H M Care

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by H M 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 H M 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


Highlighting best practice
48 | H.M. CARE
Co-director Helen May
Hereford Cathedral
Husband and wife, Neil and Helen May, founded H.M. Care
in 2007, a family-owned homecare agency underpinned
by values of enabling, training and developing colleagues
who deliver essential care services to those who are unable to
fully care for themselves. Behind them is much experience: Neil
worked in both public and private sectors, firstly as a social
worker and subsequently owning two residential homes in
Pembrokeshire; Helen started her career in a nursing home
before managing a domiciliary care agency. In the second year
of business, Helen’s commitment to the people of Herefordshire
was recognised by being awarded Entrepreneur of the Year,
and remains a cornerstone of H.M. Care. Between them they
have over 60 years of experience in the sector, making their
insights in
TheParliamentary Review
particularly valuable.
A statement of who we are
Our long presence in this sector means that we bring a unique wealth of
experience and knowledge to care, ensuring that the carer experience is a positive
one. We’re often told that artificial intelligence and robots will replace millions
of jobs, but AI cannot replicate those eminently human traits of empathy and
compassion – meaning those in the care profession will never be redundant.
We offer a fully tailored care plan to meet the needs of all our clients. Our highly trained
and dedicated care team always endeavours to promote independence, choice, dignity
and privacy, all of which brings positive physical and mental well-being to ourclients.
»Co-directors: Neil and Helen
»Founded in 2007
»Based in Hereford,
»Services: Homecare agency
H.M. Care
49H.M. CARE |
Ultimately, our mission is to assist
service users to live in their own
homes within their local community,
surrounded by family, friends and
their treasured possessions. What’s
important to them becomes important
to us. We work with every service
user and their family to construct
an individual care plan. Choice
is paramount so that they retain
independence and promote dignity
Every service user has an individually
prepared care plan to meet their
needs, so they can continue living the
lives they choose and be rid of their
loneliness. We strive, as we always
have done, to maintain standards of
care that we would expect to receive
for ourselves.
Our policy is intended to set out
the values, principles and policies
underpinning H.M. Care’s approach
to recruitment and selection of its
staff. The goal of this approach
is to ensure our staff are always
developing and training – ensuring
in turn that our care is of the highest
Value-based recruitment
All staff are employed in accordance
with the Code of Conduct issued by
Skills for Care. Every new employee
undergoes all the checks needed. After
induction, they will go out shadowing
with an experienced team leader until
we consider them confident enough
to go out on their own. They are then
introduced to the service user and
supervised for a further period.
We have also introduced an employee
recognition scheme, whereby we send
out nomination slips to each of the
service users to nominate a member of
staff. After this, one of the service users
will pull a name out of a hat, and the
member of staff named will receive a
voucher as a prize. This is then put on
our Facebook page and our newsletter.
We encourage team building at H.M.
Care. In this respect my care manager,
Rachel, and I endeavour to promote
a family atmosphere so we can work
together to sort out any difficulties or
grievances amicably.
Rachel oversees all the training that the
staff require. We have a training matrix
for every carer. They are taught to use
NMDS-SC. When a member of staff has
completed an accredited course, they are
awarded a certificate of achievement.
The standards of care delivered to
our service users is obviously of prime
importance. We regularly send out
questionnaires to our clients and
invite family and close friends to
participate in completing them and
giving comments on performance and
quality of care. We feel that promoting
this relationship between staff, clients,
family and friends acts as a bonding
mechanism. As an organisation, we try
to cultivate an atmosphere of family,
rather than of bosses and workers.
There are, however, challenges. In
the domiciliary care sector, our main
problems are those of recruitment,
retention and recognition.
Team Leaders
Every service
user has an
prepared care
plan to meet
their needs
Highlighting best practice
50 | H.M. CARE
When I started H.M. Care, I had to
produce proof of my knowledge and
ability to run a business, including a
full business plan, cash projections,
statement of purpose and a full
programme of policies and procedures,
all followed by two face-to-face
interviews with my CQC inspector.
Now, it seems, you can fill in a form
online, pay your fees and you’re in
business – or, more simply, buy one of
the many franchises available.
Herefordshire is a rural county with an
aging population. Sourcing younger
staff with necessary talents for care is
increasingly difficult. And with so many
care agencies chasing fewer staff, plus
uncertainty regarding the pound and
UK economy more generally, recruiting
is challenging.
Staff recruitment, induction and
training is expensive, and it takes
many months before these costs are
absorbed. The carers’ day begin with
the dawn shift so they usually start
work around seven o’clock in the
morning. They may then find a service
user in bed, and sometimes a soiled
bed. They have to wash them, dress
them, prepare breakfast, prompt
medication and, in between, change
the bed. And, with the constraints of
the local authority budgets, they are
given half an hour to complete these
tasks. Then they must drive to the next
service user and start again, which can
prove very stressful. Alternatively, they
get up at eight o’clock and go to a
centrally heated office, or sit behind a
till in the local supermarket and earn a
pound or two an hour more.
Our fantastic carers do what I think
is one of the most important yet
undervalued jobs in the country: keeping
the most vulnerable in society clean, fed,
happy and safe – all, moreover, in their
homes, which is the place they want
to be. We wish we could pay higher
wages, but, as mentioned previously, we
are governed by the budgets imposed
by the localauthority.
The way forward
We have experience in both private and
public sectors of care. We are aware
that the number of people bed blocking
is a massive problem for hospitals.
Patients cannot be discharged unless
they have adequate care provision in
place. Presently, the NHS receives £124
billion a year and only £16.8 billion for
adult social care. Were this weighted
ever so slightly more towards adult
social care, more beds could be freed
up – bear in mind also that home care
is much more cost-effective. This, I
believe, could save many lives. I believe
that best practice can be achieved by
the professionals working together in
co-operation, ensuring the well-being of
the most vulnerable, and thus providing
a seamless service to the community.
Our fantastic
carers do
what Ithink is
one of the
important yet
jobs in the
A service user


This article was sponsored by H M 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 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