A special thank you from James Thorburn, Chief Executive

I would like to thank all of you for your perseverance in the extreme weather and for your commitment in not letting down those we care for.

On Monday and Tuesday, the country experienced record-breaking temperatures, in some places hitting 40 degrees and over. You have put up with considerable discomfort travelling to work or between calls, sweating and trying to concentrate in hot offices and homes, and having to wear masks in hot weather. This is also a time of high vulnerability for those who depend on us. You have checked hydration and made sure everyone is safe and as comfortable as possible.

The country was on high alert and you have again truly acted as the fourth emergency service. Thank you to each and every one of you for everything that you do, for making a difference to people’s lives, and for your commitment to the wellbeing and welfare of our service users. You have been amazing

James Thorburn

Chief Executive

Have your say by joining our Health and Safety Committee

We are currently seeking representatives from across the organisation to join the City & County Health and Safety Committee.

This is a really important group that allows you to have your say so we can discuss and understand your needs and views about issues related to health and safety. If you are interested in joining, all we ask is that you attend a two-hour meeting, held by video call, every two months.

If you want to make an impact and have your say, please email hse@candchealthcare.co.uk.

There are currently vacancies on the Health and Safety Committee for:

  • A branch manager
  • An extra care scheme manager
  • A representative from any of our shared services
  • A care worker.

Keeping locals hydrated in Nottingham

Anna Connor and Lorna Graham, from the Nottingham Advantage Homecare branch, finished their palliative run early on Tuesday and so went to the local church that Lorna attends to hand out water due to the heat.

They dropped by to the Shiloh United Church of Christ in Sheffield during their break and handed out water to the church staff, congregation and the community to help everyone stay hydrated and safe during the heatwave.

Thanks for keeping the local community hydrated Lorna and Anna!

Covid boosters this autumn

The Government has accepted the recommendations of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) for the UK’s autumn COVID-19 vaccine booster programme.

Those eligible for a further dose in will include:

  • Frontline health and social care workers;
  • Residents in a care home for older adults and staff working in care homes for older adults;
  • All adults aged 50 and over;
  • Those aged 5 to 49 years in a clinical risk group (including pregnant women);
  • Those aged 5 to 49 years (aged 18+ years in Wales) who are household contacts of people with immunosuppression;
  • Those aged 16 to 49 years (aged 18+ years in Wales) who are carers.

All eligible groups are encouraged to take up the vaccine when it is offered, even if they have had a spring booster, to give themselves the best possible protection.

Talk to Us campaign 2022

Throughout July, the Samaritans has been running its annual Talk to Us campaign.

The campaign aims to raise awareness about how we can all become better listeners and shares expert tips on how we can do this.

Samaritans branches are holding events throughout the UK and Ireland to highlight their services in local communities – so it’s not too late to look them up if you’re interested.

Visit the Samaritans website, Facebook and Twitter pages feed for more details of the campaign:

COVID-19 is still here – please help to reduce infections

The latest data suggests that the most recent covid wave is now at its peak, with more than 4.5 million people experiencing symptoms across the UK at the start of this week. We can now expect cases to fall again, although scientists expect that a new wave will emerge as we head towards the autumn.

All this suggests that COVID-19 is not going anywhere soon and means that we must all take precautions to minimise infections. Please continue to:

  • get vaccinated and keep up-to-date with your boosters;
  • practise excellent infection control, including the correct use of PPE;
  • test, both routinely (for frontline staff) and when experiencing symptoms;
  • not attend work when you have a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 result.

Remember that if you have any queries, we have a dedicated COVID-19 support mailbox at covid19response@candchealthcare.co.uk .

Revised COVID-19 precautions in Northern Ireland

COVID-19 guidance for Northern Ireland differs slightly from that issued in the rest of the UK as follows:

  • Staff who still test positive after ten days of first displaying symptoms, should take a daily lateral flow test on days 11 to 14 – until they get a single negative result, at which time they may return to work;
  • Staff who are in a household, or overnight contact of someone with a confirmed case should take a lateral flow test as soon as possible and should only return to work if the result is negative with no symptoms. Managers should carry out a risk assessment for the protection of particularly vulnerable service users;
  • Staff should avoid car sharing where possible.

A daughter’s praise for staff at Monica Court

Joanne Brannen, City & County’s Regional Manager for the North West and West Yorkshire shares a heartfelt compliment from the daughter of a service user at Comfort Call’s Monica Court:

“I would just like to express my gratitude to you, about all the amazing caring staff you have in Monica Court! All staff have been excellent in delivering care professionally above and beyond, recently with my mum. They definitely are the best! I’m so glad they’re staying and Monica court is going nowhere!”

Care Quality Commission’s timetable for new approach to regulation

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published a broad timetable for implementing the regulation strategy it launched in 2021:

  • August 2022 – CQC will be working with early adopters, including some homecare providers registering for the first time, who will register via a new online portal.
  • October – CQC to start carrying out assessments using the new approach with an early adopter group, with core regulatory activity staying the same for other regulated services.
  • January 2023 – start full roll-out of the new way of regulating using the new single assessment framework, with providers linking with the CQC team in their area and using the new provider portal.

CQC has also published:

  • new quality statements for  when the new framework is introduced for regulating providers, local authorities and integrated care systems;
  • six evidence categories to understand the quality of care being delivered against a quality statement.

The existing five key questions will remain but will be supplemented by a set of topic areas and quality statements, which will replace the existing Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOEs) and describe what good care looks like and will link to the regulations.

Big Shout out to Lisa Miloro – in the fleet cars team

And finally, Nicola Johnson, Registered Manger at Comfort Call, Cheltenham, would like to give a big shout out to Lisa Miloro, City & County Healthcare Group Estates Administrator:

“I would just like to say a big thank you to Lisa Miloro who is part of the City & County fleet cars team. Lisa is involved in the organisation of the company’s fleet cars. She has been a font of information and support since she took over the fleet cars and she has made my life a great deal easier. She’s been so helpful over the last few months and has been kind and understanding and has given me full support with all fleet problems. She’s quick to answer any questions – big or small – and she has a splendid sense of humour! She really is an asset to City & County.”



Congratulations to our 2022 Care Heroes Awards winners

Since their launch in 2017, the City & County Healthcare Group Care Heroes Awards has become a firmly established celebration of the passion and commitment shown by our care staff across the UK.

The awards are an opportunity recognise inspiring colleagues across all of the companies which make up the City & County family – whether they are responding to life-threatening situations, or simply being there to listen when someone needs support.

Taking place virtually through the pandemic, this week we were pleased to welcome our finalists, their managers and guests from across the Group to our first in-person ceremony since 2019!

Hosted at the NEC in Birmingham, we presented seven inspirational awards, covering a broad range of care disciplines. We’re proud to announce that our 2022 winners are:

Care or Support Worker of the Year

Leanne Gardiner – Abacare, Ebbw Vale

Specialist Care or Support Worker of the Year

Ben Kelly – Guardian Homecare, Blackpool

Care Team of the Year

R.L. Care Team – Advantage Healthcare, Croydon

Care Coordinator of the Year

Claire Bulmer – Careline Homecare, Newcastle

Changing Lives Award

Nicola Harlow – Human Support Group, York

Lifetime Achievement Award

Jane Fry – ISS Healthcare, Cardiff

Above and Beyond Award

Julia Griffiths – ISS Healthcare, Cardiff

A huge well done to you all, and to each of our finalists as well – it was an almost impossible task to choose our winners! With more than 15,000 eligible staff across the City & County family, it’s clear that each and every finalist represents the very highest standard of front-line care delivery.

We’re looking forward to profiling each of our winners over the coming weeks, and we hope that you’ll join us in celebrating their inspiring commitment to the people we care for every day.

Our Management Award winner for the Service of the Year: Waterside Court ECS, Help at Home

When Kim Nicholson found out that Waterside Court was broken, she picked up her life and moved in. “I told everyone in the branch that I would be Nanny McPhee and would fix it. I made that promise and I would not leave until it was fulfilled. Even when it felt impossible,” said Kim.

Kim has worked in care for the past 33 years. She is currently a Regional Manager responsible for making sure that KPIs are met, services run effectively, quality is high, and that customers and carers are well looked after. She oversees 10 sites, one of which is Waterside Court.

Standards at Waterside Court quickly deteriorated during covid and Kim’s ability to visit the site was limited because of restrictions. “I couldn’t get much direct access to the site but started getting whistle-blows. I got 15 of them, the most I had seen in my entire career”, said Kim. That is when she decided to pack up her bags, move nearby and dedicate herself fully to fixing things. “We were understaffed, the manager had lost motivation, families were fed up, the local authority was unhappy and CQC were ready to close us down,” explained Kim. Many would have given up, but not Kim.

With her back against the wall, Kim rolled up her sleeves and began delivering care herself to the residents. At the same time, she was working operationally to fix the service. “When a service is broken, time is poor. Time was against us. This meant simultaneously rebuilding the team, restoring the reputation and the taking care of the service users”, said Kim.

After six months, Waterside Court was a different place entirely. In fact, CQC showed up with the plan to close Waterside Court down, but were so impressed by of the service and the work that had been done that they upgraded them from “Needs Improvement” to a “Good” rating in all areas.

One service user pointed out to CQC, “I love it here now. It’s a different place. The manager and the staff are fantastic and so kind”.  A relative said, “The staff have worked so hard to bring this place up to scratch”.

The residents are now thriving and the CQC gave a glowing review. The turnaround at the scheme was nothing short of miraculous. We sat down with Kim to hear the story and learn from her experience.

What kept you motivated?

My motivation was the tenants. The care delivery was poor when I arrived and the biggest driver for me is to ensure that the tenant’s quality of life in the schemes is as good as it can be. Once the tenants understood that I was giving my all to help them, they would leave me notes or a biscuit to keep me going. Those small acts of encouragement touched my heart. I also had the support of my Regional Director, Charlotte Donald. She was always at the end of the phone to prop me up.

What was your biggest challenge?

My biggest challenge was winning the service users over and growing a care team that really wanted to drive forward with me. To begin with the care team pushed against what we were trying to achieve and then the majority left. It was a case of then growing the scheme again from the ground up.

How did the scheme recover when the brand was damaged? 

First off, we had to bring the residents on the journey with us. I had a meeting with all the customers and said, ‘I am Nanny McPhee. I am here to fix everything, and I will make sure that we make this an incredible place to be’. And the residents saw that we were giving it our all, day in and day out.

We revamped the advertisements, interviewed potential carers and told them what we were working towards. The story of the site appealed to the heart of the candidates. One thing every great carer has is a lot of empathy. Once we had some good carers, they spoke to their friends and word travelled. It took us two months to recruit a team.

I came into care because I wanted to make a difference. And this was an opportunity to make a tremendous difference to the lives of all 62 residents.

How did it feel when the Waterside Court team won the award?

Winning is always a wonderful feeling and makes me feel proud of everyone who came on that journey with us.  However, most of all it showed that the hard work and determination really did pay off and those tenants received exactly what they deserved.

Building partnerships for spinal injury

Gareth Williams – Service Development Manager: Complex Care – and Jonathan Byrd – Director: Complex Care – recently attended a networking event in London, hosted by Lady-Marie Dawson-Malcolm from the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA).

The SIA are a leading disability charity supporting those affected by spinal cord injuries and it was a great opportunity to represent the City & County Complex Care division. We are proud of our ongoing relationship with the SIA – with Complete Care Amegreen as a SIA partner and Total Community Care as a SIA business member.

The event was extremely successful and, as Gareth said, “it was really good to not only interact with everyone involved in such a good cause, but to witness first-hand the commitment, passion and care that everyone shared”.


Let’s Talk About… Social Health 

As part of our Let’s Talk About Wellbeing campaign, we’ll be tackling a wide range of wellbeing topics across the year.

Our next quarterly theme, which will run through July, August, and September, covers Social and Community Wellbeing.

Social and Community Wellbeing

Human beings are natural social beings with an evolutionary desire to be with, around or connected to others. This generates feelings of safety, happiness and belonging, all of which contribute to our sense of wellbeing.

Over the next 3 months we’ll be looking to build our awareness and understanding of the importance of a healthy work life balance, being connected and promoting inclusion. We will also provide tips and strategies to help learn ways to build and sustain healthy, productive relationships at home, at work and in our communities.

You tell us what matters

We are building an approach to wellbeing that works for you. To do this, we want to hear from you to help shape the campaign over the coming months. Email us at communications@candchealthcare.co.uk to tell us what matters to you, what concerns you have and any tips you’ve discovered which you would like to share.

A compliment for Ebony at Comfort Call

Joanne Brannen, Regional Manager – North West and West Yorkshire, has passed on some fabulous feedback received by the Comfort Call branch in Tameside.

A member of the public got in touch with the branch after meeting a member of the team to say, “I provide community care work myself, so I know exactly what it is like and what it entails. I have just bumped into one of your staff members and stopped her for a moment.

“I see your staff coming and going on my street all the time and out of curiosity, I wanted to know which company it was that go to my neighbours. The lady I spoke to was very polite and professional about her role and the service users that she visits. I’m sure I must have delayed her visits as I was asking her lots of questions. I just wanted to say how lovely she was.”

“I know myself how difficult it is to do the job and she stood and talked to me for a moment with no hesitation. I often think that as a community care worker, we do not get enough praise. We all do a wonderful job for the people we visit, and she should be proud of what she does, as should you be proud of her as her employer.”

After some digging, the team found out that it was a brand-new member of staff the person had met that day – Ebony Whitehead.

We certainly are proud! Sounds like you made a big impression that day Ebony, and it goes to show how a small interaction can make a big difference for the way our teams are viewed in their local community.

Getting active at Willow House

And finally, the team at Willow House are pleased to announce that they have re-started their group activities this week, which are being offered to all of their residents.

The residents so enjoyed their exercise class lead by Hanan on Tuesday, it they requested for another on to be scheduled in later in the week! The scheme’s Registered Manager, Prabhjot Atwal, told us, “All residents who attended said they had a lovely time and said it is a good way to keep active”.

The Willow House team then followed the session with some well-earned teas and coffees for everyone who took part. Sign us up for next time!

Marjorie Haynes: Winner of the Impact Award

Marjorie Haynes was home when she heard the news that she had just won the Impact Award. As the story goes, there was a lot of excited shouting and jumping around her living room. “I didn’t think I would win”, said Marjorie.

Marjorie has been Head of HR services at City & County for nearly three years. Prior to joining, she worked as an HR director at Arriva transport. When she came across City & County, the role was just right. “I didn’t want to be the most senior, but I wanted to be able to use my skills to make a difference”, says Marjorie.

But this seasoned professional joined the team just before one of the biggest catastrophes in HR history: covid. Along with tackling covid crises after covid crises, she also managed to change the way HR functioned. “When I first joined, everyone was in a shared service centre in the Northeast, delivering HR support across the country. There was limited local, face-to-face interaction”, says Marjorie. She did not like that HR was that removed and concocted a plan. “We worked to employ HR advisors in the regions in which they support so that they can react to managers in a more connected way. I am proud of this improvement and how our team operates now”, explained Marjorie.

The team also gushed about Marjorie as a person and the work she has done, “Her attitude is almost unfailingly positive, despite significant challenges. This industry is unforgiving and she always seeks to be the one who can provide a solution and that positive, can do attitude is infectious”, said a colleague.

We managed to steal a bit of Marjorie’s time to find out more about this impact maker.

What makes working at City & County unique?

The passion that every single team member has for delivering care.

What motivates you? 

Working with a great HR team and the wider business keeps me going. We have a lot of incredible people who are notably dedicated. I also have strong work ethic (when I had to take 2 days off with Covid, I felt like I was letting people down).

What was your reaction when you won?

I was shocked but very delighted. I was secretly hoping we would get the team award for which we were also nominated, as I wanted my team to be recognised for all of the hard work they do to support the branches. They know that I could not have won this without their support.

What was your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?

Covid. What the whole business went through during covid was earth-shattering.

Every day we in HR we learnt something new, we had to answer questions that we didn’t know the answer to immediately. Managing the covid inbox was a big task, especially at the beginning when PPE was short and staff were upset we were not able to provide what they wanted. Furlough was something we knew nothing about but became experts in. And it was concerning when we realised how many of our care workers were deemed Clinically Extremely Vulnerable.

We overcame it in the only way possible, through perseverance. We got the whole team involved and we pushed through some exceptionally long days in order to get everyone processed on furlough. Getting the furloughed staff back to work was another challenge but branches were incredibly helpful. We all pulled together to support our staff during a torrid time. On the bright side, you only recognise the strength of a connection when times get tough. And our team proved very connected and extremely resilient.

Is there something you would have liked to say at the award ceremony?

I am so grateful to receive this award. I am thrilled to be recognised for the support the HR Team provides to all members of the business.

I would have also have liked to thank my team for their continued support. And I would praised Judith for believing in my ideas and plans and for being the voice of reason when times get tough.

Facts about Marjorie Haynes

Personal fact: Marjorie has a new grandson and is completely in love.

Book or movie: Movie

Sweet or salty: Sweet

Cat or dog: Neither

Introvert or extrovert: Extrovert

UK Care Week 2022 report

Many of our teams attended UK Care Week at the NEC in Birmingham over the past few days. The annual event brings together the care community; addressing the biggest challenges facing the care sector, celebrating the talent of care workers and holding a collective voice for change.

Steph Mohan, Service Development Director in our complex care division, has kindly shared her experience of visiting the event with us:

Myself, Lucy Farwell, Kristine Pidgeon and Jo Hooton attended the UK Care Week event at the NEC yesterday, spread across three halls and co-located with Neuro Convention and Naidex Flagship Event.

Keynote speakers included Adam Purnell (Director of Social Care of the Institute of Health and Social Care Management), Kate Terroni (Chief Inspector for Adult Social Care) and Jane Townson from the Homecare Association – as well as conversations with James Cracknell, and Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson.

Jane Townson’s talk focused on homecare specifically and the need to shift the dial in demand from crisis management to prevention, along with a shift in funding to support that. The HCA reported that 35% of the general population surveyed would prefer care in their own homes as a result of the pandemic, which has been impacted by a 16% increase in homecare hours undelivered between October 2021 and March 2022.  Along with challenges that face the homecare sector, such as a £75m unfunded increase in fuel costs due to rising petrol costs and the contrast in mileage rates for care workers – which are in the range of 10-30p compared to 54p for NHS workers.

As you may imagine the UK Care Show hall was largely attended by recruitment organisations.

The highlight of the day however had to be the Naidex Hall – showcasing positivity, possibility and progression within the independent living sector and is disabled community. Service users – young and old – took to the mobility test tracks trying out new products and watching live demos from those with lived experience. The whole event was action-packed, with dance and cooking workshops, a ‘pimp my mobility’ competition and adaptive climbing wall.

Kristine Pidgeon commented, “How refreshing to be in an event when we as ‘able bodied’ are the minority”, as assistance and therapy dogs weaved in and out of a quite frankly dazzling range of mobility products whizzing by – including Neon Walk Sticks as featured on Dragons Den!










Lauren’s long service recognised in Ebbw Vale

And finally, Shannon Meredith at Abacare has asked us to share the Ebbw Vale team’s appreciation for one of their colleagues – Lauren Saunders.

Celebrating five years of working at Abacare this week, Lauren was recognised for her continued support and commitment to her colleagues and clients. Lauren was presented with a long-service award by her manager Sam, and the team gathered to share their gratitude for her valued work.

Thank you for everything you’ve done over the past five years to support the team and service users Lauren, we’re all looking forward to many more years with you at our side!

Catherine Spence: Winner of our Unsung Hero Award

When Catherine joined City & County she thought she was signing up for a steady 9-5 job. What she didn’t know is that she was finding her tribe and unleashing her passion. “When you love what you do, there is no start or finish time”, said Catherine.

Catherine Spence is City & County’s first and only learning content specialist responsible for coming up with key content for all our training modules. The role was created for Catherine to utilise her unique skillset.

Prior to joining City and County in 2019, Catherine worked as a self-employed training expert hired by companies across the UK to design and conduct training modules. After welcoming a baby, she relocated to the North and got clear instructions from her wife to find a job with sensible, consistent hours.

That is when Catherine found City & County. She was initially brought on as a trainer but in her spare time (weekends and evenings) dedicated herself to advancing our induction materials. “Finishing at a certain time was the least of my concerns, I spotted so many exciting ways to improve our materials and deliver a world class training program. I couldn’t put my computer down”.

Catherine’s commitment didn’t go unnoticed. As a colleague mentioned, “Catherine’s work has allowed us to grow as a company with best practice at its heart”. Explaining that, “Ultimately what she is involved in whether sourcing, checking or developing information and training impacts our service users and staff in a positive way”. We sat down with Catherine to learn more about this behind-the-scenes champion.

What motivates you?

My team, being part of this amazing group and witnessing the awesome things we achieve. It is an incredibly lucky place to be when you get paid to do something you thoroughly enjoy, with people you adore, respect and are inspiring.

How did you feel when you received the award?

Shocked, in utter disbelief and then instantly proud. It is difficult to describe the satisfaction of working at a place that brings so much good to others. To be recognised as someone who has helped bring that good is an unbeatable feeling.

What makes City & County unique compared to other companies you have worked with?

The ethos is unique. We have such a grounded ethos. When you listen to James Thorburn speak, it is clear he realises all the work that is put in daily and is incredibly thankful for it. I have worked with quite a few directors that have become out of touch. That is not the case here. There is no such thing as levels, each of our roles are equally important. And at the core of everything is heart. We all work in the best possible way for the best possible reasons.

What has been your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?

I have many challenges every day, but I would say my biggest one (more personal than work) was learning to believe in myself. Learning to see the good I do and to stand tall and proud for the things I achieve as a part of my team (super important to me) but also as an individual. Listening to the things people said about me in the context of the awards was a huge eye opener.

Amanda and Anita impress at Mount Carmel Court

Joanne Brannen, Regional Manager – North West and West Yorkshire, has asked us to share this letter, received from Salford Safeguarding Adults Board. The Board contacted Amanda Lowe, Registered Manager, and Anita Baker, Care Coordinator, at Mount Carmel Court to express their appreciation for the support provided to a client, Mr Dodson.

Dr. Stephen Pugh, Joint Independent Chair of the SSAB, wrote to say, “On behalf of the board, we would like to acknowledge and thank you for the excellent joint work that you and your colleagues have been doing to support Mr. Dodson. We know that it can be extremely difficult to support people who are self-neglecting, and this requires a patient and persistent approach.

“We can see from the information that has been shared that there has been a strong commitment from partners to put Mr. Dodson at the heart of the process and really understand his views, wishes and feelings. We can see that by working together, in a person-centred way, Mr. Dodson has begun to engage with services, which has led to a positive impact and reduced risk of harm.

“We hope the great work you are doing to support Salford residents continues.”

Joanne told us, “I think that both Amanda and Anita deserve a special mention in the comms”. We completely agree Joanne, it’s clear from the feedback how much of a commitment the team have made to involving Mr. Dodson in the decision-making around his support, and how the successful the outcomes have been as a result. Amazing work!

Community recognition for Vicki at Poppy House

Last week, the Careline team in Tameside received a special visit by two representatives of Tameside Council – Stephanie Butterworth, Director of Adult Services, and Tracy Harrison, Assistance Director of Adult Services. The duo took time to see first-hand the impact that Vicki Kinder is making on building community around the service.

Vicki’s regional Manager, Joanne Brannen explained, “I invited them along to visit the branch to showcase the work which Vicki Kinder carries out with the service users and the local community. Vicki hosts a ‘Thursday Club’ in Poppy House each week where she invites service users. They play bingo, cards, have a cuppa and a chin wag. During the visit, they were celebrating two 80th Birthday parties.

“One of the stories which really touched me was to hear how she had worked with a social worker to place a gentleman in Hurst Meadows instead of going home after a hospital stay to a flat, where he was potentially a victim of cuckooing – a type of crime where drug dealers take control of someone’s home as a base for trafficking. They worked together and gathered donations of household items so that he could move into a comfortable home instead.

“Working with the team in Tameside, the gentleman is now rehabilitated and attends the ‘Thursday Club’. He passed these compliments on to Stephanie Butterworth and she was simply blown away. She was really impressed with the club, the Jubilee party and all of the fundraising activities.

“They were proper impressed, and I would really like to say thank you to Vicki for all of her hard and it to be acknowledged by the Director and Assistant Director was really great to hear!”

Thank you for all the work you are doing to support people in your local community Vicki. It certainly seems that your club and the support you provide have both made a huge impact on the lives of people across Tameside. We are so pleased to see your achievements given such appreciation by the local council – a massive ‘well done’ from all of us across the City & County family.

Welcome to baby Lloyd

And finally, Steph Mohan and Lisa Holden in our complex care division have asked us to share a big ‘congratulations’ to Dean Shotton from the Desktop Services team.

Dean and his partner welcomed the new addition of baby Lloyd to their family last week. Arriving at the slightly early time of 3:40 am, Lloyd was delivered in the space of just ten minutes (!) weighing 6 pounds and 5 ounces.

We’re told that Dean will be taking some well-earned time with his family for the next few days.

Christine Noble: Winner of our Impact Award, Operations

When Christine Noble’s name was called it was easy to spot her surprise and hear the quiver in her voice as she gave a five word speech: “this is for team North”. 

Christine Noble is a Regional Manager in the North East covering six domiciliary care branches. Her role is to support managers in the best way possible, make sure the service is safe, everyone adheres to compliance, the business grows, that she finds innovative solutions for challenges that are bound to arrive “and a lot more”, explained Christine.

Christine’s career began in 2002 as a care worker for Community Homecare Services, which was acquired by City & County in 2012. Over the last twenty years she has progressed to where she is today.

The humility and generosity that the audience saw on the stage when Christine collected her award is what she has become renowned for. She has been described as “an all-around excellent example of an excellent manager”. One team member even remarked, “I am not sure we would have gotten through these past few years without her”. We sat down with Christine to better understand this rising star.

What attracted you to care?

I like having the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives. I was originally studying to be a nurse but then my father became critically ill when he was only 48. We could not get care at home – at the time it wasn’t as readily available as it is today. He passed away in the hospital, which was heart-breaking for him and for all of us. That is what pulled me into domiciliary care. I wanted to support others to remain at home so that they could be as independent as possible. I wanted to give them what we were unable to have.

What keeps you motivated? 

The love for my role is a key motivator. I am lucky enough to make a difference to people’s lives by supporting both service users and staff, even if from a distance. I am also driven by the incredible team, both in the area I work but also the wider City & County family. We all want to achieve the same goals and we always encourage each other to be the best we can be. It is a unique and special place to work.

What was your reaction when you won? 

I was shocked and overwhelmed. I certainly wasn’t expecting it. I also found it extremely emotional listening to the kind words from the people who nominated me. Once it sunk in, I felt a sense of pride and achievement. Not only for myself but for our entire team. Our mutual respect and belief in each other is what allows me to do my role.

What was your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it? 

A challenge for me has been finding my confidence. Whilst I was confident in the smaller local teams, it was very difficult to find the same confidence on a wider scale. However, the changes within our structures and teams have brought everyone together.  At City & County you are encouraged to be involved in developing the teams, the business and utilising the support mechanisms. While confidence still remains a challenge in some scenarios, the want and need to do my role well motivates me to develop this.

Proudest moment?

My proudest moment was being made Regional Manager and getting this award, of course.

Recognition for Heather at Comfort Call Cheltenham

Nicola Johnson, one of our registered managers at Comfort Call, has asked us to help share her appreciation for a member of the Cheltenham team.

Nicola told us, “We have finally moved back to face-to-face team meetings in Cheltenham and have reinstated carer recognition awards. Our first winner is Heather Dubberley who has received the most compliments over the last 12 months.

“Heather received a certificate and a flamingo mug as she always pops into the office every Thursday for a coffee, therefore we felt it only appropriate for her to have her own office coffee mug!

“Well done Heather, keep it up!”

Congratulations Heather – and thank you so much for sharing Heather’s achievements with us Nicola.

Do you have someone like Heather on your team that you’d like to champion to the City & County family? Let us know at communications@candchealthcare.co.uk and they could feature in our Weekly Roundup too!

A Model Branch milestone

A huge milestone was achieved this week, with our final site to go live on the Model Branch platform from our existing estate.

The team at Chestnut House Extra Care scheme were the final site out of 261! Raj Singh and Veena Shingadia from the implementation team were on hand to celebrate with cake.

Jon Kerr, our Senior Implementation Manager, told us “This has been the largest digitisation project we have seen at City and County and has standardised our entire organisation onto the same platform. More integrated sites to follow in the upcoming weeks to complete the acquisition part of Model Branch.  Thank you to the team at Chestnut House for such a successful transition, we hope you enjoyed the cake.”

A huge well done to everyone involved in this impressive project and congratulations to you all on completing the roll-out. We’re looking forward to hearing more about the next phase – launch of Model Branch into our recent acquisitions – over the coming weeks.

Katie Beckley rides to success as Para Ambassador

We’re incredibly pleased to announce that our very own Katie Beckley – Clinical Nurse Specialist at Total Community Care – has been chosen as a Para Ambassador for Great Britain. Not only will Katie help to champion Para Sport, but her long-distance riding skills have earned Katie a place on the England squad!

Katie told the Endurance GB website team, “I am a Clinical Nurse Specialist and I work with complex spinal patients in the community. I am also a lifelong horse owner who has participated in many different competitive areas.

“My spinal injury happened in November 2019 and has left me with a left sided weakness and chronic nerve pain. I have had to be creative with ways of allowing me to ride and my horse, Bobby, has learnt to live with a lopsided rider!

“I have struggled but am slowly improving and my love for my horses and endurance is helping me continue doing something I love.”

Amazing news Katie, and fantastic to see your riding skills recognised with a place on the team. You can read more about Katie’s story and how she has used horse riding to support her rehabilitation on the Endurance GB website.

Let’s Talk About Health… International Day of Yoga

On Tuesday it was International Day of Yoga!

Did you know?

Yoga began in India almost 5,000 years ago as a spiritual practice.

There are several different traditions of yoga, but they all combine postures, stretching, breathing, and meditation to make your body and mind relax. Some of the postures are difficult—never force your body to do something it’s not ready for. A yoga instructor will be able to help you adapt the postures for your abilities.

Benefits of Yoga

Yoga postures, breathing exercises, and meditation combine to provide stress relief and improved physical fitness. Yoga can also increase flexibility; help with high blood pressure and circulatory problems; relieve back and neck pain; and improve conditions like asthma, fatigue, insomnia, arthritis, rheumatism, and anxiety.

Try out Breathing and Meditation Exercises on LifeWorks

Why not try the following breathing and meditation exercise videos available free on LifeWorks:

  • Deep Breathing Exercise This breathing exercise will help to relax your mind and release tension in your body.
  • Body Scan Meditation This meditation is designed to release tension in your body and mind.
  • Tree Grounding Meditation This grounding exercise is designed to focus your mind on the present and help you feel more calm and relaxed.
  • Five Senses Meditation This exercise is an active form of meditation that engages your five senses.

You can access the service here – if you are unsure of your login detail or have any questions about LifeWorks please contact the team.

Summer memories shared at HSG in Middlesbrough

Charlotte Groves, Care Coordinator at Human Support Group in Middlesbrough has shared an update on the branch’s activities with staff and service users to make the most of the recent good weather and rekindle memories of summers past. Charlotte told us:

This week in the Middlesbrough HSG Branch we are celebrating all things summer!

With Summer solstice on the horizon and the lovely sunny weather that has finally start to grace us with its warm embrace, we thought it would be no better time than to give you all a glimpse of what we have been up to.

When we have been sitting looking at the sun shining away in the sky and feeling the warmth on our skin, it got us thinking about our lovely service users and care workers. What do they enjoy about summer? Do they have any fond and favourite childhood memories? Are they an ice-cream lover or more likely to reach for a fruity ice pop?

We spoke to one of our service users Audrey Laws and her daughter Ann. Audrey has been with HSG Middlesbrough now since January 2021. Here are some of Audrey’s thoughts on summer time…

“I like the warmth of the summer. It’s nice and cheerful and makes everyone happier and feel better. As a child I used to walk the dog on Blackhall beach and collect brambles later in the summer.

“I stayed with my gran in Durham and we walked along the river and looked after her chickens. I’ve always loved the outdoors. Later in life we took the girls to Hob Hole and had picnics. We had a caravan in Filey and loved our holidays there. I don’t like being stuck in the house so my favourite thing is to take Bailey (my dog) for a walk and to go for drives over the moors. I like a nice cool drink in a pub garden to meet other people. An ice cream at Redcar is also a treat”

Thank you Audrey for you wonderful memories and we must agree with you that an ice-cream at Redcar is most defiantly a treat.

We also spoke to Katherine Wilson who has been a valued care assistant for HSG Middlesbrough since April 2019. Here are her thoughts on the perfect summer …

My most favourite part of summer is making the most amazing memories with my family and friends by going on days out to the seaside and going on holiday. My favourite childhood memories were going to Spain with my parents and I was incredibly luckily to be able to cherish these memories! Another favourite thing do is go for a drive to Redcar or Whitby to eat fish and chips and enjoy the sun. My favourite cool treat to indulge in is definitely an ice lolly!

We hope everyone has a happy summer solstice and hope you have enjoyed reading our summertime stories!

Amanda Frankton levels up leadership in Leicester

And finally, Julie Hunter and the Quality and Governance team have asked us to extend a huge congratulations to Amanda Frankton at Help at Home in Leicester.

Impressively, alongside overseeing additional hours into the branch, not only has Amanda recently passed her Level 5 Leadership and Management qualification – but she’s done it with a distinction!

Fantastic news Amanda, and such an amazing achievement – especially considering everything else that’s happening at the branch.

Congratulations to our 2022 Management Awards winners

After a three year hiatus due to the pandemic, more than 140 of our staff came together in Birmingham on Thursday 10th June for our 2022 Management Meeting and Awards. This was the first time some members of the team had seen each other in three years and, for many, their first face-to-face meeting.

Unquestionably the highlight of the day was our evening awards ceremony, covering five categories: Support Team of the Year; Unsung Hero; Impact award – Operations; Impact Award – Central Support and Service of the Year. Members of the Senior Leadership Team fought back tears as they read nominations and presented trophies to the winners.

We are incredibly proud to announce that our deserving 2022 winners are:

Support Team of the Year: Payroll

Unsung Hero: Catherine Spence

Impact award – Operations: Chris Noble

Impact Award – Central Support: Marjorie Haynes

Service of the Year: Waterside Court, Help at Home

A huge well done to you all, and to each of our finalists as well. It was an almost impossible task to choose winners given the impact every one of you has made in supporting your colleagues and service users across the group.

We’re looking forward to profiling each of our winners over the coming weeks, and we hope that you’ll join us in celebrating their inspiring contributions to the City & County family.

Subject access requests – what you need to know

Individuals have the right in law to obtain a copy of their personal data. When they request such access, it is known as a subject access request or SAR.

In our business, SARs most often involve employment records or service records, but they could be any records that include people’s personal data, including emails and other correspondence.

A subject access request does not need to be in writing, but you do have to respond to it within prescribed timescales. It is essential that you and any staff you manage recognise a subject access request when you/they receive one and follow the procedure.

Once you receive a SAR, you must:

  • Record the request on the standard form. Note that the form is to be completed by the person receiving the request, not by the person making it;
  • Send the completed form to dataprotection@candchealthcare.co.ukso that a register of access requests can be maintained centrally.
  • Respond to the request with the information requested, in most cases within one calendar month of the request, seeking support if you need (such as from the IT service desk). You should usually provide the information in electronic format unless the individual requests otherwise, and you must take care to redact any personal data relating to other people that is not relevant to the request, or that would breach other people’s privacy.

For more information, visit the subject access requests operations guide here . You can also send your questions to the Data Protection Officer at dataprotection@candchealthcare.co.uk.

Safari trip for the Pullen Day Centre

Maria Gerardo and the London Care team at the Pullen Day Centre have shared these photos of a wild day out for service users at Woburn Safari Park in Bedfordshire.

Maria explained, “For the Jubilee our main event was taking our clients to the safari. We held a Jubilee lunch in the safari picnic area followed by teas, coffees and cake and then animal entertainment around the safari.

“Despite a slight downpour after our Jubilee lunch, the sun came out and so did all of the animals. We had a very lucky day where we saw elephants, lions, tigers, rhinos, zebras, black bears, giraffes and even a monkey caught a lift on our bus.

“Some of our lovely clients had never been to a safari park before so they were thrilled with the trip. One said it was beautiful and nearly cried – it made so pleased that I could take our clients on such a wonderful wellbeing trip.”

Sounds like an absolutely amazing day Maria, and it’s clear from the photos just what a great day the clients had at the safari park!

Care and medication – special mention

The Business Support Team has been working with operations for some time now on the management of Care and Medication Tasks.

Belfast Branch had struggled with very high numbers in their backlog and operational challenges it was slow progress for some time. Just 3 weeks ago they had 63,607 and Monday they were down to 34,074 – which is a whopping 29,533 reduction all whilst keeping their current week at zero!

This is an amazing effort achieved by Belfast Branch with Support and encouragement from Sam Bond!

WEll Done and Thank You

Men’s Health Week 13th – 19th June 

This week is Men’s Health Week, celebrated globally to heighten awareness of preventable health problems for males of all ages, and encourage the early detection and treatment of health difficulties in males.

This year’s theme is Time for your MOT!

Why do Men need an MOT?

During the pandemic we’ve taken our eyes off other serious conditions. Men’s Health Forum advise that early stage cancer diagnoses fell by a third in first lockdown because men weren’t seeing their GPs to begin to get diagnosed. Also, although re-started in April 2022, NHS Health Checks offered to most people over 40, were paused during Covid. These checks help to prevent diabetes, heart disease, kidney diseases, stroke and dementia.

A good enough reason for us to keep an eye on our own bodies and minds and give ourselves an MOT.

Time for your MOT

Men’s Health Forum suggest the following health checks and support:

This week, let’s encourage the men we work with, live with or are friends with, to give themselves an MOT.

Let’s Talk About… Loneliness

Loneliness Awareness Week takes place this week. Hosted by Marmalade Trust, the annual campaign raises awareness of loneliness and gets people talking about it. 

Loneliness affects millions of people across the UK.

Loneliness is the feeling we experience when there is a mismatch between the social connections we have and those that we need or want. Loneliness can be different for all of us. Loneliness is something that we all feel at times but when it is chronic or long-term it can have serious effects on our mental health.

Dealing with loneliness can be difficult. But there are things we can all do to cope with loneliness and prevent some of the negative feelings and mental health problems that can come with it.

Here are some coping strategies that you might find useful to help improve your mental health:

  • Try to do some enjoyable things that will keep you busy
  • Try to do things that stimulate your mind
  • Think about doing a physical activity
  • Try to engage with the people you meet in your daily life
  • Find people that ‘get you’
  • Spend time with pets
  • Try to use social media in a positive way
  • Talking therapies can help

You might want to think about how you can support other people who are feeling lonely – why not try the following:

  • Don’t judge or stigmatise
  • Try to make groups welcoming to other people
  • Try to listen and show understanding

Support available

Whether you want to take the first steps towards getting some help or learn more about helping those around you, there are many different ways to get help and support:

  • Our Employee Assistance Programme LifeWorks, offers both online resources to help improve wellbeing, as well as a 24/7 confidential assistance programme, where employees can talk to trained counsellors. Call LifeWorks on 0800 169 1920, or access online articles including, Coping with Loneliness, Loneliness in Later life and How to build a Life of Close Connections.
  • The Marmalade Trust is the UK’s leading loneliness charity.
  • The Red Cross provide local support services, workshops and resources to help understand, and overcome living with loneliness.

Sylwia’s putting in the miles for the British Heart Foundation

Sylwia Olszowka, from our Rates Team, and her partner will be taking part in the challenging ‘The Lap – Windermere’ later this year.

‘The Lap’ is a 47-mile Ultramarathon around Lake Windermere, on some of the most stunning and runnable trails in The Lake District. Sylwia and her partner will be competing in aid of the British Heart Foundation to power pioneering research into heart and cardiovascular diseases.

You can find out more about the challenge and donate on their Just Giving page. Any support would be immensely appreciated.

Abacare says thanks to Pauline James

And finally, Leah Haslam and the whole team at Abacare in Rhondda Cynon Taf have asked us to share their appreciation for a valued colleague, Pauline James.

After an impressive 15 years of dedicated service to the branch, Pauline is taking her well-earned retirement.

Thank you for everything you’ve done to support the team over the years Pauline, and best of luck for your retirement.

Early Jubilee celebrations in Middlesbrough

Charlotte Groves, Care Coordinator at Human Support Group in Middlesbrough, has let us know about their big jubilee celebrations. The branch team has organised a raffle for the big day, with a range of donated prizes available for service users.

Charlotte explained that, because the team wanted to make sure that the winning ser

vice users could enjoy their goodies through the extended celebrations, they picked the winners a few days early.

We’re pleased to confirm that the winners are Andrew Kelly, Joyce Addison, Elizabeth Taylor, Carmel Jayasuriya and Peter Rawlinson.

Walking for Cancer Research in East London

Amal Rziek and the team at London Care East London have pledged to walk an impressive 1,000 miles through the month of June to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

Amal told us, “We are doing this to raise more awareness and honour one of our fantastic Care Workers, who is battling cancer as we speak.

“I would love if City & County employee can back the team in raising as much money as possible and raise awareness by sharing the link to our fundraising page.”

Such an amazing and worthy cause Amal – especially when supporting one of your own colleagues. You can find out more about the team’s progress and donate to support the fight to beat cancer on their fundraising page here.

Capturing our customer’s voice

A big thank you to some of the branch staff from Carmarthen, Middlesbrough and Preston, who have helped us to review a new QA form and process to capture our customer’s voice. We received some really useful and constructive feedback to progress an initial draft, and are really grateful to have operational input at this design stage.

We’re working towards a new more person-centred approach to our existing QA forms, to really capture how our service users feel about their service, putting them at the heart of what we do. We’re keen to relate this back to key outcomes and to identify where we are making improvements to our service over time.

Our next steps are to finalise the design, ready to pilot this in our complex care service. We’ll capture initial feedback here, before rolling this out to our homecare services later in the year! We’ll keep you updated!

We plan to have working groups with operational teams for other topics in the future. If there is something you are keen to see improve and would like to be involved in, please let us know your idea and we’ll reach out to you! There is no idea too big or too small! Email us : modelbranch@candchealthcare.co.uk

Artistic activities at Westbourne Park Day Centre

Joanna Budhu and the team at Westbourne Park Day Centre in London were extremely lucky to have a professional artist come into the centre recently. Over a four week period, the artist worked with a selection of their service users to complete personalised framed pictures.

Joanna told us that, “each picture represents what is important to each person. The range of pictures now hang on the wall in the dining area for all to enjoy.”

What a creative way to help your service users express what matters to them Joanna, we’re certain they all had a fantastic time creating their frames.

A grand day out for Hayley and Cath

And finally, take a look at this photo of our royal representatives – Hayley Wells and Cath Stobbs – who recently attended the Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace.

Hayley told us, “We were given the opportunity to attend through City & County and it was a once in a lifetime opportunity, which we are both very grateful for. It was a fantastic day.”

We’re so glad to hear that you both enjoyed yourselves at the event – looking suitably spectacular as well!

Appreciation at Abacare

Leah Haslam Branch Manager at Abacare in Rhondda Cynon Taf has asked us to share her appreciation for some longstanding members of the team.

The branch has recently been recognising long service for some of their care team, including:

Andrea Williams – 11 years

Brett Severn – 5 years

Jackie Lloyd –  7 years.

Leah and the team have also congratulated Zoe Pain, one of their coordinators, for her 8 years of service.

Congratulations everyone. We’re looking forward to working alongside you all for many more years to come.

Dementia Action Week 

This week is Dementia Action Week – the Alzheimer’s Society’s annual awareness raising campaign, with this year’s theme focusing on diagnosis.

Worried about memory problems?

If you or a loved one is experiencing memory loss, it could be a sign of dementia. Alzheimer’s Society research shows that the misconception around memory loss being a sign of normal ageing is the biggest barrier to people seeking a dementia diagnosis.

With diagnosis rates falling to a five-year low, the Alzheimer’s Society want to encourage those who might be living with undiagnosed dementia to come to them for guidance and support and feel empowered to take the next step.

Getting a diagnosis can be daunting, but the Society believe it’s better to know. And so do 91% of people affected by dementia.

Getting Support

If you are concerned you or a loved one may be experiencing signs of dementia, here are ways you can get support and guidance:

  • Call The Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Connect support line on 0333 150 3456 or click here for online resources.
  • Contact your GP – more information is also available from NHS Online here.
  • LifeWorks online resources – The Caring for a Family Member with Dementia four-part article series covers first steps, handling behaviour at home, keeping those with dementia safe at home and finding a balance. You can access the service here – if you are unsure of your login detail or have any questions about LifeWorks please contact the team.

Emotive words for the Sophie and Michelle at Guardian Morecambe

Samantha Mozer, Registered Manager at Guardian Homecare in Morecambe has shared a lovely compliment from a service users family, who has now sadly passed away.

The family got in touch as they wanted to share their appreciation for the excellent care their father received from two members of the team, Sophie Shields and Michelle Harrison, writing:

“I am writing to express our thanks to the two carers from the Palliative Team for providing care to my dad at home at the end of his life. We were very fortunate to have Sophie and Michelle appointed to his care. They attended four visits per day for the 3-4 days they were needed over the long Bank Holiday weekend.

“Both were kind, caring and compassionate; not only to my father but to us as a family as well at a very difficult time. They provided efficient, gentle care ensuring dad’s needs were met and he was comfortable. We never felt their visits were rushed, as they always asked if there was anything else they could do before they left each visit and were understanding if a care visit or input was not appropriate at certain times.”

Thank you so much for sharing Samantha. It’s clear just how big a difference Sophie and Michelle’s support made at an incredibly difficult time for this family.

Let’s Talk About Health: World Meditation Day

Today is World Meditation Day!

Many of us spend a lot of our time rushing from one activity to the next. Meditation is a technique used to calm both the mind and the body by sitting quietly, taking deep breaths, and becoming aware of thoughts and bodily sensations.

Meditation has been practiced across the world for thousands of years. While it has a religious context, many people globally use it independently of any religious or spiritual practice. It’s available to everyone, everywhere – all you need is a little time.

What are the benefits of meditation?

Meditation can help people cope with emotional and physical concerns, such as:

  • Stress and tension
  • Mild anxiety
  • Mild depression
  • Headaches
  • Sleep disorders
  • Respiratory problems (such as asthma and emphysema)

Meditation is most beneficial when practiced regularly, so why not set yourself a reminder to meditate once a day, every day for the rest of the week, and see how you feel.

Try out Meditation Exercises on LifeWorks

Whether you’re new to meditation altogether or a seasoned pro, why not try the following meditation exercise videos available free on LifeWorks:

  • Body Scan Meditation This meditation is designed to release tension in your body and mind.
  • Tree Grounding Meditation This grounding exercise is designed to focus your mind on the present and help you feel more calm and relaxed.
  • Five Senses Meditation This exercise is an active form of meditation that engages your five senses.

Fabulous feedback at Noble Live-In Care

And finally, Nadine Bowman one of our Locality Managers at Noble Live-In Care has shared some heart-warming feedback about a member of the live-in team, Gunpanvr.

Gunpanvr has worked for Noble Live-In Care for a few years now and has always wanted her own permanent package, in which she is now thriving. Following a recent review with her client Bunty, the family shared the following feedback:

“We think Gun is wonderfully suited for the placement. Bunty is very fond of her and likes her manner. Everyone is pleased with her. If there is anything else we could wish for is for Gun herself to know how much she is appreciated and trusted to make decisions without having to get the whole family’s approval!

“We rely on her to know what to do. She is better trained than all of us put together.

“We appreciate Bunty is quite reserved and not particularly social and guess this must be quite a lonely job. In spite of this we hope Gun will be available to take care of Bunty for as long as possible.”

Nathan Brewer-Magrin, Registered Branch Manager at Noble commented on the feedback, “It’s a real pleasure to see Noble Live-In Care team from our Carers, Care Co-ordinator and Locality Managers working together to find a good suitable match between our Live In Carers and Customers, to ensure positive outcomes. It gives a real sense of pride and fulfilment to know that our customer’s needs, and preferences are being met with such ease. It’s always lovely to receive such positive feedback. Well done team!”

Nadine finished by saying, “It is so lovely to hear positive feedback about our carers. This package has had a few hiccups along the way, but it’s so refreshing to know that a good match between a carer and client can improve the service and ensure that the client and their family are once again happy with the care we are providing. She is an asset to our team.”

Thank you so much for sharing Nadine, and we couldn’t agree more – Gunpanvr sounds like an absolute star.


Our Care Heroes Awards are back!

We’re pleased to announce that City & County’s Care Heroes Awards are back for 2022. That’s right, our celebration of the most impactful and inspiring care will be returning this July.

We need your stories of how our colleagues have gone above and beyond to embody our values and support those we care for. With your support, we’ll be showing the world just what makes our care teams the best in the business.

Nominations open soon, so start thinking about the colleagues you think deserve to be recognised. Who has gone the extra mile to make sure a customer has got the support they need, which teams have banded-together to deliver under duress, and just who are your pandemic superheroes?

We look forward to sharing more with you about these exciting awards in the coming weeks.

Bill’s big birthday

Charlotte Groves and the team at Human Support Group in Middlesbrough have asked us to share their best wishes for one of their service users, Bill Kitching. Bill turned an impressive 100 years young recently – sharing his birthday with the Queen herself!

Bill is known locally for his lengthy and successful career with the police. He joined the force initially in 1937 as a clerk in CID, before becoming a police officer in 1941.

His career was interrupted by the Second World War when he swapped policing for service in the RAF, showing nerves of steel manning a bomber aircraft and also performing the crucial navigator role. Bill returned to policing in 1945 and served until 1982, retiring as District Commissioner.

Happy birthday Bill, we hope you had a fantastic day – and thank you so much for sharing Bill’s story Charlotte.

Last chance to join our RideLondon team

RideLondon returns on Sunday 29 May 2022 and, to recognise Complete Care Amegreen’s recently launched care partnership with the SIA, we’re assembling a team to tackle the event in aid of people living with spinal injury.

Registrations close today, so please email Steph Mohan as soon as possible if you’d like to take part.

The team are riding to support the amazing work undertaken by the SIA, whose specialist spinal cord injury nurses are there for those who need it, as well as their campaigners defending spinally injured people’s rights and pushing for better patient care.

Wonderful days at Waterside Court

Kim Nicholson has let us know about some fantastic events arranged for the tenants the Waterside Court Extra Care scheme in Loughborough recently, including sharing these amazing pictures of a special bank holiday visitor:














The new Scheme Manager, Angela Bunney, had arranged the day with a local farm. Tenants at the scheme, along with the Help at Home team, had a great time meeting the farm’s Shetland pony – feeding it carrots and apples.

Kim also told us, “I am bursting with proud of our new team in Waterside court. Angela and her team pulled out all the stops over the last couple of weeks.

“We are very lucky that a local pub closed their doors to the public and opened only for the Waterside residents. This was a day to remember and immensely enjoyed. It brought lots of memories back; like playing pool and darts, listening to old songs on the juke box and drinking cocktails. It was a delight to experience with the tenants.

“The team also made Easter cakes with the tenants over the holidays, getting very sticky and making lots of mess and loads of laughs during this process.”

Looks like everyone had a fantastic time at the events and made some great memories Kim! Well done to Angela and the team at Waterside Court.

Let’s Talk About Health: MS Awareness Week 

This year MS Awareness Week runs from Monday 25th April until Sunday 1 May.

What is MS?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition that affects your brain and spinal cord. In MS, the coating that protects your nerves (myelin) is damaged. This causes a range of symptoms like blurred vision and problems with how we move think and feel.

MS is unpredictable and different for everybody. Symptoms can come and go and change over time, and it’s difficult to know how your condition might progress. That’s why this #MSAwarenessWeek, the MS Society are shining a light on the uncertainty of living with the condition. To find out more click here.

Stop MS Appeal

The MS Society are driving research forward so that everyone with MS can get the treatment they need. You can donate to Stop MS Appeal here.

Glove Awareness Week 2022

Glove Awareness Week 2022 will take place between 2nd – 6th May and coincides with World Hand Hygiene Day on 5th May. This year the focus is on how reducing unnecessary glove use can help make health care more sustainable.

When used correctly, gloves are a vital piece of PPE equipment, however there are many occasions when gloves are not needed and hand hygiene is completely effective in protecting you and those you care for.

The Royal College of Nursing have released a suite of workplace and social media resources to help your teams get involved and raise awareness of appropriate glove use. These can be found here, and include posters, a leaflet, social media downloads and a Teams background.

Congratulations to Lauren at Advantage Healthcare

Finally, our complex care teams have asked us to share their congratulations to Lauren Hansford on being awarded her Registration from CQC this week.

Lauren – pictured here – started as a Healthcare Assistant in 2015, and progressed into the office as Client Manager in 2018. Since last year, Lauren’s skills and commitment were rewarded with a role as Deputy Manager at Advantage Healthcare in Nottingham.

With her new registration, we’re very pleased announce Lauren’s new role as registered manager. Congratulations from us and everyone in the complex care division Lauren!


Dorothy’s big day in Ashton Under Lyne

Mandy Hall, Branch Manager for Comfort Call in Ashton Under Lyne, has let us know about a big birthday celebration held by the local team recently.

Mandy told us, “We had a 100th birthday for one of our service users, Dorothy. Staff held a birthday surprise party with all her social friends that attend the Tuesday group in Denton Tameside – run by our carer Joanne Turberfield and other staff members. Joanne had arranged a buffet and a birthday cake has you can see from the pictures she really enjoyed herself.”

Looks like Dorothy had a fantastic day, with everyone – especially Joanne – contributing to make it an extra special one. Many happy returns Dorothy!

Training for tracheostomy support

Nurses from across our complex care division recently refreshed their tracheostomy training with Kapitex – a leader in laryngectomy, tracheostomy and dysphagia medical services. The day was attended by twelve nurses; representing Advantage Healthcare, ICCM and Total Community Care.

The nurses – whose experience ranged from not very skilled or experienced to ITU nurses – found the training in-depth and well put together by the trainer, as it covered:

  • The basics of what is a tracheostomy and laryngectomy;
  • Anatomy and physiology of the upper airway physiological considerations;
  • Different types, features of and interaction with tracheostomy and laryngectomy products – including the importance of cuff pressure, pressure-vault, humidification theory and communication methods;
  • A practical skill session, with small groups undertaking removal and cleaning as well as observation skills.

The feedback from everyone involved was that the training was better and more than they’d expected, and the course issued the Nurses with six hours of vital continuing professional development.

Pampering at the Pullen Day Centre

Clients at the Pullen Day Centre in London were recently treated to a visit by a local hairdresser to make sure they were looking and feeling their very best. The London Care team sent though these glamorous pics to show just how well pampered everyone was on the day.

Maria Gerardo, Day Centre Coordinator, told us that “the clients loved having their hair cut and they felt so much better afterwards. They felt this made some improvement to their wellbeing.”

Certainly appears that everyone was well looked after on day Maria, thank you for sharing. We are sure that they all left looking and feeling great!

Appreciation for Christine on her big birthday

Ami Hobday, Regional manager – South, has let us know about a big birthday celebration for Christine McArthur, which took place in the Surrey branch recently.

Ami wrote to say, “Christine joined us last year and has been an asset to the team – building great relationships with the care team, local authorities and within the business. Christine turned the big 60 and has spent the day surrounded by her loving team, showered with gifts flowers and balloons. Christine, along with some members of the team where taken to lunch where we shared lots of laughs and good food.

“Christine has really become a member of the City & County family, and we look forward to celebrating many more birthdays with her.”

Sounds like Christine is a hugely valued member of the team there Ami, and we’re certain she appreciated the generosity of the team on her big day. Happy birthday Christine.

Let’s Talk About Stress: Stress Awareness Month 

Stress is a normal part of life for most people. But too much of it can affect your health, the way you feel, and your ability to perform well at work and at home. That’s why it so important to learn ways to deal with stress.

Techniques to try

Different techniques for dealing with stress work for different people. Give these techniques a try:

  • Learn some relaxation techniques – deep breathing, meditation and mindfulness
  • Use exercise to relieve stress – go for a walk or bike ride
  • Express your emotions – talk to a friend or write a diary, don’t bottle up feelings
  • Do things that make you feel good – spend time on things you enjoy
  • Get enough sleep – a bedtime routine can help
  • Reach out to others who care about you – don’t be afraid to ask friends and relatives for help
  • Contact your GP or EAP – resources available for stress reduction

External Support

LifeWorks – Employee Assistance Programme

Don’t forget, LifeWorks, our employee assistance programme, offers a range of wellbeing support to all our staff.

Here are just some of the stress related resources available on the LifeWorks app and website:

  • Five Tips for Managing Stress – an audio series you can listen to in your own time.
  • Stress Management Toolkit – This toolkit offers resources to help you identify and manage the stresses in your life. It describes the signs, symptoms, and causes of stress, and offers helpful tips on stress management.
  • Stress Care Now Programme – The CareNow Programmes are a mixture of interactive content, exercises, podcasts and videos – all focused on behavioural change.

You can access the service here – if you are unsure of your login detail or have any questions about LifeWorks please contact the team.

Please also remember, if you are struggling with stress, anxiety or depression, call the confidential assistance programme 24/7 on 0800 169 1920, to talk to trained counsellors. Alternatively use the Chat function on the website or app to start the conversation.

Eggs-citing events for Easter

Finally, we wanted to say an eggs-tra special ‘well done’ to everyone in our complex care teams who took part on some competitive activities over Easter.

The team at Advantage Healthcare held a hard-fought Easter bonnet completion last week, with entries submitted from across the country. It was Linda Di Mucci and her grandson who emerged victorious with this impressively decorated bonnet. Worthy winners indeed!

Meanwhile, the teams at Complete Care Amegreen and Total Community Care each had a guess the number of eggs competition. The teams posted the images to their social media pages, with everyone taking part asked to share, comment and like alongside their guesses.

We’re pleased to announce that the winners were Laura Harrison from Complete Care Amegreen and Tracey Barrett at Total Community Care. Well done everyone!