Highlighting best practice as a representative in The Parliamentary Review

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 Egalite is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Owner and Registered Manager
Debbie Clark
Raising awareness at the Sussex Day
community event in Worthing
Egalité provides domiciliary care and supported living services
for younger adults with learning and physical disabilities,
autism and mental health needs. Established in 2009, they
are the only “outstanding” rated learning disability support
service in West Sussex, employing over 100 staff to provide
specialised home-based care. Owner and Registered Manager
Debbie Clark tells
TheParliamentary Review
how they place a
strong emphasis on quality of life and explains how they have
been recognised within their industry for their commitment to
training and carers development.
I set up Egalité Care Ltd in 2009 after nearly 40 years in the care industry.
Almost ten years later, we have developed into a highly successful local company
in Worthing, West Sussex. In 2016 we were inspected and rated by CQC as
“outstanding”. Two years on, we remain the only “outstanding” service providing
support to people with learning disabilities in West Sussex.
I had qualified as a learning disability nurse, worked for the NHS, a local authority
and for large charities, but I still felt a strong desire to develop a more personal
and responsive way of providing services to those needing everyday support, and
offering greater opportunities to live the lives we all dream of and the chance to
have life experiences many take for granted.
My vision for Egalité was to create a facility that provided the very highest quality,
person-centred service, to ensure that others in the organisation shared my values
»Owner and Registered
Manager: Debbie Clark
»Founded in 2009
»Based in Worthing, West
»No. of employees: 103
»Services: Domiciliary care and
supported living
Highlighting best practice
and to build a team of like-minded
people. Initially this included many
family members, who remain a
fundamental part of our team today
and provide the drive and vision for
the company. On the team we now
have three registered nurses and a
registered social worker, who coach,
mentor, advise, guide and support the
care team.
Story so far
Today the organisation employs over
100 staff and provides support to
over 70 clients. We grew rapidly in
the first few years as the reputation
of the care team caught the interest
of not only commissioners but also
potential clients, their families and
other organisations. After five years it
was clear that we had to manage our
growth in order to keep the personal
touch and familiarity that are our
ethos. Many staff have stayed with
us since the early days. We have a
high retention rate for the care sector.
Of our employees today, almost
50 per cent have been with us for
five years or more. Staff turnover is
low, too, at approximately nine per
cent per annum, the local trend in
the care sector being approximately
Gaining a rating of “outstanding”
from the CQC has been our greatest
achievement. It is a measure of how
much everyone on the team strives
to provide the very best in care and
support to our clients and their
families. To achieve this quality, we
have invested in training for our staff
team, and provide a clear career
pathway. We work closely with the
local college to provide apprenticeships
to those embarking on a career in
health and social care. We are able
to provide a wide range of training
ourselves thanks to the skills and
knowledge of team members. We
also work in very close partnership
with local government, colleges and
national organisations such as Skills
In the photo booth at
summer party, 2017
As sisters we work
closely together
Making friendships
Gaining a
rating of
from the CQC
has been our
for Care. We willingly share our
knowledge with other providers, and
last year we won the local business
award for training and development.
This year we were finalists in the
National Learning Disability Awards,
won the Southern Business Awards
also for training and development,
and won the regional Great British
Care Award for frontline leadership.
This is great recognition for a smaller
company like ours. We have featured
in a number of broadcasts, including a
BBC documentary and radio interviews
highlighting the challenges in our
sector, as well as celebrating the
creative, compassionate and caring
work our team undertakes every day.
Life is for living
In addition to the day-to-day care we
provide, I feel we need to engender
a sense of fun and enjoyment of life.
We organise a number of festivities
throughout the year to socialise,
network and have fun. This includes
our team, our clients, their families and
friends. The highlights are undoubtedly
the fancy-dress Halloween Party and
the Christmas Party but there are
many other excuses to celebrate,
including this year’s summer party
which included circus acts and skill
workshops. A local vineyard kindly
provides the venue for these events,
which are always well attended.
Holidays also form part of the support
we provide and, like the parties, these
are heavily subsidised as I want to
ensure they take place. We travel to
France or look around Britain for great
holiday destinations.
We cannot ignore the financial
challenges we have had to face. The
local authority and NHS cuts to funding
have had significant impact and
continue to present difficulties when
it comes to recruitment, as staff are
often tempted away by higher wages
in other care or non-care settings.
For learning disability services in West
Sussex the rates have been capped and
this impacts heavily on our funding and
pay awards. We are constantly looking
at creative ways to recruit carers as
those who join us usually stay, but
we need them to join us in the first
instance. We have a strong, supportive
culture as the work can be difficult,
and we deal with complex health and
emotional care needs, often either
working alone or in very small teams.
This can be emotionally and physically
exhausting and as a sector we can
frequently feel undervalued. To help
show our appreciation we continuously
look for extra added value in addition
to the rates of pay. Many of our team
have received local, and more recently
national, care accolades in recognition
of their dedication and commitment.
Looking forward, we need robust,
affordable social care provision,
supporting the most vulnerable in our
society. I am determined to ensure
that we continue to highlight and
reward the amazing dedication and
commitment of our care team. They
work wonders, helping to transform
lives and create secure, happy
and positive opportunities for our
As a sector we
can frequently
Sharing life with your
best friend

This article was sponsored by Egalite. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.