Digital transformer PCS pushes deeper into international care homes market

A leader in providing scalable, automated management systems for the social care sector, the family business plans to move into non-English speaking territories after roll-outs in Australia, Ireland and the Netherlands. This follows increasing connectivity at home, most recently in remote spots in Scotland where PCS is working with NHS Highland. The new backing will be Surrey-based PCS’s first external one since brothers Jonathan and Simon Papworth launched the company in 2013. It now employs 56 in the UK and is forecasting a £12.74 million turnover for the coming year. 

The Papworths’ aim was to solve the problems they had seen first-hand in a sector faced with growing demand from an ageing population, recruitment shortages and no mobile product innovation to increase its efficiency.

“Products were top down, not for those actually using the technology,” says co-director Jonathan.

“In social care the primary objective is improving the lives of everyone being cared for. Our solution is for those providing the care as well. 

“Measuring happiness is the core of our technology and the transparency our technology brings is a deterrent to bad practice.”  

PCS’s icon-driven technology was the breakthrough, creating software that can be used by anyone whatever their first language, computer literacy or reading ability.

“We have a vast number of measurement points allowing carers to fully analyse the care given,” explains Jonathan.

“Our Mobile Care Monitoring is the only product that can do that and is best placed to analyse how care can be changed to improve outcomes.

“Using icons and scores gives a better indication of an individual’s requirement, cuts down the risk of errors and the evidence is preserved in one portal.

“Evidence happens at the point of delivery, carers can help residents and file details at the same time without interruption. 

“It can begin with something as essential and basic as what kind of a cup of tea a client likes or the most suitable walk. It all amounts to greater satisfaction and big time savings. 

“With the contemporaneous note taking staff can make on average over 50 notes per resident per day. That is far greater than paper record-keeping can achieve. We can instal within a month and our training team offers hand-held guidance.”

The system is also designed to counter patchy wifi so carers can work on or offline. Family members can use a Relatives Gateway to keep up-to-date and share messages and information can be pooled with ambulance and hospital staff.

In the UK there are more than 2,000 PCS care home customers taking its subscription-based services, with clients ranging from family run residential homes to nursing ones and large care groups. 

A recent report from The Work Foundation and recruiter Totaljobs found that the pandemic had given people a new-found appreciation of the social care sector.  

The number of those looking for roles has increased 39 percent year-on-year with 17 percent of all job seekers saying they would be likely to pursue a career in care.

PCS’s ambition is to integrate further with the NHS but it has taken the pandemic to change a traditional sector attached to paper. 

“Coronavirus obliged managers to use Zoom and that accelerated the digital change,” says Jonathan. “The world is coming to us.”

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