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25 Years of Quantum Care - Successful Not-for-Profit Delivery of Care Services across Hertfordshire

Quantum Care (picture from Quantum Care)2017 marks the Silver Anniversary' of the founding of Quantum Care - a not-for-profit social enterprise delivering care mainly to elderly people and mainly in premises owned by Hertfordshire County Council. Quantum Care is an important and valued contractor delivering care to over 2,000 people at 23 homes across Hertfordshire as well as at three other homes in Bedfordshire and Essex.

Apprenticeship Scheme

Quantum Care are always looking for ways to develop and improve ways of delivering care. They value their staff and place great emphasis on training and staff development. They are committed to working with local colleges to help make the social care sector a respected and professional occupation with defined and accessible career paths.

They have now launched an apprenticeship scheme building on their existing staff development programme, which will be delivered by a dedicated in-house Training Team. Apprentices will able to gain nationally recognised qualifications in Health & Social Care and in Dementia Care.

Apprentices will be employed on a full-time contract and will be paid £6.00/hour, which is £2.50/hour above the National Apprentice Minimum Wage. On completing the apprenticeship pay will be £8.60/hour - £1.10/hour more than the National Living Wage (irrespective of age).

Quantum Care believe that that this emphasis on staff development, plus attention to their employees' own health and well-being, has enabled them to maintain a stable and loyal work force. This is reflected in 60% of their Home Managers being people who started their careers with Quantum Care.

Success Recognised

Quantum Care were recently short-listed in three categories of the prestigious Third Sector Care Awards. In the East of England Section of the Great British Care Awards two members of staff were recognised with awards: Maureen Copley with the Care Worker Award and Dawn Curtis with the Frontline Leadership Award for her initiative in setting up an End of Life Lounge for her serice users.

A Research Partnership

Quantum Care has recently started a 3-year research partnership at its Belmont View care home in Hoddesdon with the University of Hertfordshire. It involves providing targetted sensory stimulation sessions to those living with advanced dementia. The objective is to identify the elements of best practice in dementia care.

Hertfordshire County Councillor for Tring, Nick Hollinghurst commented, "Although the care sector is under great strain at the moment from financial pressure and recruitment problems, Quantum Care has always delivered high quality care to residents with good value for money for the Hertfordshire taxpayers. I congratulate them on their sustained success over the last 25 years."

"Apprenticeships were something that our Party Leader Vince Cable revived when he served as Secretary of State for Business in the Coalition Government. Since then they've proved their worth both in terms of contributing to social mobility and in bringing people into the labour market. I'm very pleased Quantum Care are investing in this scheme, especially at a time when care workers are harder to recruit. In the longer term I hope this will serve to enhance the status of care workers - really important people who deserve better pay and conditions, in my opinion - and help established a qualifications-based career structure for the sector.

"Finally I am also delighted to see Quantum Care performing well as a model for the social enterprise sector. Being not-for-profit means than any surplus can be re-invested in the business and used to improve quality of service, pay and conditions for the staff and bring in efficiencies that increase value for money for the local taxpayers. Far too many commercial care providers have been set up by private equity firms intent on high returns and often using elaborate and complex property and financing arrangements that have often brought them to the brink of collapse."

Quantum Care's motto is "For care, not profit" - it's a good one!"