Health and Wellbeing

Care agencies are pulling out the stops to reach their clients at home

John Powell of Unicare Devon walking back from Abbotskerswell

Posted on: 2 March 2018

Care agencies are pulling out the stops to reach their clients at home.

Devon County Council and the NHS are working closely with them to provide additional support.

Care agencies are working together right across Devon to support each other’s care provision, to ensure that people most at risk are receiving the support they need. And the agencies are receiving help from local residents and community groups.

One care agency, Bay Care, has clients across Torbay, South and West Devon. They provide home care for people with dementia, and end of life care.

Katrina Green, Director of Bay Care, said:

“We have around 250 clients that we know well. We know who’s high risk and we’re prioritising our support to them.

“The conditions are extremely challenging. Many of usual routes are impassable, so we appealed yesterday for help from local volunteers with 4 x 4 vehicles. They’ve been incredible, helping my care and support workers get as close as they can to our high risk category clients.

“My staff are amazing too. We had a member of the care team walk 3 hours yesterday for a single visit to a lady at high risk, and we’ve care workers today on foot, while roads are still impassable.

“Today, I’m expecting 3 hours of care contact with the client to take about 10 hours of care worker’s time. It’s hard, but it makes all the difference to the clients we’re seeing.

“We’ve also got 7 members of the team telephoning clients every 3 hours to make sure that they’re well, that they’ve got food and fluids, and that they’re warm. We’re speaking to their family members and sometimes neighbours, to ask them to pop round to check on them.”

And different care agencies are supporting each other’s work. Bay Care is receiving support from the care agencies Mears and Unicare Devon to ensure that clients most at risk are seen and supported.

Michael Trainor of Mears, said:

“We’ve got staff and their partners with 4 x 4s offering extra shifts to cover those visits that may ordinarily be missed. Some are having to stay overnight in hotels just so that they’re available the following day. We’ve also had offers of support from physios and care homes, to deliver care or meals.”

4 x 4 driver volunteers are in demand by care agencies across Devon to help them reach people.

Katrina from Bay Care said: “The help from our volunteer 4 x 4 drivers is really important. If anyone in the Torbay, South or West Devon area would like to help us reach clients in more isolated areas, please give me a ring. We’d appreciate your support.” Her number is 07885 550164.

Unicare Devon is also requesting 4 x 4 driver volunteers in the Teignmouth and Newton Abbot area. John Powell, Director at Unicare Devon said:

“We’ve had and still have staff who like myself this morning walked 3 hrs for a 30 minute call … yesterday we had multiple cars abandoned and staff walking until nearly 10:30pm in a blizzard to ensure high risk clients needs are met.” Offers of help are welcome, to 07411 422799.

Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for adult social care said:

“Care providers across the county are doing everything they can, going out of their way to ensure that people are getting the support they need. My hat off to them, and to the volunteer 4 x 4 drivers who are helping them.

“I’d like to also remind us all to give thought to elderly or otherwise vulnerable family members, neighbours and friends. Be in touch. Make sure they’re OK and that they’ve got what they need to stay warm, fed and hydrated. Even if you don’t know your neighbours, now’s a good time to be in touch. And I want to pay tribute to the hundreds of dedicated care workers and support staff who have battled through the weather to provide care and support to thousands of vulnerable people right across Devon.”

Geraldine Benson, Principle Social Worker for Devon County Council and lead officer for Devon’s Proud to Care campaign, said:

“Care and support workers work hard day in day out. This is special though, and it shows the commitment that care and support workers have to their clients. And they do it because they want to. They’re a great advert for care industry, and great ambassadors for our Proud to Care campaign.”

For more information about the Proud to Care campaign, visit

2 comments on “Care agencies are pulling out the stops to reach their clients at home

  1. April says:

    Our special kind hearted carers have gone above and beyond to ensure that our most vulnerable service users received at visit.
    Well done everyone.

  2. tony says:

    Absolutely fantastic response. Very proud of the people of Devon

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