminate a large amount of time-consuming paperwork while making compliance with care standards easier and providing tools to measure performance. With a digital system it’s easy to demonstrate quality of care and improve CQC ratings.

Competitive edge

Maintaining a competitive advantage is critical for the smaller care home. An intelligently modern digital system creates a platform that enables a care facility to be nimble and adaptive when compared with bigger, slower rivals. An intricate array of complex tasks underpin a successful care home, and a versatile digital system allows integration of every aspect, evolving and developing with changing demands while streamlining services.

Some care home staff have reservations about using digital technology, but a well designed, intuitive system can make their job easier. Supported by the kind of training that sensitively imparts the skills required, many care workers may be surprised by how simple it is to go digital. Voice recognition technology can eliminate the need to take or type out notes, saving hours of laborious and unproductive labour, and resulting in faster, more accurate records. Rapid reporting, effortless data trails and easy monitoring of administration and planning are just some of the other benefits of a digital system.

Modern and intuitive

Digital systems can also analyse information and provide alerts along with easy transfer of data at the end of a shift. An effective system is one that is tailored to the specific needs of the care facility, and flexible modules can be customised not just to the individual character of smaller care homes, but to individual residents themselves. When the right system is implemented, the flow of information is enhanced, saving time and energy. Digital systems provide instant overviews of progress across markers ranging from medication to maintenance, and enhance every sector of resident care.

An innovator and leader in care home management solutions, Cura Systems delivers an integrated web platform that is a central control point for better management, better decisions and ultimately better quality of care. Residents and their families expect service of consistent excellence, and Cura Systems can help smaller care homes to provide it.

Laying the foundations

First Voice, London, 16th November 2018: https://www.fsb.org.uk/first-voice/regional-voice/laying-the-foundations

Serial entrepreneur Abu Omar developed his latest business Cura Systems after witnessing at first hand how hard it can be to help elderly people keep on top of their medications. “I’m one of four brothers, and my mother hops from country to country to spend time with us, and trying to keep track of her medication and visits to doctors – which country, which doctor, what medication does she need to make it consistent – is a nightmare,” he says.

The product is a comprehensive system designed to help care homes manage the needs of their service users and their own planning, including care plans, daily reports, to-do lists, medication management, staff schedules and time and attendance.

The business was originally devised in Singapore, but Abu realised there were many more care homes in the UK, which were generally not making use of technology, and decided to move to London in 2014. “We’re really looking to raise the bar,” he says. “The care home industry is way behind in terms of adopting technology and has been the poor relation for far too long.”

But starting over again in an entirely new country was a challenge, even for an experienced entrepreneur, and when Abu came across London & Partners he was keen to take advantage of the free support that was available.

Abu signed up to the Business Growth Programme and attended a number of seminars, including courses on marketing, selling and finances. It also introduced the fledgling firm to lawyers, bankers and accountants. “They put us in touch with advisory people as well, who could tell us how to go about doing things in the UK,” says Abu. “So in the early days it was very useful and meant we didn’t have to go and hire very expensive lawyers or accountants, and they guided us through that process once we had the company set up.”

One of the main priorities for the business at this point was to attract investment, and the programme took Abu through how to pitch for finance. “We were at the point of not being a pure start-up but not being a mature business either; we were right in between and looking for funding,” he says. “The programme looked at how to pitch the business and put the best look forward. I must admit that an old sceptic like me thought they couldn’t teach me anything, but they did.” London & Partners also put the business in front of a number of venture capitalists, although it eventually chose to accept finance from high-networth individuals instead.

As well as this, London & Partners ran its own pitching competition, where companies which had been through the programme could compete for funding. “They choose around 25 candidate companies which they thought might be ready for investment and then they put us through the mill,” he says. “We attended various sessions where we had to pitch and show the best face of our company and product. That was the last one we went on, and we came second in that.”

As well as the practical support, Abu credits London & Partners with helping him plan the overall strategy of the business; something which was important as he sought to get it established. “We have more than 70 homes on our books now,” he says. “It took us eight months to get our first customer, and another six to get the second. I’m not sure to what extent it’s directly related to London & Partners, but there was certainly a growth spurt after we completed the programme. We have more than doubled our customers in the last year alone.”

Now, Abu is starting to think about expanding internationally. It is already selling in its initial market of Singapore, and has ambitions to launch in the US in 2019. “The business is growing exactly as we want it to,” he adds.

Give your care home a competitive advantage. Contact the Cura Systems team today on 020 3621 9111.  We are confident that Cura will take your service to a new level.

Cura makes technology work for the caregivers

Striving to achieve outstanding resident care and improve outcomes is a constant challenge, and the initial task of adopting technology can be daunting. Cura understands this and our technology and processes are designed to make the transformation as painless as possible, and the improved performance durable.

You will be amazed how our graduated, tailored for the needs of caregivers, coupled with intuitive, simple-to-use technology leaves both caregivers and service users’ families assured about handling some of the daily challenges associated with providing quality care.

Here are just some of the ways in which Cura makes technology work for the caregiver:

•  Assessing & planning health needs and medical conditions
•  Monitoring prescribed medications
•  Accessibility of information at the point of care delivery
•  Improvement in communication between different caregivers, management and next of kin
•  Planning of daily resident’s activities such as meals, showering and events
•  Substantially eliminate redundant data entry and medication error
•  Improvement in resource planning and handover between shifts

See how Cura Systems is using technology to support care initiatives. For enquiries, please contact us on 020 3621 9111 or email us at info@cura.systems.

#HealthPlusCare: Cura Systems reflections and next steps

This year’s Health Plus Care show did not disappoint. Last week was by far the best large format, health and social care conference Cura have ever had the pleasure to attend.

It was uplifting to be highlighted and chosen as a MUST SEE show exhibitor. Our discussion on how times are changing in care and GDPR compliant care technology created a buzz and had high and notable engagement. Not to mention, the artificially intelligent Cura Cat causing the puuuuuurfect attraction to the Cura stand for the likes of Vic Rayner of the National Care Forum and Sharon Allen from Skills for Care.

We were excited to see technology was high on all attendees’ agendas and with most of the speakers throughout the two days referencing how providers need to embrace technology to advance care.

The AI Cura Cat, for instance, is currently being used by many care homes such as Barchester Healthcare and has provided notably positive results for the residents’ wellbeing and quality of life.

Technology is always developing, Cura’s road map is evolving in line with the market and our customer’s needs. The message seems to finally be landing, digital transformation is not about purely process. It is about getting the cultures and attitudes in place at all levels to make technology work. Every person in health and care has a responsibility to make sure proper change is created.

We need a wider range of voices and a diverse insight into how the change is experienced. This is why Cura Systems are hosting customer and prospect roadshows in September throughout the UK. If you would like to attend or more information please contact us. (hyperlink to contact us page)

If you missed the Cura AI Cat (and of course a demo of Cura) don’t worry, we will be making more appearances during the Caring UK events. (hyperlink http://www.caringukconferences.co.uk/events/ ) And if you just cannot wait that long you might consider booking a free Cura demo (hyperlink to book a demo) and/or puuuuuuurchasing a Cura Cat yourself? (hyperlink to https://joyforall.com/products/companion-cats )

#embracetechnology #CareTech #CareDiscussion

HOW TECHNOLOGY ASSISTS IN MEETING CQC STANDARDS

Findings from the CQC’s initial programme of comprehensive inspections in adult social care published as ‘The state of adult social care services 2014 to 2017’ showed what the sector can learn. A key theme that shone through in terms of high-quality services was a clear focus on person-centred care. Staffs really get to know people as people, understanding their interests, likes and dislikes. Always bearing in the forefront of their mind, would I want this for MY Mum?
Andrea Sutcliffe, chief inspector of adult social care for the CQC has continually urged health and social care providers to embrace innovative digital technologies to improve care delivery.
Although the CQC’s previous response to the adoption of technology during an inspection was down to that inspector’s personal views, they have made visionary moves in the recent revamp of the KLOEs to ensure care technology use is consistently reported on.

If all care providers were transparent enough to give the CQC inspectors their own login access to their IT systems they could (subject to appropriate consents) carry out a preview that will shorten their review time and lead to a better outcome for the provider.

After reviewing the evolved key lines of enquiry, prompts and ratings characteristics for adult social care services in depth it is undeniable that care management technology features will support your quest for CQC compliance.
Friends and family members also love that with some of the care management applications they can send old photos of the resident through so the care workers can talk about their past life experiences, as well as reviewing the residents care plans as frequently as they wish. They can upload photos to keep their loved one informed of recent happenings to keep them involved.

Several of the new KLOE prompts even explicitly mention the use of effective technology. If you do not yet use technology within your care setting it’s worth considering embracing it. Even if you do have technology in place are you utilising it to its best? We would suggest booking in a meeting with your account manager to make sure you are getting the most and using all the modules effectively.

Any care management software you chose should have many modules that will comprehensively evidence that your care home is run safely and that the service responds immediately, as well as giving your residents choice.

RESPONSIVE 1.6: How is technology used to support people to receive timely care and support? Is the technology (including telephone systems, call systems and online/digital services) easy to use?
When set up correctly and consistently to your brand of care – your system will alert you when your care delivery is falling behind and offer instant prompts for staff to remind them what personal preferences and background the resident has and how to do certain tasks safely and correctly.

EFFECTIVE 1.3: How is technology and equipment used to enhance the delivery of effective care and support, and to promote people’s independence?
Some care technology will allow you to build care plans together with the resident. They are able to choose what activities they would like to do and what goals and outcomes they want to work towards and achieve. People are continually changing their tastes and nutritional needs and some systems cannot only help you plan meals with residents but also report on patterns and highlight allergies. If there are any conflicts from the medication administration module with food or drink this will also be flagged up.

WELL-LED 4.6: Are information technology systems used effectively to monitor and improve the quality of care?

WELL-LED 2.8: How does the service assure itself that it has robust arrangements (including appropriate internal and external validation) to ensure the security, availability, sharing and integrity of confidential data, and records and data management systems, in line with data security standards? Are lessons learned when there are data security breaches?

Cura is leading the way with an innovative NEWS (National Early Warning Signs) score feature where critical actions are predicted, alerted and monitored. No other care system in the marketing currently has this functionality. Cura is also the first care management software to be fully GDPR compliant in line with the IG toolkit to ensure all the personal data you have on residents and staff is safe from malicious threat.

Everyone wants to be validated with an outstanding certification for all the effort and compassion put into creating and consistently delivering a person-centred care operation. After reviewing the KLOEs in some depth here are the take always to achieve outstanding for each line of investigation.

To achieve outstanding for SAFE: There is a comprehensive ‘safety management system’. Innovation is encouraged to achieve sustained improvements in safety and continual reductions in harm. The service actively seeks out new technology and other solutions to make sure that people live with as few restrictions as possible. The service deals with issues of poor performance immediately and ensures staffs are supported to improve.

To achieve outstanding for EFFECTIVE: People are fully involved and help to plan their meals with staff, taking nutritional advice into account. Staffs are aware of people’s individual preferences and patterns of eating and drinking and there is flexibility when needed or requested.

To achieve outstanding for CARING: There is a strong, visible person-centred culture. The service ensures that staffs focus on building and maintaining open and honest relationships with people and their families, friends and other carers. There are creative ways of reflecting people’s personal histories and cultural backgrounds and the staffs are matched with people’s interests and personalities.

To achieve outstanding for RESPONSIVE: The service has an innovative approach to using technology. People are involved in decisions about how it is or could be used. There is a rapid response to people’s changing care needs and advice on care and support for people and carers at the times they need. Staff use innovative and individual ways of involving people and their family, friends and other carers in their care and support plans, so that they feel consulted, empowered, listened to and valued.

How to achieve outstanding for WELL-LED: There is a rapid response to people’s changing care needs and advice on care and support for people and carers at the times they need. There is a strong framework of accountability to monitor performance and risk leading to the delivery of demonstrable quality improvements to the service.

Technology is clearly pushing the boundary towards better care and Cura System’s is proud to be at the forefront of this change. We provide care homes with the comprehensive, secure tools and support to achieve and evidence their CQC compliance and delivery of best of breed care.

We recommend you have a strategy meeting with everyone in your team to fully understand what they want from a care system. Create a wish list and do your research, Cura Systems employees have worked for many care management systems over the years and know many of the potential pitfalls, we can give you an unbiased check sheet to get you started. Just give us a call and reference this article. Our best advice is to see at least 3 systems and have an actual trial and a play with it. If someone is trying to sell you a system from a PowerPoint presentation it usually means that part of the systems doesn’t work well or is merely just a concept.

GDPR? What is it and what does it mean to your care organisation

Put May 25, 2018 in your diary as a significant date. This is when the Data Protection Act 1998 will be replaced by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

All personal information your care home has needs to be protected and handled in line with GDPR.

Personal information, in the GDPR context, is information that can identify living individuals (either on its own or on conjunction with other information already available).

Some examples below:

· Name

· DOB

· Address

· Gender

· NHS number

· Occupation

All organisations who deal with special categories of personal data will have to comply with GDPR. Special categories of personal data can include the below:

· Health information

· Information relating to race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation

To comply with GDPR, you will need to ensure that personal information is:

  1. Processed fairly, lawfully, and in a transparent manner
  2. Collected for specified, limited purposes
  3. Adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary
  4. Accurate and kept up-to-date
  5. Kept in a form which permits identification for as long as necessary and no longer
  6. Processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security

Points to consider:

Legal Basis and Consent

  • Under GDPR, if your legal basis for collecting and sharing personal information is consent, then that consent needs to be informed, explicit, and recorded. You will only be able to use the information for the consented purpose, and any further use will require further consent. Can you currently evidence this?
  • There are other legal alternatives for collecting, using and sharing personal and special category data that may be more appropriate than consent, such as it’s in the vital interest (life or death) of the individual concerned. Are you aware of all of these?
  • You will need to document the legal basis for all personal information your organisation utilises.

Data Quality

  • Do you have data quality controls in place to ensure your information is accurate and up-to-date?

Retention Periods

  • Are you aware of retention periods relating to all information types so you are compliant with GDPR? You will need to document this under GDPR.

Information Security

  • Care home providers could be exposed if they are using paper or archaic care systems that are not designed with the latest standards of encryption and secure access
  • Under GDPR, you will be responsible for ensuring any contracted third-parties do not compromise your compliance with GDPR. Can you be certain that your system providers meet the GDPR requirements?
  • Do you hold personal data on external hard drives or USBs? What are your security controls for these mobile devices?
  • Do you have access and audit controls in place to ensure only authorised staff are seeing sensitive information?

Subject Access Requests

  • Both staff and residents can request to see what information you hold on them (a subject access request). Under GDPR, the timeframe for legally responding to these is changing, as is the ability to apply a fee. Have you updated your processes to reflect these changes? Are all staff and residents aware of this right?
  • Can you access your information quickly to comply with these requests? Do you know where all your information is stored?

Dependant on how you have answered the above, your care home may not be compliant with the new GDPR regulations.

Want to know more information on GDPR? Follow this link for the Information Commissioner Office 12 step guide to becoming compliant.

Cura Systems can help!

Don’t panic, there is an easy way to becoming compliant with GDPR. That is to utilise a company that understands data protection legislation on special categories of personal data and is committed to supporting other organisations in being compliant with GDPR.

Cura Systems offer intelligent and modern care planning, medication management, staff planning, notes and time and attendance monitoring software. Using Cura will provide you with some reassurance that your information is secure and quickly accessed when needed, but only accessible to authorised individuals. Cura does this, and more, for care companies while also empowering them to utilise their information in a way that makes their information more useful to increase service efficiency and enable them to achieve to golden care and management standards.

Give your care home the competitive advantage, talk to the Cura Systems team today. Email info@cura.systems or call us on 020 3621 9111.