A NEW care consultancy is being launched which provides a unique blend of strategic and operational support unavailable anywhere else in the UK.

Raising the Bar in Care has been launched by Sue Jones, from Penrhyn Bay, and Helen Butler and Tina Chapman, based in Grantham, Lincolnshire.

The “only business of its kind” in the country, the trio say there is “huge demand” for support and guidance on future-proofing health and social care organisations and services as the industry continues to grow significantly.

With more than 20 years’ experience in the financial services and care arenas, Sue says a further rise in the number of people living to age 85 and above – expected to double by 2043– means the industry needs to prepare itself now for changes in legislation and technology.

“Our passion is to professionalise the care sector, not just raising the bar in quality and standards but raising the bar in leadership and business development,” said the mum-of-two.

“For too long it’s been an industry where you don’t need a high level of qualification to do the job, and the wages are not commensurate with the very valuable role professional care workers undertake.

“Care is expensive, and professionalism should reflect that. There are areas of best practice and some incredible private and public sector groups out there doing an amazing job, but generally, there is still a lot that need help and support to reach their potential and provide outstanding outcomes for clients.”

Susan added: “As the number of older people continues to rise and rise there is a lot of research and innovation taking place behind the scenes, notably in the development of digital technology to deal with a massive surge in demand.

“A lot of organisations have not anticipated these moves; they are not ready. We are working in partnership with some of the leading companies in the industry and hope to collaborate with more from 2020 onwards, as the focus on making improvements ramps up.”

Helen echoed those words and said there is a need for a one-stop-shop delivering legislative and HR support to private sector care groups and independent residential homes.

Their service also includes business development, HR, governance, quality, compliance, marketing, technology support and more.

“Raising the Bar in Care offers an end-to-end service not seen anywhere else in the UK,” she said.

“There is free care available but it’s a very basic time-and-task offering, and it does not meet the needs of the individual. Loneliness, mental health and wellbeing are becoming more and more of an issue, they are a massive problem in care, and a spotlight needs to be shined on that.”

The team will operate from Lincolnshire and North Wales and look to open an office in Cheshire in the future.

Already working with franchises and independent care businesses, they will focus on strategy and innovation to help businesses reach their full potential and outsource, where necessary, to reduce costs.

“There is a social crisis in health and social care and that’s only set to worsen if companies don’t look to the horizon at their long-term plans and goals, rather than the day to day,” said Tina.

“We all have experience in the care industry and bring different skillsets to the business, but with the same goal.

“That’s for the UK health and social care sector to be held up as a beacon of excellence, both in training and developing staff, offering high-quality support and setting new standards for other regulated industries to follow.

“There are big challenges ahead for the industry, but if we work together, we can achieve these aims.”

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) recently revealed the UK population is set to rise by 3m (or 4.5%) in the next decade, from around 66.4m in mid-2018. Last year, there were 1.6m people aged 85 years and over; by mid-2043, this is projected to nearly double to 3m.

Meanwhile, the charity Age UK last year reported that almost 1,000 elderly people a day were being admitted to hospital needlessly due to the crisis in social care.

For more information, visit the website www.raisingthebarincare.co.uk