fbpx
COVID Safety Paperless – What are We Doing Differently?

COVID Safety Paperless – What are We Doing Differently?

The coronavirus pandemic has made fundamental changes to the way we do most things – and, of course, social care recruitment is at the heart of OUTT’s purpose.

Covid Safety Paperless

Our newest initiative looks to reduce all plastic items and paper timesheets – not only to improve our environmental footprint but also to affect a safer way of working, in line with enhanced responses to the COVID-19 virus.

As an innovative social care recruitment app, we are always prepared to challenge the status quo when we see a better, faster, easier and safer way of working. Reimagining the onerous paper trails that care managers are faced with is our latest focus.

How Paperless Processes Streamline Social Care Staff Management

We all know the traditional approaches to managing agency and contingency staff, which revolve around printed documents, physical signatures, and triplicate forms.

While assurance and oversight remain critical, we knew there had to be a better way to leverage our digital know-how to reduce paper waste.

Alongside this comes a consideration of COVID safety protocols.

Most of us are now familiar with wipe-down menus, or app-based solutions in the hospitality sector. We believe it is time for the social care industry to get on board with these anti-contamination procedures.

Here is the problem:

  • Paper timesheets are completed to record shifts.
  • The authorised manager signs these at the end of the shift.
  • Triplicate copies are produced, of each form.

It is essential to have a verification process in place and to ensure social care employers manage the hours claimed; however, the implications are profound.

COVID-19 virus particles can remain live on paper for up to 24-hours, and so transporting documents between sites, or having them handled by more than one person, is a distinct contamination risk.

  • Increased risk of virus transmission with multiple documents being handled by numerous people.
  • Locum workers visit multiple social care facilities in any one working week, increasing exposure.
  • The environmental impacts of producing several copies of each paper document create waste, potential data hazards, and additional resource costs.

Here is the solution:

Digital, automated timesheets and located-based QR codes, to eliminate the requirement for hard copy documents, and thus protect staff and patients in all employment locations.

Let’s explain in a little more detail!

Digital Innovation for Agency Staff Managers

It stands to reason that, if we can coordinate networks of social care professionals, high-quality employers and multiple shift patterns into one app  – there is a way to incorporate timesheet management into those systems!

The OUTT team has developed a new protocol, allowing employers to retain the same control over timesheet approvals, and for staff to accurately record their hours worked, but without the waste or potential contamination factors.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Timesheets are available on the candidates’ mobile device, created automatically for completion after the shift.
  2. QR codes can be scanned online on arrival and departure from the placement.
  3. Managers on-site can approve the timesheet electronically.
  4. Employers receive a weekly notification to review and approve, claims submitted.

Simple!

The same digital processes carry applications across multiple paper trails and document chains used throughout the social care sector.

As the OUTT team rolls out our new approvals systems, we will be introducing further initiatives, all equally aimed at cutting down on waste production and creating a paperless system.

Our drive is to elevate COVID security best practise at a time when contamination risks may be business-critical to care homes and social care facilities, as well as to the safety of their patients.

The Security of a Paperless System

While some fundamental processes might require physical signatures and hard copy documents, timesheet approvals are not one of them.

In researching the sector-wide impact of potential cross-contamination risks from plastic items and paper-based records, we identified that existing systems create upwards of 30,000 triplicate timesheets – for every agency, every single year.

If those figures aren’t startling enough, when we dived deeper to see what risk factors we could remove, and how we could impact overall paper usage, we found that this applies across the board, with cost factors such as:

  • Printing hard copy paper documents.
  • Delivery packages and envelopes.
  • Postage costs for document distribution

OUTT believes that not only can digital systems create a safer social care society, but that we can further reduce employer costs by eliminating outdated techniques.

As we move forward, ID cards with printed plastic formats will also be superseded by a digital, contactless alternative.

Live ID cards, generated centrally with tamper-proof technology, will enable candidates to display their credentials via any mobile device, with the same information displayed in the employer’s OUTT control panel.

ID cards are another traditional element prevalent in the social care workforce – and we recognise the critical importance of staff screening and ID verification – but by making this process digital, we introduce a further development to increase COVID awareness.

Coronavirus particles can live for up to 72 hours on plastic. So, this is not just efficiency and convenience  – it might be a life-saving technique to afford the highest levels of protection to our most vulnerable patients.

Our Responsibility to Drive COVID Awareness

There is no sector, family or individual who hasn’t been impacted by the pandemic. As such, we need to work together to create solutions to make our environment as safe and protected as we can.

And, when it comes to environmental impacts, it is hard to find a negative.

In 2016/17, the NHS alone produced 29,062 tonnes of CO2 through paper transactions.

The estimate is that this could have been almost halved to 15,840 tonnes were recycled materials used – but OUTT is setting our sights on net zero.

In the media, we often hear adverse reports about the social care sector, relating to underfunding, mass skills shortages, or out-dated infrastructure.

Now is our chance to make a difference.

The personal touch will forever remain crucial to social care facilities, and make a significant difference in the quality of care and communication we offer to residents and patients.

However, by embracing technological innovation, and being open to the possibility of new systems and protocols, we can move social care recruitment into the 21st Century, adopting safety measures that set the tone for best practise in COVID-19 safety and patient safeguarding.

For more information about the latest OUTT developments, or managing timesheet approvals through your digital app, visit us online or get in touch!

Social Care News

ADVICE
CAREERS
EMPLOYERS
COVID-19
INSIDE OUTT

OUTT Bucks The Trend To Create 5000 New Social Care Jobs

OUTT Bucks The Trend To Create 5000 New Social Care Jobs

In a move to challenge the misfortune of 2020, the social care temporary recruitment app OUTT is creating over 5000 new social care jobs in 2021.

Where many industries have endured shock waves of redundancies and business closures, social care remains vibrant, but as a sector, continues to be blighted with double-digit vacancy levels.

OUTT is a newly launched digital temporary recruitment app, backed by a share of £50 million InnovateUK funding. This valuable governmental support has aided the speed of development, the goal to increase post Covid employment opportunities and fill temporary shift vacancies quickly. OUTT sidesteps the need for traditional agency support by allowing the employer to connect directly with suitable candidates at a much-reduced cost.

5000 new social care jobs

By matching candidate availability with employer demand, the app removes barriers to employment. It offers complimentary skills training to support returning social care workers who wish to refresh their knowledge, meaning that flexible opportunities are available for those feeling the impact of the COVID-19 jobs crisis.

Recognition from InnovateUK cements the status of this new digital recruitment concept as part of the drive to regenerate the UK. The awarding body grants funding to businesses at the sharp end of accelerated innovation, with OUTT selected as an app that facilitates faster staff appointments and a dynamic way to meet workforce demand.

While agencies and contingent staff have long been the backbone of UK social care, OUTT confronts this unpredictable reliance. It introduces a contemporary way of working that reduces the time and cost constraints associated with agency fees, with additional opportunities for professionals to gain recognition through an employer review base to help them develop skills, experience, and knowledge.

Steve O’Brien, OUTT Founder & CEO, says, “Our initial concern was addressing the growing shortfall in social care keyworkers across the UK, then COVID-19 simply changed the way we all live and work. This allowed OUTT to embrace the change and fast track the social care sector into the 21st century. Our aim is to provide 5000 new social care jobs in 2021.

In addition, agency worker rights are too often tarnished with negatives such as workers charged for payroll or forfeiting holiday pay; this practice has got to stop. Technology provides social care with a transparent platform where candidates can take control and get the pay they deserve.”

Recruitment Compliance

As a vital component to the successful recruitment app, OUTT delivers full compliance testing protocols, with verification processes more usually aligned with banks and credit cards, thus increasing hiring speed and enabling rapid deployment where needed. This has never been more essential, especially with the changing legality of self employed worker through IR35, where the liability firmly lies with the end hirer. 

It is anticipated that, as demand for social care roles, homecare services, care homes, homelessness provisions and mental health services continue to skyrocket, digital innovation will provide the key to meeting those needs in a way that benefits the sector as a whole.

About OUTT

London based OUTT is a next-gen social care temporary recruitment app born from the COVID-19 pandemic. This UK Government-funded project provides a rapid route back to work for the UK, with expedited registration and compliance technology.

Registering with OUTT delivers opportunities for social care professionals to find work, build a review base, gain free skills training, and to take back control of where, when, and how they work.

Workforce managers have the opportunity to reduce overheads, fill vacancies quickly, plus significantly cut costs.

About Innovate UK

Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation.

For more information, visit www.innovateuk.ukri.org

Published

Care Home Management 

Social Care News

ADVICE
CAREERS
EMPLOYERS
COVID-19
INSIDE OUTT

App Will Overturn Hiring in Social Care Sector

App Will Overturn Hiring in Social Care Sector

A new government-backed social care recruitment App is set to revolutionise staff hiring in the sector.

In a similar fashion to taxi App Uber, OUTT makes life easier for home care employers to bring in temporary staff – by cutting out the ‘agency’ middle man. Staff shortages during Covid-19 highlighted the need for such technology which allows registered staff on the job platform to be hired instantly, literally at the press of a button.

Employers post a job and can choose from a list of care assistants and support workers, based on locality, experience etc. When registering, employees are interviewed online and all background checks carried out. This includes police checks, disclosure certificates, passports and photographs. Staff will also be given ID badges to wear when working.

The developers behind the OUTT App are social care recruitment professionals and were given a share of £50 million government funding towards its development. So far, a host of major employers in the social care sector have already signed up prior to its launch next week.

A spokesperson from OUTT said: “The benefits for employers are obvious in that it is much more transparent than using an agency. They can check for themselves details about potential employees, rather than just take an agency’s word for it. They can do this immediately and in their own time.

“And there are plenty of pluses for staff too. They don’t pay agency fees, they can choose whether or not to take a job, and employers must pay them a minimum wage of £10 an hour.”
“Ongoing, it allows both the employer and temporary member of staff to build up a working relationship which may easily result in a permanent position after a few months.”

Staff can work for more than one employer registered on the App, but the technology only allows them to do so if there is a minimum gap between shifts. This ensures they don’t become over-tired and remain working within government guidelines.

The App differs from Uber in the sense that staff are not self-employed: the team behind the App is responsible for PAYE and other tax issues.

Apps with similar direct hiring functions already exist in the Nursing and Hospitality sectors but this is the first time such an initiative has been introduced into the social care sector.

The team added: “Having worked in the sector for more than a decade now I’m only too well aware of all the ‘thanks – but little reward’ that care assistants and support workers receive.

“After what the world witnessed during the coronavirus lockdown I’m sure everyone will agree that it is high time this changed. I hope this App will start to help do that by giving employees more control over where, and with whom, they work.”

Find out more about the App and OUTT platform at outt.co.uk

This article was published below:
Care Home Management
Social Care Today

Social Care News

ADVICE
CAREERS
EMPLOYERS
COVID-19
INSIDE OUTT