systems today can help to reduce that complexity by recording essential information, such as allergens and nutritional product information. Without this, a care home manager cannot be certain that the products they are using do not contain ingredients that some residents may be allergic to.

built’ or complementary technology such as labelling systems, which link directly to the product allergen information stored in an eProcurement system, will help managers to keep on top of legislation while keeping their residents safe.


Another key issue for care homes is overspend. Care homes have faced many hurdles over recent years such as managing budget cuts while trying to retain quality of service. Anything that helps a care provider to reduce spend and save money is welcome. Managing stock and inventory is a good place to start to ensure you only order what you need, when you need it. eProcurement will simplify that process, reducing admin time and wastage.

Advances in technology are also making it possible to provide alerts when key information is missing from ingredients or products. This helps care providers to fill in the gaps from the outset and while this alone does not completely remove the potential for human error, it does mean that the care home has a greater ability to match the food on offer to each resident’s care plan.

Undoubtedly, care homes will need to become very familiar with new legislation like Natasha’s Law, as they are caring for some of the most vulnerable people in society. Managers will need to ensure that their daily menus clearly show any allergens contained in meals and snacks provided, as well as identifying all of the ingredients in wrapped food. Using ‘in-

Technology can also help to control spend and avoid exceeding budgets. This is especially relevant as staff shortages are on the rise and multiple staff could be purchasing goods at any point. Advanced systems can allow care homes to set spending limits at a frequency and value to suite the size of their establishment. Exceeding spending limits would trigger an alert to the person ordering the goods, the manager and the operational staff. This ensures the right people can act quickly, as opposed to dealing with oversight at a later stage in the accounting process.

In short, the more we can do to remove pressure on staff, free up their time to spend with those in their care, reduce the paper chain and improve the provision of care, the better. Technology is giving care homes the tools to make day-to-day operations run more smoothly and efficiently. - 29 -

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