GHP December

6 | ghp December 2016 Health & Social Care Walking the Walk here is a certain political rhetoric emanating from various elements that are exerting a significant strain on the wider industry, and this is something that Kevin Hewlett is especially aware of. The continuing campaigning for the compulsory increase of the national living wage to £10 per hour demonstrates, to Kevin, a distinct lack of awareness of the financial state of the health and social care sector, and a lack of regard for the small businesses that prop up care provision. These businesses, Kevin points out, are primarily owned by owners and managers, such as himself, who already undergo a certain amount of stress and daily pressures that come with the management role, in addition to a forever-evolving and -changing series of legislative introductions; all of these, in their own way, affect the 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a- year service that Hale Place provides, and which is increasingly relied upon today. Issues regarding funding has been undermining and devaluing the work of social care providers since Kevin first entered this profession. Higher expectations, high dependency levels and increased regulations seem to be exerting more and more pressure on the industry. “I believe the sector is entering a critical time that could have far reaching implications for quality of care,” Kevin states. “The uncertainty of Brexit, the government’s austerity measures, the lack of applicants to fill all employment vacancies, the widening gap between fair fees and actual fees paid by local authorities, and the impact of the living wage and pension obligations – these are just some of our challenges.” Whatever method providers use to adjust the balance sheet, there are still substantial questions remaining as to whether providers can continue to deliver person-centred care on the back of these fiscal pressures. Kevin continues, “we are fully private, and this enables us to provide an outstanding person- centred service and give people life experiences that maximise their enjoyment. Thousands of providers are heading down this pathway so that their quality of service doesn’t get compromised, and many others see their privately funding clients subsidising the local authority funded people. This two-tier system has operated ever since I managed the home in the 80’s. As it happens, under Kevin’s highly experience managerial eye, Hale Place is performing in a realm of its own, despite the pressures being exerted upon the private provider. “We had the first two care homes in Kent to be rated ‘outstanding’ by CQC,” Kevin says proudly, “and have enjoyed exemplary inspection reports ever since 1988.” In the past couple of years alone, Kevin himself has received national and local recognition from his peers for his services to social care and several staff have been acknowledged for their dedication and quality provision. To what does Kevin attribute these results? The company is separated from most providers because it concentrates on delivering a truly personalised service which, in his opinion, can only be delivered effectively in small, homely environments. “We enjoy 100 per cent occupancy,” he adds, “and in fact we have a long waiting list and a stable staff force because we give people what they want, we value everyone, and we walk the walk. Success is measured in many ways, Kevin reflects, and to him, the best way to measure this is through exemplary service-user experience, hence why it is the primary goal of Hale Place Care Homes. Heaping praise upon his team, Kevin singles them out as being at the core of enhancing people’s lives and achieving their goals through the work each person does. “The wonderful testimonials that we receive are evidence to their quality provision, and these are shared with everyone through our website, emails and testimonial boards around the home. A stable staff base, a fully motivated and qualified team, a person-centred culture and quality-driven focus, is why the business has a 100 per cent Hale Place Care Solutions, a specialist family owned dementia provider, has been providing support and personal care to people for over 28 years. The two registered care homes, day centre and domiciliary service, offers people a seamless service with the continuity of a fully qualified care team who can continue to support them as their dementia progresses, and are recognised as such in the Outstanding Quality of Care Awards 2016. 1609JC01 T