Home care provider Bluebird Care ranks 16th in Top 100 Franchises

December 20, 2019

Britain’s biggest home care provider Bluebird Care has been ranked 16th in the Elite Franchise Top 100 for 2020.

 
Each year Elite Franchise collates its top 100 franchises, basing the results on criteria like longevity, financial performance, network size, contribution to the industry and communities, support, innovation and future plans.

Related: Senior Care Franchise UK – Should You Buy UK Senior Care Franchises?

This year, Bluebird care has come in at 16th place, growing to over 200 franchises in less than 15 years.

Penny West and Nick Ward, owners of Bluebird Care Wellingborough, said: “The network is like family, they mostly go on with their own lives, but are always there to support you when you need them.”

Related: Care Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Bluebird is not resting on its laurels after this success.

Bluebird Care hopes to expand the business, while maintaining the high quality of care it provides. Its expansion plans will soon be revealed, and brand manager, Charlotte McKenzie said: “The plans will embrace the opportunities for developing specialisms in complex care support.”

Related: Bluebird Care Franchise

By SAM LEWIS

Source: Home Care Insight

National Bluebird Care Awards recognise outstanding employees

December 5, 2019

Bluebird Care has recognised the outstanding achievements of its employees at a dedicated awards ceremony.

The Bluebird Care Awards took place at London’s Fortnum & Mason on November 14, where three winners were announced.

 
The event is a celebration of the exemplary commitment shown by the teams that work at Bluebird Care, across the whole network.

Linda Harvey, a care assistant at Bluebird Care Swindon, was crowned Carer of the Year, with judges praising her for always going above and beyond and being a central part of the local community.

Related: Senior Care Franchise UK – Should You Buy UK Senior Care Franchises?

The Registered Manager of the Year award went to Caroline Summerville (pictured), a registered manager at Bluebird Care Mid and West Cornwall, for her outstanding work in recruitment and training.

Finally, Libby Irvine, training manager at Bluebird Care South Buck, South Wycombe and Slough, won the Team Member of the Year award for her energy, vibrance and commitment to the role.

An independent panel of judges were given time to meet the finalists and interview them before deciding on the winners.

Yvonne Hignell, managing director of Bluebird Care, said: “The awards this year have been a roaring success and we could not be happier with how the ceremony went.

“The finalists who have joined us are a real representation of all the amazing work that is carried out by the Bluebird Care team across the UK each day.

Related: Care Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

“I would like to thank everyone in the Bluebird Care network and the team members who helped to make this day so special.”

One of the judges, Professor Martin Green, CEO of Care England said: “These awards have been the most enjoyable day in a long time. I have had a great afternoon and met some amazing people.

“All the people at these awards have been outstanding and my category winner really showed a commitment to the people she works with, as well as their families, to ensure they are part of the community.

“I would like to say to everyone at these awards, and across Bluebird Care, you are doing an amazing job, transforming lives and just enjoy your work, because what you do is really special.”

Fellow judge Colin Angel, Policy Director at United Kingdom Homecare Association said: “It has been an incredible honour to be one of the judges for these awards, and to meet so many talented nominees and hear about the fantastic services they are delivering throughout the UK.

Related: Bluebird Care Franchise

“I am going to take away the dedication and enthusiasm that all the nominees for these awards have shown to the judges. It was really clear that that enthusiasm is spread throughout the Bluebird Care franchise network.

“Everyone who was nominated for an award has done a fantastic job and has really impressed the judges.”

This year’s Bluebird Care Awards celebrated 15 finalists, in three categories. The full list follows below:

Carer of the Year

  • Dave Finch, Scotland, NI & the North
  • Rukhsana Ali, Midlands East
  • Natasha Perry, Midlands West & Wales
  • Angela McMillan, London & South East
  • Linda Harvey, Swindon

Registered Manager of the Year

  • Becki Moore, Scotland, NI & the North
  • Richard Atkinson, Midlands East
  • Siobhan Carroll, Midlands West & Wales
  • Jade Hobbs, London & South East
  • Caroline Summerville, Mid and West Cornwall

Team Member of the Year

  • Veronica Carlyle, Care Assistant, Scotland, NI & the North
  • Samantha Ward, Care Coordinator, Midlands West & Wales
  • Jade Rose, Registered Care Manager, London & South East
  • Kim Teagle, Recruitment Manager, South West
  • Libby Irvine, Training Manager, South Buck, South Wycombe and Slough

By SARAH CLARKE

Source: Home Care Insight

Bluebird Care workers become social care careers ambassadors

December 3, 2019

A Bluebird Care franchise based in London has joined forces with Skills for Care to help promote and change perceptions of social care, and inspire local people to enter the sector.

 
Six care professionals from Bluebird Care Camden & Hampstead have become I Care Ambassadors, delivering talks and training sessions to schools and colleges in their community.

The news comes as Skills for Care found that the initiative has led to a 23% increase in people expressing an interest in a career in care in the last two years.

Related: Senior Care Franchise UK – Should You Buy UK Senior Care Franchises?

Karen Rides, an award-winning registered manager for Bluebird Care Camden & Hampstead, said: “The feedback we have had from the people we have already met, has been great.

“People are being inspired to find out more and some have now started to look for a career in care. We always get lots of questions and people have really appreciated the insights we have relayed to them about the social care world.”

Related: Care Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Skills for Care said 361 I Care Ambassadors delivered careers activities between March 2017 and March 2019, reaching 122,000 people.

Of those people who heard from an ambassador, 92% rated activities ‘good’ or ‘very good’ and 91% said they had a better idea of what it’s like to work in care.

Related: Bluebird Care Franchise

Caption: (L-R) Marion Phillips, I Care Coordinator; Marian Ali, Care Supervisor; Karen Rides, registered care manager of Bluebird Care Camden & Hampstead; and Mary Ferrie, recruitment manager Bluebird Care Camden & Hamsptead.

By SARAH CLARKE

Source: Home Care Insight

Bluebird Care franchise goes ‘above and beyond’ to achieve Outstanding rating

December 2, 2019

A Bluebird Care franchise in Somerset has been rated ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) following a recent inspection.

Bluebird Care Mendip, based in Frome, received the top rating for being responsive and well-led.

 
This is a significant achievement for the service, with only 3% of home care providers across England receiving the rating.

In their report, CQC inspectors praised the business for going “over and above what was expected of a community care provider.”

Related: Senior Care Franchise UK – Should You Buy UK Senior Care Franchises?

They commented on how the provider had looked at ways of reducing social isolation for people without it having a financial impact on them.

For example, they had arranged trips out, parties, musical entertainment and a book club.

The CQC also highlighted that people are supported fully in every step of their care, with care professionals “supporting people to express their views and be involved in making decisions about their care” and carrying out regular reviews of care plans.

Relatives and loved ones are also included in the decision-making process, which inspectors found particularly pertinent. One service user told inspectors, “I have full control over everything, my life is my own and [the service] support me to do what I want.”

Related: Care Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Masen Naidoo, director of Bluebird Care Mendip, said: “We are thrilled to have received an ‘Outstanding’ rating from the CQC, with a report that is testament to the hard work and dedication shown by our care team every single day. We look forward to maintaining our passion for providing high-quality care that improves people’s lives as we move forward.”

The service was applauded by inspectors for tailoring services to meet the needs of individuals and ensure flexibility, choice and continuity of care.

Bluebird Care Mendip’s care professionals were also singled out for praise, with inspectors finding that all staff “were passionate about providing a high standard of person-centred care which promoted people’s independence.”

Related: Bluebird Care Franchise

When it came to the leadership, inspectors said managers “promoted an open, fair culture” that is “inclusive and empowering.”

In one example, Bluebird Care’s leaders were commended for staying up to date with emerging trends and adopting innovative ideas, such as electronic systems for people living at home.

Yvonne Hignell, managing director of Bluebird Care, said: “I would like to congratulate everyone at Bluebird Care Mendip for what is such a fantastic achievement. The service is demonstrative of the high standards we promote at Bluebird Care and we are excited to see what lies in store for Bluebird Care Mendip as it goes from strength to strength.”

By SARAH CLARKE

Source: Home Care Insight

Care staff and clients gather for Bluebird Care Gosport’s birthday party celebrating outstanding CQC report

October 14, 2019

CARE staff and clients of Bluebird Care Gosport gathered together to celebrate an outstanding first year.

Since opening their Quay Lane premises last October, the team has gone from strength to strength, racking up awards and achieving an ‘outstanding’ inspection by the Care Quality Commission.

 
To celebrate their achievements, the team held a birthday party for staff, customers and the mayor of Gosport to enjoy, including music and cake.

Related: Senior Care Franchise UK – Should You Buy UK Senior Care Franchises?

Owner Kat Thomas said: ‘We’re passionate about stamping out loneliness. The fact that we have double the number of people here than last year when we opened is amazing.’

The glowing CQC report highlighted the ‘compassion and genuine warmth’ staff had when speaking about people they cared for.

Carer Kim Heeley used to work for Bluebird Care but left for health reasons, and recently returned to the Gosport team.

Related: Care Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

She said: ‘They’re amazing, I wouldn’t work for any other homecare company. Everyone we work with are lovely people, I feel very supported, we just all help each other. I’m not planning on going anywhere for a very long time.’

Bluebird Care Gosport picked up two awards at the company’s Franchise Awards, being recognised with the Spirit of Bluebird award and Newcomer of the Year.

Related: Bluebird Care Franchise

The franchise is also finalist for Employer of the Year by Solent Business Awards.

Emma Burnley, care assistant supervisor, said: ‘Everyone made me feel at ease when I first started. We’re more like a family than a business.

‘We’ve got some amazing customers, they make your day and I can’t fault any of our care staff.’

By Belinda Dickins

Source: Portsmouth

Bluebird Care partnership gives clients access to funding advice

October 10, 2019

Bluebird Care has signed an exclusive partnership deal with equity release referral service Key Partnerships.

The collaboration will enable Bluebird Care’s franchise partners to call on support should their clients express an interest in using their housing equity to fund their care.

 
Key Partnerships will explore how equity release might help, but also whether clients are using all the benefits available and if other later life lending options might be a better fit.

Yvonne Hignell, managing director of Bluebird Care said: “As a care provider who has been working in the industry for over 15 years, we know that many people worry about how to fund care at home.

Related: Senior Care Franchise UK – Should You Buy UK Senior Care Franchises?

“By collaborating with Key Partnerships, we are giving our customers access to market leading later life advice helping our customers exploring their options where previously they may not have been aware of this potential solution. It’s about finding the right options for our customers and helping them stay in their homes for as long as is possible.”

Related: Care Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Research by the firm suggests that over three quarters (77%) of over-55s who expressed a care preference wanted it to take place in their own home with people coming in to help – either in their current home (57%) or in a more manageable property (20%).

Jason Ruse, head of Key Partnerships, said: “Bluebird Care is one of the UK’s leading domiciliary care providers in the UK which helps and supports thousands of older people and their families each year. This collaboration will enable its customers to have access to funding options for their existing or future care needs and we are looking forward to working with Bluebird Care to provide the support their team and their customers need.”

Related: Bluebird Care Franchise

By SARAH CLARKE

Source: Home Care Insight

Bluebird Care names Franchise Awards winners

October 7, 2019

Bluebird Care has announced the winners of its annual Franchise Awards, celebrating businesses that have gone above and beyond in perusing excellence in care.

The awards took place at a gala dinner on the evening of Bluebird Care’s conference last week, where senior managers showcased examples of what high quality care looks like across the network.

 
Bluebird Care Trafford was selected from franchises across the country to receive the Founders Award for its outstanding contribution to the organisation.

Bluebird Care Founders Paul and Lisa Tarsey handed the award to franchise owner Ian Helsby, praising him as a leader in the network.

Commenting on the win, Helsby said: “I’m truly surprised and yet really proud to accept this completely unexpected accolade from the original founders of Bluebird Care. It was their brand of exceptional home care that I wholeheartedly bought into when I started my Altrincham-based business in 2011.”

Gosport branch picked up two accolades on the night, the Spirit of Bluebird award and the Newcomer of the Year, both of which were handed to franchise owner Kat Thomas.

Related: Senior Care Franchise UK – Should You Buy UK Senior Care Franchises?

The franchise was recognised as a business that “epitomises the brand and has Bluebird Care at the heart of everything it does”, while also demonstrating “commitment, passion and a clear and focused drive” to grow a successful Bluebird Care business.

Thomas took on an isolation challenge earlier this year as part of her branch’s United Against Loneliness campaign.

Commenting on winning two awards, she said: “All of the staff at Bluebird Care Gosport go above and beyond every day to ensure we are providing the best care and support to our customers. We don’t see it as a job, we all love what we do, but to have this recognised centrally a short 12 months after opening our doors is fantastic. I am personally proud of everyone in my team and their dedication and caring nature is what gets me out of bed in the morning.”

Related: Care Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

The Spotlight of the Year Award went to the Bluebird Care Bournemouth, while the Chichester branch, owned by Paul and Kate Barry, picked up the Limelight of the Year award and the gala’s top prize – Franchise of the Year.

The local home care provider was selected as a “super business” that continues to grow year on year and has an “astounding focus” on strategic planning, culture, marketing, delivering quality care and recruiting the best employees for the business.

Related: Bluebird Care Franchise

Finally, Bluebird Care’s Network Star of the Year was named as Julie Gambrill, a member of the Franchise Support Centre who was praised for making the most contribution to franchisee engagement in the network.

Speaking after the event, Yvonne Hignell, managing director, said: “Our annual conference is an excellent way to celebrate a year of hard work from everyone across the Bluebird Care network. The franchise owners have ensured Bluebird Care has had another exceptional year and I am very proud to be leading such an inspirational group of people.”

By SARAH CLARKE

Source: Home Care Insight

Bluebird Care franchise goes ‘above and beyond’ to achieve Outstanding rating

September 16, 2019

A Bluebird Care franchise in Somerset has been rated ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) following a recent inspection.

Bluebird Care Mendip, based in Frome, received the top rating for being responsive and well-led.

 
This is a significant achievement for the service, with only 3% of home care providers across England receiving the rating.

In their report, CQC inspectors praised the business for going “over and above what was expected of a community care provider.”

They commented on how the provider had looked at ways of reducing social isolation for people without it having a financial impact on them.

Related: Senior Care Franchise UK – Should You Buy UK Senior Care Franchises?

For example, they had arranged trips out, parties, musical entertainment and a book club.

The CQC also highlighted that people are supported fully in every step of their care, with care professionals “supporting people to express their views and be involved in making decisions about their care” and carrying out regular reviews of care plans.

Relatives and loved ones are also included in the decision-making process, which inspectors found particularly pertinent. One service user told inspectors, “I have full control over everything, my life is my own and [the service] support me to do what I want.”

Masen Naidoo, director of Bluebird Care Mendip, said: “We are thrilled to have received an ‘Outstanding’ rating from the CQC, with a report that is testament to the hard work and dedication shown by our care team every single day. We look forward to maintaining our passion for providing high-quality care that improves people’s lives as we move forward.”

Related: Care Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

The service was applauded by inspectors for tailoring services to meet the needs of individuals and ensure flexibility, choice and continuity of care.

Bluebird Care Mendip’s care professionals were also singled out for praise, with inspectors finding that all staff “were passionate about providing a high standard of person-centred care which promoted people’s independence.”

When it came to the leadership, inspectors said managers “promoted an open, fair culture” that is “inclusive and empowering.”

In one example, Bluebird Care’s leaders were commended for staying up to date with emerging trends and adopting innovative ideas, such as electronic systems for people living at home.

Related: Bluebird Care Franchise

Yvonne Hignell, managing director of Bluebird Care, said: “I would like to congratulate everyone at Bluebird Care Mendip for what is such a fantastic achievement. The service is demonstrative of the high standards we promote at Bluebird Care and we are excited to see what lies in store for Bluebird Care Mendip as it goes from strength to strength.”

By SARAH CLARKE

Source: Home Care Insight

‘Dementia suits’ give Bluebird Care staff reality check

July 31, 2019

Bluebird Care employees gained an insight into what it’s like to live with dementia during a recent training day at the provider’s head office.

Informed Dementia Care was invited to the office in Petersfield to deliver its ‘dementia suits experience’ to members of the Franchise Support Office team.

 
Attendees wore the ‘dementia suits’ to experience, first-hand, how ageing can impact the body and mind, and better understand how dementia can affect a person’s wellbeing and safety.

Related: Senior Care Franchise UK – Should You Buy UK Senior Care Franchises?

They experienced a number of ageing symptoms and scenarios throughout the three-hour training programme, including restrictive movement, show discomfort, weighted clothing and impaired vision.

Sam Hart, Bluebird Care’s training manager, said: “As part of developing our expertise in supporting customers in their own homes, we felt the dementia suits experience programme would empower our Franchise Support Office Team and allow them to fully understand what dementia could be like.”

Related: Care Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Bluebird Care said that many of the Franchise Support Office team work hard to benefit those living with dementia on a day-to-day basis, but rarely come into direct contact with many of their customers.

The training gave the team an insight into how everyday tasks can be a struggle for people living with dementia and highlighted the key signs that many people miss when dealing with an individual in distress.

Related: Bluebird Care Franchise

By SARAH CLARKE

Source: Home Care Insight

Bluebird Care eyes 25 new locations, realigns strategy

April 26, 2019

Bluebird Care is planning to open up to 25 new branches in the UK over the next five years, Home Care Insight has learned.

The national care provider is eyeing locations in the North of England, Scotland and Wales after establishing the majority of its 200-plus businesses in the South of England and the Midlands since the company was set up in 2004.

But opening new branches is no longer the main driver of growth for Bluebird Care, which is the third largest home care provider in the country in terms of market share, with an annual turnover of around £200 million.

Under the leadership of Yvonne Hignell, who joined the business as operations director in March 2018 before being promoted to managing director in October, Bluebird Care’s objective is to reposition itself in the marketplace and continue to drive sustainable growth through new channels.

Over the last 12 months the provider has been through a journey of transformation, witnessing a mass exodus of staff in 2018 and restructuring its entire Franchise Support Centre.

Explaining the exodus, Hignell said: “Lots of people had been here a long time and I think that organisations move on and not everybody wants to go in the direction that things are moving in.”

Hignell said she saw the departure of her colleagues as an opportunity to drive the business forward and attract new talent.

“It happens and you just have to roll with it and see it as an opportunity to create a team that really does believe in where you are trying to go and what you are trying to do, and that’s what we have now,” she explained.

“As a team, we’ve reclaimed our culture and decided how we want to work with each other, how we want to engage with each other and what our values are. We’ve also rebuilt relationships with the network, which weren’t as good or strong as they could be.”

Related: Senior Care Franchise UK – Should You Buy UK Senior Care Franchises?

Bluebird has also realigned its strategy and has a solid plan for the future.

“It’s about going back to basics. We want to reposition ourselves in the marketplace as the provider that can be there from those light touch, early doors services, before people really think that they need care at home,” said Hignell.

“It’s also about consolidating our place in the market around domiciliary care, but then extending customer length of stay through more complex provision, so bridging the gap between health and social care and really challenging the boundaries of traditional health care that is delivered in communities.

“That has to be supported by a great employer brand that really cares about its people. We want to re-establish ourselves in the market, not just as a provider, but as an employer. So it’s about driving growth through great employment opportunities, caring for and valuing our team members and increasing the customer length of stay.”

by SARAH CLARK

Source: Home Care Insight