An adult social care provider is celebrating after having hired 135 new recruits since it became fully family-owned last summer – despite a nationwide shortage of carers.
Home From Home Care became fully family-owned in September last year and, despite an acute shortage of care workers across the UK, it has managed to hire 135 new team members.
The achievement comes as official figures show a record 206,000 vacancies in the human health and social work sector between October and December last year, making this the sector with the fastest rise in vacancies in the last quarter, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The number of vacancies in the sector rose, 14.9% in the previous quarter, and the Care Quality Commission has warned that as many as one in 10 essential roles in care homes are unfilled. Experts claim the long-standing staff shortage was made worse by the pandemic, as well as the requirement for all care home workers to be double vaccinated from November.
However, Home From Home Care, which operates 11 care homes for individuals with learning disabilities, autism and complex mental and physical health, has made a concerted effort to attract new starters since becoming a fully family owned company. As well as increasing pay and benefits for every role, the company has introduced improved employee wellbeing, flexible working and fast-track career progression schemes. On average, pay for all Home From Home Care team members has increased 19% in the last year.
In addition to investments in its people, the company has also been celebrated for its use of technology to support team members and better manage its care homes, with the company winning the Tech for Good Award in the Lincolnshire Technology & Innovation Awards last month.
Managing director of Home From Home Care, Paul de Savary said:
“There’s been a looming staffing crisis facing our whole sector for many years but it’s really come to a head in the wake of the pandemic. Luckily, we saw this coming and since we were able to become a fully family-owned company in September, we’ve been able to bring in a load of changes to make sure that we’re the best employer we can possibly be.
“Now that we have total ownership of our company, we’ve increased overall pay and remuneration expenditure by 19%, we’ve introduced lots of new flexible working options and introduced fantastic systems and strategies to truly support their mental and physical wellbeing, prevent overloading and burnout, while ensuring that colleagues at all levels can share in the joy of care.
“We’re very passionate about making sure that care is a career in which people can gain real progression and growth on a personal and professional level while also having a direct impact in transforming the lives of the individuals we support. Training is hugely important and this doesn’t stop with a person’s induction; we continually invest in their futures so they can move onto a huge range of new and exciting roles.
“This is all making a big difference in terms of recruitment and retention, helping us to overcome the national staffing shortage to deliver outstanding care to some of the most vulnerable people in our communities. We still need to keep pushing for more and more people to join our growing team and we’re working on new ways to make roles even more accessible and flexible but, thankfully, we are now in a better position than many others in the sector.”
Sarah Kerrigan joined Home From Home Care on the company’s Fast Track training programme in the autumn. After a series of promotions, Sarah has progressed to become an Assistant Manager at Home From Home Care’s Kirk House, gaining a pay rise of almost 20% since joining. Sarah said:
“The Fast-Track scheme has been really good. The training and mentoring has been fantastic and, after shift leading for two months, I’m now an assistant manager which is terrific! Every day is different and It’s been great to get to know all the individuals and my colleagues, working as a team at Kirk House. The highlight so far has definitely been supporting individuals at the events – the Halloween and Christmas parties were really fun and a chance to join other co-workers and individuals from different homes. There are so many opportunities and I’m looking forward to progressing my career further at Home From Home Care.”
Another new recruit who joined since the start of the pandemic is Jack Screaton, who is now a Positive Behavioural Support Partner at Kirk House. Jack said:
“Before I came to work for Home From Home Care, I worked in a fast food restaurant flipping burgers. After being furloughed, I decided it was time for a change.
“I had studied care at college, and I was surprised to learn that the core skills are so easily transferable from catering to the healthcare sector. I wanted to develop practical skills that made a real difference day-to-day and do a job that I enjoy doing. I certainly found that to be true. Working at Kirk House, for me, is a second family. I love working, I enjoy coming to work; the individuals are amazing.
“It really is a stepping stone full of so much scope for progression and personal growth. I started as a personal support worker, and I was that for four to five months before advancing, and another five months later I was promoted to a positive behavioural support partner.
“At Home From Home Care, if you put your mind to it, and have the time and have the determination, anything’s a goal – anything you can do and that’s what joining the care sector is: a massive, massive opportunity. What I would say to people is “seriously, come over to care!”
To find out more about Home from Home Care, including current vacancies, please visit www.homefromhomecare.com.