The care home sector must be more innovative to help it overcome financial constraints and attract new talent.
This was the view of a panel of experts taking part in the ‘What Next for the Care Home Sector’ discussion at the Future of Care conference held in London last week.
Barchester Healthcare CEO Dr Peter Calveley said innovation is needed around the design of care homes and care services.
“With financial constraints we are behind the curve compared to much of Europe when it comes to finding innovative ways to integrate and deliver care in the community,” he said.
Meanwhile Richard Hawes, CEO at Elizabeth Finn Homes, wanted more innovative training so that care staff become multi-skilled. “Residents prefer to be looked after by the same person,” he said.
Avnish Goyal, managing director Hallmark Care Homes, said regulation can hold back innovation but it was important to ask residents what they wanted help with and to then find creative ways to solve their problems.
TV presenter Fiona Phillips, who moderated the panel which was sponsored by NHG, asked if innovation can save money.
Joan Elliot, general manager at Bupa UK Care Services, said there was no evidence yet of clear financial benefits but there are opportunities to use technology to make specific care home tasks more efficient.
Nigel Sibley, chief executive at Lifecare Residencies, agreed that the use of technology will be crucial. “However, the sector must not be driven by technology,” he said. “Innovation must be market-led and not regulation- or product-led.”
- Read more from the Future of Care conference in the May issue of Care Home Management.