Sharing successes at Advantage Healthcare

Steph Mohan, Service Development Director in our complex care division, has shared a story which reinforces that no matter how tough it can be at times, our staff make a real difference where it matters. Catherine Wilkins and Fiona Fairclough at Advantage Healthcare pulled out all the stops to make a client’s final days as good as they could be – but the result was better than anyone could have expected.

Catherine shared the news, saying, “I received a referral from a local hospice who have been supporting a young mum of two boys whilst she has been in Papworth. They informed us that this lady is complex palliative and wanted to spend the last few weeks at home with her children, we were asked if we could turn this around in three days.

“After many calls, encouraging, prompting and cajoling we managed to put a team together 24/7 and found clinical staff to produce the documentation required. A huge effort has been made by many professionals from the primary, secondary and community sectors along with our staff to make this happen.

“Most important of all, our carer was there waiting to take on the huge responsibility of looking after Juliet, something that a whole army of hospital teams have been doing up until now.

“Seven weeks on and we have been informed by Papworth Hospital that they haven’t seen Juliet look so well and we must be providing great care. Juliet is now being put on a lung transplant register, this is the best news and shows there are miracles.”

Steph told us, “This news, coupled with Sally Wheeler, Caroline McPherson and Christine Brooks reaching the Great British Care Award finalists and Leanne Henderson’s mock inspection result of ‘outstanding’ in the Wales branch – the first in Advantage Healthcare’s history of mock inspections – has really made me proud of what we are achieving in a challenging period of change, on every level! Well done all.”

Well-said Steph, it sounds like the whole Advantage Healthcare team is making a real difference to the lives of everyone they support.

The Dunes team remembers Sara Benvin

Sandra Walker has shared with us the details of a moving remembrance service held by the team at The Dunes Extra Care scheme in Redcar for their manager, Sara Benvin. A long-time and very much respected member of the Comfort Call family, Sara had been with the business for more than 15 years.

After starting as a care worker in Hartlepool, Sara progressed to being a registered manager for domiciliary care before joining the Redcar Extra Care schemes in 2016. Sadly, Sara passed away suddenly earlier this month whist still an active member of the Comfort Call team.

In celebration of Sara’s life, the team held a small service this week in the gardens of the scheme, attended by staff, service users and their families. Even colleagues that Sara had worked with previously – during her employment with Comfort Call and Careline Homecare – made time to join and remember the part Sara played in their lives.

The order of service started with a song and a reading, and all who attended where given a yellow rose to lay on a bench dedicated to Sara’s memory in the scheme’s garden. In sharing memories of Sara’s impact on her colleagues and service users during the service, Amanda Stirling said, “Sara really could light up a room with her smile and her laugh was infectious.”

Amanda continued, “The one thing that always stands out about Sara is she made time for everyone. No matter what she was doing, she was always prepared to talk if that’s what was needed or to just listen. Sara loved working in the care sector, it was never a job for her it was a vocation. She has touched the lives of so many that it’s fair to say she made a difference and will continue to make a difference through us her friends and colleagues.”

We couldn’t have put it any better Amanda, it’s clear just how much of an impression Sara left on everyone she worked with.

Spook-tacular decorations at Aspen Gardens

Sandra Walker, Regional Manager at Comfort call shared some pictures of some amazing Halloween decorations at Aspen Gardens. Service users at the scheme took time to make some creepy crafts ready for the 31st.

We think they look frightfully good, well done everyone.

Big birthdays across the City & County family

Firstly, Vicky Judge, Registered Manager at Advantage Healthcare in the North West shared a picture this week of a perfect party. Their client Daniel had a birthday party last week, with all of the care staff did a collection for the fantastic birthday cake.

The team even made food in branch to make sure the celebration was a complete success. Great work everyone – Daniel certainly looks like he enjoyed the effort everybody put in.

Lisa Spencer, Care Coordinator at Poppy House in Ashton-under-Lyne has also asked us to share the branch’s best wishes for Jean Appleton – one of their senior carers – who turns 60 this week.

Lisa told us, “I thought Jean deserves a mention as she does lot for our community group and occasionally even travels to different branches in a supporting role. We decorated our office for her and presented her big bottle of vodka as well as Pandora bracelet.”

Happy birthday Jean, it looks like you had a fantastic day.

Supreme service from Sally Smith

Marie Parrish and the team at Advantage Healthcare in Peterborough wanted to share their appreciation for their considerate colleague Sally, who is marking eleven years with the business this week. 

Marie told us, “Sally, we know you have worked hard for this accomplishment and we truly appreciate your dedication. She has seem the business change many times, and she has always stayed loyal to us and her clients.”

“Sally is always offering to help when is available. She has been working with one of our clients for over seven years and the relationship between them is amazing. We would like Sally to know we are so proud to have her as part of our work family. We hope that you keep up the good work for many years to come.”

We couldn’t agree more Marie. Thank you for everything you’ve done – and continue to do – for your colleagues and clients over the years Sally!

Stoptober – It’s never too late to quit smoking

If you have been smoking for a long time, you may wonder whether it’s worth trying to stop after so many years. The fact is, it’s never too late to enjoy the health benefits of stopping.

What happens when you quit?

The sooner you quit, the sooner you’ll notice the changes to your body and health. Look at what happens when you quit for good.

After 8 hours Your oxygen levels are recovering, and the harmful carbon monoxide levels in your blood with have reduced by half.
After 48 hours All carbon monoxide is flushed out. Your lungs are clearing out mucus and your senses of taste and smell are improving.
After 72 hours If you notice that breathing feels easier, it’s because your bronchial tubes have started to relax. Also your energy levels will be increasing.
After 2 to 12 weeks Blood will be pumping through to your heart and muscles much better because your circulation will have improved.
After 3 to 9 months Any coughs, wheezing or breathing problems will be improving as your lung function increases by up to 10%.
After 1 year Great news! Your risk of heart attack will have halved compared with a smoker’s.
After 10 years More great news! Your risk of death from lung cancer will have halved compared with a smoker’s.

 

If you haven’t stopped smoking yet, there is still time!

Why not join the thousands of people stopping smoking this October.

The key to success if to never give up trying.

Support to get started…

  • NHS Smokefree – offers free support in the form of an app, personal quit plan, email support, telephone helpline support and Facebook support group.
  • British Lung Foundation – the website offers information about the health effects of tobacco use and programmes to help people quit.
  • Don’t forget to visit LifeWorks, our employee assistance programme for online resources to help you stop smoking.

Meet the Complete Care Amegreen team today

If you’re at the British Association of Brain Injury & Complex Case Management conference in Birmingham today, then why not make your way to stand 26 and say hello to Jody Tierney and Lisa Ruffell from Complete Care Amegreen?

Jody recently joined the team as a Care Service Manager responsible for on-boarding new business, and together with head nurse Lisa, is already at her first event flying the Complete Care Amegreen flag.

Not only are Jody and Lisa excited to be at BABICM’s 25th Anniversary today seeing everyone face to face after so long, but by paying them a visit you could also be in with the chance of winning a bottle of fizz!

Wonderful words in Westminster

One of our regional managers in London, Kasia Brzyszcz, received a moving thank you this week from the family of someone cared for by the team in Westminster.

Through the pandemic, their normally socially-active relative, Mitzi, couldn’t be with those the loved, but the dedicated staff at London care stepped in to be there for her. The family wrote:

“On behalf of Mitzi’s friends and family, we thank you for the excellent care you and your team provided during the las year of her life.  Sadly, the majority of us were unable to visit during this time due to the COVID pandemic.

“Mitzi was a hugely generous and very special lady. In normal circumstances, her flat would have been full of visitors in the course of a week – plus outings to local eateries! However, I know that in the absence of her usual visitors, Mitzi so enjoyed the company of her carers – especially Maria and Hanna. She spoke of hem with great affection when her friends and family called by phone.

“Please thank everyone who was involved in Mitzi’s care.”

A huge ‘well done’ to everyone in Westminster, but especially to Maria and Hanna. You were there for Mitzi when others couldn’t be during her final days, and have clearly made a big impact on her friends and family.

Applauding the team at Abbotswood

Sarah Thomas sent us a fabulous message from the family of a service user at the Abbotswood Extra Care scheme in Littlehampton. After she recently passed away, the service user’s family got in touch to express just how much of an impact the London Care team had made on their lives, writing:

“Words aren’t enough to express how we as a family feel in the wonderful care that you gave her.  You weren’t just carers you were all her friend and nothing was ever too much trouble.

“Your care during COVID last year was outstanding especially as family members were not allowed into the building, I knew Mum was in safe hands and looked after so well.  We knew she wasn’t well from August 2020 when we discovered she probably had colon and bowel cancer along with breast cancer.  But as usual, all your wonderful individual personalities along with all your caring nature gave her the inspiration to start painting, with her left hand as she had had a stroke some years before. She was so pleased to be able to paint small pictures for a lot of her special carers such as yourselves.

“All the carers took their time to chat with her and make her feel so loved whether it was when they came in in the mornings to wash her, or lunch time to serve her meal or at her tea time call or bed time call, nothing was every too much trouble. As we know, Mum was always putting the carers first and hated troubling you all or pressing the buzzer if she felt unwell but towards the end she realised she could do this and would be greeted with such lovely smiley, loving faces who became part of the family.

“Right up until the end, you were there for Mum and us as a family and I can’t fault the care you give at Abbotswood, you all need gold medals for what you do and the service you provide, you are all professionals and amazing. You are not just staff or carers you are part of the families and I know I shall miss you all and seeing all your smiley faces.”

Thank you so much to the team at Abbotswood for the diligent care compassion you showed to this family through an incredibly challenging time. It’s reassuring to know that the care and reassurance you provided to this service user and her wider family will have such as lasting impact.

Latest contract wins

Our Bids and Contracts team are hard at work – supported by our operational teams – securing new contracts across the country for City & County. We’re very pleased to confirm two recent success in England.

Firstly, Guardian Homecare will be delivering a block-hours reablement service contract for around 1700 hours per week. The Guardian Homecare team in Blackburn will be stepping up to the challenge, coving the East Lancashire area from July. Nicky Tucker, with Margaret McDonald and Ross McCrann wrote this bid with true co-production, and we’re delighted with the outcome.

Secondly, we’ve secured an advance Healthcare contract with Walsall Council for a block-hours night responsive service pilot. The scheme will run for six months, starting in June. Phoebe McKeon and Celia Fleming managed this bid, and wanted to pass on huge thanks to David Percox at Advance Healthcare for his support.

A huge ‘well done’ to everyone involved.

Our teams get involved in Dementia Action week

This week is Dementia Action Week, organised by the Alzheimer’s Society, recognising the nearly one million UK families who are struggling to care for their loved ones with the dignity and support they deserve.

A focus this year is on reforms to the social care system to improve the lives of those with dementia and the families who support them. The Alzheimer’s Society are calling on the Government to cure the care system by committing to publication of a clear plan for social care – with reform underway this year – and ensuring their reforms consider not just funding, but also improving the quality of care that people receive. You can find out more and sing their petition here.

One of our own care workers, Ashley – a Comfort Call care worker at the Meadow Court scheme in Croxteth, has gotten involved by doing an interview with Onward Housing, which you can read here. In the interview, Ashley talks about the importance of supporting people with the condition as well as some practical tips for anyone who thinks they, or a relative, may have early onset dementia.

Also Paul Kershaw, Regional Trainer in the North West is holding a Dementia Awareness day in Poppy House today. Paul will be will issuing badges and certificates for those attending the day to recognise their role as a dementia champion. The team are also having a raffle to raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Society.

Changes at City & County

We wanted to update you all on a new face in the City & County family.

We are delighted this week to welcome Helen Storey, who joins us as Group Legal Counsel, meaning that for the first time we have our own professional legal resource within the organisation.

Helen will be focusing much of her energies on employment law, providing invaluable support to the HR team, but will also perform a generalised legal advisory role from contract and commercial matters to data protection. We are sure you will join us in welcoming Helen to the City & County family.

Appreciating an assist at Amblecote Gardens

Joanne Brannen, Regional Manager – North West and West Yorkshire sent us some fantastic feedback for Maria Giverin and the Comfort Call team at the Amblecote Gardens Extra Care scheme in Manchester.

One service user had experienced a particularly difficult period due to a water leak in his apartment – thankfully quickly resolved by the housing provider – and wanted to acknowledge the support that our care team had given, writing:

“My reason for writing is to acknowledge the care and comfort afforded by your staff. The Care Manager Maria Giverin and her team were exceptional in ensuring my needs were met, making certain I was not deteriorating, offering every assistance and making regular checks at a time that was most distressing for me.

“The commitment, professionalism and genuine concern for my wellbeing was exemplary and exceptional from all the care staff and they showed themselves to be a commendable credit to Comfort Call. All too often the care workers are under appreciated and rarely acknowledged, never mind given a simple ‘thanks’. It should not go without comment that the past 14 months have been a significant challenge for your profession.

“Please thank Maria and her staff for the sterling work they have done to make me comfortable and safe and assure them of my wholehearted support in these appalling circumstances.”

Thank you to Maria and the team for making sure that this vulnerable service user was kept comfortable and safe during what must have been a challenging time for everyone involved. As the service user states, it’s often the smaller things we all do that can go unappreciated, but his gratitude for your help is clear to see.

Kent County Council share a story from Bowles Lodge

Magdalena Trepczynska, Regional Manager – South shared with us an article written from the perspective of a service user, Constance, at the Bowles Lodge Extra Care scheme in Kent. Kent SCP

Featured in Kent County Council’s communications – including their Adult Social Care Provider Bulletin – the story is seen through the eyes of Constance’s daughter, Margaret:

Constance had been living in her own house in Hawkhurst for 40 years and her daughter Margaret lives nearby. Over time, she became very dependent on Margaret’s support, time and help at all times during the day and night. She would often call her during the night because she was scared or frightened.

Constance was very depressed and would often tell Margaret that she couldn’t cope and didn’t know what to do and there was no point in being here. She also stopped going out on her own and would only go out if Margaret took her out, so she became quite isolated as well.

In July 2020, Constance was offered a one bed flat at Bowles Lodge in Hawkhurst which she accepted. Constance suddenly became very unsure of everything and nearly didn’t accept the tenancy. The scheme assistant offered some solutions to help Constance and her family consider the situation for her and Margaret was very grateful for the way in which this was handled which resulted in Constance signing her tenancy agreement and starting her tenancy at Bowles Lodge.

Since then: Here is the turning point, Margaret says her mum is now very happy and moving into her new home at Bowles Lodge has made all the difference. Constance can move around her flat with ease which has enabled her to become more active. She enjoys a walk around the scheme, safe in the knowledge that there is a proper path that she can follow, and she can enjoy the garden and say hello to people in passing. She is making new friends and enjoys eating in the restaurant and has also taken to doing a bit of cooking herself, which she hasn’t done in a while. Margaret says that she is now wanting to do things and to be independent. She has also started knitting again. Margaret says the move to Bowles Lodge has given her mum her life back and her confidence is returning too, and she is enjoying life.

Constance loves living at Bowles Lodge, she says the setting is so nice, and views are wonderful including the view of the church steeple which are important things to her.

From Margaret’s point of view, her mum’s move has now given her a new direction. As she says she loves her mum very much and when her mum was living in her house, she put her mum first, but now she is safe in the knowledge that her mum is safe and happy and she now has time for herself and spending time with her mum is a real pleasure all the time. In the words of Margaret, she has got her mum back!

Thanks for sharing Magda. This story really brings home the independence and reassurance that living in an Extra Care scheme such as Bowles Lodge provides to people like Constance and Margaret.

Joanne is taking on ‘The Wall’ for families affected by suicide

Joanne Brannen contact us this week to tell us about her upcoming charity challenge in aid of the If u Care Share Foundation, who provide prevention, intervention training and support of those affected by suicide. 

Joanne explained her very personal reason for support this cause, telling us, “As some of you know my nephew, Jamie committed suicide last month. He lived with post-traumatic stress disorder after the death of my sister, Kelly which he was witness to. If U Care Share Foundation have been in contact with my devastated family and have offered to support them with the necessary help they desperately need.”

Joanne continued, “I want to help the charity with some fundraising. I am taking part in ‘The Wall’ ultra-marathon this year which is over 70 miles long – and every single step will be in memory of my nephew who simply missed his Mam.”

You can read more about Joanne’s challenge and support with a donation on her Just Giving page.

Joanne finished by saying, “Everyone has already been so kind and generous but if you can just spare £1 I will be eternally grateful”.

Time for tea in Wigan

Richard Wheatley, Regional Manager – North West, has asked us to pass on a big ‘thank you’ to Janice Barber, branch manager in Wigan. 

Wigan care

When a service user had her 80th birthday approaching, Janice did everything she could to mark the big occasion. Inviting the service user in to the office to celebrate, Janice and the team arranged a fabulous birthday tea party – COVID-secure of course.

 

Richard told us, “It is great to see how passionate the team are about making a difference to someone’s life, especially given these unprecedented times. Well done Team Wigan!” We couldn’t agree more.

 

Bringing back memories at Westbourne Park Day Centre

Finally, Joanna Budhu, Day Centre Coordinator for London Care, has asked if anyone has any vintage objects that could help service users reminisce at Westbourne Park Day Centre. Westbourne Park Day Centre

The specialist dementia day centre is looking for any 1945 – 1965 objects that could be used for reminiscence activities, manual handling, and sensory sessions. These could be old appliances, postcards, objects of everyday use, packaging from branded products or anything that could bring back memories from those years.

Please contact Joanna at Joanna.Budhu@cchmail.co.uk if you have anything to donate.

Care Heroes Awards:

Care Team Award

Over the next few weeks, we’re very proud to be sharing details on our incredible Care Heroes finalists and winners. First-up – a new award for this year – the Care Team Award. This award is for any team of front-line care or support workers that has delivered excellent care outcomes through effective teamwork.

Winner: Stevie Baines, Jacob Wilderspin and Richard Brazier – ICCM

The coronavirus pandemic has had a huge effect on our lives. But, for some of our most vulnerable clients, contracting COVID-19 is a life or death situation. For one particular ICCM client, their family had no option but to hide him away from the public and even his care team as a precaution. After two weeks of isolation, and following constant contact from ICCM, this is where Stevie, Jacob and Richard stepped in.

Without hesitation, these three heroes immediately agreed that they would occupy the family’s extra bedroom and live on-site for two weeks at a time. In an uncertain time, and when the nation was panicking, these brave support workers left their families and their own beds at home to live at the client’s home to keep him safe. They even avoided mingling with outers outside of their agreed time with the client to reduce the risk of catching COVID-19.

Our judges told us, “The dedication to move away from your friends, family at home to support your service user and their family is exceptional. Especially to then be locked down at your place of work, without your own creature comforts – that is more than commendable.”

Congratulations Stevie, Jacob and Richard, you truly are Care Heroes.

Congratulations to our finalists

A huge well done also to both of our other finalists this year; the Caterham and Warlingham team at Surrey SCP, and Joanne Schofield and Rene Gapaul at HomeLife Carers in Plymouth.

At Surrey SCP, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, this team stepped-up and displayed amazing team work. As well as coordinating shopping trips for every single service user and their families, the team helped to create a mini food bank – including donating their own food, time and money to help others. Even the local CCG commented on just how wonderful they are.

Joanne and Rene at Homelife Carers have made a huge difference to the life of one particular service user, who was struggling with obesity and a significant skin condition. The service user was facing a move into hospital – his worst nightmare – so, Joanne and Renee undertook wound-dressing training in a successful bid to keep this him in his home. He told us, “Without these two I don’t know where I would be, they are the A-Team. If I had my way they would never leave.”

Our judges had huge difficulty in choosing a winner for this category, stating that, “This was a really tough one to decide on. All three are really worthy and shining examples of thoughtful and selfless care.”

Your views on flu

Public Health England (PHE) recently ran a campaign to encourage care workers in England to get vaccinated against the flu. You can let them know how effective the campaign was to help them improve their communications for next year.

Click here to take their short survey by 5pm on 26th March.

Brilliant Betty marks a big birthday

Joe Jenkins, Branch Manager for Abacare in Ystradgynlais shared photos this week of their service user, Betty. A client of Abacare for the past five years, Betty celebrated turning an impressive 100 this month.

 

Joe told us, “Betty is a very independent lady and needs minimum support from us”.

Well, it appears that you can still run rings around most of us Betty! Happy birthday and many happy returns.

Saying ‘thank you’ to staff at HSG South Tyneside

Catherine Richardson, our North East Regional Manager, let us know this week about a lovely ‘thank you’ idea at the HSG branch in South Tyneside. A card, memo and keyring has been sent to all of the care workers from the office team to show just how much they are all appreciated.

The branch manager, Claire Gamble, saw the idea in one of our recent emails when Emma Cooper had made similar gifts to thank the team in Cumbria. Claire thought this was a lovely idea and wanted to also show the HSG team her thanks on behalf of the office.

Claire said, “It is only a small token of our appreciation for everything that they have done. It is always nice to know you are appreciated and each and every one of them are.”

What a great way to recognise and show appreciation the team’s hard work Claire. If you’re team has found a unique way to say thanks to our staff recently, then let us know at communications@candchealthcare.co.uk.

Selina’s striding for Sands – the neonatal charity

 

Selina Nelson, a member of our care team in West Lothian, is tackling a charity challenge for the neo natal charity, Sands. Aiming to jog 50 miles during the month of March, Selina only has 15 miles left to run.

 

So far, Selina has raised more than £200 to provide emotional support and practical help to anyone affected by the death of a baby. Her colleagues tell us that Selina is very popular with both with other members of the care team and her service users – but she has been very modest about this achievement.

 

Would you be able to help Selina in supporting this amazing cause? You can donate and find out more about Selina’s progress on her Facebook Fundraisers page.

 

Making a big impact at Careline Homecare in Sheffield

Michelle Thistlewhite, our Registered Manager in Sheffield, wanted to share this letter that the Careline Homecare team received from the family of a service user. After reading this heart-warming and inspiring message on a particularly stressful day, it reminded everyone at the branch how our services can have a big impact on the families we support.

The service user’s sister wrote to say:

“I was reading the recent letter about services being offered from your company during this difficult and challenging time and it prompted me to want to write to you on behalf of my brother and our family to say a big thank you to your staff for the consistent and reliable service we have received since we first engaged with you all.

“We are very aware of the risks being taken by you all during this pandemic and want you to know how grateful we are and that we don’t take ANY of it for granted. You are each making sacrifices to help us keep our vulnerable family member as safe as possible and I wish we could send you more than our sincere thanks.

“Before you encountered him, my brother had lived very reclusively for over ten years and he had refused all attempts with support for longer than that. In the period before Careline was introduced to us via the Stroke Service I was really struggling because he basically felt life was not worth living and he was sitting waiting to die.

“My brother is no longer the independent, confident and organised person he was before he became ill and suffered several strokes, but he is now definitely capable of feeling happy. This is very important to us all. I feel this massive step forward is in a large part down to the relationships he’s created with your staff. Your workers have been friendly, respectful and supportive with him which in turn has improved his confidence with people generally. That has played a huge part in encouraging him to engage with family and accept our support.

“Whatever happens to Nick in the future we definitely could not have brought him to where he is now without your continued help. He was lost but now he is found.”

Michelle told us, “As the manager, I am extremely proud of how hard the entire team have worked during the pandemic. Receiving this letter was really lovely and even brought a lump to the throat of a couple of us reading it. It shows that the care workers and office staff’s continued dedication to provide a safe and quality service really is worth all the hard work.”

Perfectly put Michelle, we couldn’t agree more. A huge well done to all the team in Sheffield.

Parliament debates social care workers

Finally, did you sign the petition urging the government to consider social care as equally important to NHS? Following over 44,000 signatures, MPs debated the issue in Parliament last Thursday. You can watch the debate here.

Sadly, it’s too late to sign the petition now. But even if you missed out, you can see the results and the government’s response here.

Quality Care Services live up to their name in Belfast

Samantha Bond, Regional Manager for the North West and Northern Ireland, sent us a compliment she’d received from the Belfast Physical and Sensory Support team. The Quality Care Services team had been supporting a Belfast-based service user for some time who experienced issues with both his accommodation and the levels of support needed.

Despite the challenges, the service user was recently able to make a successful move to a supported living facility. The local Care manager contacted the Belfast branch to thank them for their support, writing:

“Just a note of thanks for the supports offered to my service user over recent years.

“I know that both the service user and extended family did not always engage positively with the Quality Care Services staff. Given the difficulties throughout, the hundreds of telephone calls, emails and visits, I am extremely grateful for the perseverance and consistency of your care staff throughout.”

Samantha told us, “They have been through a particularly rough patch in recent months, with reduced staff and it is so nice to hear some positive comments. The team are working really hard to improve standards and compliance, and this just evidences their great efforts.”

Well done to everyone in the Belfast branch. Thank you all for your commitment to making sure that this service user got the support he needed.

Mother’s Day at Lapwing Court

Tracy Asbery let us know this week about a moving Mother’s Day event at the Lapwing Court extra care scheme in Chichester. Despite a shortage of staff over the weekend, the team leader – Pat Lintott – took time to recognise all the mums living at the scheme.

Pat made every mum at the scheme a jar of assorted flowers, and gifted them each some chocolates for Mother’s Day.

Thank you Pat, we’re sure that every mum at the scheme appreciates the kindness you’ve shown them.

 

Bidding for success at City & County

It’s been a period of change for the Bids and Contracts team over recent months, but we’re excited to announce that we’ve recently welcomed two new Bid Managers into the City & County family. Celia Fleming joined the team in February, and in March we welcomed Emily Bagnall. Both are experienced bid writers – and will bring both care sector and wider experience into the team.

The team have also been hard at work securing contracts for your operating companies across the country. Some of our latest successes include:

  1. Trafford Council: Homecare and reablement at home – Comfort Call and HSG.
  2. Cheshire West and Chester Borough Council: Learning disability services – Sage Care.
  3. London Borough of Newham: Independent living support services – London Care.
  4. Essex County Council: Supported living framework – Guardian Homecare.
  5. West Sussex County Council: Lingfield Lodge Extra Care scheme – London Care.

The Bids and Contracts team would like to send a huge thanks to everyone involved in supporting the bid processes for these contracts. They couldn’t have won them without your hard work.

Changing minds at Ensham House

Sarah Kwofie, Regional Director – South, shared with us a message from the family of a tenant at the Ensham House extra care scheme in London. Despite them initially having concerns, the team at Ensham House have worked hard over the past year to give the family confidence that their mum was receiving the care she needed.

After having their opinion turned around by the dedication of the care team, the tenant’s daughter contacted the scheme manger to say:

“Would City & County Healthcare be able to send a general letter to care staff at Ensham House – thanking them for all the hard work, care, and a number of them going that step further for the residents they are allocated to.

“They work so hard, and still give holistic care which is so important to people nowadays being looked after. I know my mum would not be here today if it was not for the care delivered to her.”

Well done to everyone at Ensham House, you’ve obviously made a big impact on this family over the last twelve months.

Appreciation for our Human Support Group teams in the North West

Our registered branch manager, Michèle Lloyd, wanted to share an email the HSG team at Cheshire West had received from a social worker, complimenting their care delivery. The social worker wrote:

“When speaking with the service user earlier this week, she expressed how fabulous the Human Support Group carers are. She has appreciated their help and support and have been instrumental in his recovery to return back to independence. Well done!”

Meanwhile, the HSG team in Ulverston also received a message – this time from a family – to say:

“Special thanks to the team from the Ulverston HSG branch who do such a good job. The carers are of a high standard and should there be any issues the admin staff are quick to deal with them, always with our elderly uncle’s best interest at heart. This is very reassuring for the family. We thank them all for their help and support.”

Superb work from both teams, impressing not only the family of a service user but also a professional who we work alongside. Our regional manager, Catherine Richardson, told us, “It truly is heart-warming to hear the positive feedback for both the care workers and the Branch staff. What a great start to the week for the team.”

Stirring sentiments for Surrey SCP

Sarah Thomas kindly sent us an inspiring message of thanks and encouragement received by the Redhill team at Surrey SCP this week. Alison Phillips – registered manager at the branch – described it as “The loveliest thank you letter I have ever received”.

The message, written by the person who had previously managed the service user’s care needs, praised the team for their professionalism. Following the service user’s discharge from hospital, the staff in Redhill had supported her all the way until she sadly recently passed away. Contacting the branch to thank them for their dedication, the writer commented:

“Not knowing anything about choosing the ‘right’ care company as I had no standards to compare, I simply chose the one that could meet my requirements. How wise a decision that turned out to be. Surrey SCP has proved itself a hundred times over since then in all manners of care, and up until she passed away were still continually seeking to improve its service delivery.

“Having worked in the customer service industry for almost all of my entire career, from my personal experience I applaud the professional standards you adopt, namely your customer-first policy, selection and retention of staff, who demonstrated their professionalism and personal care and compassion at all times.

“Not withstanding this, special mention must be said of the central administration whose job it was to maintain the high standard of delivery. From the customer’s perception, all appeared to be managed in a seamless manner.

“Thank you once again as I am eternally grateful for your help.”

As praised by the writer, the seamless teamwork between the care and branch staff made sure this service user got the support she desperately needed. A huge ‘well done’ to everyone at Redhill.

A compliment in a crisis

The crisis response team at Guardian Homecare in Preston received praise for the wife of a service user who the team supported recently. Ross McCrann, Branch Manager (Intermediate Care), wanted to share the feedback as the team had made a huge impact on the family during an incredibly difficult time.

The service user’s wife particularly wanted to highlight the emotional support that the family received from Barbara, John, Kieran and Carol, writing:

“Your team’s intervention came about due to my husband falling and the ambulance service referring us. I had cried out to the GP but no practical help had been forthcoming so whilst the fall was really a bad experience for my husband, it was a blessing in disguise.

“Well straight away with the first visit from Barbara began the process of getting our home and our lives from chaos to calm (well most of the time). She also was so supportive to me, chatting and offering advice.

“Different people bring different gifts to their work but I have to highlight and praise John who not only was a very caring person who listened… truly listened, cared and so importantly gave me advice with regards to bedding, and general management of the situation as well as the all-important task of helping me emotionally. What a true blessing he was.

“Then there was Kieran, oh what a delight it was to see her smiling face when she arrived. She may have had her mask on but she smiled with her eyes! Her approach with my husband was so good, and she knew also when to back off. Whilst she supported him in personal care, her help with beds and emotionally supporting me also were invaluable.

“Carol, such a lovely kind person, I didn’t see her often but what a calming helpful person she was.

“Any words I can pull out of my vocabulary would be totally inadequate to express the deepest thanks to these and others in your team for all they did to get us through those dark days. We are still not out of the woods which is why we are having ongoing care, but they set the foundation for how to cope and a pattern for any future carers that come our way.

“I have to say you are fortunate to have such high quality staff on your team.”

Thank you to everyone in the team for the considerate and thorough support you gave to this family. They were clearly at such a low point before you arrived, but you’ve made a long-lasting impact on their lives.

Rural homecare on Radio 4

The challenges of delivering homecare in rural areas has been covered on BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today programme this week.

You can listen to the programme on BBC Sounds here.

A fond farewell to Christine in Tameside

The team at Careline Homecare in Tameside would like to say a huge ‘thank you’ and best wishes to their registered manager, Christine Clarke. Christine is taking her well-earned retirement Friday, after 20 years of dedicated care delivery in Tameside.

Joanne Brannen, Regional Manager – North West and West Yorkshire, told us, “I have had the pleasure of working with Christine since October 2016 when Careline Homecare won a contract in Tameside. I would like to thank Christine for her hard work and dedication over the years. I will be very sorry to see her go.”

Thank you for everything you’ve done to support vulnerable people across Tameside for the last 20 years Christine – we wish you all the very best for the future.

Cards for care in Cumbria

Wendy McCall, Regional Director –North & Northern Ireland, made us aware of a thoughtful ‘thank you’ sent to our care teams in Cumbria recently.

Emma Coper, registered manager for the area, wanted to thank the staff for their continued hard work and dedication through what has been an incredibly challenging twelve months. Emma hand-made thank you cards and keyrings for each member of the team working across Whitehaven and Ulverston.

Such a fantastically creative way to recognise and show appreciation the team’s hard work Emma.

Welcome to our new branch and scheme managers

It’s been a busy few months for new branch and scheme manager appointments across City & County. We’d like to offer a warm welcome to our new managers, who you’ll get to work with over the coming months.

Across our Extra Care schemes, we’ve recently been joined by Kelly Houldcroft at Lighthouse View Extra Care in Fleetwood and Judith Thompson at Olsen Court Extra Care in Lincoln. We’ve also had new arrivals who will each be managing multiple schemes – Amanda Taylor Banks at the Heald Farm Court and Foundry Wharf schemes in St Helens, and Amanda Stirling who will look after our schemes in Redcar.

At our homecare branches, we’d also like to welcome Tracy Hummerstone at Motherwell and Olu Fademi at London Care – South London into the City & County family.

We look forward to getting to know you all.

Don’t forget the rules on PPE and self-isolation

We’re all aware of the PPE rules and strict infection control measures that our care teams are following to protect our staff and service users during the pandemic. But, even if you work in one of our offices – or only occasionally visit a City & County work location – there are still rules we all have to follow to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Here’s a quick reminder of what you need to do:

Rules on PPE for all office staff

  • A medical grade mask or cloth face covering MUST be worn correctly at all times when attending an office.
  • Social distancing rules MUST be followed whilst taking breaks in designated rest areas, inside or outside.
  • Where no designated rest area is available, breaks MUST be taken in a socially distant manner and a mask MUST be put on immediately upon completion of eating or drinking.
  • Staff wearing identifiable company uniform in public spaces MUST adhere to government rules on social distancing and the wearing of face coverings.
  • Managers MUST ensure the covid secure workplace risk assessment is adhered to and any breaches are addressed immediately.

Rules on self-isolation for all staff

  • You MUST NOT attend work if you have been advised by Test and Trace to self-isolate.
  • You MUST NOT attend work if you have covid symptoms and meet the criteria for self-isolation.
  • No member of staff is to instruct another member of staff to work if they are required to self-isolate.

By following the rules, we can all help reduce the risks of the spreading the virus – helping to keep everyone safe.

25 years of success for committed Cath

Christine Noble, Regional Manager North East, wanted to share a celebration of Cath Stobbs’s 25 years as a Branch Manager. Cath originally started with Community Homecare services in 1996 and joined City & County in 2012 when the branch became part of Careline Homecare.

Christine told us, “Cath is very well respected in our region, she is always the first to offer and help support any of the teams, the relationships she has with all her staff at all levels is exceptional. Cath is well known for her witty comments and always turning everything into a positive.”

Cath has always maintained excellent relationships with the local authorities she works with – including the commissioning team at Redcar, who commented, “Cath has been central to the longstanding excellent relationship with the local authority has been a fantastic representative in the sector. Cath shares her experience with others and shows commitment to maintain stability and support development. At times of difficulty Cath is the calm in the storm.”

The Middlesbrough commissioning team also sent their thoughts on Cath’s achievements, saying, “It’s always a pleasure working with Cath, we enjoy a transparent and open relationship and she has always been dedicated and committed to providing a service to the residents of Middlesbrough. A sense of humour helps! Well done Cath, we look forward to a continued successful partnership.”

Well done Cath, thanks for your hard work and dedication over the last 25 years. We look forward to many more years of your positive impact in the City & County family.

Moving feedback for Shamim in Darwen

We received some heart-warming feedback from the son of a service user this week. Praising the work of his care worker, the family wanted to recognise the impact that Shamim had on their father’s life, writing:

“You need to know how highly my father thought, not only of you as a person, but also how good you are at your job. You may not have cared for him for long, but in the time you spent with him, you had a positive impact on his life.

“Every day I visited him, he talked about you. My father was very hard to please, however you made an impression on him that he kept until the day he died.

“Thanks again for everything you did for him.”

Thank you for your great work Shamim. It’s clear just how much of a difference you made, not only to the service user, but also on his wider family.

Marking a magnificent manager in Westminster

The London Care team in Westminster recently recognised their regional manager, Kasia Brzyscz, with a well-deserved certificate of ‘’The Best Manager of the World’’. The team arranged the certificate to say “thank you” for the help and support Kasia has given them all under challenging conditions during the pandemic.

In particular, the team were proud of the way that Kasia organised vaccines and tests to protect each care worker – on top of the already hectic workload in the borough.

Sarah-Catherine Greaves, Inspector for Adult Social Care in the area, was moved by the team’s appreciation for Kasia, commenting, “How wonderful Kasia, and to receive such acknowledgement from your staff during this most challenging time to be managing a service within the health and social care sector. Well done!”

Congratulations Kasia, it’s clear just how much you mean to the team in Westminster – especially during the pandemic.

Valentine’s fundraising in Monica Court

The Comfort Call team at the Monica Court Extra Care scheme in Eccles have been busy arranging a Valentine’s Day-themed raffle. The team regularly arrange raffles for their resident’s fund – helping to fund activities in the schemes such birthday parties and lunches.

Their regional manager, Joanne Brannen, sent us this creative montage of pictures from the event. The winners definitely look happy with tier prizes!

If you’re arranging a fundraising activity – for service user events or for charity – then let us know. Send the details to communications@candchealthcare.co.uk and we’ll help you spread the word.

Recognition for the London Care team at Ensham House

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen many events cancelled over the last year, including Richmond’s Dignity in Care awards.

Instead, the London borough of Richmond upon Thames has issued certificates of recognition to highlight the outstanding care and support that care teams have been delivering in the most difficult of circumstances.

The hardworking London Care team at Ensham House were amongst those recognised by the council. Commenting that “your dedication and selflessness have been of the highest standard”, Councillor Piers Allen wrote “you are all true dignity in Care heroes”.

Congratulations to everyone at Ensham House on being recognised by the council, and thank you for everything you are doing to support your local community.

Flood warnings issued

Areas across the UK are at risk of flooding over the coming days following Storm Christoph’s arrival this week. Severe warnings are in place around the River Bollin and the River Mersey, with further warnings and alerts in many other areas, particularly in the North and West.

You can check local flood warnings for your part of the UK using these links:

Please stay safe and CCH employees should speak with their manager if be affected.

A big birthday at Custom Care

One of our branch managers, Ellie Cross, sent us some photos this week of a birthday celebration at the Cannock branch of Custom Care. Keen to share some good news, Ellie told us:

“One of our services users Helen turned 103 today! Staff visited with flowers and a cake to try and make her lockdown birthday a little brighter. Helen was over the moon when staff came in with her gifts, clapping her hands thanking them.”

Luckily Helen is still able to see her son, and was even able to visit him for lunch, so has had the best day she could – given the circumstances. Happy birthday Helen!

Time to Talk Day – Let’s start talking about mental health at work

Thursday 4th February is Time to Talk Day – a day when everyone is encouraged to have a conversation about mental health.

Time to Talk Day is run by Time to Change to help spread the word that you can talk about mental health anywhere – including at work.

At City & County Healthcare Group, we know that it benefits all of us to talk about mental health and we want to make a positive change towards the mental health in our workplace. To get us started in 2021, let’s use this worthy day, to talk, to listen and change lives within our teams!

Activities for your team

This year’s theme is on the power of small, because however you have a conversation about mental health – whether it’s a quick message to a colleague, a virtual coffee morning, or a socially distanced walk and talk – it has the power to make a big difference.

Please think about making time, either on Thursday 4th February or at some point over the next few weeks, to carry out an activity with your team – complying of course with government guidance and our companies Covid-19 policies.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Walk and talk – If you are able to, organise a socially distanced lunchtime walk and talk to encourage small groups of colleagues to get together outside and have a conversation.
  • Mental Health Quiz – Use the mental health quiz to a start conversation, test staffs mental health knowledge and help people learn something new. You can present the quiz in a virtual meeting and use a poll tool to make it interactive.
  • Mental Health Bingo – Use the interactive bingo card for some fun with your team.
  • Lunch and learn – Run a lunch-and-learn session to talk about mental health – colleagues may want to share their own experiences.
  • Sussed card game – Use the Sussed cards as an icebreaker to spark a one on one conversation, or use them in a meeting as part of a mental health-themed group game. Play in person or virtually.
  • Pledge Board – Ask your team to send us their pledges to change the way we all think and act about mental health in the workplace.

Sensory support for people with dementia

Cath Stobbs, a branch manager at Careline Homecare contacted us this week about a great idea to help support service users with dementia. Whilst at a provider forum with Redcar and Cleveland Council, Cath was introduced to ‘twiddle muffs’ – knitted sleeves which sit on a person’s arm.

The sleeves have pieces added which allow the wearer to twiddle with them – hence the name. With their bright colours and different textures, twiddle muffs can help hold the attention of someone with dementia, particularly helpful if they are anxious or agitated.

Inspired by the idea, one of our field care supervisors, Karen Charlesworth, kindly knitted a twiddle muff for one of the team’s local service users. It made such a big impact that Karen soon had to make a second one for when the original was being washed!

The service user’s husband told us that he is delighted with the way it helped occupy her and that it had definitely helped his wife to be more settled.

If you’d like to know more – and maybe even make one yourself – you can download an NHS guide here, or find instructions on the Golden Carers website.

Thanks to our Extra Care teams in Stoke

One of our Regional Managers, Charlotte Dean, wanted to share two exceptional pieces of feedback received in our Extra Care schemes recently.

Firstly, the Maple West team were sent a lovely compliment from the family of a service user. In the letter, the family wanted to express their gratitude for the care and support provided by Comfort Call care staff to their father following a recent fall:

“We wanted to say, we all very much appreciate everything that you did for Dad after the fall and don’t know what we would do without you. You are truly amazing.

“A big thank you to all the carers who look after Mum and Dad every day and night. Not forgetting the rest of your lovely lot, who care for and keep Maple West safe.”

Just a few miles away, the Willow Barns scheme also received an inspiring letter – this time written by Anne Marie Kelly, the Scheme Manager of the local housing provider. Praising Jacqui Dunn, the scheme’s Care Manager, Anne Marie wrote:

“I just wanted to say that, having been Scheme Manager at Willow Barns since September 2017, I have met some lovely Care Managers and I am sure that they have all done a wonderful job. Jacqui Dunn, however, works tirelessly. She not only performs her own role, she has on numerous occasions gone above and beyond to the point that she has almost lived here at times.

“Jacqui has filled in and done care work when short staffed and she never moans or complains and cracks on with the job. I would love Jacqui to get the recognition that she deserves by sending this compliment.”

It’s always amazing to see how closely our Extra Care teams work in partnership with housing providers – keep up the fantastic work.

Masterful achievement for Sarah Kwofie

Congratulations this week to one of our Regional Directors, Sarah Kwofie, on a remarkable achievement. Sarah has completed her Master’s degree in Public Health with the University of Manchester part time through the year, alongside her role at City & County.

Impressively, Sarah completed eight modules – including Fundamentals of Epidemiology, Health Services Management, UK leadership and Public Health Strategy, Health Economics, Global Health in the 21st Century – as well as a dissertation on The Association of Hearing Loss with Dementia in Older Adults.

Sarah has accomplished this at the same time as being a mum to two young children, having a full time (and very challenging) job, and whilst also leading care delivery during a global pandemic! Impressive work Sarah, your achievement is simply brilliant.

Floral thanks for our Comfort Call staff

Some of our Comfort Call colleagues were recently recognised with flowers and chocolates for their hard work and dedication.

Firstly, the Comfort Call team at Poppy House were sent flowers and Cadbury’s Heroes by Stockport Council for their support during the pandemic. Their manager, Mandy Hall, kindly sent us a photo and wanted to make sure that the team’s achievements were shared to recognise their commitment during a difficult year.

Secondly, Katie Jewell, Regional Manager for Devon and Cornwall, let us know about how one team thanked Nikki Raouna – a new coordinator at our Cheltenham branch. Nikki received flowers and Thornton’s chocolates from one of our care workers, Tudor, on behalf of the Gloucester care team that she schedules for.

Katie said, “This gift was in recognition of how appreciative the team are of Nikki in the short time she has been managing their area. She has been supportive and responsive in managing her team.”

Those gifts are definitely well-deserved – thank you all for your hard work and support.

Recognition from Lancashire County Council

Margaret Macdonald – Regional Manager for the North West – has shared a letter the Guardian Homecare team received from Lancashire County Council. In the letter Tony Pounder, Director of Adult Services for the area, praised our Preston team’s response to winter pressures and crises services in central Lancashire, writing:

“I just want to thank you for your fantastic and quick response in increasing the crisis hours you are supplying for us in Central Lancashire in readiness for winter and pandemic pressures.

“It’s one thing for the council to plan and commit to funding these service expansions. However, it only becomes a reality if you as our local provider can deliver what we need and the fact that you are so far on with this is a tribute to your own commitment, effectiveness and efficiency.

“Most of all this will make a difference to the many vulnerable adults and older people who want to speedily leave hospital or avoid admission at all.”

At a difficult time for everyone involved in delivering care, this type of recognition shoes just how much of a difference we can all make.

Christmas raffle raises cheer

Siobhan Gildea, Care Coordinator at Parkview Grange in Newcastle, contacted us about a festive fundraising activity underway at the Extra Care scheme. One of the Comfort Call team’s senior carers, Michelle McMurray, has partnered with a resident to raise funds for future community activities in the scheme.

Siobhan told us, “For the past month, one of our residents and Michelle have been raising money for a Christmas Raffle. The resident and her sister have made up amazing hampers for prizes donated or bought by care staff, residents and family members.”

“The raffle is due to be drawn on the 8th December and all proceedings go to future activities for our residents at Parkview Grange – as well as a huge end-of-lockdown party once we are in the clear from COVID. So far we have raised over £500.”

Great work everyone, those hampers look fantastic.

Homecare Day 2020 – Wednesday 9th December

The UKHCA has announced that it will be working together with Scottish Care again this year to extend Homecare Day to every corner of the UK. The theme this year will be Care Community and it will provide a fantastic chance to share good news stories and innovations that homecare services are making in the lives of people and their communities, every day – particularly in this most challenging of years.

If you have any stories you would like to share with your colleagues across the Group, please send them to communications@candchealthcare.co.uk.

UKHCA and Scottish Care are also inviting members to share and follow stories on social media using the hashtag #homecareday throughout the event. There will also be a Twitter discussion between 12:00–13:00 on the day, led by Scottish Care and UKHCA with questions centred around Care Community.

LifeWorks – Prize Draw Winners!

A few weeks ago we told you that we were running a registration competition for LifeWorks.

All those employees who had registered to use the LifeWorks service by Friday 13th November were entered into a prize draw. Five registered employees have now been chosen at random – each winning a £100 Love2Shop e-voucher!

The lucky winners have now been contacted and they are:

  • Fislet Kinghorn, Comfort Call South Shields
  • Stephen Lee, HSG Trafford
  • Anthony Radcliffe, Guardian Homecare Burnley
  • Michelle Burns, Constance Care Blantyre
  • Susan Parkinson, Guardian Homecare Preston

Well done to the winners – enjoy spending your voucher!

Praise for Paulette at London Care

Sarah Kwofie, Regional Director – South, contacted us this week with a compliment that the London Care team in Westminster recently received:

“It is my pleasure to write to you after receiving home care from one of your carers for about one month. The carer concerned is Paulette, who has attended here most days.

“I would feel I was lacking in gratitude and appreciation if I did not share with you, her manager, the kindness respect, tactfulness and professional care she has shown me on each of her visits.

“Her manner of fulfilling her allocated care tasks moves me to write this letter to you, her care manager, and to congratulate your organisation on the way London Care has trained Paulette to carry out her care responsibilities. Her good humour is a wonderful, well-balanced quality – evident in the manner she devotes herself to her care tasks.

“So please accept this brief tribute to you and the London Care staff.”

Thank you Paulette for your ever-professional approach to supporting this service user. Sarah also added, “We don’t usually hear about training carers get from the organisation. Well done Kasia and your team.”

Welcome to our new branch managers

A warm welcome to our newest branch managers working across City & County Healthcare Group.

In England, we were recently joined by Lorna Turner in Worksop, Christina Kettle at the HSG branch in Bristol and Lisa O Reilly at HSG in Liverpool. In Scotland, welcome to Matthew Green at Stirling.

We have new Extra Care scheme managers too – Amanda Lowe covering the Salford area and Kali Sheekuli at Linksview in Liverpool.

We look forward to getting to know you all.

Recognition from Care Inspectorate Wales

We were recently contacted by Bill Taplin – our Responsible Individual in Wales – about some brilliant feedback we’d received from Care Inspectorate Wales. Highlighting the work of Jodie Evans and Ffion Evans, two of our managers, the inspector said:

“I would like to let you know how effective both Jodie and Ffion are and have been since I have been inspector to the service.

“I am in regular contact with both managers; they are very efficient in notifying, updating and communicating important information, in particular in regards to safeguarding the people we work with.”

Da iawn chi! Amazing – keep up the great work.

A thank you to Marie at Comfort Call

This week, we received some wonderful feedback from the family of one of our service users in West Yorkshire. They’d gotten in touch with our management team directly to express just how much of an impact one of our care workers, Marie, has on their father:

“I am writing to you today to express my sincere thanks to one of your employees, I believe she works from your Pudsey branch.

“Marie Asquith is one of the regular carers for my Father. He became paralysed at the end of 2017, and following a seven-month stay in hospital returned home.

“He really struggled with the reliability of the carers when he first came home and often they would come late in the morning to get him up, and be early at night to help him into bed, meaning he was often in bed for upward of 15 hours a day.

“Since Comfort Call took over my dad’s care, the care has been practically faultless.

“My dad has built a solid trusting relationship with Marie, and she really goes above and beyond the duties she is required to carry out. I feel very grateful that my dad feels safe and properly looked after, it is real peace of mind not only for him, but myself and my sister.

“I would love for Marie’s efforts and dedication to her patients to be recognised.”

A huge ‘well done’ to Marie, and all of the team at Comfort Call. It’s clear that you’re making a huge difference to the lives of the people we support every day.

Considerate coordination recognised at Sagecare

One of our Regional Managers, Milka Kimani, sent us a heartfelt thank you from a social worker and family of a service user. They particularly wanted to thank Jeannette Nouwimana, a London-based coordinator at Sagecare, for her response and quick thinking after the service user’s dementia deteriorated quickly.

The family wrote:

“We would like to thank you, personally, for your input and support with regards to our mum. With your experience and observations whilst coordinating the night care visit for mum and your input in making a positive decision, our mum is now in safe hands.

“It has been a really worrying and challenging time for me and my sister, and we can now at least have some peace of mind that mum is safe.

“Also we take the opportunity of thanking Sagecare carers for looking after our mum, and we really appreciate the care and love mum received from you all.

“Thanks you once again. Best wishes and stay safe.”

Despite all the challenges, the Sagecare team did an amazing job of keeping the service user safe at all times. Anne, the service user’s social worker added, “I would like to add my heartfelt thanks for keeping her safe and as happy as possible especially over the last few months. It has been much appreciated. I will be forwarding the family’s thanks to our commissioning team as well.”

Marking Remembrance Day at Leaholme

Tracy Asbery and Katy Smith sent us a section of photos showing the work that our London Care team had done to mark Remembrance Day at the Leaholme Extra Care scheme.

Staff decorated the scheme with poppies and served up a selection of red, white and blue-themed treats for the residents.

Appreciation for our team at Willow Barns

Our Comfort Call team at the Willow Barns extra care scheme in Stoke-on-Trent received some great feedback this week. Following a quick response to a night-time incident, the local housing team got in touch to pass on a compliment they’d received from the tenant involved:

“Just to let you know that we had a fantastic compliment from an apartment for last night. A tenant said that her husband fell out of bed and the night staff were there in a flash and were brilliant. She said that not only did they support hubby but they were very supportive with her also.

“So A great big well done from the housing team.”

Well done to everyone involved for the amazing support you delivered to this couple.

Flowers for dedicated Delia

Delia Boonziar, a member of our SCRT team in Wishaw, has been recognised by the Daily Record as a winner of their ‘Say it with Flowers’ award. Nominated by her friend Toni for going above and beyond in her role, Delia has made a huge impact in her local community over the past three years.

Toni says of Delia, “She gives her all to the company. She even came back from her holiday early to help us out. That’s the sort of person she is.

“Anything she can do, she will do it for you. She is a brilliant person, but she doesn’t get the recognition she deserves.”

Congratulations Delia, this award was certainly well-deserved. You can read the full Daily Record article here.

Debt management – four steps to reduce your debt

Getting out of debt isn’t easy and there are no quick fixes. It takes time, commitment and sacrifice, but it’s not complicated – it just takes four steps:

  1. Acknowledge the problem – admit that you have a problem and commit to fixing it.
  2. Stop debt spending – Lock up (or cut up) your credit cards.
  3. Make a spending plan – track your spending for a month.
  4. Pay off your debts – list your debts and chose one to pay off first.

For CCH employees, please take a look at the LifeWorks app or website to read the four-part series Four Steps to Reduce your Debt – where each step is broken down into manageable chunks.

Remember, there is no quick fix to overcoming serious debt problems, but if you stick with the plan, the benefits are well worth the effort.

New contract wins

Good news this week as we heard that Guardian Homecare has been successful in its bid to join the Flexible Purchasing System for Extra Care in Liverpool. Although this does not guarantee any direct award of business, it does put Guardian in the running to bid for Extra Care opportunities in Liverpool as well as Sefton, Knowsley and Wirral (and possibly St Helens).

Well done to the bid team and all those that contributed to putting the submission together.

Coming up: Alcohol Awareness Week – 16th to 22nd November

Next week is Alcohol Awareness Week, run by the charity Alcohol Change UK.

The annual campaign’s aim is to get people thinking and talking about alcohol and its effect on our lives and those around us, and to take actions to change our drinking behaviour for the better.

This year’s theme is Alcohol and Mental Health. In a year of extraordinary change and uncertainty, it offers us a chance to think about ways in which we may sometimes use alcohol to help us cope when we’re feeling low, anxious, stressed or worried. It also offers opportunities to highlight some of the more serious mental health problems that can go hand-in-hand with very heavy drinking.

Key facts:

  • 10.4 million adults are estimated to drink at harmful levels.
  • More than twenty people each day die as a result of the harm caused by alcohol.
  • Alcohol is a causal factor in more than 60 medical conditions including liver disease, high blood pressure, depression and seven types of cancer.
  • Around 1 in 4 people in the UK experience a mental health problem each year and drinking too much too often can increase our risk.

Throughout next week, we will share resources and information regarding the links between alcohol and mental health along with signposting to help and support if you have concerns about your alcohol consumption or that of a loved one.