The Best Care Home Shift Patterns For Your Business

The Best Care Home Shift Patterns For Your Business

Residents at Care Homes require staff on-duty, round-the-clock – no matter their specific needs. This naturally adds an extra challenge for Homes compared to 9–5 businesses, as they must plan a Care Home shift pattern that keeps their residents safe, and works for their staff too.

In this post, we’ll look at some of the most popular Care Home shift patterns used in the UK, and their respective pros and cons.

The Best Care Home Shift Patterns For Your Business

2-shift Days

One of the most common Care Home shift patterns is simply splitting the 24-hour day into a day-shift, and a night-shift, often split evenly to be 12 hours each.

12-hour shifts are draining for staff, as the hours are long, and inevitably antisocial. Staff working this shift-pattern usually only work 3 days a week, adding up to a 36-hour working week. What’s more, the rate of errors among staff working 12-hour shifts is significantly higher than those working 8-hour shifts (International Journal of Nursing Studies).

This Care Home shift pattern is easy to plan for, thanks to its simplicity.

3-shift Days

A 3-shift pattern sees the day broken into shifts of 8 hours each. For example, this could be 8:00am ’til 4:00pm, 4:00pm ’til midnight, and midnight ’til 8:00am.

Often, homes make the night shift a bit longer to overlap with its neighbours at each end. This is because night shifts tend to be the most problematic when it comes to cancellations, late arrivers, and no-shows.

Night-shifts also tend to be less demanding compared to day-shifts, so making them a bit longer has less of an impact on staff workloads.

This care home shift pattern is simple to implement, but by nature, not as simple as a 2-shift day.

Variable shifts

Some Homes use a version of the 2-shift and 3-shift days, where the shifts begin and end at different times depending on the day of the week.

This means that staff work a greater variety of hours, engaging them more, and reducing the likelihood of some staff members consistently getting their least favourite hours.

However, keeping track of these shifts can be challenging, so having a robust rota system in place is a must.

Split shifts

Split shifts are when staff members have to come into work twice in one day, or take a large break in-between shifts if returning home is unfeasible.

These tend not to be popular with healthcare workers, as it deprives them of a chunk of their day in-between the shifts which will often end up being spent either commuting, or lounging around the break room.

The Best Care Home Shift Patterns For Your Business

Care Home Shift Patterns: How can nursing agency staff help?

Nursing agencies (such as ourselves, Medilink Nursing) can help out with your rota in a few important ways!

Last-Minute Cover

Shift handover periods can be tricky to deal with if one of your staff-members is unexpectedly late, off sick, or otherwise absent. Medilink Nursing specialises in finding staff at short-notice, perfect for solving last-minute handover crises.

Temporary Loss Of Staff

If your Care Home shift patterns are in disarray from a member handing their notice in, or perhaps one of your residents has developed extra needs, agency staff can take up the slack until you find a new permanent member of staff to employ.

Awkward Shifts

If you’re doing your rota and find an awkward shift that nobody is available for, rather than asking someone to come in on their day off, or move their holiday, simply use nursing agency staff. This option is great for morale compared to the alternatives.

Peace Of Mind

Even if everything is going swimmingly at your Home, it’s good for everyone’s peace of mind knowing that the Home has a trusted agency to draw from if ever there are any staffing issues.

The Best Care Home Shift Patterns For Your Business

Looking for an agency?

Medilink Nursing has hundreds of trained, experienced, nurses and carers across the North of England and the Midlands. If your timetable needs a few slots filling, get in touch! No matter how short-notice your request, we’ll find someone to fill in.

Simply give our Head Office a call on 0113 877 6383 any time between 6:00am and 10:30pm (any day of the year), and we’ll get you a quick response.

We look forward to hearing from you!

The Best Care Home Shift Patterns For Your Business

Further Reading:

If you found our page, “The Best Care Home Shift Patterns For Your Business” useful, you might enjoy reading posts on:

The benefits of using agency staff

1-to-1 care available at Medilink Nursing!

Training courses for your staff!

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