Continued Care

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Continued 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 Continued 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, MP
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles, MP

www.continued-care.co.uk

33CONTINUED CARE |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
Samantha Harrison, Director
A collaborative culture
Continued Care is a home care provider based in Harrogate,
North Yorkshire, which celebrated its 25th anniversary
in 2018. With clients of all ages from across a wide
geographical area, including from a satellite office in rural Settle,
they offer everything from 15-minute pop-in visits, to 24-hour
live-in care for 250 clients. They work closely with North Yorkshire
County Council to provide support to people of all ages, receiving
funding for home care, as well as private clients that require extra
help to live independently. Director Samantha Harrison elaborates.
I believe that care is all about people. We are driven by our goal to build a
relationship with all of our clients from the outset, learning about their interests
and passions, so we can offer a truly personalised service that reflects their needs,
their aspirations and their goals.
In order to achieve this, we need to focus a lot on our staff. Care is a difficult
industry to work in, as not only is it low paid, but it doesn’t command the respect
it deserves. When care hits the headlines, it’s often in a negative way, which can be
demoralising for carers who are doing a fantastic job every day in their community.
We work hard to keep our staff motivated and happy, and ensure they feel valued.
We pride ourselves on being a great place to work and we offer permanent
contracts, paid holidays, company pensions, support with qualifications and career
development opportunities to all of our staff. We have recently introduced a
welfare and engagement support service for lone workers and the feedback has
been really positive. We work in a caring business, so it is important that our staff
feel supported and appreciated.
FACTS ABOUT
CONTINUED CARE
»Director: Samantha Harrison
»Founded in 1993
»Based in Harrogate, North
Yorkshire, with a satellite
office in Settle, North
Yorkshire
»No. of employees: Over 100
»Services: Offers care to private
and council clients
»No. of clients: 250
Continued Care
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
34 | CONTINUED CARE
Supporting our staff and our
community
To enhance our service, we conduct
a range of programmes to create a
sense of community around our carers
and clients. We offer a match funding
scheme up to £100 for any carer who’s
raising money for a charity and we
contribute significantly to some great
causes. Our service user forum enables
clients to provide direct feedback on
the care they receive and how our
services could be improved. It’s just
one of the ways we encourage clients
to be honest with us, a culture that
also applies to our carers, as we allow
them to be open about their work and
any problems they encounter.
We work closely with community
organisations, so when our carers
spot a client who’s struggling, they
know who to call on. For example,
we’ve helped clients to maintain their
overgrown gardens with the help of
local volunteer services, and we have
accessed new carpets and second-
hand furniture to improve our clients’
living conditions. We’ve also realised
clients’ lifelong ambitions; we enabled
a client to attend football matches
even though they had not been out of
the house for two years.
From our Settle office, we have
established a partnership with a local
charity that co-ordinates art therapy
for people living with dementia. As
the condition deteriorates, people
often have additional needs in terms
of personal care, which the charity
was struggling to meet. In response,
we provide a trained carer one day a
week for their activity day, to assist
with personal care, and she has
become part of the team. Not only
does she provide consistency for the
participants, but it’s also a huge help
to their family members, who get a
day’s respite, knowing the participant
is safe and cared for at the project. Our
approach to day-to-day work is very
innovative and we recently invested
in electric bikes to help our carers
travel around. Not only is this faster
for walkers, but it is often better than
driving, as carers can avoid traffic jams
and keep to their schedule even at
peak times.
Left: A service user
visiting Elland Road
Right: Activities are
important
We enabled a
client to
attend football
matches –
they had not
been out of
the house for
two years
35CONTINUED CARE |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
Because we value our staff, they in
turn value our clients. I am often
impressed to hear of the little things
they have done to make people’s lives
better. Earlier this year, we took on
a new client who didn’t speak any
English. In order to communicate with
her, our carer learnt a few phrases in
Cantonese and was able to have a
conversation with her.
Similarly, we had a client who was
losing her sight. After completing
research, our carer found that yellow
is often the last colour that people
are able to see clearly, so she brought
some daffodils from her garden to
put in a vase in the client’s home. The
client was delighted and was able to
see the petals clearly.
The future of home care
One of the biggest challenges facing
the whole care industry is funding.
Care receives a very raw deal
compared to health, yet it plays a vital
role in the wider health and social care
picture. Our services help people stay
out of hospital, come home sooner,
stay in their own homes and feel part
of their community.
Without companies like us, more
people would end up being admitted
in emergencies because small problems
would go unnoticed before becoming
more serious. Bed blocking would be
more prevalent in hospitals without
community care to enable people to
go home, and residential homes would
be under even more pressure. As
individual services, we all interlink to
provide the best support and outcomes
for clients.
For individuals, home care is an
incredibly important service. We have
many long-term clients who have
spent time in hospital and in residential
settings. We have been involved in
supporting clients with complex needs
to return back to their own home,
who often tell us how much better
they feel when they are surrounded
by their own things, seeing friends
and family whenever they like, and
feeling as independent as possible. Our
experienced management team knows
exactly how to ensure each client gets
the package of care they need to make
this possible.
Working in care is extremely
challenging every day. We work long
hours, pay is low and respect for
care as a professional career is often
lacking. What makes it worthwhile is
the people; knowing you have made a
difference to someone’s life, enabled
them to live independently where
they want to be, or brought a little
more happiness to their day is the best
reward you can get. We feel privileged
to be part of someone’s life and for
the small differences we can make,
while offering carers an opportunity
to train in social care, to forge a career
and to spread the word about how
rewarding and personally satisfying a
career in the care sector can be.
We feel
privileged to
be part of
someone’s life
and for the
small
differences we
can make
A close knit team

The Parliamentary Review Publication, in which this article originally appeared, contained the following foreword from the prime minister.

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

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

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