Staff shortages have risen by 52% in the last year to 165,000 vacancies, according to Skills for Care.
The nationwide staffing crisis remains a spotlight in the media with thousands of vulnerable people suffering from inadequate care due to the on-going staffing deficit. This has resulted in many care homes seeing a decline in their post pandemic ratings by the Care Quality Commission.
Staffscanner founder, Reza Najafian, experienced the common challenge of finding dependable and skilled bank or agency staff to fill short-term shifts. His exposure to the care sector began at a young age when he assisted his mother, a nurse and manager of a care home. This served as a foundation for his career in the sector.
“I worked in various roles within the care sector growing up, including as a carer & handyman. After pursuing a career in law, I decided to return to the care sector to open a specialised nursing home for individuals living with dementia.
“It was during the first few years of managing a care home that I really noticed the changes that had taken place within the care sector, particularly the challenges of staffing shortages.
“Like every care home, we relied on agencies to provide staff from time to time. Not only were these agencies hugely expensive, but in my view, they lacked accountability. They were sending the first person who said yes to a shift, rather than the most appropriately skilled/experienced person for the job.
“Fast forward and I still strongly believe that the main challenge facing UK care homes is staffing and the difficulty in recruiting and retaining talent in the sector.
These challenges, coupled with Reza’s first-hand experience and his determination to help care providers deliver the continuity of care that residents deserve, led him to develop Staffscanner. The Staffscanner app is an innovative digital platform that gives providers access to local qualified healthcare professionals at the touch of a button.
As someone who has had their own care service since 2013 and has served as an Executive Director of Scottish Care since 2016, I understand the challenges and issues faced by care providers. It has become evident that the use of agency staff has become a necessity, but the high margins charged for agency staff impose a significant financial burden on care providers.
The Staffscanner app uses technology to address these challenges and allows care providers to connect directly with carers and – cutting out reliance on traditional agencies.
Reza explains, “Staffscanner offers care providers a way to access pre-vetted, verified, and trained healthcare professionals. Care services can easily post shifts via our app, online, by calling or emailing Staffscanner. Care homes can then review and choose the most suitable candidate based on their experience, previous ratings and reliability. This innovative approach instils positive behaviours among staff, as they are aware that the care service is in control, resulting in increased likelihood of being invited back based on their performance.
“One of the benefits of Staffscanner is price and margin transparency. The care provider is able to set their own rate of pay. We have a fixed margin therefore we don’t have a vested interest in charging more for a staff member.”
“We promote accountability by allowing employers to leave feedback and ratings as well as being able to view the reliability of the candidate. This creates a system where candidates have a personal investment in delivering the best possible care to ensure they are invited back to the service.”
Since 2017, Staffscanner has supported over one thousand care services throughout the UK, resulting in substantial time and cost savings for care providers.
“One of our clients’ was frustrated after being let down by a number of agencies who couldn’t meet their temporary staffing requirements. Since September 2022, Staffscanner have provided cover for more than 2,000 shifts across this clients services – all managed via the Staffscanner app. Having received extremely positive feedback, we are currently rolling out our support to their remaining UK services.
Another care service that found themselves grappling with the complexities of managing multiple agencies with varying charge rates and invoicing procedures, sought help from Staffscanner. Their situation had been exacerbated by last-minute staffing cancellations and name changes, negatively affecting service delivery. Following the transition to Staffscanner this particular care service, along with other care providers facing similar challenges, are now reaping the rewards and benefits of charge rate clarity, block bookings and the power of choice – ensuring continuity of care.
“The ease and simplicity of filling shifts is one of the benefits that sets us apart. One of our clients was able to quickly find a replacement carer while hiking with her family after receiving a call notifying her that her staff member was unwell!
“As a family business, I am immensely proud that Staffscanner is addressing a prevalent issue faced by numerous care providers. I firmly believe that technology-enabled staffing has the potential to revolutionise the care industry. It fosters accountability for carers and nurses, saves valuable time and offers cost transparency for care providers, and most importantly, ensures continuity of care for those I our care.”
To learn more about how our health and social care staffing solution helps prioritise continuity of care, cost, choice and speed, visit https://staffscanner.co.uk/