2021 LEADERS IN CARE AWARDS: Home Care Provider of the Year, sponsored by CarePlanner


From not-for-profit independents to large corporates, this award recognises the organisations that have led the pack in terms of providing outstanding care over the past 12 months, despite the many challenges they have faced.

We are delighted to announce that the 2021 shortlist includes the following names:

Bluebird Care

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Over the last twelve months, Bluebird Care’s offices have gone from strength to strength, providing invaluable home care services to customers and launching industry-leading initiatives during the worst public health crisis in a century. For example, at Bluebird Care’s offices in Mid and North Hampshire, a rapid response service was introduced to ease congestion and maximise bed capacity in their local hospitals. Elsewhere in the network, Bluebird Care South Tyneside has developed and strengthened its Palliative and End of Life services. The care team adopted the Gold Standard Framework (GSF) ensuring that individuals pass away in their preferred place of care, and that the individuals they support are empowered to make personal choices. Bluebird Care offices are also unafraid to explore how and where they can improve. The South Tyneside team, for example, has introduced a new assessment named ‘Forget Me Knot’ that ensures target outcomes have been met and effective and personalised communication has been provided to all customers. This allows the team to measure impact efficiently, reflect on its practices, and ultimately improve the quality of care it delivers.


Cera is a digital-first home care company which has expanded rapidly to over 6,000 staff, delivering 30,000 plus healthcare visits a day, and grown from zero to $200m revenues in just over four years. Its services include nurse and carer visits, home medication delivery services, and telehealth calls, providing holistic in-home healthcare. In the past year, Cera has innovated its technology to predict and prevent health deteriorations through use of its digital platform combined with in-home monitoring of vital signs. The company now licences its technology, which is now in use by over 2,000 businesses nationwide, with a new business signing on every day. During the pandemic, Cera has delivered over 10 million healthcare visits to the UK’s oldest and most vulnerable, while creating 10,000 jobs – retraining staff who lost jobs in sectors such as airlines, hospitality and retail, to work in care at Cera. It has also licensed its recruitment technology to the UK Government Department of Health, allowing 50,000+ people to secure care sector jobs through our platform. Cera also plans to recruit 500 Afghan refugees arriving in the UK over the next five years.

Helping Hands

Helping Hands is growing faster than ever before, introducing 42 new operational branches in the past 12 months, taking its total number of registered branches up to 126 across England and Wales. As a result of this market-leading growth, its number of customer hours have increased by 23% in the last 12 months. Helping Hands has also created a new regional structure with the introduction of four regional visiting care directors and a live-in care director to drive the business forward. With these more intricate services, this new structure saw the development of additional live-in care manager roles, all of whom support a maximum of 20 customers, lowering caseloads and improving the service to both customers and carers within the live-in service. In addition, the provider has introduced regional support with compliance and HR business partners for all four regions to ensure employee support and compliance are always maintained. During the pandemic CEO Andy Hogarth and Group Managing Director Karyn felt it imperative to provide regular and clear communication with employees and customers, and so weekly video communications were made. It also launched a recruitment campaign that offered employment opportunities to individuals who had been furloughed or made redundant. In the first three months of the pandemic, monthly visiting care starters increased by 17%.

Home Instead

Despite the uncertainty brought by the pandemic, Home Instead delivered 8.1 million hours of care in 2020, more than in any previous year and a 15% increase on 2019. Meanwhile, client and caregiver numbers have increased by 7% and turnover has reached £200 million. Other notable achievements over the last 12 months include acquiring Supercarers to integrate live-in care into its service offering. This has been rolled out across the network and is now delivering 45,000 hours of care each month. Home Instead is also now offering specialist training so that caregivers are able to carry out clinical observations and some clinical procedures that would otherwise been carried out by a nurse, GP or other health professional. By extending the service in this way, the provider can ease the burden on the NHS. Home Instead is also committed to being an employer of choice and has introduced new measures to support cargivers, including an Employee Assistant Programme to provide access to professional advice, resources and counselling, and an annual engagement survey to allow carers to anonymously feedback about the business and their role. Home Instead has continued to raise awareness of job opportunities, as well as educating families about home care as an option. In February 2021, the provider partnered with ITV to be the sole programme sponsor for Love Your Garden featuring Alan Titchmarsh.

The Good Care Group

The Good Care Group (TGCG) recognises that people are its most valuable assets and in the past 12 months people in management positions have participated in a ‘cultural development programme’ with an external ‘Culture Consultant’ which teaches them coaching skills to be able to ‘help others to help themselves’. A group of ‘cultural ambassadors’ have been appointed to act as role models and to coach others through difficult situations in the workplace. The provider has also introduced a five-day induction programme to ensure professional carers have the right skills to succeed in their role. The training features an end-of-life module endorsed by Palliative Care Consultant Dr Mannix, whilst the ‘Culture and Communication’ module echoes the work embedded throughout the organisation with the Culture Consultant. TGCG’s commitment to quality care has also been unwavering and the provider has made a huge difference to clients’ lives as a result. Over the last 12 months, chest infection rates reduced by 28%, falls reduced by 5% and clients experienced 16% fewer hospital admissions than in the previous year. TGCG uniquely employs a Consultant Admiral Nurse, which provides a specialist nurse-led service, and a dedicated occupational therapist, which recently developed a ‘positive risk-taking agreement’ specifically for clients at high risk of falls, but with the capacity to take risks. The agreement focuses on the client’s goals and wishes and is highly person-centred.

Tickets and tables are now available for the Leaders in Care Awards can be booked HERE.

Any companies interested in commercial opportunities surrounding the Leaders in Care Awards should contact:

Josh Waddell
0203 176 5458

Tags : home care provider of the yearLeaders in Care Awards
Sarah Clarke

The author Sarah Clarke