How to be Outstanding…Carefound Home Care

Oliver Stirk, Director, Carefound Home Care

Carefound Home Care is a provider of highly personalised home care services to older people in Yorkshire and Cheshire. They have a unique track record amongst home care providers in the UK having been consistently rated outstanding by the CQC. Oliver Stirk, Director, discusses some of the key drivers behind their success.

At Carefound Home Care we have a simple aim of enabling our clients to remain at home with ‘well-being’, regardless of their health condition. Rather than operating from a national head office or working under contracts with councils, our local care management teams tailor care directly with families which can range from visiting care of one hour upwards through to full-time live-in care as an alternative to care homes.

Our Yorkshire office is based in Harrogate and is one of the few services in the country to have achieved an ‘outstanding’ rating from the CQC at two consecutive inspections. We opened our Cheshire office in Wilmslow in 2017 which was recently rated outstanding in all five areas by the CQC – safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led.

Truly local care

Delivering a high quality home care service presents many challenges, the most obvious being that clients and staff are not all in one place. We therefore place great importance on our care being locally managed by our local care management teams. This enables us to maintain exceptional levels of communication and support for our carers, our clients and their families. It also helps us manage quality assurance effectively, for example through weekly support visits to our live-in carers ensuring they are happy and the care package is working well.

Achieving well-being

We are very focussed on the idea that enabling well-being for our clients isn’t just about keeping people alive, it’s about giving people the reasons they wish to be alive. We try to embed this in our staff from the outset and it means that companionship and supporting our clients to be as independent as possible is a major part of our service. We also closely monitor our clients’ health outcomes, for example for people experiencing falls, infections or living with a specialist condition such as dementia. This data helps us deliver a more proactive, effective service and ultimately reduce avoidable hospital admissions.

Empowered staff

Employing the right people is obviously fundamental to sustaining an outstanding care service and typically we recruit just 2% of people who apply for a role at Carefound Home Care. However, it is just as important that those people are properly trained and supported so that they feel empowered to do their job to the best of their ability. All our staff undergo a thorough induction programme including shadowing experienced members of our team. We also ensure that they receive direct training in the specialist conditions they may support, in collaboration with experts such as the Contented Dementia Trust, Parkinson’s UK and the MND Association. There is then a strong emphasis on ongoing support through proper client introductions, mentor meetings, attendance monitoring, supervisions and appraisals.

Effective technology

Technology is an increasingly important part of our service, providing greater transparency and helping our care management and carer teams be more efficient. This ranges from using specialist recruitment software, help desk software that uses machine learning to improve staff and client communication, through to a cloud-based care management system that enables carers and families to access and complete care records via an app on their telephone or tablet computer. Ultimately, the data produced across our technology will help us become even more proactive in managing the health conditions and risks our clients face, further reducing the likelihood of them ending up in a hospital or care home bed which is what we all strive to avoid.

Sustainable future

Achieving outstanding CQC ratings has been a huge benefit to Carefound Home Care, giving our professional staff the recognition they deserve and families an independent insight into how our company is unique. It also shows that highly personalised services like ours, working collaboratively with other parts of the health and social care system, are vital to solving the challenge of an ageing population and we plan to continue to sustainably develop and expand our operations in the UK.

Edel Harris





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