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Benridge Care Group: building a bespoke online system

Benridge Care Group: building a bespoke online system

When Benridge Care Group were looking for software that would help them keep track of care and save administration time, they looked at different companies on the market but couldn’t see anything that fitted their needs.

They decided to build their own unique system from scratch that would manage every facet of running their homes. Five years in, they talk about their labour of love and how the software has transformed their organisation.

 

Background

Benridge Care Group run 3 care homes in Southport and Ormskirk that offer nursing and residential care.

Owner of Benridge Care Group, Paul McLaughlin, said:

“The administration and paperwork involved in running a care home has increased dramatically over the years. We knew there must be a better way. Other software programmes we looked at only did parts of what caring is all about. We decided to build our own.”

The team were all using Apple Macs, and Wi-Fi at one of the care homes was patchy. They also wanted a system that would be compatible with Apple and any device with internet and a browser. It would also need to operate even if they lost the internet or it was slow.

Teaming up with developer Lol Moor from Lantech Networks, they have spent five years developing and adding to their system to make it bespoke to their needs. It’s also adaptable to any in-house systems other homes may have.

 

The initial development

Home screen of Benridge Care softwareThe team have built a secure system that they can use from anywhere, including on tablets or phones. If the internet goes down the system can still be used offline until it is restored, and everything can be synced when back online.

Lisa Connolly, Registered Manager at Benridge, said:

“As a manager there is always so much to remember and do. We’ve built our system so the front-page acts as a diary, a reminder system and actions. It tells me everything I need to know and creates action plans, where I can delegate tasks.”

They started by building software that would help keep track of staff recruitment, DBS checks and training. It acts as a HR and payroll database, holding all staff and applicant’s data securely. It’s GDPR compliant and it won’t allow you to do any actions that could fall foul of the regulations.

Staff get sent automated training reminders and the system tracks how long they take to complete the training. Managers can see at a glance a training matrix. This details who has completed the training or read new policies, dates for upcoming training needs and when reviews are due.

 

Expanding the system

Since the initial development, the team has added:

  • a breakdown of bed availability across the 3 homes with a hotel-style booking system
  • care planning software, which can also be adapted to other systems already being used if needed
  • a staff roster system which includes real-time information on when staff are arriving and leaving shifts
  • an e-documents section where any type of form can be created and stored and includes health and safety and risk assessments
  • a finance area for invoicing and payroll
  • an eLearning platform for all staff training needs
  • each staff member has their own portal which alerts them to new information and delegated tasks
  • a COVID-19 section for monitoring and auditing of every aspect. Still being added to daily as more information is received.

 

Benefits

Report dashboard on Benridge Care softwareHaving the organisations data and information all in one place makes CQC inspections and auditing straightforward.

The system also has the ability to create ‘portals’ where CCGs, local authorities and CQC inspectors can have secure access to the information they need directly, and in real-time.

Lisa explains:

“It’s taken out a lot of the stress and time involved with administration. Knowledge is power and it helps us to better manage the business and improves communication with staff. If gives us confidence that all our data is robust; we’d be lost without it now.”

The team feel that they are saving huge amounts of time which can then be put back into caring for residents.

By linking all the data, different parts of the system can ‘talk’ to each other. For example, if the system tracks that someone has left their shift early, the finance part of the system automatically reviews and deducts pay accordingly.

 

Further development

The team are continuing to add and refine the system with more add-ons.

The team hope their five years developing the system could now help others. They are making the system available to the care market and would welcome any enquiries.

Paul says:

“We’re open for the system to help support other providers as it can be completely customised to other organisation’s needs. Care is so complex now and the job is just too big to not use technology to help you. We’d welcome talking to any providers who feel our system and learning could help them.”

 

For more information

To find out more about Benridge Care Group’s system or to talk to them about how it could help you, contact Paul McLaughlin on [email protected] or call 01704 551 255.

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