The past year and a bit may well have changed how the care sector operates forever. At the front end the service still revolves around dedicated and skilled individuals delivering services in-person through a variety of settings. But the ways they are supported to do that work have changed fundamentally.
There are two irresistible forces at work. On the one hand, demand is increasing. The long-lasting impact on the health of people who experienced severe Covid symptoms isn’t yet clear – but it’s certainly having a growing effect. This is on top of the already ageing population trend.
At the same time, the cost of dealing with the pandemic will inevitably mean that funding remains tight. Once again, the sector will be expected to deliver more with less while the marketplace for care providers becomes increasingly volatile, owing to high rates of unfilled staff vacancies and market uncertainty.
The Irreversible Growth of WFH
The other factor to add in that is unique to the pandemic lockdowns is the growth of flexible and home-based working. Staff and their employers have all seen benefits from this flexibility that they don’t want to let go.
Among these is sustainability as local authorities look to reduce their carbon footprint in response to the climate emergency. Reducing travel and commuting is an easy way to do this. The very strong likelihood is that increased working from home is here to stay, and why not if office overheads can also be reduced?
All of these trends and pressures become funnelled into the brokerage process. In stark terms it means that teams will have to broker more care packages, through more providers with no more resources, while retaining the advantages of allowing staff to work from home for at least some of the week. We know of one team that is aiming to broker packages through 80 – 100 care providers with a team of just six people.
With cloud technology, all of this is possible. Using eBrokerage from Ulysses, staff can work anywhere. And the streamlined process means that each broker can manage many more packages and providers than they could previously with emails and spreadsheets. The other big advantage of the cloud platform is data security – everything is fully end-to-end encrypted.
The eBrokerage cloud platform is part of a quiet revolution happening in the background that is allowing more resources to be concentrated at the front-end of care delivery, at the same time as reducing overheads. It’s also easy to procure through the G-Cloud 12 framework, via Ulysses eBrokerage Cloud Software.