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Growing Barnsley-based care company invests in staff and equipment

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A Barnsley care company which makes 4,000 home visits a week is investing in specialist staff training and equipment to develop its services in response to changing demands.

Caremark (Barnsley) supports older people, adults and children with a range of complex health conditions and disabilities, enabling them to live independently in their own homes and communities.

Set up in 2011 by directors Mark McKenning and Andrew Peace, the company has grown year on year and its 140-strong team of care and support workers now make around 4,000 home visits every week across South Yorkshire.

Caremark, based at Redbrook Business Park, has also expanded its core management team from two to 16 in response to its growing workload over four years. Its expansion is being supported by Barnsley Business and Innovation Centre (BBIC) through the Enterprising Barnsley programme, which is funded by Barnsley Council.

Caremark’s client list was 100 per cent older people requiring domiciliary care and companionship, when it started providing services four years ago. Now, its team supports people of all ages; some with specialist support requirements relating to physical and learning disabilities or mental health issues, others who have complex conditions and health needs.

Mark said: “As we have grown, we have expanded our client base and now support people with a very diverse range of needs. We have a successful track record in the delivery of person-centred and compassionate care and fundamental aim of our service is to put our client at the heart of everything we do.

“Every person we care for is different and has an individual care plan and it is very important to us that our care workers have all the skills they need to meet each person’s needs.

“We’ve restructured, recruited to a new post of complex needs manager and stepped up staff training in specific areas to ensure we can offer a safe and comprehensive service to all our clients.”

Caremark’s workforce development programme has recently included training in the support of people with motor neurone disease and also people who have had a tracheostomy, which needs careful on-going management.

There has also been training in the latest advances in dementia care led by the company’s qualified dementia champion Susan Winter. Caremark is also fully engaged in the Barnsley Dementia Action Alliance and will help deliver an awareness session for Barnsley market traders next month (July).

This summer Caremark will appoint to a new post of community development officer to help more people access facilities and activities available to them.

Also, Caremark is introducing electronic systems and devices for its fieldworkers to enable quicker, paper-free monitoring of visits and record keeping.

Mark said: “We’ve invested in staff and new electronic communication and reporting systems to take advantage of latest technology and develop our community services.

“We are passionate about delivering high quality professional care for people in their own homes and therefore sustained and responsive training and the right support for our frontline staff is key to our business growth plan.”

Caremark is a framework provider to Barnsley Council and also takes referrals across South Yorkshire from hospitals, GPs, clinical commissioning groups and from families and individuals themselves, managing individual care budgets.

Caremark assess and design care packages for each person which may include help with personal care, shopping, managing medication, rehabilitation following surgery or illness, respite care or help with social and leisure activities and outings too.

Enterprising Barnsley has helped Caremark with marketing, website and business development coaching.

Kevin Steel, Enterprising Barnsley’s business development manager at BBIC said: “Caremark is a Barnsley success story as a growing employer working in a hugely important sector.

“They have expanded their customer base quickly, but cut no corners in the development of their staff and service and have excellent relationships with both public sector partners and the people they care for. It’s a great platform for further growth.”

Caremark directors Mark McKenning and Andrew Peace
Caremark directors Mark McKenning and Andrew Peace

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