The company was formed in Leighton Buzzard in January 2010 and gained CQC accreditation in June 2010. Since then the company has grown organically in and around Leighton Buzzard and, in February 2016, we bought another home care provider which is now called 1st Homecare (Oxford) Ltd as systems and processes were standardised across the group.
Our carers are not ‘just carers’. They are often the only people our clients see all day. As one client said ‘They always arrive with a smile on their faces and bring life to what otherwise are often long and empty days’.
Our carers are often the first people to notice that a client’s mood has changed, or that he or she is no longer is in his/her normal state of health. In fact they are very often the first to suggest that a doctor or a nurse should be called just in case the change is something serious.
All these attributes are what makes the difference between a good carer and an average carer and we genuinely believe we have a high proportion of good carers at 1st Homecare. They are the ones that ring the office to remind us that a prescription should be picked up from the chemist or that the wife of a client has asked for more milk in her husband’s tea. Maybe a small detail for some but we will do our best to oblige.
We have a rigorous set of procedures which allow us to find out who are the good carers – before they are employed we obtain references and a DBS check, we interview them and then we put them on a 5 day course at our in-house Training Centre, and then they shadow our more experienced carers. Only after this are they allowed to visit clients on their own.
The process doesn’t stop there- we then have a spot check system whereby they will be observed by one of our Senior carers while they are at a client’s premises and a written report will be placed on file and acted on where appropriate. On top of this we have a refresher course training programme and also a supervision and appraisal system.
By way of emphasising the importance of training we pay our carers to attend courses – something which many of our competitors choose not to do. We believe that better training means better carers, which means better care and more clients – a virtuous circle.
Summed up by one of carers, when interviewed by our Regulator, The Care Quality Commission; ‘I love my job’.
John and his wife, Annabella, changed career paths in May 2012 and bought into 1st Homecare Solutions with a view to providing high quality, compassionate care in the Leighton Buzzard and Aylesbury area. In 2016 Civicare Oxford was purchased which changed its name to 1st Homecare (Oxford) Ltd in October 2016. ... Read more He has a Finance and Operations background having worked for a variety of companies in London, Johannesburg and Madrid. John and Annabella live near Aylesbury with their two young children. Read less
Annabella qualified as a solicitor in 1996 and has worked in London as an employment lawyer at an international law firm and in London and Moscow as an in-house lawyer with a major oil company. Her current responsibilities include Training, Compliance and HR.
Emma has worked for 1st Homecare since it was set up in 2010. She has worked both as a carer and also as our care co-ordinator. She is now Finance Manager covering both offices, with responsibility for bookkeeping and payroll.
Belinda joined us in 2015 to help with the office administration. Her work covers the recruitment process, the paperwork (online or in paper format) for the care visits that we make, updating training records, administration relating to care records, and other administrative duties.
Chantelle was promoted from Senior Carer to Branch Manager in April 2017. She has 6 years' experience in both domiciliary care and learning disabilities.
Teresa-Marie has worked in the care industry for over 10 years. She started in the community and went on to working in offender health based in establishments for over 4 years. She worked very closely with drug users and alcoholics on a daily basis assisting with their detox. She qualified as phlebotomist when working in the prison sector and last year she returned to community care working alongside the Oxfordshire district nursing team taking bloods from clients who found it difficult to visit their GP surgeries.
Mandy has worked within the Healthcare Sector for over 9 years, 7 of these within the NHS. Her experience ranges from Trauma, District Nursing, Phlebotomy, Reablement and End of Life care. As she said recently, 'I have a real passion and drive for promoting clients' independence along with empowering them. It is important to me that every carer provides care to our clients in a way they would like their family members to be cared for, it is easy to recruit someone who sees being a carer as a job but less easy to recruit someone who sees being a carer as a career. I enjoy coming to work each day and it is a privilege to be able to enable clients to remain in their own homes and to be able to make a real difference to their lives'.