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 The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister