Chapter Care

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Chapter Care'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 Chapter Care 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

www.chaptercare.com

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
30 | CHAPTER CARE
JeffWilton-Love, Company
Director
Lauren in the field
Chapter Care is a family-owned service operating in North
Devon. They provide domiciliary care and support to
users throughout the county, including in many difficult
to access areas. Currently, they are attempting to modernise
their services through the incorporation of telecare and have
recently launched an ambitious recruitment drive to encourage
more people to enter the industry. Company director Jeff
Wilton-Love has been at the forefront of these new projects and
explains how they will benefit the sector.
Health and social care, particularly domiciliary care, are in a state of uncertainty.
A widespread lack of understanding of national demographics and practical care
work has dictated an unreasonable blanket costing on service prices. Working in
North Devon, which is sparsely populated and rural in a lot of areas, gives rise to
vastly different challenges than any other service may experience in a more urban
environment.
North Devon has an increasingly elderly demographic, in part caused by its
popularity as a retirement destination. This places greater strain on the NHS and
only increases the pressure on us to provide an outstanding service. We are striving
to achieve this and feel that we are performing well. We are searching for ways
to implement new technology that will enable us to provide a better level of care
while managing to keep costs down.
FACTS ABOUT
CHAPTER CARE
»Company Director:
JeffWilton-Love
»Founded in 2008
»Based in North Devon
»Services: Domiciliary care
»No. of employees: 50
Chapter Care
31CHAPTER CARE |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
A depleted workforce
The care industry as a whole is a
strained sector. We have found that
workers are leaving the sector to
pursue jobs in retail and the service
industries, mostly due to the increased
pay that workers can receive for this
type of work. The amount we can pay
is dictated by the local authority, which
bases these figures on UK Homecare
Association guidelines, which suggest
that everyone should be paid at the
national minimum wage. Because of
this, we struggle to remain competitive
in the workplace market, as we are
competing against businesses that
can guarantee shifts and pay £9.88
anhour.
To combat this, we developed a
business model in which we could
pay by shift to try to address some of
this disparity. This development has
brought huge risk to the company,
however, and I believe we are the only
agency in the southwest to do this. A
huge percentage of our income goes
on staff wages, which leaves very
little for running costs, but, through
innovative finance solutions, we have
managed to cope. We believe that
everyone needs to follow our example.
The NHS Trust Local Management
Board, which we sit on, have
attempted to find a way to make this
standard procedure across the sector.
We need to draw people back into
the sector now before the situation
significantly worsens.
The challenges of rural care
Looking to the future, we are working
to extend our capabilities into hard to
reach areas. North Devon is fraught
with difficult packages of care that are
simply not viable. Travelling 20 miles
each way for a single-hour visit simply
does not make financial sense, so we
have looked at innovative ideas to
address this issue.
There are also specific areas
throughout Devon with unique
problems, and one of our next
steps is to find new ways to provide
service in these areas. The local town
of Ilfracombe serves as a perfect
example. We have a large variety
of social care packages available
but are simply unable to recruit
enough employees to implement
them. Ilfracombe is a medium-
sized seaside resort, is quite densely
populated and has an increasingly
elderly population. Travelling there is
awkward, and people are reticent to
do so. Ilfracombe is also dominated
by a large quantity of restaurants,
supermarkets and other businesses
that are able to offer higher pay. As
we are only able to pay just above the
minimum wage, this makes sourcing
recruits extremely difficult.
To try to solve this issue, we have
launched an aggressive recruitment
drive in Ilfracombe, which I intend
to manage as a separate entity or
“micro-zone”. We are also looking
Lisa, Helen and Leanne
co-ordinating care
A widespread
lack of
understanding
of national
demographics
and practical
care work has
dictated an
unreasonable
blanket
costing on
service prices
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
32 | CHAPTER CARE
at the viability of a pop-up centre, as
well as working with the NHS Trust
and Devon County Council. If this
proves to be successful, this could
produce a blueprint to be followed
in other such areas throughout
thecounty.
Embracing innovation
We have recently tendered a takeover
of Allied Healthcare UK’s North Devon
office, where we ensured continuity
of care and employment for staff at a
truly difficult time. Allied Healthcare
UK were a national provider who were
closed after the CQC found them to
be financially unstable – something not
uncommon in the current economic
climate. We felt stepping in and
helping was the best solution for
everyone and, although it was a lot of
work in a short period, we have made
a real success of it.
From an investment point of view,
being a care agency is extremely
difficult. Care agencies are VAT exempt
– we cannot charge VAT, but we must
pay it and are unable to reclaim any.
This makes expansion into certain
areas virtually impossible, as we cannot
be competitive. I have recently started
to lobby for the status of care agencies
being changed from exempt to zero-
rated. I believe we could make a huge
difference in the sector with this small
change, and consequently put more
money into the care industry by doing
so. Allowing the care sector capacity
for investment into other projects in
this manner could also help to address
the disparity in recruitment.
I am positive that change can happen
and I will keep pushing to make things
better. We need to look at technology
and be open to new ways of doing
things – which we are – and utilise the
energy throughout our management
structure. I believe we can bring about
change and, to do it, we need to
focus on things at a macro-level. The
industry as a whole needs changing –
and I want to be an instrumental part
of that change.
The industry as
a whole needs
changing – and
I want to be an
instrumental
part of that
change
Office staff:
Tracy, Harriet, Rosie,
Jeff, Lisa, Nicky, Emma,
Juliet, Helen and Lisa

www.chaptercare.com

This article was sponsored by Chapter Care. 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