Northumberland care franchise owner delivers hygiene parcels to refugees

July 2, 2020

Wah Akram, Bluebird Care Northumberland franchise owner, has donated around 100 hygiene parcels to refugees and asylum seekers across Newcastle.

 
Hundreds of refugees and asylum seekers across the region are living on just £37 a week from the government, leaving many families are struggling to afford essentials items.

A recent study from Public Health England showed that people from ethnic minorities are at a higher risk of dying from coronavirus, hygiene products are a priority to keep the BAME community safe.

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But now this kind care franchise owner has donated hundreds of hygiene parcels to help refugees and asylum seekers across Newcastle.

After reading on a ChronicleLive story about a kind asylum seeker, Md Mominul Hamid, who has set up his own food bank and been delivering food parcels to refugees, Wah Akram, of Killingworth, wanted to do something to help.

The Bluebird Care Northumberland South franchise owner alongside the director of Bluebird Care Newcastle and South Shields, David Haswell, decided to produce hygiene parcels each consisting of toilet rolls, toothpaste and a toothbrush, a bar of soap and a packet of pasta.

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Wah, 44, said: “Being from an Asian background myself and as the BAME community are at greater risk of coronavirus we wanted to give something back to our community who are struggling during these difficult times.

“It’s sad that the BAME community are at greater risk but we feel the packages will make a difference as it will allow refugees to spend their money on essentials like food, clothing and utilities.”

Wah has delivered 47 hygiene parcels to Md and has delivered over 50 parcels to the West End Refugee Service, who support refugees and asylum seekers across Newcastle.

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After speaking to Md who said he struggled to find PPE, Wah donated a box of disposable gloves and a bottle of hand sanitiser to keep him as safe as possible when out delivering parcels.

And has since donated £100 to support Md’s Little Help Food Bank and will continue over the next this for the next few months.

Md said: “It was great to support for my Little Help Food Bank to continue the support for our community of vulnerable people.

“I really appreciate it and I am very grateful for Wah’s support.”

By Rachael Nichol

Source: Chronicle Live

Bluebird Care acquires Irish master franchise following legal settlement

June 26, 2020

Bluebird Care has acquired the Irish master franchise business from Clemac Home Care Services after resolving a legal dispute with the company.

 
The home care provider said Bluebird Care franchise owners in Ireland will be more directly connected to the wider franchise network, which includes the UK, and will have access to wide-ranging support and services available to them.

Wayne Smith, acting managing director, said: “We are very much looking forward to extending our award-winning support services to the team in the Republic of Ireland, so that they can continue to provide the highest standards of care to customers in their own homes, now during Covid-19, and in the future.”

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The agreement comes after Clemac Home Care Services secured a temporary High Court injunction in November, preventing Bluebird Care from ending their business relationship.

The court was told that Bluebird Care had said it intended to terminate the agreement due to alleged misconduct by Clemac.

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Clemac claimed the allegations were “without substance” and that the decision to terminate the agreement came about after the Irish firm’s director Brian MacGoey refused to sell his shares in the company to Bluebird’s American parent.

Bluebird Care told HCI that the issue has now been resolved and MacGoey has left the company.

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“Bluebird Care Franchises Limited and Clemac Home Care Services Ltd (Clemac) have reached a settlement in which all matters between the parties have been fully resolved,” said Smith.

“Brian MacGoey has now fully exited the business and we take this opportunity to wish Brian well into the future.”

By SARAH CLARKE

Source: Home Care Insight

Bluebird Care franchise sees ‘rapid’ rise in demand for live-in care

June 2, 2020

Bluebird Care’s office in Berkshire has witnessed a major rise in demand for its live-in care service during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 
The franchise, which cares for people living in Reading, Wokingham, Windsor, Maidenhead and Bracknell, said that many families have found live-in care a “preferable solution” to their care needs.

Alex Witten, Live-in Care manager at the branch, said one of reasons for the “rapid” growth in demand is because live-in care only involves the support of a single pair of rotating carers.

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“Live-in care is also great value for money compared to residential homes. It allows customers to have a tailored plan to suit their needs rather than be dictated by strict times. It has become a popular solution in the last couple of years, with our live-in care customer base growing by 40%.

“From the first day we opened our business to serve our community, our customers have been at the heart of everything we do and we believe we could be alternative choice to a care home so people can stay independent in their own home.”

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Leaders from the live-in care sector have previously stated that live-in care must become the default discharge strategy amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Trudi Scrivener, owner of Ashridge Home Care and a co-founder of the Live-in Care Hub, said the sector can support care homes that are overwhelmed by a growing number of coronavirus cases and a lack of PPE by reducing the number of people they care for.

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Scrivener told Home Care Insight that members of the Live-in Care Hub would liaise with care homes and relatives to arrange a safe transfer of service users “from care home to home”.

She added: “We know that many families are worried right now – families are coming to us saying that their loved ones are just not safe in a care home. The home care sector is ready to step up to the challenge and help these care homes and the people in them.”

By SARAH CLARKE

Source: Home Care Insight

Bluebird Care launches ‘COVID-19 Toolkit’ for franchise partners

March 20, 2020

Bluebird Care is rolling out a COVID-19 Toolkit across its network in a bid to tackle the spread of coronavirus.

 
Included within the toolkit are links to relevant sources of information, in addition to specific business continuity advice; advice for customers; advice for staff members and posters that display the correct hand washing techniques.

Neil Murray, head of compliance and quality at Bluebird Care, said: “We’re adding to the Toolkit by the day to ensure it stays as a go-to resource and source of the most up to date information for our businesses.

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“With so many sources of information – and some of it differing in approach – we’re keen to signpost our businesses to the most up to date and accurate information.”

Bluebird Care has also added to its infection control measures in response to the outbreak and is communicating with its customer-facing teams daily, ensuring they understand the necessary procedures for handwashing and appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) where required.

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“Obviously delivering care to those who have a critical need is and will continue to be important,” added Murray.

“As such, reinforcement of the producers for putting on protective clothing – aprons, gloves, masks, show covers etc – before entering customers’ homes, ensuring hands are washed properly and regularly and subsequently disposing of the PPE on leaving customers’ homes is a key area of focus for us.”

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By SARAH CLARKE 

Source: Home Care Insight

Bluebird Care franchise scoops workforce development award

March 13, 2020

A Bluebird Care franchise in South East London is celebrating after been crowned the winner of a Workforce Development Award.

 
Bluebird Care Greenwich picked up the accolade, which celebrates companies who care for their staff and their community, at the Best of Royal Greenwich Business Awards on Friday.

The ceremony was hosted by BBC Breakfast host Steph McGovern at The O2 in London.

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Bluebird Care Greenwich was nominated for the “outstanding training and development” of its staff, who go above and beyond for the local community every single day.

Commenting on the achievement, Anoop Sekhon, managing director at Bluebird Care Greenwich, said: “It is an absolute honour to receive this prestigious award in recognition of our commitment to our staff and development of their skills. Bluebird Care Greenwich is an incredible business to work for and our customers in the local community are at the forefront of everything we do. Congratulations to all the team.”

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The Bluebird Care franchise was established in 2012 and specialises in caring for people living with dementia, physical disabilities and a range of other conditions.

Its care assistants are trained to adapt to the level of care a customer requires, which can range from 30-minute well-being check-ups to full live-in support.

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Bluebird Care Greenwich says it has an excellent staff retention rate, which it attributes to various schemes including ‘Carer of the Month’ and ‘Refer a Friend’.

Training is provided for a minimum of 12 weeks at the start of a Bluebird Care career, with continued support and supervision. Central to this, its e-learning programme offers training in specialist areas, including dementia care, infection control and customer care policies.

By SARAH CLARKE

Source: Home Care Insight

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.

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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.”

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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“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.

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“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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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