November 2017

Samantha Taws, a Care Worker from Newcastle’s Comfort Call, has been named ‘Care Apprentice of the Year’. She beat off stiff competition from two other outstanding shortlisted care apprentices at a national apprenticeship awards ceremony held at The London Dungeon yesterday.


Samantha (31), who lives in the Brockley Whins Estate in South Shields received the award as part of the sixth annual Lifetime Learner Achievement Awards, which were hosted by national apprenticeship training provider, Lifetime Training. Each year, the Lifetime Training team scours the country to find the most deserving of apprentices, people who are going above and beyond and achieving their career aspirations through hard work and determination.

Samantha was interviewed by a panel of industry judges before being treated to lunch at the Riverside Rooms and a trip on the London Eye. She was trained by Lifetime Trainer Victoria Herbert and this is her story:


Samantha has worked for Comfort Call for six years and completed the Level 3 Health and Social Care apprenticeship with a focus on dementia in May 2017. She was initially a little unsure whether she would be able to undertake the programme due to being profoundly deaf, but her Lifetime Trainer assured her that she would be more than capable of gaining her Level 3 apprenticeship. A highlight for Samantha has been the one-to-one sessions with her Trainer.


Samantha Taws, Care Worker and Lifetime Training care apprentice, said:

“I was really proud the day I finished it all, as this gave me a huge confidence boost. I chose to study the dementia Pathway so I could learn more about it as I find it very interesting and wanted to be a great carer for my service users who suffer from a form of dementia.


“My advice for anyone thinking about doing an apprenticeship would be to talk it over with your Manager and the Lifetime Trainer, to find out if it would suit you. Don’t let a lack of confidence or self-esteem stop you from doing it if you really want to.”


The apprenticeship was delivered by one of the UK’s largest apprenticeship training providers, Lifetime Training, which delivers training to more than 20,000 learners every year.


Alison Simpson, Operations Director – Care at Lifetime Training, added:

“Although all finalists demonstrated momentous effort and achievement both throughout and following their learning journeys, Samantha was an obvious choice. The judging panel were particularly impressed with the development of their sector knowledge and skills.”


Alex Khan, CEO of Lifetime Training, summed up the event:

“All 18 finalists selected this year had a worthy story to tell. Their career journeys, professional achievements and aspirations are a credit to their efforts and that of their Trainers and Managers. We will no doubt all be watching their progress and I for one wish them all the very best for their future careers.”


May 2017

City and County Healthcare Group is pleased to announce the appointment of James Thorburn as Chief Executive.

James joins the group from Serco, where he has been responsible for national and local government services and international business development. He brings a broad range of skills to City and County’s senior management team.

James takes over from Craig Rushton, Chief Executive since 2009. Under Craig’s leadership, City and County has grown considerably to become the largest provider of domiciliary care services in the UK. The group continues to invest heavily in its staff, systems and processes, with a particular focus on quality governance and compliance. This investment, together with the depth and experience of the management team, will ensure the group is well positioned for future growth.

James will focus on consolidating the group’s market-leading position and investing in the workforce as well as developing the group’s offerings in the care-at-home and complex nursing care markets. He will also work to support the health and social care integration agenda at a critical time for the sector.

He says, “I feel privileged to be joining the staff at City and County, whose hard work, skill and dedication have built a leading provider in social care. The sector offers many opportunities; we have to ensure that care-at-home is properly funded so that those in our society who need it receive the appropriate levels of care. I am looking forward to playing my part in helping achieve this.”

Craig Rushton will remain with City and County as a Director and Head of M&A. His focus will be on identifying new opportunities for acquisition and growth. He says, “I am pleased to be handing over the reins to James fully confident that our superb and dedicated team of care workers, managers and support staff are well-placed to steer the organisation through a time of significant challenges for the care sector. I look forward to working with him and the team to continue to bring vulnerable elderly and disabled people the very best care support.”

August 2016

City & County Healthcare Group secures new £25 million funding for strategic acquisitions

City & County Healthcare Group (CCH), the UK’s third largest independent provider of home care services, has secured funding for a new £25 million facility to finance strategic acquisitions. The funding has been raised from a consortium of banks comprising HSBC Bank plc, Investec, Royal Bank of Scotland and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation.

The home care market in England is worth £5.1 billion and the number of people needing to be cared for in their own home is forecast to rise considerably over the next three decades. CCH provides home care support, primarily for the elderly, as well as specialist care services for young people and adults with more complex or long term conditions, such as learning disabilities, spinal cord and acquired brain injuries, and dementia.

CCH has made 22 acquisitions since its inception in 2009, seven of them following its management buyout in December 2013, which was backed by Graphite Capital, a leading UK mid-market private equity specialist. The group has also further invested in its service quality and infrastructure, demonstrating strong organic growth since the buyout through a combination of new contract wins and growth in existing contracts. It now operates 72 branches, with 7,700 care workers and 750 staff supporting more than 15,400 individuals throughout the UK.

CCH chief executive, Craig Rushton, commented: “Recent market developments, including the increasing integration of health and social care services, have created a very exciting opportunity for the larger providers who focus on delivering a high quality service. This new acquisition facility will enable us to acquire complementary businesses that broaden our geographic reach or expand our ability to provide complex care services. We remain committed to helping people with care needs to continue living independent and fulfilling lives in their own homes.”