Financial Planning and Cost-Saving Advice For Care Homes For 2024

Running a successful care home in the UK is an expensive business. That’s before factoring in the recent rises in bills and expenses from the cost of living crisis. The balance required for running a safe, effective and loving care home for your residents and managing the money as it comes in and out can be tricky. The start of a new year is often a great time to take a moment to reassess your financial habits, commitments and plans.

There are usually places where savings can be made without compromising on the quality of care you can provide. Here are six ideas to get you started.

 Go digital; go paperless

Investing in digital care management software may seem like it is counterintuitive when trying to save money. However, the cost savings further down the line are indisputable. You will be able to cut down on archiving bulky paperwork, which can cost money to store safely. In addition, switching to digital records will save staff hours of paid time if they no longer need to do manual updates or handwrite lengthy medical notes or resident updates. This will also allow them to spend more time with the residents, rather than you having to employ extra people to cover their care duties.

If you intend to switch to a digital care management system in the next few weeks, check to see if you are eligible for financial help from the government under their NHSX digital transformation scheme, which ends in March.

Energy efficiency

Being careful and clever about energy use will not only help you do your bit to help combat climate change, but it can also save your care home money. Simple changes, such as switching light bulbs over to LED equivalents can seem small in themselves but savings soon add up as energy bills come down. Plugging gaps in windows and doors and upgrading insulation helps keep out the cold, driving down the need for expensive heating. Programmable thermostats help you keep a closer eye on how much heating (or cooling) is needed to keep residents comfortable throughout the year without having to overspend.

Supplier negotiations

Make 2024 the year you are brave, bold and able to negotiate with your supplier to secure better prices. Many companies reward loyalty, to always check with current supplier if they can offer you a long-term customer discount before automatically looking elsewhere. If you do decide to shop around, Care Vision’s procurement and budgeting software can help you find the best deals and schedule payments to fit in around your other financial commitments. Buying in bulk wherever possible is another great way to make savings on ingredients, medical supplies and other essentials, if you have the space to store surplus items until they are needed.

Preventative maintenance

Spotting smaller maintenance jobs and fixing them before they become big and expensive is another great tip. Again, the financial outlay on having something minor fixed, such as the beginnings of a crack, a blocked gutter or a slightly noisy boiler is generally far lower than having to shell out for emergency repairs. It’s less stressful too. Care Vision can help you keep track of repairs, plan for emergency funds and provide reminders when annual servicing or planned maintenance contracts are due.

Staff investment

Investing in valued staff is extremely important for many reasons, including the financial bottom line. Satisfied, happy staff will stay in your employ for longer. This not only helps residents feel more confident with familiar staff, but it means that you don’t have to spend money on recruiting and onboarding new staff quite so often. It also means that any knowledge and skills gained through staff training remains inside your care home, rather than being taken elsewhere. Well trained staff also reduce the risk of accidents and unwanted incidents leading to expensive medical treatments and increased insurance premiums.

Collaborative working

From humankind’s earliest days of living in wider communities, we have benefitted from working together to reduce costs and enjoy shared benefits. Running a care home is no different. There are many different ways in which care home manager can work with other organisations to keep costs down. For example, organising joint day trips, visits or events with other local care facilities or older people’s groups. Welcoming suitably trained and vetted volunteers into your facility to help them gain skills and experience. Care Vision’s budget planning functions allow mangers to see at a glance where they are able to cut down on costs in certain areas and act to save money accordingly.

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