Reflections on the last decade
Social care has become a huge part of Nurse Plus’ business and a very important part; we strongly believe that this is an invaluable service to provide. Social care, however, has always been the poor relation to health. This is even more apparent now. Budgets are continually being reduced, margins squeezed and costs rising, leaving providers wondering if it’s a viable business to be in.
Quality has increased tenfold, with much more stringent recruitment and training being introduced. 10 years ago it was learn on the job with minimal formal training. Care Quality Commission requirements have also changed dramatically with very in-depth inspections. This has weeded out the poor quality providers but it all adds cost to ensuring quality is at the forefront.
The requirements of social care have also changed. It used to be assisting with personal care and meal preparation. Now the more common requirements are administering medication and dealing with dementia and other complex conditions. The job is more of a career path, with extra training and diplomas a must.
One of the main problems, however, is the negative media interest which makes staff consider leaving the sector and puts off potential new employees.
In 2005, when Nurse Plus was incorporated, it was a staffing business, providing healthcare professionals to hospitals, care homes and learning disability services. We started with three branches and continued to open new ones. We’re now at 45. The branches developed into other marketplaces, always within healthcare. One of these specialisms has been in homecare – both domiciliary and complex care. We are continuing to roll out all aspects of the industry into all branches whilst continuing the opening programme to get to 60 branches in the next two years.
My career in healthcare started 19 years ago in domiciliary care and progressed into the recruitment industry in both healthcare and commercial. My dedication to healthcare recruitment started in Andover where I set up a branch and built it into a successful business. I understood the importance of quality and met other likeminded individuals with a vast amount of experience. I became one of the original founders of Nurse Plus in 2005. The group that came together brought a wealth of experience and knowledge that we used to grow Nurse Plus. I started by opening the Salisbury branch. I also assisted with all new branch openings, ensuring they were set up to the correct standard, with quality at the forefront. Robust procedures and policies are always followed.
In 2010, I became Operations Director for Nurse Plus by which stage the company had grown to 18 branches. This allowed a more strategic focus on branch openings as well as developing the existing 18 branches to be the best they could be. In 2014, I became Managing Director.
Projections for the next decade
Healthcare will always be a passion for me. It is one of the most satisfying sectors to work in and the future is very bright, with care set to continue to grow. More people are choosing to be cared for at home as the ageing population is growing. As long as the company continues to be built on a quality ethos, the future is bright for us.
As above, it’s about surrounding myself with like-minded individuals who have a passion for this industry, who care about what they do and place the individuals we care for at the centre.
Be open, honest, deal with every problem that presents itself properly and thoroughly and learn from mistakes.
Treat all staff with dignity and respect at all levels, work as a team, value, develop and train your staff to be the best they can. Listen, take points on board, work together to face challenges and listen to others’ opinions. In the main though, I can’t say enough how important it is to deal with all issues thoroughly. Never brush anything, no matter how trivial, under the carpet.
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