National Care Group navigates challenging year to grow revenue and improve quality

Mike Cleasby, quality director of National Care Group

National Care Group, a provider of residential, home care and supported living services, has revealed its achievements over the last 12 months and its strategy for the year ahead in its latest Quality Account.

Recognised by The Sunday Times as being one of the top three fastest growing private companies in the UK during 2020, the business said its rapid growth has come about through the acquisition and merger of 40 care service business functions over a period of four years.

The group, which cares for adults with a learning disability, autism, acquired brain injury and mental health issues, has grown its annual turnover from £5m in 2016/17, to £66m by the end of financial year 2020/21. Turnover to April 2021 rose 8% on last year.

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In four years, the business has grown to support over 1,250 individuals in 249 locations across England and South Wales and now employs over 2,400 colleagues.

The Quality Account discusses the unique challenges experienced over the last 12 months and reveals the approach behind the group’s success. For example, its investment in improved governance systems and processes resulting in improved ratings and the adaptation of audits to allow a rapid response to evolving government guidance, the report said.

In 2020/21, the majority of the group’s CQC registered services in England were rated ‘Good’ or above, and all services in Wales were rated ‘Good’.

Mike Cleasby (pictured), quality director of National Care Group, said: “The Quality Account creates an opportunity for us to stop and reflect on what National Care Group has been able to achieve despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also an insight into the pressure that dedicated care professionals have been under and our unique response.

“Key to the last year has been the way that we have embedded and built upon a number of quality initiatives. It is pleasing to see our governance systems and processes have been recognised by regulators, leading to further improvements in our ratings. It’s now the ideal time to look ahead and put new priorities into action, allowing the individuals we support to maximise their potential and backing our colleagues even further.”

In addition to highlighting the role of gaining feedback and actioning comments from individuals and families, the report also reiterated the importance of communication and support between colleagues.

National Care Group funded, either directly or via The Apprenticeship programme, training and initiatives including the ‘Skills for Care’ certificate and leadership development programmes over the last year. It also continued to support the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) helpline and introduced new wellbeing initiatives for its team including Mental Health First Aider training.

Cleasby said: “None of what was achieved throughout the year could have been accomplished without the dedication, determination, and creativity of the many colleagues across the organisation. The long periods of lockdown and the ongoing restrictions on access have been challenging for many, but because of the way teams worked together locally, the management of the challenges faced has been exceptional.”

The release of the Quality Account signifies the way forward for National Care Group.

Three priorities for the year ahead have been defined, including the development of a system to enhance advocacy for the individuals it supports, to further involve individuals in inspecting and monitoring the quality of services and embedding STOMP principals within its services which relates to a wider commitment to ensure those with a learning disability and or autism are not over medicated.

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Sarah Clarke

The author Sarah Clarke