new year new start!

We all have that feeling of ‘new year, new beginnings’- whether it’s to exercise more, take up a hobby, or eat more veg, it’s January when we start being more introspective, and start planning. As with any new start it is often the little changes that make the biggest waves.  Start with some strong foundations and the rest will follow. CoolCare offers a care home business those strong foundations and January offers a good time to get organised for the year ahead.

 Here’s how.

a stitch in time…

First things first, before you can think about your 2019, you need to get your ducks in a row.  If you get the post-Christmas admin sorted quickly, you will be in a better place to start prepping for the year ahead and filling your home.

For care home management, the festive period can be one of the busiest times of the year. Staffing levels must be maintained – often with non-standard rota changes. Occupancy levels are also volatile with the number of respite stays increasing as people seek company, hospitals look to free up beds, and families go away.  It’s a festive admin headache.

Moving into January the impact of such bureaucratic burdens will be felt. Head office staff return and resume chasing contracts, timesheet checks are in full swing, and the discharge of respites is underway.  This could make for a stressful start to the year.

 a digital helping hand.

For homes using digital administrative systems, such as CoolCare, it’s a much smoother and quicker operation.  There are no piles of paperwork to process because it’s all been done digitally.  Resident records are then quickly added and refreshed, keeping occupancy figures up to date. Respite contracts are correctly billed against the predefined local authority contract term.  The system has also automatically uploaded the staff clock-ins to include the correct bank holiday overtime rates. All is in hand ready for the New Year.

If you are not using a digital system, then now is the time to find a few supernumerary hours to give your team time to catch up on their administrative tasks.  Sorting them now will give you the time and space to make the most of the opportunities the New Year offers and prevents problems down the line.

filling your care home for 2019.

The heightened awareness of a loved one’s needs over Christmas can often see families seeking appropriate care for their elderly relatives. Care homes will experience an increase in enquiries in the first few weeks of the New Year.  January is therefore a good time to focus your occupancy activity for the upcoming year, with lots of social engagement and marketing to ensure your home is the home of choice.

With the many enquirers that attracts, record-keeping and organisation are key to managing this period.   Digital technologies will give you prompts and full CRM records to ease occupancy management by ensuring you keep track of the comings and goings quickly and easily.

grab the best candidates.

It’s no secret that job-seekers start looking for new opportunities over Christmas and into January.  Being organised with your recruitment needs means your care home can get a head start on securing the best candidates to join your team.

Looking at your recruitment needs? Use this as an opportunity to undertake a review of your staffing and rotas too.  You might already have the staff you need but can rejig rotas here and there to make best use out of your team and give them the opportunities they desire.

look ahead!

 Managing staffing levels is difficult at the best of times.  Our biggest piece of advice is to look ahead and then look ahead some more.  That goes for all aspects of care home management but particularly for staffing.

Care homes whose holiday year ends in March, for example, need to start thinking about staff’s remaining annual leave and planning it carefully now.  Checking that staff have used their entitlement in good time and coordinating their remaining days over the final three months of the year will prevent the end-of-year holiday bottleneck.  Utilising CoolCare’s reporting systems will identify any misnomers and the staff calendar and rota can be effectively renewed.

new year resolutions.

So, a New Year and a New Start for us all – a bit of thought, a bit of planning and we’re good to go!

CoolCare’s resolution? To continue making care home admin as easy as possible, giving our customers more time to spend with their residents.

Happy New Year!


top tips for care home christmas staffing.
keeping your year end calm.
  • 4th January 2019
  • Fiona Hale
  • Blog

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