DepenSys: what it is

DepenSys is a web-based dependency system which helps to quickly define residents’ needs, convert these needs into the time and skill required to meet those needs then compare the suggested staffing with the actual levels.

It is an unique system based on work started in 1985 as part of a Master’s thesis studying the relationship between individual care needs and the staffing and skill mix required to meet those needs to a high quality. DepenSys is the culmination of that work.

Once familiar with the system, reviewing each resident’s needs takes one minute on average, and a new resident’s first assessment takes five minutes. One of the key design criteria was to take as little of the manager’s and senior staff time as possible in producing accurate results on which staffing decisions can be made. DepenSys achieves this in a very user-friendly way, but has powerful analysis built in and the ability to export data for further examination.

All clients benefit from regular updates and improvements to the system as the research continues, and user feedback is listened to carefully. The application allows for multiple users to access the data simultaneously at different user levels (e.g. home level, Director, and ‘Super User’ administration level), allowing management to have clear oversight of individual home or whole Group performance. Being a web-based system, it is responsive and platform independent; for example, it runs on Chrome and Edge on PC, and Safari on Mac. It also runs perfectly well on Android and iOS.

All of this is provided in an extremely cost-effective way, with monthly subscriptions based on the number of registered beds per home.

Predecessor: the RFC Dependency System

The forerunner of DepenSys was the RFC Dependency System, which in spreadsheet form was used successfully since 2000 to assist care home operators and managers to calculate staffing levels. As the underlying algorithms were developed and improved in line with ever-changing and increasing needs and dependencies, it was difficult to maintain the upgrade path for the spreadsheet-based clients. DepenSys now provides greater accuracy and detail for users.

Key Features

• Based on more than 35 years of research and development.
• Provides a quick and easy way of summarising each resident’s needs, with a clear breakdown of the hours and skill mix required.
• Enables dependency and staffing comparisons between homes for multi-home groups, and between units within homes.
• Constantly evolving and updated to reflect the increasing needs of residents and the expectations of care homes.
• System evolution based on continuing research, peer review and sector feedback.
• Enables demonstration of how the home is staffed in compliance with the Care Quality Commission in England, the Care Inspectorate in Scotland, the Care Inspectorate Wales, and other regulatory bodies requirements.
• Also assists in demonstrating compliance with consumer legislation following the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) 2019 report on care home fees.
• Enables setting of fee levels based on individual resident needs and bandings.
• Cost-effective – introductory pricing starts at £19.99 plus VAT per month for a 30-bed home.
• 14-day free no-obligation trial.