“With over 30% of staff self-isolating, Premier Care’s new adaptive way of screening and onboarding has helped us adapt and thrive. Without Access Screening, we would have a significant hole in safely taking on the required number of carers.”
Health and social care workers’ proximity to older people and those at greater risk from the virus means that providers need to be more cautious than most when it comes to self-isolating during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most providers are facing ever-increasing demand to take on additional workers as a result of the outbreak meaning that for many, recruiting new care workers to cover both staffing shortfalls and increased need is critical right now.
Managing Director of domiciliary care provider Premier Care, Daniel Isterling says:
“One of the main challenges we’re facing is staffing. As an organisation, we are working hard to respond flexibly to the virus and take on more capacity from hospitals to free up beds. But, with staff rightly self-isolating, it’s a challenge to meet the call of the NHS and Local Authority.”
Improving turnaround speeds for new healthcare workers while maintaining compliance is key for anyone placing candidates into healthcare roles during the pandemic.
While finding applicants hasn’t necessarily been a problem for Premier, they still have the duty of care to ensure they are adequately screening candidates and protecting the safety of their clients in line with CQC guidelines.
This is where Access Screening has been integral in helping Premier respond quickly and safely to the staffing demands brought about by the pandemic. Daniel explains that:
“We’ve been taken back by how many people have continued to apply for jobs and put themselves on the front line, but we need to ensure they are checked and onboarded safely.”
In response to COVID-19, the Home Office and the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) have put temporary arrangements in place, to provide a free of charge fast-track emergency checks and processing eligible applicants as volunteers who are being recruited in connection with the provision of care and treatment of coronavirus in England and Wales.
Dr. Gillian Fairfield, DBS Chairman, said:
“We understand the vital role that DBS has to play in the country’s response to the pandemic. We have been working closely with the Home Office and the Department of Health and Social Care in order to introduce measures that allow us to respond quickly to the applications, as we recognise that the care sector needs immediate support from new recruits and volunteers. The introduction of a fast track service will allow the NHS and other healthcare and voluntary sector organisations to get the right people into the right place quickly and safely.”
To further help organisations that are placing candidates into healthcare roles manage increased numbers of applicants, new staff and the still compulsory checks, Access is working with its expert screening partners to provide a time-bound offer for Screening service.
This offer also means there will be no set-up cost or contract and clients can be up and running to start screening in just 24 hours. The service is also pay-as-you-go, so only the checks that are run will need to be paid for.
Daniel says that Access has been fundamental to their new screening and onboarding process, which has been crucial to help Premier Care quickly get staff rota-compliant and ready to answer increasing demands for safe care in the community.
“We’ve built a non-contact onboarding pipeline which has Access tools at its centre. We now have a virtual interview system followed by Access Screening, followed by our online training platform with built-in Zoom functionality. It’s been super successful, and we’ve been able to filter staff out safely within five working days. With over 30% of staff self-isolating, this adaptive way of screening and onboarding has helped us adapt and thrive. Without Access Screening, we would have a significant hole in safely taking on the required number of carers.”