Requires Improvement to Good

Britannia Homecare improved their CQC rating

Case studies
March 26, 2024

Learn how Britannia Homecare went from Requires Improvement to Good through innovative leadership

About Britannia Homecare

Set in leafy Horley in East Surrey, Britannia Homecare is a domiciliary agency offering homecare services and specialist care to the local community. With a steadily growing base of more than 250 clients, this thriving care business is a testament to what can be achieved with a combination of positive energy and a strong commitment to making a difference.

We spoke with Registered Manager Sonny Pettman and Care Manager Lauren Stockwell about their challenges, their journey and how they managed to go from years of Requires Improvement up to Good with the help of Birdie.

The Challenge

For many years, Britannia faced significant organisational and internal hurdles, evidenced by a string of 'CQC Requires Improvement' ratings. Both the approach to care management and the business itself struggled with inefficient processes and outdated tools.

Sonny shared his frustration at how he and the team felt during this period. “To be honest with you, when I was younger I didn’t really know what I was going to do. When I came to Britannia, I fell in love with the job and with social care in general. As I got to the coordinating role, I found I was better than I thought I was at dealing with people and organising processes…so I started speaking with the managers at the organisation and expressing my concern at how things were working.”

Lauren agrees with Sonny’s estimate of how things were in this tricky period. “We were often not able to take on extra work because the staff were unhappy - and we were losing the staff!,” she shared. “We used to have senior homecare workers that would have to come to the office every month - before the end of the month - and collect all the MAR charts and drop them out individually to service users’ homes. So we were paying them for however many hours it took for them to deliver MAR sheets - then obviously factor in the auditing process, and analysing of data. We’d get those MAR charts back after 30 days and have to go through all of the paper copies. It was really slowing us down, and causing lots of frustration.”

Sonny, Lauren and a few key members of the Britannia Homecare team realised that something needed to change in order to save the business they loved - and to ultimately transform the lives of the people they cared for.

The Solution

For Sonny and the team at Britannia Homecare, any change wasn't just about adopting new software; it was about reimagining how their care could be delivered if they had the right tools and a united team.

“As Covid hit and we started bringing in more revenue, that’s when we were able to start looking at investing more money into the company, increase salaries, look at the structure of the company, put more structure in place, get more people in the office”, says Sonny. “I remember years ago when I had just been appointed as office manager, Birdie kept ringing up going “I’m on a train, I’m in your area, I want to talk to you…” - but we were nowhere near ready for any kind of technology system, or paperless system, because we needed to get our house in order first.”

Past transitions had been chaotic, giving the new leadership team a resolve to get this next move right. "We were really keen to make it work," says Lauren. The team came together, and really looked into how the business was being run from the ground up.

“The most important thing I could say to people looking to make a transformative change like this is ‘make sure you get your house in order’”, advises Sonny. “If you are moving over from paper to a paperless system, make sure you know what parts of your house aren’t in order so when you’re moving over (to a new software) you already know what you need to do to resolve those issues ahead of time.”

Once they were in a position where the day-to-day of the business was in a strong position, Sonny came back to Birdie and requested a demo. “We’d been looking around at lots of different platforms and having demos with lots of different teams”, says Sonny. “The thing that made us choose Birdie was how user friendly it was, and how it appeared to the eye compared to other software.”

“The interface of Birdie really sold us”, agrees Lauren. “Just how simple it looked and user friendly. With some of the other platforms it looked too confusing - and that we would just be moving to a similar system to what we had, but we’d just be able to access it a bit quicker.”

Once the decision was made, the team got to work at implementing Birdie into their now robust business.

The most important thing I could say to people looking to make a transformative change like this is ‘make sure you get your house in order’!

Sonny Pettman, Registered Manager at Britannia Homecare

Here's How They Did It

Britannia's journey to bring Birdie onboard was marked by an overwhelming sense of community and mutual support. Lauren shares how they achieved a smooth transition onto Birdie:

“We decided the best way to do it was a phased roll out - so we could train staff specifically in one thing, and then say ‘OK, now this section is moving over’. So even though they were still logging into their previous system, the team had Birdie there so they were familiarising themselves with the system, and we could troubleshoot and learn that aspect properly before moving on. We had a notice we had to provide anyway to the previous software provider, so we just maximised that time to really learn the new platform!”

"We had people trialling Birdie before it went live, and giving us feedback... we just kept it all positive," agrees Sonny. Their approach to training and support was inclusive, ensuring everyone, regardless of their tech-savviness, felt comfortable and valued. “We had people that were a bit reluctant and a bit more mature who were more wary of tech, so we’d have one-to-ones to them until they were comfortable,” shares Lauren. “It was all about making sure we’re communicating and planning, and people getting the right support that’s at their level.”

The impact of Birdie on their services was immediate and profound. The platform enabled real-time responsiveness, dramatically enhancing care quality. Lauren's pride is evident;

“You know, we were talking the other day…we were like ‘Do you know anyone with a pressure sore at the moment?”. And I got my team in, asking ‘Is there anyone with a pressure sore?” - and there actually isn’t! As soon as someone’s skin is blanching, the alert comes up that they’ve raised, we’ve contacted the nurses - we are so much more responsive because of the communication. People are living better because of the communication.”

Sonny agrees, sharing how Birdie has ‘”revolutionised our company. It’s made us rethink the way we do everything, it’s reduced our office overheads,” he says. “We don’t need so many people to carry out processes that aren’t needed anymore. It allows us to focus our time and energy on stuff that actually is important, and provides more value to the people we’re supporting and the staff that we have. You could write a book on what we’ve achieved - without blowing our own trumpets!”

“Now we’re looking at the costs and cutting costs down, because Birdie has revolutionised our company and the way we operate. It’s just crazy!”

As soon as someone’s skin is blanching, the alert comes up that they’ve raised, we’ve contacted the nurses - we are so much more responsive because of the communication. People are living better because of the communication.

Lauren Stockwell, Care Manager at Britannia Homecare

Looking Foward

The future is bright for Britannia Homecare! With plans to diversify and branch into different avenues within health and social care, they are set to bolster not just their business but the entire community's wellbeing. Moreover, their ambition to mentor new care businesses signifies a broader vision: to revolutionise care delivery.

Britannia Homecare's story is a powerful testament to the transformative effects of not just embracing technology as a solution, but truly tackling deep structural change within an organisation. Their journey is not just about overcoming operational challenges, but a blueprint for delivering compassionate, responsive care that will support the community in the long term.

As Sonny, Lauren and the team at Britannia Homecare look ahead to a future filled with potential, they are set to become shining example of innovation and community impact in the care sector.

Features mentioned

Carer app
Client Feed
Easy to use eMAR
Visit planning