We talked to Jayley page at Abbey Lodge to see how CAREis has helped her to improve the service.

How did you start using CAREis?

Our owner, Steve Sullivan, helped to develop CAREis to improve this service and the other services he had been overseeing as an Operations Manager. He is a nurse and has worked for CQC in the past, so he had a lot of knowledge regarding what was required with regulation and general unit management.

Our service had been rated as needs improvement, and when we looked at reasons for this we could see that the document control was not great, and also audits and action plan items were not being updated as they should be. I took responsibility for that but there were also issues of staffing and agency use, which meant I was working on the floor a lot. We also had a series of deputies that did not work out, putting more pressure on me.

CAREis has been a god send. We developed it on the unit, to be sure it worked to our benefit. We started to upload our assessments and staff started to input their daily records. Everything was done in real time, so I was able to make sure everything was completed on time, and records had everything in them that was required. The CAREis team then added audits and inspection records, which has saved me so much time. I have been able to delegate many audits, and I just go into CAREis and check them, making sure the action plans are being kept up to date.

How did staff cope with the change?

Many liked the new way of working. However there were some who were resistant. We used performance management to ensure everyone was trained and confident in the use of the tablets and the CAREis system. Everyone now says they find it easy to use and better than paper. They can add notes as they go, so are spending much more time with the people who live at Abbey Lodge.

We have a mix of ages and no one has any problems. We did try out different devices and we have found that the devices we used initially were not good enough and Steve was able to replace these.

What do you do if there is a problem with CAREis?

We haven’t had many problems but when we do we email the support team who are very quick in addressing any problem or giving us advice on how to do something if we are unsure. We have also had visits from the support team to see how we are using CAREis and advise us on better ways to use the system. There is so much in there that sometimes I feel we are just scratching the surface.

How have people like CQC and Local Authority reacted to you using CAREis?

Well the best thing was our GOOD rating! Our inspector was impressed by the system, and how it had given us more time, improved the document management and ensured everything was up to date. We also have an annual inspection from a company that performs a mock CQC inspection. Our last auditor from there said it was the best system she had seen.

I can send Social Workers copies of daily notes by email, which has been helpful. Relatives can access daily diary notes through their own CAREis log in. They can also send me messages. I know Steve is looking to add a secure video link to CAREis which will be good. We are using Skype for that at the moment.

Do you think the unit has saved any money from using CAREis?

Definitely. We don’t print half as much as we used to, so ink and paper costs have reduced. We are also not using any agency now, except in an emergency. I think CAREis has helped this as we have more time and so if someone goes off sick we do not always need to replace them. We have also managed to use our Twilight shift in the kitchen sometimes, as no one is tied up in the office writing up all the notes. That has been brilliant. I always found that irritating, as someone was off the floor for quite a while doing that.

What do you think is the best thing about CAREis and what do you think they should improve?

The time I have now have is the best thing. I have time to think and plan for the future. You can see the improvement in our service, and this shows in our improved rating.

I am not sure about improvements. We have started to use the new supervision and appraisal elements and this has saved me more time, as everything is done within the software including recording of the meeting, reminding when supervision is due and updating the matrix.

Thank you Jayley!