Background

The RFC Dependency Spreadsheet has been used successfully since 2000 to assist care home operators and managers to calculate staffing levels.  As the underlying algorithms are improved in line with current dependencies it has been difficult to maintain the upgrade path for the spreadsheet-based clients.

Enter DepenSys

DepenSys is the replacement for the RFC Dependency Spreadsheet.  It has been designed from the outset to perform the same core tasks as the spreadsheet, but providing more accuracy and greater detail for users.  With its migration to a web based application, all clients can now benefit from regular updates and improvements without the need for data migration from one spreadsheet to another.  Furthermore, the application allows for multiple users to access the data simultaneously which means management can have clear oversight of home performance.

Key Features

  • Based on more than 30 years of research and development.

  • Tried and tested in over 150 homes across the UK.

  • Constantly updated to reflect the current needs and expectations of care homes.

  • System evolution based on peer review and sector feedback.

  • Provides a quick and easy way of summarising each residents’ needs, with a clear breakdown of the hours and skill mix required for supporting them.

Satisfying CQC Requirements

The CQC are aware of the RFC system in many areas, and their reports confirm the system meets their requirements.

DepenSys assists the demonstration that the home is able to meet the needs of its residents, and to satisfy the requirements of the CQC as set out in the latest KLOE (Key Lines of Enquiry) published in November 2017:

 ‘How does the service make sure that there are sufficient numbers of suitable staff to support people to stay safe and meet their needs?’  

The CQC expects homes to operate a system to determine staffing requirements, and DepenSys satisfies this expectation.

Replacing the RFC Dependency System

 There are over 150 known homes using the RFC Dependency System.  The CQC are aware of the RFC system in many areas, and their reports confirm the system meets their requirements.  Unfortunately, as use of the word ‘known’ implies, there are many more users who have received a copy of the system without the author’s knowledge.  Excel spreadsheets are easy to crack, and the system has been passed around with many having received the system innocently believing it to be a free tool.

This is fraught with problems.  The RFC system was regularly updated to take into account developments in the way dependency is defined, and without receiving payment for its use, there is less funding for R&D available than there should be.  Whilst Rob Fawcett’s name appears to have been (mostly) still associated with the tool, many of the copies out there will be out of date and underestimating the dependency levels and therefore the staffing needed.  If we don’t know someone is using it, there is no way of keeping the system updated.

Action was needed to protect the reputation of the dependency system and ensure that systems in use can be kept up-to-date.  Byjama Limited, web application developers, have converted the system into a solution which has taken the dependency system to the next level.  As well as being more accurate in many ways including individual resident times, comparisons are now possible across groups of homes and updates can be instantly applied.  Please note that the algorithms have been modified from the spreadsheet version.

DepenSys Ltd, a sister company to Rob Fawcett Consultancy Ltd, has been formed solely to support the research and development of the new dependency system.  By the end of March 2019, DepenSys will have fully replaced the RFC spreadsheet version.  All known users of the system will have been contacted by then and advised that the spreadsheet should no longer be used.  If you know someone who is using the spreadsheet version, please direct them towards this web site!

We are confident that DepenSys will meet care home operators and managers’ needs into the future.  We look forward to hearing from you, and to your feedback.