Welcome, I’m Maddy. Thank you for reading my first ever blog! (I’m sure I will get better – the more blogs I write!).

I’m one of the founders here at love2care, the business was established by myself and my business partner David. David had mentored me and was my line manager for over 6 years prior to love2care, he has been a significant person in my career & I truly owe him credit for where I am today.

Love2care was created because we had been in an unfortunate situation where we were working with an employer who didn’t share the same values that we did individually. It almost felt that we had no choice but to create love2care.

I needed to strip back the red tape, and be in a position which makes a difference to our community but also fulfills me as a person.

Recently – I have been asked (frequently even) what makes love2care different as an organisation. I have to pause for a short while when I answer that, because in the grand scheme of things, we are a home care provider, providing care services to people in their own homes. We are a provider, regulated by the Care Quality Commission (rated outstanding in both inspections may I add!), we provide support with bathing, showering, medication support, shopping, meal preparation and a whole lot more.

But we are so much more than that.

I almost can’t describe it, it’s kind of a feeling. You have to see it, feel it and then believe it. But I am going to try and give you a small sense of who we are.

Firstly, I’m proud to say that love2care is a family, many of us have been in care for a long long time, and we have seen and worked in other settings. And we have learnt from those settings. For people who have distant family members, being apart of a team who love and trust one another is everything. Sometimes, yes granted the family may bicker or have disputes over different opinions, however each person we love and care for is always at our centre. So whilst we may have different opinions we always seem to find the right solution – sometimes compromise!

I am going to give you some examples of recent situations – to people and staff who have needed us. Whilst this is not a promise that we may be able to act in the same way each time, it’s a promise that we work with compassion and love and if we can make a difference you bet we will do everything we can.

I want to say though – that the way we react is natural, it’s not to satisfy our regulators – whilst we do everything to make sure we are compliant. It is always from the heart and for the right reasons.

Ok so… Where do I start! I am bound to miss something out but bare with me. I’m writing this as I fly back from Cyprus after a 3 day break, and our flight has been delayed thanks to Storm Dennis!

When over in Cyprus – I dabbled a little in and out of the teams internal communications, just checking in – and seeing what’s going on. Told you I love work!
I noticed in one of our ladies channels, she had received some really sad news. I couldn’t let go of it, I tried to call her. I just wanted her to know that I was thinking of her, and that she had my well wishes. I couldn’t get through. And I didn’t want her to panic so I sent her a message – just reassuring her I would call when I was back and that I was thinking of her.

The day before my holiday, another one of our ladies fell really poorly. It was heartbreaking to see, and the team was finding it hard. Supporting someone for almost three years and seeing them in front of you drastically change is hard. We needed to act quickly in order to make her as comfortable as we could. She has no family locally. So I was speaking to relatives 13 hours away, staff was coming in outside of their working hours to sit with her, so she wasn’t alone, we were going round to all different pharmacies collecting prescriptions, phoning local friends, asking the local vicar to visit, reading chapters of her favourite book to her, asking healthcare professionals to visit. Going out to the shops to get whatever was needed and if we couldn’t source it in one, we would go to another. It was all hands on deck, to ensure she and the team had everything and every bit of information needed. The sense of family in that scenario is enough to bring tears down your cheeks. It certainly did for me.

December – one of our lovely ladies who works for us, had an operation which meant she wasn’t able to work for approx 6 weeks. We provided care to her, everyday where a family member wasn’t there to support. I can assure you this wasn’t charged. You’ll be delighted to know she’s now fully recovered and back to work!

A big passion of mine, is to share our learning and everyday experiences with local providers and managers and almost create a space where people don’t feel in competition with others. That’s why I have taken the opportunity locally to coordinate/run and facilitate our local care managers network group where every quarter over 100 local managers come together to share learning and practice.
For me, this is something I love – because seeing people in a room, talking, being outside of their comfort zones to almost better each of our organisations to me shows courage, and provides me with assurance that we all want better services.

Speaking of better services. I am committed to improve our local services. Big picture would be nationally improve services – but a girl has to walk before she can run!
Love2care – is an amazing organisation full of people who love what they do, but also know we can do better. Sometimes, unfortunately we are held back by “the system” and by budgets, and what We call “the man”. And I want to get the mans attention, challenge the man and his thinking and ask him for him to have a little faith in a group of caring, ambitious people who want to Pilot new ways of working. Starting with Individual Service Funds, and also allowing front line care staff have delegates duties to individual personalised support planning also known as Independent Support Brokerage. 🤘

Going back to people we support, have you ever considered what may happen to people’s care if they go into hospital? When privately funded – people have the option to keep their care open, so they return with the same team, same visits etc as they did before hand. You can guarantee one of our leadership team will be visiting in Hospital! However for local authority funded people sometimes the L/A may say they can’t find the care – we will often challenge this. So much so that our amazing team visited a lady for over 3 months daily – when she was in hospital. This meant her discharge home was safe, responsive and effective. We were able to adapt to her needs. Constantly be updated and even had training in the hospital instead of getting community nurses to train.

Have you noticed – we don’t use the term Client or Service User? People – please!

The above situation was also very similar for a gentleman who was admitted for a respite break to the local hospice. The local hospice asked if we would continue care throughout his stay. Of course! This meant his discharge was safe, effective, and the continuity of care is so important.

I can’t begin to say that this is just a small list of everyday things the team naturally all do; and Maybe you are thinking that this would be expected in all other settings and providers, unfortunately it isn’t.

I really do hope – that the man gives me an opportunity to change this.

I’ll keep you updated!

With Love,
Maddy x