In the latest instalment of our care executive interview series, we sat down with Sally White, Development Director at Ablyss, to talk about her company, industry opportunities, COVID-19 challenges, emerging technology and career advice...
Tell us about your company, products and services.
Back in 2003 I realised that there was a real gap in the market for a software system focussing on day to day care management recording. I spent the following 2 years speaking with care home owners and managers, researching exactly what they needed, and developing Ablyss CMS. Skip forward to 2020 and it’s grown into something much bigger and better than I could have ever imagined. Thanks to Ablyss customers, the software stays relevant and adaptive for every residential care setting, whether that’s elderly residential or something more specialised such as brain injury or severe autism.
What have been the biggest challenges the Care industry has faced over the past 12 months?
It has been a busy year! Funding is always the hottest challenge most of the industry faces, but alongside that the changes from DoLS to LPS seems to have caused a lot of confusion as we try to clarify the implications on all of us individually. Obviously the current Covid-19 crisis is by far the biggest challenge we’ve faced as an entire sector for a very long time. Keeping our residents, our staff and ourselves safe and healthy is occupying everybody’s mind right now.
And what have been the biggest opportunities?
Technological changes in the way that we can access data from one system to another has opened many doors for us. A software product no longer needs to do absolutely everything. This allows us to focus on what we’re good at and by integrating with other software providers we can offer our customers a more complete experience.
What is the biggest priority for the Care industry in 2020?
I think just making it through 2020 will be a relief for us all!
What are the main trends you are expecting to see in the market in 2020?
Many homes within the sector are still using pen and paper recording. I expect to see technology continuing to forge a path forward. By documenting data digitally, we will be able to spot trends in people’s behaviour and care needs.
What technology is going to have the biggest impact on the market this coming year?
NHS digital standardising information throughout the industry to try and simplify the process of transferring data from one care setting to another.
In 2025 we’ll all be talking about…?
How we made it through 2020!
Which person in, or associated with, the Care industry would you most like to meet?
The people who use our software. They always have plenty to teach me.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learnt about the Care sector?
Coming from a software development and programming background it was initially a surprise how slow the industry was to pick up on new innovations and technology. I am pleased to say that the sector is catching up and we are all feeling the benefits.
You go to the bar at the Care Forum – what’s your tipple of choice?
A Pisco Sour.
What’s the most exciting thing about your job?
IT never stands still. I’m always kept on my toes
And what’s the most challenging?
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Temporary circumstances don’t equal permanent reality
Succession or Stranger Things?
Stranger things, I couldn’t make it through Succession.