Amanda-Rae-and-Brian-Cooney-Canford-HealthcareAmanda Rae, our Head of Quality and Compliance, has won Person Centred Software’s Digital Innovation Award at the company’s annual Champions of Care Awards 2024.

The awards celebrate the achievements made by people working in the social care sector to improve care, while the Digital Innovation category recognises those who have introduced a technology to transform the provision of services.

Thanks to Amanda’s encouragement, technology is increasingly present in every aspect of our care and the way in which staff across our 11 homes do their jobs and receive information and training. They use hand-held devices loaded with apps to record actions taken at the point of care which are uploaded centrally. This keeps each resident’s care notes safe and secure, and can easily be shared with relatives. Other apps facilitate greater safety around medication, for example, or managing call bell alerts. This efficient use of technology (as outlined in the Government’s 2021 White Paper, People at the Heart of Care) ensures that staff have the tools to be effective, enhancing and enriching our residents’ lives.

Another of Amanda’s achievements was to create a bespoke internal system (using Microsoft Office 365) to monitor the quality of our homes’ clinical care, identify areas of risk, ensure the continuance of good governance and meet CQC requirements. The system, which is constantly evolving in response to unmet needs that are identified, promotes governance that aligns with and demonstrates our company values. It is a robust vehicle for auditing, recording and sharing action points and information, as well as identifying trends, issues and training needs. It also facilitates clear communication within the homes, keeping staff up to speed with necessary actions. Overall, it ensures that care is person-centred and achieves the best outcomes for residents. The whole process is known throughout Canford Healthcare as the Quality Cycle.

As part of the Quality Cycle, Amanda chairs a bi-annual Audit Compliance Effectiveness (ACE) meeting with each home team during which actions are reviewed and resolved, and new ones issued. Information from residents and families feeds into action plans, keeping everyone informed and involved, which contribute towards desktop audits. This all results in outcomes that are reported back to residents and families via meetings, and so the cycle runs continuously.

The Quality Cycle has been praised by Care England and shared with other care providers, as well as organisations such as the King’s Fund. Amanda has also fed back suggested improvements to Microsoft.

Amanda is delighted to have won the Digital Innovation Award. She says: “This was a very pleasant surprise! It is pleasing that our work is recognised by external partners as being innovative. As with everything, success is always due to the engagement and support of the wider team, and I am very grateful for the team we have.

“Digital innovation does not replace good people, but it does allow us to focus on what is important – keeping our residents safe and meeting both their individual needs and regulatory requirements! Good use of digital systems and quality data enables us to enhance what we offer to our residents, allowing us to give time previously spent on paper processes back to residents.”

Person Centred Software’s Head of International Marketing, Yaz Hassoun, adds:

“The progression of digital technology has been helping care providers achieve the level of care outcomes that at one time would not have been possible. It is always amazing to hear stories of digital innovation being championed in care settings, and to witness the positive impact such as improved quality of life for residents and staff. We want to extend our congratulations to Amanda and her team for all the amazing work they have done in being a force for positive change and evolution in the industry!”

Amanda qualified as a registered nurse in 1993 and then gained Levels 5 and 7 in Business Studies through the Chartered Management Institute. She also holds a postgraduate diploma in Human Resources, and in 2022 became a Queen’s Nurse.

She has worked in health and social care for most of her career to date, performing most care home roles, starting as a care assistant and rising to home manager and operations manager before being promoted into her current role. This involves setting and monitoring standards to ensure that the organisation meets its regulatory obligations, and also working within a multi-disciplinary team to embed a culture of excellence in which well-trained and happy staff provide the best possible care for residents.

Amanda received the prestigious Cavell Star Award in 2023 in recognition of her efforts to ensure that residents receive only the highest quality of care during their time with us. She was a finalist at the Nursing Times Awards the same year and the previous year received a highly commended in the Women in Tech category at the Women Achieving Greatness in Social Care Awards 2022.

Amanda has written a blog for the Person Centre Software website which you can read here.