March 27, 2024

How much money is your agency losing every day?

Table of contents

Running a domiciliary care agency in the UK is demanding, with countless responsibilities and challenges to navigate. Amidst the commitment to delivering top-quality care, there's a pressing concern that often goes unnoticed—the financial health of your business. Many care agencies inadvertently bleed money daily, often due to inefficiencies that can be addressed. In this article, we’ll look at some of the financial challenges you may be facing and provide a few actionable steps to plug the financial leaks that may be draining your resources.

Unveiling the hidden financial leaks in your care agency

The "Minimum Price for Homecare 2023-2024" report from The Homecare Association highlights the complexities of funding in the care sector, shedding light on the critical need for agencies to manage their finances effectively. It's a sobering fact that many agencies may be losing money without even realising it!

So, how do you begin to take a comprehensive look at your agency, and where you can start to fill in those gaps?

The Birdie team recently hosted a webinar on how to benchmark your agency’s finances. Our industry experts discuss exactly how much you should be spending where per hour of care - from travel time to equipment costs. You can watch the full webinar here:

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Access the tool shared in the webinar here. Follow the instructions on the first tab, and get an overview of where you currently stand - and some areas you can focus on to start saving you money!

It can be a scary process, especially if you’re not from a finance background or feel like you’re in too deep - but taking an objective and non-judgemental look at your finances is the foundation for ensuring the sustainability of your care agency.

Once you’ve done that, it’s time to look at some of the key areas you could look at today to start solving your financial concerns.

The impact of poor scheduling on your bottom line

Efficient scheduling is a cornerstone of effective domiciliary care. Poorly managed schedules can lead to a cascade of problems, from wasted staff time to increased travel costs. Inefficiencies in scheduling can directly impact the financial health of the agency. For example, a care professional spending excessive time commuting between care recipients may have less time for actual care provision, leading to lower productivity.

To address scheduling inefficiencies, owners and managers should consider digital scheduling tools. These tools can help optimise staff schedules, reduce travel time, and ensure that care professionals spend more time with care recipients and less time on the road. Additionally, implementing a few tried-and-tested manual strategies, such as conducting regular staff meetings to discuss schedules and routes, can also lead to improvements. Time is money, and efficient scheduling is a key driver of cost savings.

Reducing staff turnover: a key to saving money

High staff turnover is a common challenge in the domiciliary care sector, and it comes with significant financial implications. The recruitment and training costs associated with frequent staff turnover can be a considerable drain on agency resources. Moreover, the constant influx of new care professionals can disrupt the continuity of care for care recipients.

To mitigate staff turnover, care agencies should invest in comprehensive training programs for their care professionals. These programs should cover both technical skills and soft skills, enhancing the quality of care and job satisfaction. Additionally, creating a supportive work environment, where care professionals feel valued and heard, can boost staff morale and reduce turnover. Simple measures, such as implementing anonymous feedback boxes and conducting regular staff meetings, can go a long way in retaining valuable team members.

The cost of non-compliance: risks and solutions

Maintaining compliance with regulatory standards is non-negotiable in domiciliary care. Non-compliance not only poses legal risks but can also damage the agency's reputation and lead to financial penalties. The "Minimum Price for Homecare 2023-2024" report highlights the importance of adhering to compliance and quality assurance standards in the care sector.

To address compliance challenges, owners and managers should stay updated with the latest regulations and ensure that policies and procedures are regularly reviewed and updated. Conducting internal audits can help identify areas of improvement and ensure that the agency consistently meets high standards. Digital compliance management tools can assist in tracking and managing compliance requirements efficiently, providing peace of mind and avoiding costly compliance breaches.

Going digital: a path to cost-efficiency

In today's digital age, technology plays a pivotal role in the efficiency and effectiveness of care delivery. Care agencies that resist adopting digital tools may find themselves mired in inefficiencies and outdated practices. Embracing digital solutions like care management software and online rostering tools can streamline operations, improve communication, and enhance the quality of care.

However, it's essential to strike a balance between technology and the personal touch of caregiving. While digital tools offer efficiency and accuracy, the human element remains irreplaceable in care. Owners and managers should explore digital solutions that complement their agency's unique needs. Finding the right digital tools can empower care professionals and drive cost-efficiency without compromising the quality of care.

In conclusion, the financial health of a domiciliary care agency is crucial for its sustainability and the quality of care provided to care recipients. Owners and managers must proactively address financial challenges by conducting financial audits, optimising scheduling, reducing staff turnover, maintaining compliance, and embracing digital solutions. By taking these actionable steps, care agencies can plug the financial leaks that may be draining their resources and, in turn, provide exceptional care while ensuring their financial viability.

If you found the insights in this article helpful, click the button below to find out the ‘The Top 8 Digital Care Management Systems’ within the UK homecare industry.

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