“‘Be Safe’ is one of our core values at Be Caring. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, being safe has taken on a whole new meaning for us. Pre-COVID, our ‘safety’ message was very much focused on the safety of our customers. While risk assessment and mitigation plans were embedded for the personal safety of our colleagues, risk of infection was rarely an issue requiring more than basic handwashing procedures in most cases; aprons and gloves were already worn as standard during calls requiring personal care. From the early days of limited access to PPE, alongside the communication of ever-changing guidance to frontline teams, we are proud of how we have protected the vulnerable people in our care and our colleagues with effective adjustments to our working practices such as wearing masks at all calls and minimising contact.”
Laura Mwamba, Director of Business Development and Innovation.
In October, Be Caring was Highly Commended at the Business Culture Awards 2020 for ‘Culture in a Crisis’ due to our response to the pandemic. It was felt our ‘Be Safe’ value came to the fore as we rapidly implemented new processes and ways of working. Despite the apparent risks, the protection and support our colleagues received during the height of the pandemic meant almost 95% reported feeling safe at work. Our COVID rates among staff and people we care for have remained far lower than the national averages. We were also able to donate 26,000 masks to voluntary groups to help keep people safe in our communities.
We are proud to support our wider communities by employing and rewarding local people and investing in them through training and development. We actively encourage our colleagues to be the best they can be, and despite the challenges of the last year or so, have continue to support our people to pursue career ambitions beyond the roles we employ them to do.
During the year, our 800 colleagues maintained and delivered on all our contracts, providing almost one million hours of care to 2,339 people across Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool and Tyneside – an increase of 7% on the previous year. More than 95% of our staff were able to see a positive difference to the people they support and over 90% feel they can deliver the standards of care they would like (Colleague Survey, February 2021). You can read more of our statistical achievements in ‘Our Year in Numbers’.
In our pursuit of sector-wide reform, we have been delighted to work with commissioning partners in Leeds this year, deliver care in a pilot scheme that allows us to pay colleagues in a different way, providing more stability and consistency that benefits both the Carer and Customer. You can read more about this in our Case Study: Customer-focussed, collaborative care.
Working for Be Caring means always going the extra mile, and being proud for doing so. This year, an idea came from a Carers ‘group chat’ to create Winter Wellbeing packs for our Customers. They included some comfort treats, entertainment and a directory of local voluntary services they could access if they needed additional support. These were well-received and we received lots of thanks from service users.