Podcast reveals county care company’s incredible story through the pandemic
As the powers that be assess the lessons of the pandemic, in particular with reference to how to run a business in the care sector, you would like to think David Chalk’s phone would be red hot.
An interview with Mr Chalk released this morning (August 26) as part of Made4U Podcasts’ Business Revival - in Gloucestershire series reveals an operation which cares for our county’s elderly and vulnerable – which had no cases of coronavirus.
In a sector where more than half of care homes tested positive for the virus, with an estimated 20 per cent of residents being affected in those cases, for Mr Chalk’s Windrush Care to navigate the treacherous waters so cleanly is outstanding.
There is one caveat, but also perhaps where one of the lessons is to be had – Cheltenham-based Windrush specialises in home care rather than care home provision, but that none of his staff tested positive either means surely he may have a few ideas on best practice worth knowing.
Which is why he sat down with Serena Gay, the Gloucestershire editor of Made4U Podcasts, and why it makes for such a fascinating chat as part of the platform's ongoing series. Think of a good Radio 4 interview (Ms Gay is a former BBC broadcaster), but one teasing out the very best about businesses in this very county.
“I am very, very pleased to say that not a single member of our staff have tested positive for the infection, but my real pride is that not a single one of our clients has been directly affected by the virus.
“It is something I am really proud of on behalf of our whole team,” said Mr Chalk, who set up the business in 2014 after having seen from first-hand experience looking after his father, what a complex and difficult process finding excellent care can be.
As you might expect, it is an interview in which the word ‘challenges’ is used a number of times to describe the last few months. In his sector it could quite literally be a life and death situation every single time his staff visit a customer.
Business analysis post interview by Gill Smith from The Business Kitchen underlines some of the key points Mr Chalk made – not least that something was already very right at the business already.
“I think one of the things that came through really clearly was they already had good processes in place and that by making small changes they were able to support their current customers,” said Ms Smith.
Which as she suggests, is not only good for Windrush’s customers but positions the business well for what could well be an acceleration of the move already afoot towards home-care in light of the pandemic and its ongoing lessons.
According to Skills for Care’s annual report, The state of the adult social care sector and workforce in England, adult social care’s contribution to the economy in England increased to an estimated £40.5 billion with much of that growth in the home care sector.
The number of home care operations grew 56 per cent to 9,450 since 2009 compared to a two per cent fall in residential homes. It is a move that has seen a 22 per cent increase (290,000) in adult social care jobs, 210,000 of which came from home care.
The listen to the full podcast – and previous editions – visit: ‘Business Revival - in Gloucestershire’ by Made4U Podcasts.