UKG Care

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by UKG 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 UKG 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

Managing Director
NatashaWaldron and Director
Rene Follert
Training team with a group
of staff in a refresher
Founded in 2015, UKG Care is a Hampshire-based
domiciliary care agency that offers companionship, and
dementia, respite, palliative and personal care. Its ethos is
based around a friendly and professional team that offers clients
a flexible and reliable service. It also places a key emphasis on
independence and allowing the client to continue to live in
their own home. Managing Director Natasha Waldron tells
Parliamentary Review
We are a people business – providing care and support to people in their own
homes, in and around our local community. We take a person-centred approach,
which means that we tailor the services we offer to suit the individual needs and
choices of each client, and not the other way around.
No two clients are ever the same, which makes our work both interesting and
challenging, but most of all, incredibly rewarding. We work with our clients and
their families from the outset to put together a care package that everyone is
happy with; however, these are never set in stone as we understand that needs
often change and we’re preparedfor this.
Our aim is to help our clients get the most out of their day and enjoy the time they
spend with us. Support can simply be in the form of companionship or helping
with everyday tasks that have become challenging either because of age, illness or
disability, such as preparing a meal, assistance with bathing and washing, dressing
and administering and prompting medication. Outside the home, we accompany
»Managing Director:
»Established in 2015
»Based in Havant, Hampshire
»Services: Domiciliary care
»No. of employees: 200
»Natasha had a former career
as a ballet dancer and studied
with the Royal Ballet School,
performing all over the world
UKG Care
Highlighting best practice
clients to appointments, shopping trips
and social outings.
The importance of
maintaining independence
The majority of our clients are,
understandably, keen to retain as
much of their independence as
possible and this is something that
we positively encourage; in fact, in
many cases, clients have become
more independent as a result of the
support we’ve provided, which is great
to see. One gentleman, we were told
by his family, hadn’t stepped outside
his house for around two years and
within a couple of months of our visits
and a little encouragement, he began
enjoying regular walks – it’s stories
like these that make what we do so
As a people business, having the
right staff is vital. We recruit the
best people, with a natural talent for
caring for others, a great work ethic
and a willingness to learn, because
these things cannot be taught. We
also invest heavily in high-quality staff
training. Education and training played
an important role throughout my own
career and I strongly believe it has
the power to change lives and enable
individuals to flourish.
I was fortunate, in my early career
as a professional ballerina, to work
with some of the best teachers in the
industry. It was their brilliant teaching,
coupled with a strong desire to
succeed, that made my own dreams
come true. This inspired teaching
ignited a deep respect and affection
for lifelong learning and its associated
benefits. I now ensure that everyone
throughout our company has the same
opportunities for progression.
An unexpected turn of events
We didn’t actually set out with the
intention of providing domiciliary care
services. I had simply picked up the
reins of my parents’ local cleaning
business, which was in a bit of a
decline with just a handful of part-
time staff. As we began building this
business, we started getting enquiries
from the families of our cleaning
clients, asking if we could provide care
At the same time, our cleaning staff
were telling us they wished they could
provide extra help to clients who
clearly needed a bit of assistance with
everyday tasks other than cleaning.
The frequency of enquiries led me to
realise there was a genuine need for
good-quality, reliable care for clients in
their own homes, and I felt compelled
to do something about it.
I spent the next 12 months researching
what we would need to do. We then
put in place the required policies and
procedures, set up a branch office,
hired a manager, then staff, put a
training programme in place and, in
2015, registered ourselves with the
Care Quality Commission. We were
inspected in 2017 and rated “good”
overall and “outstanding” for caring.
Area winners of the
Scale-Up Business of
the Year in the FSB
Celebrating Small
Business Awards
The majority of
our clients are,
keen to retain
as much of
as possible and
this is
something that
we positively
Our initial business came from our
cleaning clients, then rapidly grew
by word-of-mouth referrals. We
developed relationships with our local
authority and soon had a regular
source of funded care packages which
continues today, although funding
hasn’t really kept pace with the
introduction of the living wage.
Growing our own team
From the very beginning, with our
cleaning company, our focus has
always been on quality of service
and quality of training. We perfected
training standards by creating our own
in-house programmes, superior to
anything else we’d been able to find
externally. It was therefore a natural
progression for us to develop and offer
accredited and recognised health and
social care training qualifications and
apprenticeships, and in October 2018
we opened our training academy, UKG
Lifeskills. As well as training our own
staff, we now offer these services to
external organisations.
Our staff spend their first week in
classroom-based training, followed
by a minimum of 30 hours’ training
in the field or until they are signed
off as competent, as part of their
induction. This is over and above the
industry standard, but we believe it
is essential. After this, they receive
regular refresher training and have
the opportunity to further their skills
through our courses at the academy.
We’ve also found that the
opportunities we provide can also be
a springboard for getting people back
into work, and this is something we
are keen to advance. We’d like to see
more support from job centresaround
this with encouragement around
care as a career and the longer-
term prospects. The fact that we
provide full, professional training and
recognised qualifications means that
anyone with an aptitude for caring
can make a successful career for
themselves, including those who may
have missed out on a good education
earlier in life.
We are now in the process of
upscaling our business, having opened
two further branches last year, with
12 others planned across Hampshire
and West Sussex over the next three
years, and we’re aiming to achieve
an “outstanding” overall rating by
the CQC. Winning the Business
Achievement/Personality of the Year at
the Business Excellence Awards 2019
in February was a great start to the
year and in April, we were awarded
Scale-Up Business of the Year at the
FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards
2019 for the southeast, which was the
icing on the cake.
From the very
with our
company, our
focus has
always been
on quality of
service and
quality of
The team hard at work

This article was sponsored by UKG 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 Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster