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How Important is Risk Management for Social Care Providers?

Risk Management Social Care Providers

My Background

For more than 20 years, I’ve developed care businesses, operated care businesses and successfully resolved a multitude of crisis management scenarios.

Based on this experience, I’ve thought at length about what could make a significant difference to the sustained success of a social care business, especially for small care groups and stand-alone providers.

There are a number of factors, but for me, the single most important one is effective risk management.

Some might read this and say what about care delivery? What about occupancy and weekly hours? What about staffing?

Those are all important. But a care provider who doesn’t assess the risks in all areas of their business and doesn’t put measures in place to reduce or remove the risks, will always be compromised to a greater or lesser extent.

Whether you’re caring for an 85-year-old with advanced dementia, or a 37-year-old with a spinal cord injury, or increasing costs, or more competitors, risk is everywhere. The key is how you identify and counteract all risks. If you get that right, everything else falls into place.

Common Examples of Risk not being Managed Correctly

1) Recruitment Practices

2) Care Plans

These aren’t updated in good time, or when they are, they aren’t triangulated i.e. the change in the residents or service users presentation is noted in the care plan, but how that change affects their physical health, their risk of developing pressure sores, their eating and drinking, and so on, isn’t recorded.

3) Marketing

Not marketing the care business and not analysing local competitors, despite the fact that the social care market is increasingly more competitive. After a year, occupancy or weekly hours has dropped by 10%. At this point, some providers aren’t sure how to solve this.

4) Staffing

There is a significant shortfall of care staff across the industry. Despite this, many care businesses don’t change how they recruit staff, where they advertise, and they don’t focus on the culture of their team. As a result, they’re always short-staffed and frequently have to use agency staff.

5) Communication

Not keeping staff informed and not thanking staff for their efforts. Because of this, morale and staff retention are negatively effected.

None of the above is a criticism of care providers. But I’ve seen all of this and much more, many times.

I’m hoping that by raising these issues, a few care providers will use this to manage risk better. If more than a few make changes as a result of this article, that’s brilliant!

Developing effective risk management systems would bring many benefits for smaller care groups or stand-alone care businesses. These benefits would include them never again having to deal with the consequences of poor risk management, which can be stressful and very messy.

Once the systems are in place to support risk being managed correctly, a care business has more time to focus on care delivery, staff culture, quality assurance and the profitability of their service. And they’ll never again have to worry about a poor CQC inspection.

If you’d like advice on how to start mitigating and managing all the risks to your care business, so that you have more time to focus on care delivery, staff culture and growing your business, please contact us anytime.

David Beattie, Founder and Managing Director of Care Ideals







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