Aged care, childcare, disability care and healthcare services have a resourcing crisis that needs new thinking

11 Feb 2022

This month a leading national aged care publication the Australian Ageing Agenda (AAA) focused on “Staffing Solutions” as the industry deals with the most extraordinary combination of service demands and resource shortages.

Whilst the ageing population brings opportunity, it also comes with increased service demands. There is an existing pressure on providers to come into the market, grow and sustain their offerings, as noted by Australian Ageing Agenda

‘…the pandemic has amplified ongoing challenges with recruiting and retaining aged care staff. The Omicron wave compounded this further.’

“ It’s clear our care industry workers are under intense strain, and what’s needed are practical, effective, intuitive solutions that really help. This is our focus and why managers and workers love the difference it makes every day”

Anthony Byrne – CEO, Emprevo

The evidence is real... the magnitude of the problem significant;

The data confirms the magnitude of the crisis.

1. 37% of nurses, midwives and personal care workers plan to leave the industry in the next 5 years, with

2. 21% planning do to so in the next 12 months.

Similarly a United Workers Union survey of 1,000 aged care workers in South Australia and Queensland in February identified that…

a. 75% intend to leave the sector

b. 20% to do so as soon as possible

c. 33% in the next 12 months and 24% within the next 5 years

Furthermore a recent article in The Guardian identified that:

“ Aged care providers estimate about a quarter of all shifts – or the equivalent of 140,000 shifts a week – are going unfilled, while the disability sector has reported roster vacancies of up to 30%”

So what can be done? What is the solution?

One solution being developed and implemented by some providers includes offering residential living support to workers. That is, accommodation on site. It’s extremely valuable (financial and stable) to many workers in the industry, and it connects them to the workplace.

Another provider Homestyle Aged Care, has implemented an Emprevo Worker Marketplace, giving workers the ability to quickly easily receive available shifts on their mobile app.

With the app, workers can set work preferences, and on receiving the notification, quickly tap and accept the shifts that suit them. As a result the workers are chasing the shifts as they become available.

For the manager, instead of spending hours a day trying to fill shifts by chasing workers, with Emprevo worker marketplace they have the certainty of instantly finding and connecting with workers chasing that work. Dawn Griffiths, General Manager of Homestyle Aged Care says, “It’s a tremendous success,… generally, over 90% of available shifts are picked up quickly by our own staff.”

In the article from Australian Ageing Agenda, Griffiths tells of how “Our casual workforce pick up most of the available shifts”, adding that “ the organisations employees are the best audience to offer the shifts to first. They know the residents. We also know they are committed to the residents…”

She also adds, with significant operational detail, how she manages to maximise the work opportunities for staff, ensure shifts are filled, and agency costs minimised, stating that…

“ Emprevo enables us to be transparent with employees around the shifts that are available. And then they, on a first come first serve basis, pick those shifts up. Filling the final 10% usually involves encouraging staff to do it before sending it off to agency”.

Anthony Byrne, CEO of Emprevo shares that, it is at this point where added value of an Emprevo Worker Marketplace kicks in. Clients can easily send the unfilled shifts to one, or a selected group of their existing agencies, with just a few clicks. The agency partners then snap up the unfilled shifts and allocate workers to ensure the remaining shifts are filled.

The benefits of which were supported by Griffiths who shared that the Agency Connect feature “…speeds up the process. Instead of making multiple phone calls, you can send it to one or more agencies at the same time.”

What else does it do?

Griffiths, like many clients of Emprevo, including Allity Aged Care love the way News Announcements work, sending critical information when they need to, giving managers more certainty that messages are read by the staff.

In the case of HomeStyle, Griffiths adivsed that “ We can also send short messages to staff…. (and)… it shows they are reading it”.

For Allity Aged Care, they had the power to instantly change worker settings at scale, and successfully re-organised 1,600 workers, across 11 locations and 2,400 shifts in less that 2 hours; a last minute government mandated requirement during COVID lockdown.

After five years, Emprevo has over 1,750+ workplaces, 4,000 managers, and over 55,000 workers across many industries filling 80,000+ shifts monthly. It means happier workers, happier managers and less stress, chaos and cost for all. And as Byrne says, its the reason Emprevo confidently tells clients…”you’ll love the way it works for you”