NEEDED IN NEXT DECADE The Health Foundation’s REAL Centre has published new research that highlights the huge and growing workforce gap facing the NHS and social care in England over the next decade.

It finds that by 2030/31, up to an extra 488,000 health care staff would be needed to meet demand pressures and recover from the pandemic – the equivalent of a 40% increase in the workforce, double the growth seen in the last decade. Alongside this, up to 627,000 extra social care staff would be needed to improve services and meet need – a 53% growth over the next decade and four times greater than the increases of the last ten years.

A major boost in the workforce would require significantly more funding over the next 10 years. While the recent funding settlement will go some way to helping the NHS recovery, the REAL Centre’s report sets out that funding for the NHS alone will need to grow at twice the rate of the last decade, and much closer to the historic average. This would mean at least 3.2% annual real terms funding increases for health, around £70bn extra by 2030/31. In social care, the next decade will


MANAGEMENT Hallmark Care Homes has partnered with maintenance management soſtware app FaultFixers in a bid to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within their 19 homes. The decision, led by Group Estates Manager Steve Brine, was made during the height of the pandemic when social distancing was initially introduced. Maintenance management prior to FaultFixers was a collection of paper-based spreadsheets and logbooks. Face-to-face interactions were necessary for reporting faults and third-party maintenance operators were oſten visiting homes to perform maintenance tasks.

Steve Brine, Group Estates Manager at Hallmark Care Homes, said: “We normally would bring an outside contractor into the home but during the pandemic that’s another person coming into the home who could put residents and team members at risk. With FaultFixers we can now stop that from happening as it gives the team the chance to assist the home over the phone [via the App] and get that repair resolved quicker. It prevents and limits the number of people coming into the home.”

FaultFixers is the only digital maintenance platform for care businesses that offer completely virtual maintenance management and social-distancing compliant maintenance reporting that can be used by every team member, resident and family member. FaultFixers is rapidly growing within the care sector, working with more and more care providers and hospitals such as their recent partnership with Hallmark Care Homes, Morris Care, Oakland Care, and many more.

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need to see funding rise more quickly than the NHS, sharply reversing a trend over the last decade where NHS spending increased by 20% and social care spending didn’t grow.

Public spending on health care in the UK totalled £177bn in 2019, which equates to £2,647 per person for the year. While these are huge sums, this is less than the EU14 average and significantly less than the G7 average, including France and Germany. The findings suggest UK spending will need to rise in the coming decade to meet the care needs of the population, if care is not to fall well short of the standards available in Western Europe.

The findings also highlight the need for longer term policymaking, to avoid short-term fixes that may prove to be more expensive over the long run. The required increases in funding and the workforce are driven by an ageing population, rising numbers of people with long-term chronic health problems, and a major backlog in care as a result of the pandemic. Without additional funding and planning to increase the workforce, the report highlights a growing gap between the demands on services, particularly primary, acute, mental health and social care, and the staff and resources available to provide care.

Tom O’Neill, CEO at FaultFixers, said: “We are very excited about our recent partnership with Hallmark Care Homes to deliver innovative maintenance technology to their 19 homes across England and Wales. The partnership is a real testament for us and further establishes the need for maintenance management soſtware during a time where digital solutions are not only in demand but vital for bolstering the protection and safety of the public.”

The recent implementation of FaultFixers across the homes has already proven effective with an overall reduction in costs. Steve Brine said: “From a financial benefit, I’ve already been able to stop progressive recurring incidents from happening so from a financial side, we’ve already seen a benefit.” Alongside a financial benefit, Hallmark has been able to reduce paper waste and fuel consumption by adopting a digital solution impacting the group’s carbon footprint.

To find out more about how maintenance management soſtware has benefited the care group, watch an interview with Estates Manager, Steve Brine from Hallmark here.

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