It’s been another busy year for us, and there have been many changes that have happened over the course of it. Not least is the news that Julia became the Registered Manager, taking over this role from me in January, initially as acting Manager. It took a long time for all the official procedures to be completed, and also consisted of a nearly 3 hour interview by the CQC, to make sure Julia knew her stuff and was appropriate to take over the running of the service. Needless to say she passed with flying colours and has been doing an amazing job in her new role and Registration.
Karen also joined us as our new Care Manager, and has been settling in well over the last year. We have also had a number of new Care and Support Workers join us, who we hope will be part of the family in no time. There have been some sad changes too, with a number of people moving on to do new things or return to previous work, such as nursing and teaching. All those who have moved on have said what a wonderful experience it has been to work for Hestia Care and to meet and help support such wonderful people.
With regards to what we have achieved over the last year, I thought it may be interesting for you to read the report I sent Companies House. This runs from March 2016 – April 2017:
“When Hestia Care at Home was set up we stated that the Company would use the surplus profits to meet certain criteria. We said that, for those who felt they were not able to afford the full price, we would offer a discounted rate. We have offered this from the very start. We reviewed our price structure at the start of 2017 and introduced a higher tariff that Clients could choose to pay if they felt they were able to and if they wished to help support those who may not be able to afford the service without a reduction to the cost and/or Direct Payments. We also have a lower rate for those funded by the Local Authority and the NHS’ Continuing Health Care.
In the year between 1st March 2016 and 28th February 2017 Hestia Care at Home provided care directly to 58 Clients, as well as supporting their families and friends in the process. Of the 58 people we supported, 10 Clients had a 10% reduction from their invoice and another 12 had a reduced cost through Devon County Council or Continuing Health Care payments. We provided End of Life Support to 7 Clients.
Hestia Care at Home has also focused on the sustainable development of the Company’s activities so we can continue to provide services to the area and currently have a waiting list, as our service is in demand. Between the above dates the Company already had employed the Director, Care Manager and 2 Senior Carers and had 4 established Care and Support Workers. At the start of January 2017 the Care Manager was promoted to Registered Manager and a new Care Manager was employed. We have employed and trained a further 2 people to provide our service. We have focused on maintaining the business, keeping standards high and growing organically.
The Care Quality Commission inspected Hestia Care at Home in July 2016. This was done over two days and consisted of our procedures being checked, as well as face to face interviews with Clients and Staff and questionnaires sent out to all those who come into contact with us, ranging from Occupational Therapists, District Nurses, Pharmacists to family members and Clients. We received the results in September and found we had achieved an Outstanding Rating, which has been given to less than 1% of Care Providers across the whole of the UK. An independent survey ranked us as 12th in the country.”
Sadly, one aspect that is having an influence on us is that we have been noticing the effects of Government cuts, and these are having an impact on many areas of our work. Related to this is that we have a significant waiting list of people hoping to use our service. There is pressure to grow to meet the increasing need and demand but our priority is always the experience of the Client, and that we will always put people before profit. We recognise that there is a need to grow, but we will continue to do this organically and in our own time. As we try to grow a little I am always mindful of the need to balance the personal touch with the need to meet the difficult circumstances we are facing within society. With this in mind, I hope that will be able to maintain our Outstanding service in the coming year and, as always, we strive to keep standards high.
Claire Burton has worked with older people for many years. Her background is in Occupational Therapy. She has now set up a Holistic Home Care Community Interest Company, to deliver care to older people in and around Totnes in Devon.