Lives lost as care services drown in ‘admin epidemic’, Florence survey shows

New survey results from 222 NHS and social care managers have been released today by Florence, revealing an industry bogged down in an ‘admin epidemic’ without enough time for care.

Our survey shows managers across nursing homes, domiciliary care services, NHS hospitals and GPs (among other care settings) struggling against a tide of needlessly time-consuming admin.

Findings include:

  • 1/3 say lives will be lost unless the government invests in the NHS and social care
  • 45% say their time spent on admin impacts peoples’ care
  • 20% say they spend between 7-8 hours a day on admin tasks alone.
  • 46% say there’s a need to ‘create less paperwork, form-filling and box-ticking’.
  • 35% feel outdated technology causes time-wasting

Overworked and understaffed

Bureaucracy is clearly a chronic problem across NHS and social care services.

14% of managers reported time wasted on admin tasks has led to peoples’ health suffering, and 6% say it has even cost lives.

Tasks that take up the most time include rota scheduling (43%), documentation and record-keeping (30%), and speaking to agencies to secure cover staff (21%).

Lack of staff is another major issue, with many being driven out of the industry by the working conditions.

28% say they are ‘overworked and understaffed’. One in six (17%) of NHS and social care managers believe their service needs at least 50% more staff to operate properly.

The admin epidemic – infographic

The admin epidemic infographic - care service managers
The admin epidemic in numbers

What needs to change

NHS and social care managers are calling for better pay and conditions, government intervention to make social care a more attractive career, and more money to be spent on technological solutions to streamline admin tasks.

Currently, four in ten (39%) feel people work very hard for very little reward. Meanwhile, 38% say the care industry is full of good people unable to make the difference they would like. A quarter reveal their admin workload has caused staff to quit and they themselves have considered looking for a completely different career.

Meanwhile, nearly half (46%) say paperwork ‘prevents me from doing the job I actually should be doing’ and 45% say it has been a drain on team morale.

Ryan, a residential care home manager in South East England said: “More time is being spent in front of a computer screen rather than talking to people. More paperwork is increasing. It feels like the paperwork is more important than the care now.”

Florence’s view

We’re on a mission to help deliver better care by challenging dated and time-wasting ways of working – something the industry is crying out for, as our survey shows.

Dr. Charles Armitage, CEO and co- founder of Florence, commented: “With care services under such a persistent level of pressure due to patient numbers and a lack of budget, we need to be smarter with how we utilise our healthcare workers’ time. Technological solutions are the future in this respect; the technology we have at Florence can reduce a vast proportion of the time spent by healthcare workers on administration, especially regarding staffing. If the care sector receives increased funding from the government, and the use of tech is shown as a solution to some of the administrative difficulties, the road ahead looks much clearer.”

We couldn’t agree more.

Florence’s app helps NHS and social care teams fill shifts instantly with their own team, plus cover any gaps with experienced Florence professionals, cutting time spent scheduling and chasing agencies down to nothing. Find out more, or book a demo today.

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