A CARE business launched in lockdown is aiming drive up standards in the sector.
Holm Care is just five months old and already employs more than 25 staff in the Greater Manchester area.
Founder Nik Seth, from Sheffield, set up the company after seeing how difficult it was to find high-quality care for his own father.
Holm Care has clients in Stockport, Manchester, Sale and Altrincham and is growing into Bury, Bolton, Rochdale and surrounding towns and cities.
Nik plans to roll-out their personalised, tailored services across the UK, improving the lives of both care workers and elderly customers to instil confidence and shine a light on the need for change in the industry.
“Launching the business in the midst of the pandemic was something I did think long and hard about,” said the 47 year-old.
“But given the effort that had gone into it, and the fact we had carers eager to get started and excited at the opportunity, we decided to go for it.
“The response has been positive and already our client base is growing throughout Greater Manchester.
“Where we are different is that all our systems are online, so it is quick and safe for people to join us and we pass on a saving of around 30% to the end user by not having huge administrative and office costs.
“It was unusual for the staff because of course there has been social distancing and they’ve worn PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), but the demand was high, and we are seeing a lot of interest.”
A campaigner for fairer pay and conditions for care workers, Nik had previously worked in retail, pharmaceuticals and business consultancy before taking over a nursing home in 2010.
He sold that four years ago and having now spent a decade in the care arena is determined to improve the health and wellbeing of both staff and customers after witnessing first-hand how low the benchmark is among many organisations.
They even publish prices and staff salaries on their website, to ensure transparency when recruiting and attracting new clients.
“Seeing how long it took to get care for my own Dad, and after speaking to other families who had been affected by the same issues, is what made me found the company,” he said.
“The average wait to get a carer is eight weeks; with us it’s 48 hours. We pay our staff more than the average and for us it is all about quality. Our team are experienced, knowledgeable, and skilled – I am very proud of them.
“This is seen as a low-skilled job but that could not be further from the truth. An incredible amount of training goes into being a carer and their wages should reflect that. This in turn means a happier workforce and better care.
“Around 40% of people unhappy with present care service, and often the person being cared for is discounted and disenfranchised, they don’t even get a say in their own future. That can’t continue.”
By operating predominately online, Holm Care is winning supporters and clients who embrace the opportunity to secure top-quality live-in care for themselves or a family member in less than 30 minutes.
“A lot of people still like to speak to us on the phone or face to face but once they understand the process it can all be done on their mobile or computer,” said Nik.
“Social care hasn’t changed much in decades, the same problems exist, and we want to shine a light on them to make a difference.
“With us you get to choose the carers you want permanently – there is no chopping and changing of staff, which is a particular concern for the vulnerable and people with dementia – and that gives peace of mind.”
He added: “My ultimate vision is to improve care throughout the country, because at present it’s extremely fragmented.
“That means driving standards forward, taking Holm Care into other parts of the UK and altering perceptions. This is seen by some as a dead-end job with poor pay and poor conditions, a high turnover of staff and high levels of dissatisfaction – we aim to change that.”
For more information, visit the website www.holm.care or call 0161 706 0288.