A number of East Antrim nursing homes are to benefit from a new app and software designed to help cut costs and improve the level of care provided.
PickaShift has struck its first group deal with the Wilson Group, which will see the app rolled out across five locations with around 300 staff accessing the platform. The homes are based in Belfast, Bangor, Whitehead and Larne.
The app which connects nurses, care assistants and ancillary staff directly with their employers in residential and nursing homes, informs them quickly about shifts that have become available at short notice and encourages them to pick these up at an increasingly favourable rate until the shift is claimed.
Colin Nimmon, Wilson Group finance director, said: “Our number one priority is to provide care for those who need us most. To be able to provide that high-level of front line service we need to be an efficient business behind the scenes. That means good financial management and controlling costs.”
“Our biggest challenge recently has been the availability of good quality staff to look after and care for our residents. To be able to provide staff on a 24/7 ongoing basis means that at times we have no choice but to use agencies, which can lead to significant financial strains on the business.
“We have a responsibility to comply from a regulatory perspective, and to do this we need to provide a very high level of care requiring significant investment in our workforce.
“We believe that PickaShift will benefit us as an organisation in helping to control these costs, by cutting down on the use of expensive agency staff, allowing employees to come directly to us via the app and choose the shifts that suit them, at an attractive rate of pay.”
The team behind the app is made up of former MLA Fearghal McKinney and experienced care home owners Liam Lavery and Peter Graham.
Mr McKinney, co-founder of PickaShift, said: “We are thrilled to have signed our first group deal with Wilson Group. As an early adopter, they are leading out in terms of using technology to save on costs. Hundreds of their staff will be using our app and now able to pick up other shifts earning more money when they want to.
“PickaShift is disrupting, for the better, the way in which nursing and residential care homes do business in terms of their recruitment and staffing. Against the backdrop of pressured budgets, along with the strength of agencies in the market, homecare businesses are constantly looking for ways to cut costs and improve the level of care they can provide.”
“We are currently engaged with a number of providers and will be securing more deals in the coming months.”