Care UK is a leading independent provider of health and social care. The company works closely with local authorities, primary care trusts (PCTs) and strategic health authorities (SHAs) to provide carefully-tailored service solutions including care homes, supported living, hospitals, care at home, and healthcare.
Care UK is a large, multi-disciplinary organisation that currently operates a broad range of services right across the UK, including 60 care homes, 20 mental health homes and hospitals plus numerous GP practices, walk-in centres and clinical assessment and treatment centres. Despite its size, Care UK prides itself on offering high-quality, convenient and effective services carefully tailored to its users’ needs.
Like any organisation working within the care industry, Care UK deals in high risk environments.
John Johnson, the Health, Safety and Fire Risk Manager for the social care division in the organisation, explains: ‘As well as having to consider the safety of our staff and visitors, we’re also responsible for the wellbeing of our vulnerable residents and service users.’
Managing risk effectively across such a large, complex and multifaceted organisation was extremely complicated. In the past, Care UK’s various sectors, groups and sites each contracted different safety specialists and consultants to help them. The outsourcing of health and safety services was inconsistent across different sectors and regions. Ensuring that suppliers were properly accredited and well-managed took up a valuable time and resources. What’s more, suppliers were often unable to respond to unexpected needs quickly enough.
Santia assisted CareUK with managing risk effectively across their diverse business where they have to consider the safety of staff and visitors, along with the wellbeing of our vulnerable residents and service users.
Having been impressed with Santia in the past, Care UK decided to invite Santia to work with them on health and safety across the social care divisions in order to increase structure, accountability and efficiency to the system.
John Johnson explains, ‘Santia offers practically every kind of health and safety related service, a complete and holistic package that saves us a great deal of time, money and energy. Santia have always been effective, reliable and responsive and we were very happy with their rates. We agreed all of the fees upfront and really simplified the financial aspects.’
Santia has carried out a great deal of highly varied work for Care UK, including hazard spotting and access reviews and H&S inspections for its Walk in Centres and prison Health Care Centers. In addition, it has helped the company in its overall strategy to reduce the management time and cost of compliance.
Santia worked closely with Care UK to produce a safety management system policy and procedure document and it continues to assist the company with its implementation, monitoring and auditing.
John says, ‘Santia help to ensure that we remain one step ahead in terms of compliance and are always informed of all the latest legislation and regulation. It has also given us industry-specific audit and inspection tools, invaluable as external checkers against our own internal standards.’
‘Santia have also carried out new e-risk assessments for water, health and safety and fire on several of our residential care homes. This web-based risk management system provides real time visibility of all health and safety risks at the click of a button. Previously, I had to actually visit the sites to verify their risk status, so this tool helps me to use my time more efficiently. The system is also giving us a more holistic view of environmental health and safety compliance across the whole group for the first time.’
John describes Care UK’s relationship with Santia as more like a partnership than a contract agreement. Santia are familiar with its KPIs and standards, and aim to use consultants and technicians that have relevant expertise and experience so that they can meet the company’s particular H&S needs. Care UK’s procurement department is currently liaising with Santia to discuss the possibility of it becoming a supplier of training in H&S, Fire and some Occupational Health.