Careful cost management is a feature of any well-run organisation. Cost control done properly is a more sophisticated process than many imagine. As any registered manager will tell you, it’s not just a simple accounting exercise or making blanket decisions that ‘we’re not spending any money on anything we don’t need.’
Against every potential cost there is a value that justifies the purchase. It could be regulatory compliance, better standards of care delivery or happier service users or staff. Alongside each potential purchase there’s also the factor that’s hardest of all to evaluate: risk.
Seeing into the Future
The problem with risk (and with value) is that they are in the future. The potential cost is ‘here and now.’ The choice isn’t between spending the money or not, but between saving money now and facing the consequences of something that might happen in the future.
There are few areas of a care business where this applies more starkly than training. On the one hand there is a known cost, which can be significant. On the other hand there are the risks of staff carrying out important tasks and making decisions without the right knowledge or skills. Do you ever think about the risks those circumstances raise for your organisation and for you professionally?
The CQC will prosecute care providers if it believes that appropriate procedures are not followed. One care home was fined over £59,000 after a resident with dementia sat on a portable oil filled heater after an inadequate risk assessment.
Training cannot eliminate all risks – human factors will still come into play. But there’s a big difference in liability between an organisation that has taken all reasonable precautions (including training) and one that always opts to save the expense.
Better Care, Better Reputation
Another aspect of the cost/value equation is the better standard of care that comes from investing in training. Commissioners, self-funders and those who manage their own care budget are all heavily influenced by the reputation of each care provider. And there’s no cut price route to an outstanding reputation.
Training has a cost and it’s always tempting to put it off as long as possible. But never close your eyes to the enormous value it can bring and the risks it can take out of your business.