Willow Home Care

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Willow Home 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 Willow Home 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


Director James Lee Davies and
Finance Director Janice Davies
A united approach
Founded in 2016, Willow Home Care Ltd is a care agency
based in Market Drayton, Shropshire that provides domiciliary
services to adults with dementia, learning disabilities, physical
disabilities and sensory impairments. They have built up a base of
70 service users in their two years and are hoping to continue their
journey and expand their services. Director James Davies discusses
his long-standing motivation for working in the care sector, while
explaining the quality service that has ensured their success.
Why care?
I had always wanted to make a positive impact on my local community. I always
felt that no career satisfied that need, until I embarked on a career in the care
industry. Prior to my decision to go into the care sector, I was employed in a local
factory where my managers and directors didn’t even know my name or what role I
fulfilled. I often felt undervalued and I was never recognised for my achievements.
After seeing an advert for a care position in my local paper, I decided to leave the
relative comfort and financial security of my former role to pursue a career in an
industry I could truly feel passionate about. I had to travel an hour every day to
work in order to complete a 15-hour shift before travelling home while earning
minimum wage, but I was given the opportunity to support young people with
learning disabilities in Birmingham. I loved the role and although my wife and I
had to make several sacrifices and lifestyle changes I felt I was making a tangible
difference. My career change was questioned by my friends and former colleagues,
but the criticism only made me more determined.
»Director: James Davies
»Finance Director: Janice Davies
»Registered Manager: Claire
»Founded in 2016
»Based in Market Drayton,
»No. of employees: 60
»Services: Domiciliary care
Willow Home Care
Highlighting best practice
While the management within the care
company was equally impersonal to
that of my former role, I was aware of
the importance of my work and I knew
that I was making a real difference to
the people I supported.
Despite the difficulties carers face and
the challenges they endure there are
poignant moments when you realise
that you have supported an individual
to become more independent. It is
special when you are thanked by
their friends and family for making
a difference to their loved ones last
days and this gives you a real sense of
achievement. People don’t understand
the importance of a carers role and as
you read this I can guarantee a care
assistant has saved someone’s life.
Carers are an important part of society
– they prepare meals, promote healthy
nutrition, support people to become
more independent, support people
to live in their own homes, support
people to access and participate in
their local community and help provide
a safe environment that allows people
to live fuller lives.
Taking action
In May 2014, I began to plan and
develop a strategy for starting my own
care company. I wanted to provide
high quality care on my own terms, to
ensure everyone who uses our service
receives the best care and support.
Everyone employed by our service
feels valued and cared for and our
staff are regularly recognised for their
good deeds and the extraordinary
lengths they go to in order to make
I have never taken a financial risk
in the past, so setting up our care
company was just about the most risky
endeavour I could imagine. I knew
given the opportunity that we could
make a difference so I was willing to
take a risk so to achieve my goal. I
was determined to make a positive
contribution and a positive impact on
the community and the people who
lived in it.
I spent months working alone on our
policies and risk assessments, ensuring
our procedures were robust, before
I registered with CQC. I spoke with
like-minded people who believed
in my ethos and ideas and had
experience in what I was hoping to
achieve. From these conversations,
I could see that others were also
dissatisfied with the standards of care
and this provided me with an even
greater drive to succeed.
High standards
By placing huge value on our staff
and investing heavily in the team, I
was able to establish a committed
group that shared my values and
ethos. Staff turnover has been very
low throughout our existence and as a
result we have been able to deliver on
our promise to give our service users
high standards of care. The staff team
is taught to challenge equality and
promote and defend inclusion, while
Raising standards in care
Carers are an
important part
of society –
they prepare
nutrition and
people to
become more
equality and diversity is embedded
within our organisation, all our team
members embrace and implement
equality principles, identifying and
Staff are taught to deal with
safeguarding issues that may arise,
working in multidisciplinary ways with
other professional bodies to safeguard
the people we care for. The training
we provide helps our staff team to
see themselves as more than just care
workers; they are cooks, counsellors,
mentors, comedians and role models.
We have 60 full time staff on board
and their dedication and commitment
is integral to our service.
At present there is a visible impact
and pressure on hospital wards and
departments as demand continues to
rise. Often patients are not discharged
because there is not sufficient care
and support in place for an individual
to return home. If a person using our
service goes into hospital we keep
them on rota, something a lot of other
care agencies won’t do. We do this
because we care for our clients.
Quite often our staff will visit them
in hospital and we are confident that
if every care agency adopted these
practices this would help release some
of the pressure on hospital wards. I am
confident this high standard of care
holds us in good stead going forward,
and we will retain an unrelenting
focus on self-improvements and
development to our service.
Overcoming barriers
Before founding the company, it
occurred to me that care agencies
often do not provide one another
with help. Bad road conditions and
inclement weather can lead to staff
shortages and result in difficulty
accessing clients in remote locations.
To overcome this challenge, I have set
about an ambitious agreement with
a local agency, whereby we have a
contingency plan in place that will
ensure the safe delivery of care to the
service users of both agencies.
The agency continues to progress
and deliver care in line with a strict
and well-established ethos and
value-set at its heart. We believe in
the organisation and we trust and
appreciate our team of carers and
wonderful registered manager. We
haven’t arrived here alone and there
have been numerous people who have
supported us along this journey.
I am so lucky to have a supportive
wife and we have to thank numerous
people for the success of our agency.
We have received countless support
from people in the community along
the way and we will always be
grateful for those who have helped
and guided us. We are so lucky to
have our caring registered manager,
dedicated senior team and our truly
amazing staff team who go out in
all weathers and support people in
the community who need care and
support. They are the reason for our
success and they are the real heroes
of our story.
The agency
continues to
progress and
deliver care in
line with a
strict and well-
ethos and
value-set at its
The Willow team


This article was sponsored by Willow Home 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 Kwasi Kwarteng.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.

In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.

We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.

With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.

And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.

As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy