Fiona and John Leggott established Blossom Home Care Ltd based in Northallerton, in September 2015 to offer bloomin’ good care to the elderly and other adults with home care requirements. Since then REGISTERED nurse Fiona and her farmer husband John have seen their business flourish.
The couple now employ a team of 34 carers who, supported by Fiona, Business Development Manager Clare and Registered Manager Carrie, help people live independent lives in their own homes for as long as possible.
The couple attribute some of their success to their policy of offering visits that last a minimum of 50 minutes, an online feedback system that provides relatives with same day reports and updates of visits (while also logging the arrival and leaving times of carers) and a round-the-clock callout service. Whilst visiting clients Blossom Home Care staff provide help with a range of things like washing and dressing, housework, shopping, preparing meals, the management of hygiene and administering medication. They will also accompany clients to appointments, social outings such as to the cinema, restaurants and activity clubs. It’s this sort of activity that can make a real difference to people’s quality of life and our minimum 50-minute call policy enables us to invest quality time with our clients.
Fiona, who previously worked as a district nurse and continues in practise at one of the region’s leading general hospitals, said: “Through my work I saw that the quality of care varied greatly, especially in rural areas, and I felt there was an opportunity to offer a better, more personal service.
“Our business is founded on offering the very highest standards of care of the kind we would want to provide for our own parents. The online feedback service for families is extremely popular, enabling them to see quickly that care visits have taken place, what the carers and their loved ones did during the visits and a rota of which staff will be visiting in future, and when. The system also logs the arrival and departure of the carer from the call and because invoices are raised based on that information it means clients know they are only paying for the care they have actually received. Moreover this system also safeguards our carers, as we know where they are.
“Our staff are all experienced in the care sector, possess or are in training for NVQ qualifications in health and social care and have been checked to ensure they have absolutely no criminal records. We provide uniforms, mobile phones and training and we pay above the rate at £9 per hour, plus mileage expenses and paid holidays.”
John, a beef farmer at Hutton Bonville, near Northallerton, added: “I know how failed care can devastate families. In rural communities such as ours, farmers want to be able to die in their own farmhouses rather than in care homes but there often isn’t the professional support for them to be able to live at home when their health deteriorates. We are committed to providing that support.”
In addition to supporting staff and clients with in-house nursing expertise, Fiona finds her professional qualification is invaluable in discussing the health requirements of clients openly and knowledgeably with other health professionals, including GPs and hospital doctors.
Fiona and John, who live on the family farm with their young sons aged two and five, launched Blossom Health Care from offices at the Evolution Business Centre in Northallerton. Such has been the demand for their service that they may shortly be expanding and they are always on the lookout for new staff.
John said: “We are interested in recruiting people for whom home care is a vocation, not just a job. As more people hear about us, often through personal recommendation and referral, we need to maintain good staffing levels with the right calibre of carers. We want to be the best, and anybody who shares that ambition is encouraged to contact us.”
There are lots of reasons why Blossom Home Care is bloomin’ and why they were one of only eight teams in the national finals of the Great British Care Awards – Care Team 2017. They may have been runners up this year but watch this space!