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

Highlighting best practice
Darren Stapelberg, managing
Based in Wolverhampton, Grosvenor Health and Social
Care is the largest independent domiciliary provider
in the United Kingdom. They started off as a small,
independent provider in the Midlands during the 1990s,
but soon decided that their excellent model of care could
be scaled up. They now provide care from over 50 locations
across the country, serving both the private and public sectors,
including local authorities and hospitals. On top of this, they:
employ over 5,000 staff; look after 9,500 clients per week;
work in 87 local authorities; operate in every major British city;
and function as key players on a further 37 health boards.
Aside from the obvious centrality of those under their care,
they believe a crucial part of being successful in this sector
is unyielding commitment to their staff. Outlining this and
the company more generally is their managing director,
Humble beginnings
In the late 1990s, the company began in a very limited domain, starting as a
service for the BME community. Within two years, however, it was decided that
the model ought to serve a more general cause: care for all types of elderly
and disabled people as well as for those with specialist needs. Ever since these
initial days of expansion, we’ve continued to be in a state of continued growth.
»Managing director:
»Established in 1998
(asSevacare (UK) Ltd)
»Based in Wolverhampton
»Services: Domiciliary care
»No. of employees: Over 5,000
»Largest independent
domiciliary care provider in
the UK
Grosvenor Health and
Social Care
Especiallyhelpfulin this regard is our
bidding team, who will look out for
tenders that are put up in journals
by a local authority, for example. By
meeting the requisite criteria in this
arena, we are able to win much of our
custom. In addition to this, we’ve –
along with our acquisitions – managed
to achieve organic growth. Indeed,
such is the extent of our growth that
we now perform 95,000 hours of care
per week – a source of both pride
Our size has not come at the expense
of our human level of operating,
though. We nevertheless remain an
independent provider operating with
a human face – we are, as we like to
say, “run by people for people”. This
brings us on to our fundamentally
distinctive quality: the quality of our
staff, who together comprise our
greatest asset. Making them happy
makes everyone else happy; they are
the crucial, indispensable link in the
chain, and their satisfaction is a key
metric. Indeed, all of our time, effort
and resources goes on our staff, who
in turn are more motivated to carry
out their crucial work for society’s
most vulnerable demographics. High
staff turnover, moreover, has the
emotionally negative impact on our
clients of subtracting from their lives a
much-needed continuity. In short, a lot
hinges on getting this right.
Part and parcel of this, too, is a keen
commitment to the professional
development of our staff, thereby
ensuring the best possible quality
of service for those under our care.
By proving ourselves in this area,
we can achieve the two inextricably
bound goals of better care and
Areas in which we stand out
Important to us, too, is that our clients
become responsible, independent
people in so far as this goal is
achievable. This is more than just
basic care and supervision; we want
them to have mastery over their own
lives again: to cook their own food,
to go on walks, to manage their
affairs without constant supervision.
It’s worth reminding again that only
thoughtful, committed staff can make
this vision a reality.
Technology has its part, too, which
is an aspect of our business that
we’ve innovated towards. Many care
providers have not yet realised the
potential of mobile technology to assist
in the provision of care (as well as in
saving paper). For example, we have
an instant notification system that
informs carers on what sort of action
is required, as well as the well-being
status of the client. More generally
speaking, we have invested in our
infrastructure so that we can offer
greater choice and flexibility to those
for whom we care. Largest independent
domiciliary care provider
in UK
to the
of our staff
Highlighting best practice
Making sure we don’t fall
One of the difficulties we now face –
and one that’s winning an increasing
amount of attention – is the cuts in
funding to care from local authorities.
It’s worth bearing in mind, too, that
85 per cent of funding for care does
in fact come from local authorities. To
help ameliorate this situation, we try to
work with local authorities to ensure
efficiencies for their funding. This must
not, however, include any kind of
deficit in funding for our staff, who are
the sine qua non of our success.
In the last three years, there has been
a major change with the introduction
of the living wage. We want people
now to come into our industry with
the expectation of staying for the
long term. This comes in contrast with
how some used to approach care,
namely of seeing it as an occupation
without long-term promise. This was
understandable given that the pay
structure was equivalent to that one
would find in the retail sector. Staff
longevity is our goal here at Grosvenor,
which means putting in place genuine
opportunities for development. In spite
of local funding cuts, we’ve managed
to offer a wage appreciably above
that mandated by the national living
wage. As director, I’ve ultimatelycome
to realise that a successful employer
is one who puts in front of his or her
employees professional development
opportunities. I want my staff to
be meaningful participants in this
enterprise and to have genuine
responsibility, rather than being
expendable followers of orders.
These are challenges that we will live
up to and surmount. By continuing
our innovative push, our strong
commitment to staff and our pursuit of
further opportunities and relationships
within the third sector, we will
continue growing and improving our
care. The future, in short, is something
to which we look forward.
Staff longevity
is our goal
here at
which means
putting in
place genuine
Our team is our strength

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