Monitoring and maintaining staffing levels during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

29 April 2020

Male staff member at a table with a male resident

Having enough staff across our homes ensures that our residents continue to get the care and support that they need. 

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has placed additional staffing challenges on health and social care providers, which is why it’s important that we have the right tools and processes in place to manage and maintain safe staffing levels. 

Over the past few weeks, Exemplar Health Care has implemented a new online dashboard that provides real-time information about staffing levels across our 32 homes. 

Selina Wall, Senior Director of Operations at Exemplar Health Care, says: “One of my key priorities each day is ensuring that we have the right amount of colleagues working in our homes. Our homes are staffed 24/7 and I need to know that we have always got the right amount of people to support our service users. The implementation of the dashboard has provided me with real time information and importantly reassurance.”

Our staffing levels are driven by the assessed needs of the people that we support, and we use this as a ‘target’ staffing level on the dashboard.

When colleagues enter and leave one of our homes, they’re required to sign in and out on an iPad in the home. This information feeds into the dashboard, and is updated every 15 minutes, to give us a real-time view of how many colleagues are in each home at any given time, so that we can quickly identify whether it meets the target staffing level. 

If a home falls under their target staffing level, the dashboard highlights this and we can explore the reasons why. 

Selina continues: “Using the dashboard is a much more efficient way of tracking staffing levels. At the click of a button I can see the staffing level in all of our homes, and this is great comfort, particularly in these challenging times. It has reduced the number of emails and phone calls with Home Managers, which means that we all have more time to spend on doing other things to support our residents and colleagues.”

Since the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic started we’ve recruited over 200 new support workers, on both temporary and permanent contracts, to help us to cover any staff shortages due to sickness or isolation, with a further 200 awaiting interviews. We also have a large reliable team of bank and agency staff, as well as non-direct care and central team colleagues, who are in place to support our homes if needed.

Within the first few weeks of the pandemic, we developed a new ‘Associate Carer’ role which offers flexible shifts on a temporary contract - particularly suited to those working in the hospitality, leisure and travel sectors, and students, who might be looking for work over the coming months. 

Our in-house Learning and Development Team have also done a fantastic job of bringing our induction process online and through buddying in the homes, which means that not only do we have enough staff working, but that we have staff who are properly trained. 

Find out more

Find out more about what other measures we’re taking to reduce the risk of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in our homes here

Making a referral 

Many of our homes are still taking referrals, where possible and appropriate. To make an enquiry, please contact our friendly Referrals Team on 01709 565777 or email referrals@exemplarhc.com

Careers at Exemplar Health Care

If you or someone you know is interested in working with Exemplar Health Care, find out more about our career options and vacancies here.