Announced on 24 October 2023, the Accelerating Reform Fund was launched to support the Department of Health and Social Care’s priorities for scaling and innovation. The below represents a collection of solutions, aligned with the guidance, that would seek to bring about tangible benefits for the adult social care sector. Local Authorities are invited to attend a webinar to hear from solution providers on the 11th December at 13:00 to 14:00.
The following solutions are aligned to but not limited to the following priorities:
- Priority 2: supporting people to have greater control over their care options, such as by using digital tools to self-direct support or communicate needs and preferences
- Priority 5: digital tools to support workforce recruitment and retention, for example through referral schemes
- Priority 7 (focusses on unpaid carers): ways to conduct effective carer’s assessments with a focus on measuring outcomes and collaboration
- Priority 9: digital workforce development and market shaping tools with capability to map, strengthen and grow local workforce capacity relative to system demand
Care Friends has already been cited as an example of how the fund can be used.
Care Friends is an employee referral app operated in partnership with Skills for Care, which fills social care vacancies by incentivising and empowering existing employees to refer friends for job vacancies with their employer.
The app launched in 2020 and is now used by over 75,000 care workers in the UK and Australia. Care workers are rewarded with bonus points for bringing in new employees, with extra rewards for referring new starters taking on their first paid role in care. Care workers can earn additional points for good work or achievements, and each point converts to £1 when cashed in.
Viv-up in partnership with Care England provides an EAP offer to care workers that represents essential support to help manage the challenges they incur in their daily lives including 8 face to face, telephone and virtual counselling sessions per issue, unlimited in the moment support, online GP, medical second opinion, menopause and bereavement support, CAB advises trained information specialists to support practical issued around financial, wellbeing, legal, elder, and childcare, tax and general guidance. CBT workbooks, debt and domestic abuse support and resources.
Viv-up and Terryberry offer discounted offers on high-street and online spending which deliver the equivalent of around £2,000 per year in savings for care workers based on a care worker’s average salary.
Care Character by Cohesion offers a tool to help screen individuals most suited to working in the sector. Around 50% of applicants once offered a role fall out of the application process, whilst 50% leave in the first 12 months of being recruited. This is often because they are not suited to working in the care sector, they do not possess the right value needed to succeed in the sector or the onboarding process takes too long, or they feel undervalued when they do get through the process.
Jobtrain provides Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) which recognises that getting people through the application process faster sees less fallout from the application process. It can take weeks and in some cases months to get a candidate from the initial offer to day one as an employee, this is often due to the referencing and DBS process. The ATS speeds up the onboarding process and sees a reduced fallout of applications as a result. Jobtrain links to all the usual advertising job boards to help employers post vacancies quickly and then processes applications and the relevant compliance requirements of the role such as ‘Right to work’ DBS and referencing quickly. Jobtrain handles everything from advertisement up to handing off to the HR system of the employer.
Autumna as a general directory, and D.A.D. as a discharge tool, ensures families and patients have greater control and choice over their care options. In addition, it makes sure they make an informed choice by understanding what they should be looking for and having the tools to search for those services.