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About Praxis Care
Massive thanks to Rosemary for taking the time to speak with us, and to everyone we work with at Praxis for their enthusiasm and ongoing support.
Praxis Care supports 1,500 adults and children with mental ill-health, learning disabilities, autism and dementia. Its operations cover more than 80 locations in Northern Ireland, Ireland, Great Britain and the Isle of Man.
Already the largest provider of its kind on the island of Ireland, by 2025 Praxis hopes to be providing support to more than 3,000 individuals.
Praxis recently launched a new package of benefits, rewards and health and wellbeing support for its 1,800 staff, gaining recognition from the GMB union as one of the top employers in the sector.
"I would say why would you not work with Sona?!
"One of the main frustrations that you have in social care and health is staffing because clearly social care and health, your biggest resource is your staff. And if you don't have the staff you can't deliver the services.
"For years in operations, we have been frustrated I suppose with the fact that we rely on manually completing rotas and sending out emails to staff. So it's very very time consuming.
"The platform itself, then, was just so how accessible and easy it was for the staff. I do have apps and I have some level of understanding around technology but it didn't have to be explained too much to me. I could see right from the early days as well, especially at my level that the team leaders and the managers, we weren't spending all their time on rota management.
"You know most of the time before Sona came along when I would go in and talk to my team leaders and managers, they were talking two or three days of their week was spent managing a rota. And now all of a sudden they were able to do the other stuff that's really important as our core business. So to me it's a time saver.
"I think the other thing is that's been a real benefit is that staff are no longer getting pestered by phone calls, by constant emails that they can choose themselves if they want to carry out a shift - they make that choice.
"The agency use has reduced because our own staff who would be on relief staff are now taking up more shifts. So therefore we're not needing agency.
"For me, one of the big selling points for Sona was that staff would have their own app, that I know that some of the other organizations didn't have that facility.
"For me to work with an organization that feels really equal and it feels as if they're listening. And I think that was the other thing, no matter what challenge we had and hurdles that - because you're going to come across hurdles and everything that you do - but it's about how can we get across those? And I think that was really, really important. Nothing seemed too much trouble. And there was an openness and an honesty as well that I really appreciated.
"Sona seemed to understand that we operationally really wanted this to happen as an organisation because we could see that it was going to make a huge difference not only to our staff, but obviously the quality of the service delivered by those staff."
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