With the Canopy supplier management platform, care homes, retirement homes, and hospices can better look after the safety of their residents
There’s not always as much of a positive media focus on social care as on the NHS. So the enormous variety of accommodation styles, depending on residents' health and care needs, isn't always put in much context. For those living independently, a retirement village may be an option, or sheltered housing if they need a higher level of domiciliary care. For others with more extensive care needs, a residential care home will be the best way to support them. And for people at the end of their lives, a hospice is often the preferred choice. But whatever the situation, there’s one common factor: the need for good supplier management to ensure resident safety. In this blog, we’re taking a closer look at how the Canopy supplier management platform can help care homes, retirement homes, and hospices to meet their residents' needs.
A snapshot of the care sector in the UK
Care homes are residential homes which focus more on providing care for people with greater support needs. Other 'care' homes include such styles of accommodation as retirement villages (or retirement homes) and sheltered housing. The differences between these largely depend on the level of care or supervision which residents need - and of course the age cohort of residents. Fewer than 1% of people over the UK’s state pension age currently live in purpose-built retirement communities, but they’re becoming an increasingly popular lifestyle choice. As for hospices, their residents of course have some of the highest levels of need for care and support.
In 2019, there were some 15,600 residential adult social care and nursing homes in the UK. The care home population amounts to around half a million residents, with a variety of care and support needs. And hospices provide end-of-life care for some 200,000 people every year at over 220 facilities. (However, hospices deliver a considerable proportion of their services on a non-residential basis, either at a hospice or at home).
Challenges for the care home sector
One of the biggest challenges for any operator of a care home is to protect the interests of its residents, many of whom will be vulnerable. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulates all these social care providers to ensure levels of care meet certain standards. Care homes need to carefully manage risks when selecting suppliers, particularly those who need to come onsite. Ensuring that everyone is suitably trained and vetted to be in a care home environment is a crucial consideration. This ensures the physical safety and wellbeing of residents, and it allows homes to follow necessary safeguarding practice.
When it comes to managing their supply chain more generally, businesses in the care sector have a lot else to be concerned about. Of course, cost efficiencies play their part, as care homes have a responsibility to investors, residents, and donors. Equipment and consumables supplied to care homes often needs special adaptations to address the needs of residents. And as with other sectors, care homes need to consider environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors when choosing their suppliers.
Overcoming the challenges with Canopy
We understand that retirement village and social care providers work hard to care for their residents’ needs. And with the Canopy supplier management platform, working to select the right suppliers will be an easier job. Canopy’s supplier management platform can provide 100% confidence that anyone who visits the home has been properly vetted and approved. We’d highlight three key benefits for care homes, retirement homes, and hospices to meet the challenges they face:
1. Canopy makes supplier selection easier
Supplier selection defaults to those who are already on a care home operator's books and have demonstrated reliable performance, removing the administrative burden. By defining governance rules centrally, operations teams on the ground now have complete autonomy to make their own supplier selection decisions that meet their individual needs. Canopy categorises suppliers by the selection criterion you choose, for instance suppliers that you have already onboarded, those where you have contracts in place, and where you have excellent project feedback.
2. Canopy provides instant alerts and notifications
Where suppliers face elevated risk or have breached compliance, such as HSE incidents, the platform triggers notifications immediately. This informs everyone in the business and suspends a supplier from availability. The rules engine allows for suppliers to be risk-assessed based on screening criteria and category strategies. These assessments help to determine a care home's risk exposure and the pathways to facilitate better mitigation and management.
3. Canopy provides a full audit history
Canopy captures a complete time- and date-stamped audit history of every entry and change made to the supplier’s profile. This ensures there is no doubt about the validity of the information held. Any updates to documents such as DBS checks and insurance certificates will be properly logged and recorded. Our clients can rely on this audit as documented evidence in any potential legal disputes with suppliers.
To find out more about how care homes, retirement homes, and hospices can use Canopy, OCG Software's award-winning supplier management platform, contact one of the team today.
Post by Nick Verkroost
Nick is an experienced business leader and the CEO for Canopy (OCG Software), the rules-based Supplier Management platform. Nick's focus is on commercial and operational excellence and ensuring our clients maximise the opportunities that Canopy offers.