Care Management Group south west Employee Reviews

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Avoid at all costs
Support Worker (Current Employee) –  Wiltshire9 January 2019
When you go in for your interview, you are drawn in by the pros. Full training, exciting activities, a good team, support etc. And to being with you see all of these things happening. However, a few months in at that soon changes.

Firstly, you need a 'face that fits'. If not, you may as well leave before your probation is up. Unfortunately for those of us that actually care about the individuals, you will be discriminated against by a 'clicky' team of people. These people will appear to be your best friends and so supportive. However, as soon as you disclose any information or discuss anything confidential with senior staff, the rest of the 'click' will always find out. Hostility and inappropriate jokes are a couple of the many skills that these people have. You'll be left feeling uncomfortable, anxious and paranoid.

Secondly, 'fun activities'? Are you joking? You'll be lucky if you get to go to town on the bus. Due to a change in employer, funds have been cut back so unfortunately this means so have some activities. This is not all CMG's fault, however, staff will make any excuse not to take an individual. 'Oh the weather is too bad'. 'They are feeling anxious today' are just a couple of the many excuses you'll hear. Remember that click I told you about? Yeah, they can get away with it. On the other hand, if you aren't in the 'club' and actually have a genuine reason for not being able to complete an activity, you may as well give yourself a disciplinary. Having worked within the company for the past few years, I honestly hold my hands up and say, not one individual
  more... has progressed in their development. This is so sad and unfair.

Thirdly, if you want to be single, friendless and have no children/family this is a great job for you. Unfortunately, a lot of staff are not happy with the conditions we are asked to work in, meaning staff shortages have caused managers to put extra pressure on their current staff. Long hours, minimal breaks and over contracted hours are to blame If the above issues had been resolved however, I feel that this wouldn't be the case.

And finally, if you like to be around people who are 'mentally unstable' this is also a bonus CMG have. Staff plastering their issues all over social media about how they want to kill themselves and feel depressed, leaves other staff feeling scared, confused and annoyed. If my child was being supported by someone who feels like this and can't support themselves, I would be mortified. Again, this is an error on management front not solving the issues and addressing them directly

All in all, this could be a great company to work for as it has plenty of potential, but unfortunately the staff that are currently there have let them down.
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Pros
Self satisfaction from supporting
Cons
Long hours, rubbish pay, clicky staff, poor support
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Official response from Care Management Group south west
16 January 2019

Dear Reviewer

Thank you for taking the time to provide your review. I am pleased to see that you really found our training useful and that activities/staff support was good during your first few months. It would be really beneficial if you could contact our Head Office to share more detailed information of what you feel you have experienced since that time. This will help us to drill down and understand what may have changed with regards team dynamics, support and why you feel the activities that you initially supported have changed.

I can however assure you as per our internal, ‘Staff Wellbeing’ information notice (COR652 issued in October 2018) that funding for activities have not in the slightest been reduced and that feedback from staff was taken on board with regards hours of work. Since the 01 November only contracted hours of work have been scheduled with all staff (unless staff have specifically requested overtime to be automatically scheduled) being given full autonomy to choose their own overtime.

Unfortunately we do not have access to personal social media outside of work and are therefore unaware of what private posts staff are posting. It seriously concerns us that you feel that some staff are not safe to support of which we need to be aware of to ensure the people we support are safeguarded.

It is imperative that we all follow our duty of care and report any safety concerns through the correct whistleblowing channels as detailed on all of our service notice boards. Alternatively, please contact Head Office on 01934 429448 and speak to our HR or Regional  more... Manager who will ensure confidentiality, in line with our Whistleblowing Policy Procedure.  less

2.0
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CMG take over is demolishing the good work of HCA
Support worker (Former Employee) –  Taunton, Somerset13 October 2018
Unfortunately, after CMG took over the company things went down hill quickly. Management are so wrapped up with finding new staff and sorting out rotas because of staff shortages that they have made the current staff team feel unvalued and less motivated. CMG seem to think that £8.11 is a decent wage to pay its staff, who face many challenges in their roles. Ultimately the pay is not reflective of the work you will have to do, and the stress that the dysfunctional service will bring.

CMG feels it's appropriate to allow staff to begin working with challenging behaviour without first providing relevant training to deal with these situations, and therefore put new and existing staff in potentially dangerous situations because of this.

Communication is abysmal from management down to support workers, and key information about the support given to the individuals in the service gets missed on a daily basis.

Everything is revolved around money, and saving money and seems to take precedence, even over the support we provide. Yet because of such poor communication, the service cant even get a weekly shop right, and most of the time shopping wont even get ordered. And when it does, there is always items missing. But issues like this never get addressed and new systems are never thought of or considered.

When it comes down to it supporting the individuals is great, but it is clouded by and made extremely difficult by all the other mountain of issues, with no end in sight. Save yourself the stress and time and look elsewhere, 9/10 other services in Taunton area pay better,
  more... because you will be on £8.11 when you start.  less
Pros
Supporting the individuals in the service
Cons
Everything else - pay, hours, lack of staff, communication, Cmg.
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Official response from Care Management Group south west
23 October 2018

Dear reviewer

The senior management team at CMG south west and Manager of the service have been incredibly concerned to see that you have felt so disappointed in the service that you previously worked.

We feel passionately about providing the right support to both the individuals we support, and the staff that work for us. We acknowledge that sometimes we may make mistakes, but I would hope that the majority of the people who do work with us would agree that if they were to raise a concern, we would always treat it seriously and look at what improvements could be made to ensure positive health and well-being for all. Our focus is not driven by money, or saving money, so we are saddened to see that this was your perception. To reassure you and others that may be reading this review, there have been no changes to budgets since we have joined with CMG, and we can only think this may have been confused with a slightly different way of us processing and recording expenditure.

CMG have an ethos centred around providing the right support and valuing the people who use our services and our employees, and have worked closely with us to ensure we continue the great work that we always have.

We are committed to ensuring that there is a consistent focus on clear communication at all levels across the service and so I am regretful that your experience has not been the case. If there has been a mistake with communication that we are made aware of then we will always review what could have worked better, and look at any lessons learned. We offer opportunity via team meetings, supervisions,  more... staff discussions, quality assurance questionnaires, training and audits to be able to share and discuss any concerns; and encourage staff to contribute to ideas of how any improvements could be made or positive suggestions taken forward. Our complaints policy also details how to raise concerns if there is ever a case where a staff member feels that they are not being addressed appropriately by direct line management. There have been no concerns raised about food ordering or shopping that have come to our attention prior to your review. However, we will be talking to our existing team to check if there is anything we have missed.

All our staff receive PBM (Positive Behaviour Management) training in order to obtain the skills and knowledge required to support individuals appropriately, focusing on minimising the risk of someone becoming unsettled, and knowing what action to take in the event that they do. This comprises of thorough training in regard to the theory of positive behaviour management as well as practical responsive skills.

In the rare event of an interim delay in when the new staff member can attend their PBM training, a full risk assessment is implemented to ensure the safety of the staff and individuals is considered. In addition, the staff member would have completed an e-learning PBM awareness course. The focus always being to ensure the staff member is able to attend their full training as soon as possible. As mentioned this would be an exception rather than ‘the norm’.

I acknowledge your feedback in regard to the hourly rate of pay, however we do offer a number of employee benefits when an employee joins our team including;
Employee reward scheme comprising of generous staff discounts, annual care awards – recognising employee’s contribution, excellent opportunities for career progression, a pension’s scheme, bank holiday premiums of double time, and excellent training opportunities.

We appreciate that there is a sector wide recruitment challenge at present, and as an organisation we are always seeking to support retention and recognise the fantastic work that our staff continue to do each and every day. The management team do work incredibly hard to ensure that rotas are well planned and will regularly need to review changes that occur due to sickness or other events, and this is unfortunately inventible. Managers are committed to ensuring we recruit people who share our values and ethos, however we would hope that this does not detract from the time in which the manager has available to spend with individuals and their staff team.

We appreciate your feedback and would welcome the opportunity to talk to you further about your experience. You can contact us on 01934 429448. Please ask for Kirsty Harris, HR Manager who will be happy to arrange an opportunity for us to discuss your feedback.
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2.0
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Comedy of errors
Support worker (Former Employee) –  Bridgwater, Somerset26 January 2018
The job was made to sound really good but once you start reality kicks in and you realise it’s nothing like you have been told. The hours are stupid you’re contracted for a certain amount but you fall well short or go over by a stupid amount, you never get thanked for doing the extra and constantly spoken down to
Pros
Can’t think of any
Cons
The whole thing
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Official response from Care Management Group south west
2 February 2018

I am sorry to read that you feel you have had a negative experience with us. We are always open to constructive feedback that will enable us to positively reflect on our systems and processes that are linked to staff support and wellbeing. This then enables us to review what may have gone wrong and implement clear action plans to resolve any staff issues or concerns and further improve staff welfare. If you have some specific information from your review that you would be prepared to share that would enable us to review the points you have raised in more depth it would be greatly appreciated.

5.0
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Great place to work
support worker (Former Employee) –  Trowbridge, Wiltshire22 January 2018
very busy and enjoyable place to work.rewarding job opportunities with great potential for promotion.Support from management is high and much needed as a very challenging job at times.
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Official response from Care Management Group south west
2 February 2018

Thank you so much for your positive feedback. We wish you well for the future.

4.0
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Rewarding
Support Worker (Current Employee) –  North Somerset, Somerset18 January 2018
As never worked in care before found the initial training outstanding, continues throughout employment with regular refreshers or in house training. In house training mainly done by one of the seniors, and is easy to understand, supportive and approachable with any questions. Staff team young but very supportive and friendly. Manager very approachable but can sometimes be single focused on a problem rather than delegate to seniors who know individuals better. Rotas are always well in advance giving you plenty of notice, the home supervisor who creates them will always try to rota you for your preferred shifts/days off . Yes the hours can be long (12/14 hr shifts) but go quickly, and you role is after all supporting an individual for their daily activities. The pay is good compared to other care company's, and most days its not like work, but if you work in care you do it for the rewards not the money!!! Highly recommend working in north somerset home!
Pros
Training, support, friendliness
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Official response from Care Management Group south west
2 February 2018

Thank you for taking the time to provide such a clear overview of the support worker role and what the job entails. I am sure your review will be very helpful for others who may be looking to work in care.

3.0
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Rewarding but challenging place to work
Support Worker (Former Employee) –  Wiltshire29 November 2017
The job itself was very rewarding, with a very great staff team and shift leaders. However some management don't always treat support workers with the respect deserved. The job can be quite stressful and sometimes and I personally felt the pay wasn't enough for the stress dealt with every time you went to work, however it is still one of the better paid jobs in care. Breaks are very short and you're not always guaranteed cover for one. On a daily basis, tasks were assigned that was not in the original job offer of a support worker e.g. Cleaning staff toilet, cleaning cars. But if you're looking for a place where you can build strong relationships with not only the team around you but also the individuals then you'll be in the right place working here. Training is great so you don't feel like you go into the job unprepared if you've never been in a job like this before. Despite all of the cons of working at HCA, I really enjoyed my time as an employee and don't not regret my decision to join the company.
Pros
Free dinner, rewarding job, fun days out, strong team
Cons
Long hours, very short breaks, not fantastic pay
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Official response from Care Management Group south west
18 December 2017

We are pleased that you found the job to be rewarding and that the training was ‘great’. Please be assured that we are constantly reviewing our support processes, therefore if there is anything specific that you would be prepared to share which would enable us to review our support processes further, then please do contact our HR department or Regional Manager.
Wherever possible we try to ensure that the individuals we support are included in the completion of daily living tasks to aid independence. We have recently reviewed our interview processes which now includes detailed information on what other tasks and responsibilities a support worker may have on any given day, to ensure new staff are fully informed prior to accepting a position with Homes Caring for Autism. Thank you for your feedback and we wish you well for the future.

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All consuming and unsupportive
Support worker (Current Employee) –  Trowbridge, Wiltshire8 November 2017
I currently work for this company and they have little respect for a work life balance. Only come to us if you put your job before all else, because this will be expected of you. Staffing seems to be always short, so you are forever picking up the slack.

The pay for what is expected is also abysmal. The training is the one good aspect. But falls short with lack of support from management and senior's
Pros
Good training
Cons
Days are often very long and sleep ins expected
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Official response from Care Management Group south west
16 November 2017

We are sorry that you feel this way. As you are still working for the company and if you are still experiencing difficulties please do follow our complaints process, or just call Tania Palmer, our Regional Manager, to discuss, because we truly don’t want employees to feel as you clearly do!

Unfortunately negative feedback like this does not help us to encourage and incentivise people to join the company, which would then help to relieve any staffing pressures that we may be currently experiencing. Thankfully we are aware from many other reviews and staff feedback that, despite the challenges we face recruiting in the Trowbridge area (and I can assure you that is an experience all care providers face in the area), that we have very many staff who feel valued and supported.

We are always keen to receive feedback and encourage people to use the suggestion boxes within each service or via supervision meetings. Alternatively, you are welcome to email our enquiries desk with any constructive information that would help to improve our support processes, or you can call Tania Palmer, our Regional Manager, to discuss further.

5.0
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Very hardworking team
Support Worker (Former Employee) –  Taunton, Somerset4 October 2017
I recently left HCA I worked there for 2.5 years in Taunton. The team are incredible and everyone looks after and supports each other. Would recommend
Pros
Supportive management in both work and personal live. Amazing team, a job that makes a difference and will make you smile uncontrollably every day.
Cons
No cons for me.. could go on for days with positives though.
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Official response from Care Management Group south west
7 October 2017

Thank you so much for taking the time to provide such positive feedback, it is very much appreciated. We wish you all the best on your new ventures!

5.0
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great employers
Senior Support Worker (Former Employee) –  Somerset17 August 2017
a forward thinking company who put the needs of the individuals they support 1st who put the needs of the individuals they care for 1st.
a great training environment where you are encouraged to learn and develop.
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Official response from Care Management Group south west
22 August 2017

Thank you for providing such positive feedback. We wish you well for the future. Tania Palmer, Regional Manager.

5.0
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Great place to work.
Support Worker (Current Employee) –  Bridgwater, Somerset27 July 2017
I've been working for this company for 4 months now so fairly new to it. But In that short time, I have enjoyed working here. The staff were friendly and welcoming from the start and management made sure everything is going well and would sort out any problem straight away. The individuals are fantastic to work with also. I've worked in care for four years and have to admit I am enjoying my job more now than any time in those years. The best thing for me personally is the company's view on personal development. If you want to move up they will do anything they can to make this happen. Very happy with them.
Pros
Personal development, individuals.
Cons
Initial payment.
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Official response from Care Management Group south west
1 September 2017

Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences so far with us. We work hard to offer all employees equal opportunity for personal development and I am pleased that you have already recognised this.

With regards to your comment that the ‘Initial Payment’ is a ‘Con’, let me explain it here. We clearly haven’t explained it well enough to you, so please talk to your manager, or to one of us at head office, as it is very much something that we provide in order to help new staff.

As you know, we provide everyone with a contract for guaranteed hours. No ‘zero hours’ contract here at Homes Caring for Autism. So for example,a full-time contract for ‘days’ would be 37.5 hours. As you are paid based on the actual hours worked, we have to pay monthly in arrears to enable the payroll process to function. So, when someone joins us in, say, ‘Month Two’, they work their hours during that month, however, our Payroll team are working out everyone else’s payments based on their hours worked in ‘Month One’. As a new employee, you don’t have any hours worked in ‘Month One’ because you weren’t employed by us then. So to help you with your cash-flow, we make an ‘Initial Payment’ in the ‘Month Two’ payroll which is based on the assumption that you will work your contracted hours within Month Two. You then get very quickly into the normal pattern of receiving full pay when being paid monthly in arrears. So it’s not a ‘loan’ or anything like that, it is simply a way to help you in that first month or so.

If someone then leaves us, for whatever reason, you simply get paid your month in  more... arrears plus your actual final month, so at that point you are paid up to every hour you have worked, plus having had the Initial Payment. We then simply deduct the Initial Payment and you are left with a normal month’s money as your leaving payment.

This is far from being a negative factor, we are doing it simply to help new employees to be able to pay rent, mortgage and food etc. Please talk to us and we can go through it again to make sure you’re happy with it.

As I have said before, it’s great to hear that you’re feeling good about your new job with us!
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5.0
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Great place to work
Support Worker (Current Employee) –  Taunton, Somerset13 July 2017
fantastic place to work and really quick respond system.
i applied late one evening was called back next day to arrange telephone interview, a week later i was sitting in first interview.
training is great and informative and loads of help and advice inside the home
Pros
quick response, very helpfull
Cons
n/a
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Official response from Care Management Group south west
28 July 2017

I would like to welcome you to our team and thank you for taking the time to write this review. It is always good for us to receive feedback detailing how positive people have found our recruitment and training processes. Thanks again and I hope that you enjoy the rest of your training just as much.

Tania Palmer
Regional Manager

5.0
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Great Training, Supportive Environment
Support Worker (Former Employee) –  Weston-super-Mare, Somerset11 July 2017
I worked for HCA for 2 years. The training provided was of a high standard that has set me up for a future in the care sector. The supportive environment provided by managers and senior staff gave a high quality of care to both service users and staff.

Incidents were well managed, debrief and support post incidents helped me greatly, able to continue working and do a better job as a result.

I would highly recommend working for this company, my only reason for not staying was moving counties and this care provider not having homes in the new area. I would definitely work for them again.
Pros
Good training. Staff well supported. Good quality of care.
Cons
This care provider is not available nation wide.
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3.0
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It can be fun
Care Worker (Former Employee) –  Wiltshire14 June 2017
I worked there for 5.5 years. I love the members on the floor, we all became like a family that support one another. There were lots of laughs and encouragement by your colleagues.

However, the hours are long and there is very little time for a work life balance. Majority of the time you're likely to go to work in the dark and come home in the dark, but always greeted with a friendly face.

On the side note, in house management can be very difficult to deal with. Lack of communication and floor staff don't get treated with the respect they deserve. It is a hard but rewarding job, especially if you're motivated to improving someone's quality of life and independence.

I have taken away a lot of knowledge from this job. How to be organised, methodical, vast knowledge in health and safety, policies, legislations, liaising with other health care professionals and families and learning that the people we support, are way more than what you see on paper. This company has helped a lot of individuals move forward with being independent. This goes very well when key workers, other employees and management work together and sometimes, it's persistence on the care staff for those changes - which is not fair.
Pros
Great support and personalies of carers. Lovely support from regional management team in weston.
Cons
Long hours, oncall on your days or weekends off. Work life balance very poor. Lack of management communication.
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3.0
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Understaffed & unorganised
Support Worker (Current Employee) –  Bridgwater, Somerset7 June 2017
Its not about the inviduals an dthere welfare it also not about th esupport worker welfare so they can give an dprovide a better life for all

Some of the persons in teh facility require more in depth help which is nor provided
instaed of taking in new tenants/ individuals they need t advise and look at if the employees are able to assist
Pros
working with the invidiuals
Cons
Long Hours
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Comment – 12 June 2017

Dear Reader

My name is Richard Smith. My wife, Shirley, and I set up HCA fourteen years ago because Shirl has a brother who is autistic with a learning disability and we were unhappy with the quality of the services we saw around us. So the desire, passion and ambition to provide great services for the individuals we support in our homes, and also to be a great employer for our staff, is 100% there.

We only have one service in Bridgwater, so I have to presume that the person who wrote this negative review works there. Of course it is always a concern that someone who works for us can feel this way and I urge you to contact me at our head office so we can meet and you can explain further what has happened to make you feel so bad about the service.

The manager of that service joined us about five years ago and is passionate about delivering great care and support, as are her senior team.

We run a Quality Assurance exercise every six months with families of the individuals we support, staff within every service and external professionals who visit the service. You will either have just received or will be about to receive one as we are doing it again right now. The last one at the end of last year for our Bridgwater service showed that 95% of our staff felt the way things were run was ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’. Comments from staff members included:

• “My direct line manager is always supportive and I feel comfortable approaching her and the home supervisors too.”
• “ I love the philosophy of the company and what we stand for”
• “We really have the individuals best interests  more... at heart”
• “ The team are brilliant J”
• “It’s always about the individuals”

Comments from families of the people we support included:

• “They always try”
• “Willingness to keep on trying”
• “His home is safe and comfortable”
• “The company has outstanding communications with me and his family”
• “Excellent staff training”

As it happens I personally visited our Bridgwater service last week onFriday 9th June, because I wanted to see the staff ‘Positivitree’ they have set up, so they had a quick way to give positive feedback in appreciation of each other. And whilst, of course, things are never perfect in life, it is clear from reading those comments that there are lots of great staff working there.

You have made a comment about poor organisation. Just last week our senior management team were discussing how difficult it is for such a busy service to stay organised with so much activity going on, so you’ll be pleased to know that we decided to run a 3 month trial period where we have either a Shift Leader or a Senior completely ‘off rota’ every day, from 8am to 8pm. That is additional to the Registered Manager and two Home Supervisors. The intention is that the off rota Shift Leader or Senior can provide a focal point to help things to be better organised. So we actually agree with you that we need to be better organised and have already made decisions to help regarding that. It’s not about people being poor at their jobs, it’s about us reflecting and making changes to team structure in order to help people to do their jobs. So you will see that change implemented very soon!!

You have said that we are understaffed and shouldn’t admit a new individual. The only people who have moved into our Bridgwater service in the last 12 months were in October last year, which was a young woman whose previous home was closed down because of abusive practice by the staff, and she is doing really well with us. Then a young man in February this year who moved across from one of our other homes and brought his staff team with him. So although I agree that we are still working to get the staff team up to our full complement, we have been quite careful about not rushing ahead with admissions and we have worked hard to keep the team supported by our Services Support Team, some specialist agency staff and some staff from our other homes who have transferred to help out. However, I am very mindful that we are not yet up to full strength and if you would like to call me to meet and discuss thoughts you may have from working within the service on how we can do better then, truly, I would welcome that.

As you know, Lesley Balmer is my PA on 01934-429448. Please call her and arrange to meet up so you can explain more because we all want to be great at what we do and you clearly feel let down.
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4.0
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Perfection Through Progression.
Management Team (Current Employee) –  Wiltshire28 April 2017
I have worked across the South West in many Autism specialist services and I can honestly state that the dedication to the people we support and the staff teams are second to none. In my experience Homes Caring for Autism are already leading this industry and continuously strive towards the vision of empowering autistic individuals, using passion and creativity, to achieve what others may never have thought possible.

The job roles are not easy, each role is hugely challenging but if you have the passion as drive to achieve excellence through thick and thin then there really isn’t a better company. The training is incredible and if you aim for perfection then progression opportunities will always be made available.

No company is perfect, what I really like about HCA is the transparency of when things have not gone well. There is an open approach to how it will be improved, the support is immediately put in place regardless of the cost and constant feedback reviews are requested from all staff members members in the company.

I am very happy within my job role and can say I have never been supported so well. This has been across multiple services in different locations. As stated earlier, the job role can be hugely challenging and is not for everyone, you will have days that test you as a person but the sense of achievement when all that hard work pays of is immense!
Pros
Support Given - Training and Development
Cons
Travel time (Personally)
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4.0
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Great place to work
Support Worker (Current Employee) –  Wiltshire20 April 2017
HCA is a brilliant company to work for. Promoting independence throughout, to our autistic individuals.

This is my first care job, coming into this company with no previous experience in care, i think the training in the company is good & thorough.
Pros
Days out
Cons
Long hours, initial advancement
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5.0
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Overall, fantastic company. Would highly recommend and I often praise the company and field of work I do.
Support Worker (Current Employee) –  Berrow, Somerset19 April 2017
This is the best job i have ever done. We all help promote independence, give high quality of life to all individuals we support, and always try hard to keep improving and move forward to help all people involved. If you would like a rewarding career then this is the job.
Pros
Pension scheme, rewards for attendance, fulfilling career.
Cons
As a family man, days without seeing kids. Due to sleep in commitments.
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4.0
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caring and supportive employer
Senior Support Worker (Current Employee) –  Trowbridge, Wiltshire17 April 2017
Ensuring the individuals are at the forefront of everything we do, using person centred approaches and individuals preferred communication.

I have worked for the company for just over 4 years and have progressed through different roles during this time; receiving support from line managers, area and regional managers.

There is high expectations from management as we strive to be the best autism specific care provider. These expectations are set out in a away that they are achievable and people in each job role can strive to reach each goal.

the hours can be long but this is balanced out by having 3/4 days a week off.
Pros
supportive management and good team members to work with
Cons
hours can be long for some people
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5.0
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Dedicated and supportive company.
Service Support Team Member (Current Employee) –  North Somerset, Somerset15 April 2017
Being part of the Service support team gives staff the opportunity to have the best of both worlds within the care field. As SST I not only have the ability to work with individuals but also have input into guidelines, care plans and risk assessments, a balance between working on the floor and office based work.
I have a real opportunity to get great training, great support, do something that makes you feel good about yourself, and a great opportunity to grow and develop.
Pros
Supportive management, thorough training, individualised approach
Cons
Shift work, long hours
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2.0
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Be very careful of working for the Wiltshire side of the company
Support Worker (Former Employee) –  Westbury, Wiltshire28 March 2017
Home caring for autism is very good at their training and the Somerset side of the business is very well established. They do have some very knowledgeable professional at the head office, who I found to be extremely helpful. On this point when you first have training, it appears to be very well organised.

Now if you come to Wiltshire you will find it is not as it appears, they do not appreciate you have a life away from work and support is non existent from management at times. I found my experience with this company to be completely shocking and treatment of staff to be highly unacceptable. I have witnessed complete disregard to staff private lives. Don't get me wrong the good points is the core team in the homes are hardworking individual, who are very good at their jobs. Some of the management are very good and will look after their team but the others are so far out of touch.

For me this company was not right for me and found I have learned a lot from there mistakes, which I have been able to progress my career in positive manner and manage my own team in a way that they are not able to.
Pros
Working with clients
Cons
Work life balance
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Official response from Care Management Group south west
4 April 2017

Dear Reader

My name is Richard Smith. My wife, Shirley, and I set up HCA fourteen years ago because Shirl has a brother who is autistic with a learning disability and we were unhappy with the quality of the services we saw around us. So the desire, passion and ambition to provide great services for the individuals we support in our homes, and also to be a great employer for our staff, is 100% there.

I offer you two responses here; the short version and for anyone interested in more information, the detailed version.

The short version:
We do know that in a couple of our Wiltshire (Trowbridge area) homes we have struggled to get things right, not helped by our Area Manager being off for an extended period to have an operation. So whilst we don’t want employees leaving us because of this sort of negative experience, I can appreciate where this reviewer is coming from. However, we have exciting new management in place in those two homes, our Area Manager is back firing on all cylinders, and they are all working hard to put things right.

Once we have a full staff group in those homes who are committed to being part of the solution, then the work-life balance bit puts itself right. Our interview process now includes a visit to the home, meet the other staff, meet some of the people who live there and meet the manager. So if you are reading this because you are thinking about applying to us, do it and then raise this negative review when you meet the manager. He/she will already know about the review and will be 100% happy to talk about it.
The longer, more detailed version:  more...

Clearly we haven’t got things right in a couple of our Wiltshire (Trowbridge area) homes for a period. I’m disappointed to hear about this reviewer’s negative experience, although delighted to hear their positives about training, support from head office, and about the quality of the core teams in the homes. What I will say is that we do know that we have struggled in two of our homes to get the right management in place, not helped by our Area Manager being off for an extended period to have an operation. So, whilst comments about lack of support etc are extremely disappointing, we knew things weren’t as they should be and our Regional and Area management team have been working hard to get improvement, with our Wiltshire Area Manager back firing on all cylinders.

In the end we made two new Home Manager appointments; one promotion internally and one person joining us having recently moved to the area. So we now have a group of four Home Managers in the Trowbridge area who we are really excited about. The two longer established people have been with HCA for seven and twelve years respectively and both joined us originally in Support Worker roles, so they have a real empathy and understanding of the day to day challenges of that role. Our internal appointment is someone who joined us eighteen months ago (?) from a national autism specialist organisation and has worked for us in two of our other homes in Somerset in a deputy role, as part of his development towards taking on a home of his own. He has proven himself to be a very caring and supportive manager and is working long and hard to implement change and improvement.

Our external appointment is someone who has joined us literally a few weeks ago and is currently working very hands-on in and amongst the staff team so as to really understand what the staff will need from her. She brings very relevant experience and expertise and we feel very lucky and privileged to have managed to recruit her.

I’m not going to just ask you to believe me that real progress is being made around improvements. Part of our interview process nowadays is at the relevant home, so you will get a tour round the home, get to meet and talk to people who would be your future colleagues if you did join us, get to meet some of the people who live there and who you would be employed to support, and of course get to meet the Home Manager as they will conduct your interview. I will be making sure that the managers are all aware of this review and can assure you that they will all be very open about it and 100% happy to talk about it.

So, if you are a job-seeker thinking about applying to us, put your application in because you will be able to make your own mind up about us. One of our Recruitment Officers (Lynn, Natasha and Miles) will call you to discuss your application.

I’m not going to be foolish enough to claim that everything is now perfect, but then what in life is ever perfect? And it takes time to change things. However, we 100% want to get as close to perfection as we can. Come and join us and be part of the solution!

Once we get a full staff complement of people who are committed to being part of the solution, then the work-life balance bit puts itself right. Where people can get stretched is when others leave and so we don’t have a full staff complement. Even then we have our Services Support Team who are brilliant at helping out and going onto rota within the homes to help cover for any staff shortfalls. So apply, join us, get the wonderful training, stay with us, and be part of the solution. It’s great work; hard and challenging work at times, but worthwhile and really satisfying.

To the person who wrote this review, thanks for your balance in making positive comments as well as those about your negative experience. I would genuinely welcome the opportunity to meet with you and talk through your experience in more detail and also what we are doing to improve things. And who knows, maybe there will come a point where you might see that we are serious about tackling those areas where you have had negative experience and might want to return to us and be part of our continued development in the Trowbridge area.

If you want to take me up on that offer, and I hope you will, please call my PA, Lesley Balmer, on 01934-429448 or email her on l.balmer@homes-caring-for-autism.co.uk to arrange a time for us to meet for a coffee or something. I will come over to Wiltshire of course to do that.
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