On 24th April, 18 companies were announced as winners of the Techforce19 program and began testing their digital solutions across the UK. This week, we’re taking a closer look at the four companies that put forward solutions to answer the programme’s challenge on optimising staffing.
In March, NHSX launched TechForce19 in partnership with PUBLIC, AHSN and the Ministry of Housing, Communities, and Local Government. TechForce19 is a challenge based program calling on innovators to support the elderly, vulnerable and self-isolating during Covid-19 to apply for government funding of up to £25,000 to test their solutions.
The challenge: optimising staffing in the care and voluntary sectors
During the Covid-19 crisis, there has been and will be increasing strain on the capacity of our health and care system. There are over 1.5 million people working for the NHS in the UK and in March 2020, 65,000 retired medics were asked to return to work. The challenge for this theme is to ensure that the capacity of care staff is being appropriately measured and communicated, and volunteers are mobilised to enable the care system to efficiently allocate the care capacity we have to those that need it most.
The challenge will seek solutions in the following areas:
- Tools to collect data on who needs help
- Tools to support the recruitment, training and certification of the professional and volunteer workforce
- Tools to help coordinate volunteers from outside of regulated professions
- Tools to optimise the allocation of the workforce to improve deployment and management of resources
- Tools to support care workers to concentrate on those with highest need so others are not left behind
- Tools to understand risk areas and emerging care needs, and inform planning by tackling data gaps
Founded in 2014, Belfast based SureCert is a digital platform that connects people with job and volunteering opportunities. The platform allows recruiters to find good candidates quickly, ensure that all their references and qualifications are accurate and up to date and get proof of credentials. The system also manages the background checks on potential employees.
Enabling care providers to easily select and recruit candidates during the current crisis is extremely important and the digital platform allows recruiters to quickly gain new employees and volunteers.
SureCert also provides data on successful placements, and information to enable policy makers to better understand the labour market and volunteering supply and demand.
Peopletoo & Novoville
Established in 2009, Peopletoo provides support to organisations across Local Government and Health through the design and implementation of affordable and outcome focused services.
Novoville was founded in 2016 and is a Citizen Engagement Platform, aiming to make communication between Local Government and citizens easier, more efficient and more cost effective.
The two companies have been selected to launch an app which will enable local authorities to quickly identify and assess capable volunteers in the local community to fill key roles to support social care in areas that have been impacted by loss of staffing capacity due to Covid-19, or for new roles that are required during the crisis.
Virti uses XR, artificial intelligence and gamification to help employees learn faster and remember training for longer. Founded in California in 2017, the startup uses research into cognitive decision-making under pressure and an immersive video platform combined with augmented reality to help professionals prepare for real-life high-pressure environments including surgery, sports, emergency response and military training.
Virti aims to make experiential education affordable and accessible for everyone. Virtual and augmented reality, coupled with AI, transports users into difficult to access environments and safely assesses them under pressure to improve their performance. The system will be used for training and patient education, helping people working in challenging clinical environments during the pandemic.
The program's artificial intelligence gives users instant feedback based on country-specific clinical guidelines. You can watch the demo video here.
TeamKinetic’s digital platform helps organisations better manage community-led volunteer programmes. The startup was founded in Manchester in 2009 and their solution helps manage recruitment and retention of volunteers, as well as monitoring the impact of these programmes in real time.
TeamKinetic will use their volunteer management software and their new COVID-19 related volunteer management features to optimise staffing in care and volunteer sectors. This will be achieved by deploying TeamKinetic with three new customers, The Royal Brough of Greenwich, Halton & St Helens VCA and Groundwork working in partnership with Barnet Council. The application will be used in the recruitment and training of volunteers into non-clinical roles at a local level and providing essential services that people in isolation need.
TeamKinetic are also looking at developing and documenting some open standards and establishing a model for better service interconnectivity across the voluntary sector. You can watch their video on how to recruit volunteers effectively during the Covid-19 pandemic here.
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