Customer Stories: Praxis Care
Updated: Apr 20
How streamlining shift management through Sona has transformed Praxis’ operations, given valuable time back to managers, and significantly reduced agency costs.
Northern Ireland (HQ) Ireland, Great Britain & the Isle of Man.
1800 staff supporting over 1500 individuals
38% reduction in spending on agency staff
40% reduction in manager time spent maintaining rosters
71% of unallocated shifts filled within 24 hours of posting
9 in 10 staff say Sona is a more efficient way of distributing rotas
“It was such an amazing process, it was really simple, and the benefits were clear from the first few weeks of using the software. Four weeks from the introduction of the pilot…the agency saving was 38%. The senior leadership team couldn’t argue with the data.”
Ciara Duffy - Head of Operations, NI Foyle
Staffing is a constant source of frustration for leadership teams in social care organisations, and Praxis was no different.
Rosemary Doherty, Regional Director of Care and Development, says it’s a simple equation. “Clearly, your best resource is your staff. If you don’t have the staff, you can’t offer the services.”
For years, Praxis’ operations team had to rely on manual processes for completing their rotas, including rounds of emails and follow-up phone calls.
It’s all very time consuming for managers and intrusive for team members. Plus, important information was getting lost in a sea of ‘are you available?’ emails.
“Managers and team leaders were saying that two to three days of their week were being taken up with the rota. So we thought there has to be a better way of doing this - there has to be some technology that can help.” Rosemary Doherty - Regional Director, Care and Development
The Sona solution
Sona worked with Praxis to configure and deploy Sona’s shift fulfilment platform, which is specifically designed to:
automate the process of finding staff to cover available shifts, eliminating hours of manual work
maximise the number of shifts covered by contracted staff
Following a successful pilot, Praxis Care is rolling out the Sona platform to every member of staff (which they can download straight to their smartphone).
Every time Praxis’ managers and team leads have a shift they need to fill, they post the details on Sona, and all eligible team members receive an instant notification on their phones.
Employees can book themselves in for the shift then and there, and the relevant supervisor is notified that cover has been found.
In the pilot area, Praxis is now filling over 50% of its unallocated shifts within six hours (and over 70% within 24 hours) without agency support.
“Being able to have a new method of getting shifts covered, and seeing it be so successful, was incredible.” Muireann Canavan - Manager, Templemore Supported Living
The Praxis team have noticed a wide range of benefits since they began partnering with Sona to transform their shift management and communication.
Are getting quicker, easier access to overtime when they need it
Are no longer inundated with email, text and phone messages
Have more control and ownership over when they’re working and when they’re not
Have more opportunities to work across different client groups and support areas, broadening their experience and opening up new career opportunities
Managers and team leaders:
Are spending 40% less time on rota management and rota-related admin
Have become more productive and cost-efficient as a result
Have been freed up to focus on their core business - delivering high-quality care services
Has reduced its spending on staffing agencies by 38%
Is on course to achieve a 270% ROI on management time saved alone (based on a projected 13,800 hours saved this year)
Is seeing improvements in staff engagement with team leaders and the wider organisation as a result of streamlined shift communication
The GMB Union recently recognised Praxis Care as one of the top employers in the care sector.
The Sona experience
Praxis chose to take advantage of the free pilot programme, giving them the opportunity to ensure Sona was the right fit with no upfront commitment.
From day one, Sona’s customer success team has supported them with all aspects of the implementation and smooth running of the platform, including:
Ensuring the system and data feeds were fully configured to Praxis’ specific use case
Dedicated training for managers and all other admin-level users
Regular project reviews and reporting
A dedicated account manager (Molly) to oversee the delivery of everything above and ensure that day-to-day queries and requests are handled promptly
This approach reflects Sona’s commitment to work in partnership with customers to build workforce technology that solves real problems and delivers real, measurable value for its customers - from frontline to head office.
“It felt like a real partnership. Sona seemed to understand that we, operationally, really wanted this to happen. Because we could see that it was going to make a big difference, not just to our staff but to the quality of services provided by those staff. In my experience, there hasn’t been a hurdle we haven’t been able to overcome.”
Rosemary Doherty - Regional Director, Care and Development
“The team at Sona have been absolutely fantastic, you know. They were so kind in terms of allowing me to pick up the phone or email quick responses, and then in terms of listening to our needs.”
Ciara Duffy - Head of Operations
“Well, I just love working with the team at Sona. I find they're really easy to chat to, really responsive and to have somebody who is going to respond to all your silly random questions is really reassuring (because at the start we had a lot of silly random questions), so their patience and support has been invaluable.”
Muireann Canavan - Manager, Templemore Supported Living
Lunch with the team
About Praxis Care
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.