Jeremy Hunt Thanks 'Outstanding' Care Staff That #MakeADifference

Published: 22/05/2019

Home care workers at Bluebird Care got a thank you from Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.

Home care workers at Bluebird Care got a thank you from Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he popped in to shake them by the hand for the outstanding domiciliary care they give people in Westminster.

The cabinet minister’s visit to the offices of Bluebird Care (Westminster) follows its 'outstanding' rating by inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) - which deemed the home care service among the best in London.

Jeremy Hunt said of his visit: “I heard first-hand about how Bluebird Care networks work together to ensure care is joined up – something we should be replicating across the country. To the staff at Westminster, very well done.

"Outstanding care is only possible with outstanding staff – I’m pleased to see the CQC recognising the great work from the team at Bluebird Care Westminster."

Jeremy Hunt

’My wonderful girl’

During an announced inspection in January, CQC inspectors heard from care staff and people reliant on care.

One person told inspectors: "My wonderful girl in the morning sorts me out for the day, even fetches me a bit of shopping, that's really a lifeline".

Another said: "I must say they are very punctual", while another said: "They come three times a day to help me and they are a very good agency. They arrive on time and listen to instructions."

Of the 85 people using the service at the time of the inspection, 75 privately funded their own care, with the remainder funded by the local authority as part of a reablement package when people are discharged from hospital.

‘I have plenty of time’

Inspectors said: “Care assistants told us their rotas were scheduled to allow time to get to calls and we saw that travel time had been included.”

Inspectors were told by a care assistant: "My clients are all within walking distance and I have plenty of time." Another home care worker said:"If we have problems or issues, they listen to us."

Staff complete a five-day induction programme before they start work with the service. Once the induction programme is complete, shadowing opportunities are arranged.

Another care worker said: "I had a number of shadowing visits and actually requested more as I was quite nervous at first. However, I have been supported all the way and now new carers come and observe me, which has helped my confidence."

Inspectors said the home care staff made visits to clients while they were in hospital and a care assistant had even stayed in hospital with their client. Staff also arrange for people using the service to have their preferred care assistant when they return home from hospital.

Duncan Berry, chief operating officer at Bluebird Care, said he was "delighted that the Rt Hon. Jeremy Hunt MP chose to visit Bluebird Care in Westminster. His visit presented a great opportunity for the team to explain how they deliver the consistently excellent service."

#MakeADifference

Following the Outstanding rating, Bluebird Care has launched a national campaign to celebrate its care assistants. Its #MakeADifference campaign, aims to raise awareness of home care as a profession. The campaign celebrates Bluebird Care’s staff with the hashtag #ProudtoCareAtHome.

Bluebird Care has over 200 offices and many of the offices will host events, such as open days throughout May until August to highlight the campaign.

Mr Berry added: “Via the #MakeADifference campaign, we want all individuals to learn more about how rewarding a career in home care can be. We would like to thank all our wonderful carers, and to encourage anyone who thinks they have the right qualities, to get in touch and consider a career with us.”