Angel Homecare

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Angel Homecare's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Angel Homecare is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Director Ingrid Andrews
Tailor-made person-
centred care
Ingrid Andrews started work at Bovey Castle, a five-star hotel,
and went on to deal with judges, barristers and lawyers. In
the early 2000s, she fell off a horse and crushed three of her
vertebrae. She was later made redundant when the recession
hit, and decided to retrain and work in a Polish nursing home
near Exeter, Devon. In 2007, she established Angel Home
Care – which focused on providing in-house care on the Devon
moors. Although a great number of their visits are small-scale
and quick, Angel staff together see 7,000 service users every
month. Ingrid discusses how things have scaled up in the
12years they’ve been active, and the other factors that have
contributed to Angel’s success.
With home care, you really get a sense of the individual you care for. You get to
know the person, and seeing them in an environment they’re comfortable with
is really spectacular. Helping people to stay at their home for as long as possible
is really heartwarming, and we do offer palliative care at the end of service users’
lives. At that point, you really become part of their life. It’s difficult – especially
when you leave, and a spouse has become not only dependent upon their
significant other, but your presence in the domicile, too. Everything we do is
inherently and unmistakably personal.
We employ local people to care in a local area, and we are constantly looking
at expanding our services. When we acquire the premises, for example, we
want to open a day care centre, Angels By Day. We are demonstrably proactive
»Director: Ingrid Andrews
»Established in 2007
»Based in Bovey Tracey, Devon
»Services: Personal and home
»No. of employees: 47 full and
»Angel are looking to open an
additional office in Newton
Abbot and, as a result, hire
at least 3 more members of
office staff
Angel Homecare
Highlighting best practice
in our community work and were
approached by Devon County Council
to be an ambassador for their Proud
to Care scheme. We try to promote
young staff entering the industry, we
try to take on apprentices and we try
to remain a care service at the heart of
its community.
Adapt and recognise
One of the core values that underpins
all Angel staff members’ day-to-day
work is a simple ethos: treat clients
as you would want to be treated. It’s
very straightforward – recognise our
service users as being people, first
and foremost. We send birthday,
anniversary and Christmas cards, and
make sure they’re handwritten; for a
lot of our clients, the little things do
matter. When you’re dealing with the
end of people’s lives, even though
some of these people are very ill, it’s
important to make sure you treat
them with dignity, and as normal
We’re adaptable, too. What one client
wants could be the furthest thing
from what another does – you have to
cater for these unique requirements.
In keeping with this, since November
2017, we have recruited 12 new
members of staff, and a lot of them
haven’t worked in the industry before
– we’re growing and adapting. This is
also reflected with our “holiday club”
for five to 12-year-olds, especially for
a lot of our staff who do have young
children. We do have a lot of ventures
in the works in one state or another –
all of them are community-based, and
all of them are affordable.
A suitable workforce
Although we have been recruiting
en masse over the past 18 months,
we do recognise that there’s no use
employing staff who might not have
the right calibre or style of training that
we require. We ensure that everybody
who works for Angel in any capacity is
trained in the same way, and that most
training is undertaken in-house. This
allows us to maintain a comprehensive
base of knowledge across all members
of staff and ensure no one team
member has any gaps.
Having a positive impact
on our clients’ lives
With home
care, you
really get a
sense of the
individual you
care for
Our staff changes have not just been
limited to our care workers and
ground team, however. We looked
extensively at overhauling parts of our
management team and introducing
people to alter the culture from the
top level. We found a local individual
from the mental health sector who
had helped in a full-scale restructure
of the unit at Nottingham Hospital
– he looked at the kind of training
our staff needed and really helped
to provoke a required change in
Recruitment and other
One of our biggest issues has been
recruitment. We tried, desperately,
for a year to get staff. We advertised
in local papers to no avail and found
that, thanks to our fairly remote
location, apprentices were essentially
non-existent. We have tried to work
with local schools to aid this, but it
was not an ideal solution – so many of
our clients live on or around Dartmoor,
and we very rarely found people
coming to us looking for work. The
internet and various job boards have
been helpful, but the process has been
Training and local authority legislation
have been other concerns; specifically,
with regard to the Devon County
Council pay rise, we keep hearing
claims that we’ll receive more for
clients referred from the public sector,
but we’ve yet to see this change
actually effected. Finally, one of our
largest challenges is an unusual one
that comes about as a result of our
geographical location; weather on
the moors is unpredictable at the
best of times. Over the early 2018
period of intense snowfall, we missed
only seven visits – and did still have
someone visit the clients, even if it
wasn’t us, just to ensure they had
what they needed.
Our area and its future
Devon County Council, in July
2016, decided to divide Devon into
six groups; all care work was then
supposed to go through a larger
company and filter down. This
corporate entity wanted to come in
and examine all of our books, client
records and carers – it was ultimately
an atmosphere far less human than
we were comfortable with, and it
wasn’t how we wanted either our
clients or our carers to be treated.
As we’ve decided not to be a part of
this legislative framework, we do lose
clients, but have concluded that it’s a
worthwhile sacrifice for the quality we
can instead deliver.
With so much work coming in
regardless, we want to keep recruiting
and taking people on. Defined
premises and space for our service
users and our carers would be ideal
– but for now, we just want to keep
things going the way they are, and
keep ensuring the best standards
possible for both our carers and
But for now,
we just want
to keep things
going the way
they are
Assisting with managing
the day-to-day tasks

This article was sponsored by Angel Homecare. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.

In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.

We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.

With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.

And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.

As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy