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Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Leadership and Privileged Duties

Jemma Clayton, Kerry Hill and Xana Welch have been appointed as directors  of Caremark Thanet

The Duties of Leadership
I have recently been in the proud and privileged position to appoint three directors to Costain Care Limited, a domiciliary care company founded by my wife, Jayne, and I in 2012, which trades as Caremark Thanet. I am proud because being able to do this is the achievement (the pinnacle of achievement) of one of the principal goals that we had when we founded the company: to create career opportunities for local people. I am privileged because we and only we were in a position to make this happen.

We talk a great deal about human rights these days. A world ordered by respect for human rights is, undoubtedly, a better world than one where a human rights discourse is absent. Where there is a right there is a correlative duty that allows that right to be enforced. I find it difficult to conceive of circumstances where there is a right without some correlative duty. However, the reverse situation – where there are duties without any connecting rights – is more than conceivable.

Leaders have innumerable duties imposed upon them. Many of these duties are imposed by law and are connected to rights. However, I should suggest there exist certain duties that leaders have that are not connected to rights in any way. This means that they are duties that are unenforceable. They are duties that, should leaders wish, can be ignored. They are duties that I call privileged duties.

One such duty is a duty to create opportunities for people – particularly for employees - to develop: to develop professionally and personally; socially and culturally; in their competencies and education. Opportunities, though, must be seized. The leader’s duty ends where the duty is offered. The challenge with opportunities, certainly the opportunities that I try to create, is that they involve something for something not something for nothing, a quid pro quo not a gratuity, an exchange not a gift. For this reason, opportunities are often turned down. There is a fabulous quote attributed to Douglas MacArthur which sums up perfectly what I am talking about: “There is no security on this earth: there is only opportunity.” Spot on!  Opportunities come with risks, not guarantees. Once seized, opportunities involve hard work. Indeed, there is a great deal of hard work required just to be in a position to be offered an opportunity.

What Are Privileged Duties?
I use the word privilege here to mean an advantage granted to someone (people in positions of leadership in the context of this article) that is not available to anybody else. I use the word duty to mean a moral obligation.

Thus, I believe I have a privileged duty to create opportunities for employees. It is a privilege because I am in a position to act on this duty and create opportunities and only I occupy this position, at this particular time, with regard to this particular group of people.

It is a position of advantage because I am the only person in the world who can do this act for this group of people. It is a duty, but one that is unenforceable. I can walk away from it. I can ignore it. The world will probably be no worse if I ignore it. However; the world generally, my community more particularly and the group of people to whom my duty is owed more especially still, may benefit from my acting on my duty. My acting for the benefit of others – and in the circumstances outlined I am the only person who can act in this way and bring about this benefit – benefits everyone, including me. It adds something to the store of individual and community well-being. And being able to do that, indeed, is a privilege.

Caremark Thanet appointed three new directors from the 1st of  December 2019.  The company has been providing domiciliary care services to the residents of Thanet for over 7 years. During this time, it has developed an enviable reputation for the quality of the care it provides, the way it engages with its community and the career opportunities it creates.

I wanted Caremark Thanet to be a harbour for ambition, where talent can flourish and hard work and loyalty are rewarded. I wanted to create opportunities. The three people appointed to directorships have made a significant impact on the performance of the company. They have worked their way up through the company and with each step in their progress they have met head on Douglas MacArthur’s dictum and dealt with it with competence and confidence.

Xana joined Caremark Thanet in November 2016.   Xana has quite a varied CV. She was a foster carer for six years - 2 years with Kent County Council and 4 years privately; before joining Caremark Thanet, she had worked in care for eleven years and has also worked as a bar manager. Xana initially joined Caremark Thanet as a supervisor. Xana is appointed to the post of Director of Education and Innovation. In addition to this, Xana has been appointed as the Registered Manager for Caremark Dover.

Kerry joined Caremark Thanet in March 2017. Kerry brings vast care experience with her. She worked in both residential and domiciliary care for over 15 years as a care and support worker, supervisor and care co-ordinator. Kerry also spent short periods working in retail and hospitality. Kerry initially joined Caremark Thanet as a Care Co-ordinator. Kerry is appointed as the Director of Safeguarding and Compliance. In addition to this, Kerry has been appointed as the Registered Manager for Caremark Thanet.

Jemma joined Caremark Thanet in October 2016. Jemma has an artistic background and gained a degree in Fine Art. She has run her own business, making and selling jewellery. Jemma also worked in education administration for a number of years. Jemma joined Caremark Thanet as the Business Development Manager. Jemma is appointed as the Director of Business Development and Marketing.

And so, the challenge continues. There are, of course, risks, but these risks are monumentally outweighed by the opportunities. For me, one of the most interesting opportunities is that there are now three people in leadership positions who will have their own chances to discharge their own privileged duties.

Garry Costain is the Managing Director of Caremark Thanet, a domiciliary care provider with offices in Margate, Kent. Caremark Thanet provides home care services throughout the Isle of Thanet. Garry can be contacted on 01843 235910 or email garry.costain@caremark.co.uk. You can also visit Caremark Thanet's website at www.caremark.co.uk/thanet.

Friday, 15 November 2019

Could It be Sepsis? A Simple Question That Could Save Lives

What Is Sepsis?

Sepsis is a life threatening condition. The Sepsis Trust explain:

"Sepsis (also known as blood poisoning) is the immune system’s overreaction to an infection or injury. Normally our immune system fights infection – but sometimes, for reasons we don’t yet understand, it attacks our body’s own organs and tissues. If not treated immediately, sepsis can result in organ failure and death. Yet with early diagnosis, it can be treated with antibiotics."

The facts and figures on sepsis make uncomfortable reading. It is estimated that there are 52,000 deaths from sepsis each year. Now here's a shocking fact: that death toll is greater than the number of deaths from bowel cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. Yes, you read that correctly: bowel cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer: COMBINED. That's about one death every five minutes. during the time that you are watching the latest episode of your favourite soap opera, six people will have died from sepsis. 

Caremark Thanet's sepsis awareness conference 14 November 2019

Around 25,000 children are affected by sepsis each year. It is estimated that about 25% of sepsis survivors are left living with life changing conditions. Sepsis is also a concern in the workplace.

Sepsis is sometimes referred to as septicaemia, or blood poisoning. The Sepsis Trust list some of the fairly common conditions from which sepsis can result: "a chest infection causing pneumonia, a urine infection in the bladder, a problem in the abdomen, such as a burst ulcer or a hole in the bowel, an infected cut or bite, a wound from trauma or surgery,  a leg ulcer or cellulitis. Sepsis can be caused by a huge variety of different germs, like streptococcus, e-coli, MRSA or C diff. Most cases are caused by common bacteria, which normally don’t make us ill."

The Sepsis Alliance, an American organisation say that: "Mortality from sepsis increases by as much as 8% for every hour that treatment is delayed. As many as 80% of sepsis deaths could be prevented with rapid diagnosis and treatment." There is, however, some good news. Prompt treatment is essential. It is recognised that with early detection and treatment the outlook is good. International guidelines suggest that treatment should be started within one hour of sepsis being suspected. Although sepsis is a medical emergency, prompt treatment with antibiotics and fluids is very effective.

The Signs of Sepsis

With adults the following are the symptoms of sepsis. In the early stages, these signs can be confused with the symptoms of flu:

Slurred speech or confusion
Extreme shivering or muscle pain
Passing no urine (in 18 hours or a day)
Severe breathlessness
I know something is badly wrong with me
Skin that's mottled, bluish or very pale.

Note how the initial letters spell out the word sepsis.

With children, The Sepsis Trust advise that the following symptoms indicate sepsis. The child:

Is breathing very fast
Has a ‘fit’ or convulsion
Looks mottled, bluish, or pale
Has a rash that does not fade when you press it
Is very lethargic or difficult to wake
Feels abnormally cold to touch

Where a child is under five, you should also be alerted to sepsis if he or she:

Is not feeding
Is vomiting repeatedly
Has not passed urine for 12 hours


Caremark Thanet: Could it be Sepsis?

On Thursday 14 November, Caremark Thanet held a sepsis awareness conference. The conference was held in memory of Ellie Lunn, the daughter of Caremark Thanet's Registered Manager, who tragically lost her life to sepsis at the age of just 11 months in 2015.

The conference was very well attended. Ellie's heartbreaking story was told by Xana Welch, the Registered Manager of Caremark Dover. Gemma Rawling and Angela Hall from the NHS Outreach Team spoke about the signs, symptoms and treatment of sepsis. Barbara Hall told her own moving, but ultimately uplifting, story of how she survived sepsis -  three times. Rob Mercer from the South East Ambulance Service, explained how over the last 10 years the awareness, detection and treatment of sepsis as improved enormously: medical professionals are now trained to "THINK SEPSIS". 

Caremark Thanet's epsis awareness conference was held in memory of Ellie Lunn

If there was one clear message that came from the conference it was, as The Sepsis Trust Advise: "just ask, could it be sepsis?".  Asking that question of a medical professional if you suspect that someone might have sepsis could save his or her life. Caremark Thanet, Ellie's mother, Kerry, and her family want to raise awareness of this awful condition. Increased awareness will increase confidence to ask the question: could it be sepsis? Asking that question will save lives.

Caremark Thanet, Kerry and her family intend to continue the campaign to raise public awareness of sepsis in Ellie's memory. If you would like more information please contact Caremark Thanet on 01843 235910 and ask for Xana Welch.

Garry Costain is the Managing Director of Caremark Thanet, a domiciliary care provider with offices in Margate, Kent. Caremark Thanet provides home care services throughout the Isle of Thanet. Garry can be contacted on 01843 235910 or email garry.costain@caremark.co.uk. You can also visit Caremark Thanet's website at www.caremark.co.uk/thanet.

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

The Three Things You want from Employment

Introduction

I read an article recently that suggests that there are three things that you want from employment: career, community and cause. The article was based upon surveys conducted amongst staff employed by Facebook; however, it is my view that the survey results will apply pretty much generally. Certainly at Caremark Thanet we offer each of these three things.

Number 1. Career: You Are Never Just a Carer

For people with talent and ambition we offer some of the most fantastic opportunities in domiciliary care: And these opportunities involve careers not just jobs. When you work for us you are not just a carer; you are one of the most important people in our business.

Carers receiving their certificates



Our ethos "We believe that our customers are the most important people for our business; that our care and support workers are the most important people in our business; that a socially responsible business is most important for everyone. We are part of the service sector."

We have some incredible training and progression opportunities. We have people studying courses that range from short online courses up to level 5 management qualifications. We are extremely proud of the fact that most of our management team are internal appointments.


Number 2. Community: It's About all of Us

We believe in communities; in the Thanet community and the wider East Kent community. We believe in the people who make up our community. Our carers and our customers. We believe that each of us has opportunities to contribute to the store of community well-being. We believe that each of us has a duty to ourselves and our communities to develop ourselves to enable us to play a greater role in creating community well-being. We believe that one of our responsibilities as an employer is to provide opportunities for our carers to develop their talents to allow them to play that greater role in creating community well-being.


"[I]nteraction enables people to build communities, to commit themselves to each other, and to knit the social fabric. A sense of belonging and the concrete experience of social networks (and the relationships of trust and tolerance that can be involved) can, it is argued, bring great benefits to people."


Number 3. Cause: Creating Community Well-being

We are not an ordinary domiciliary company. We are a community engaged domiciliary care company. We believe that connected communities are stronger communities and that stronger communities are good for the well-being of every person in that community. That is why we support a whole range of community organisations and events; and that is why we organise our own events that bring together our carers, our customers and our community.

Christmas Carol Concert

In the last two years we have organised a comedy night, a quiz night a variety afternoon, a Christmas Carol Concert and many more events. Some of these events have helped us raise over £3500 for East Kent Hospital’s Dementia Charity Appeal. These events and our fundraising activities are excellent examples of how we contribute to the store of community well-being.

What do you want from employment?

Don't miss out on our opportunities. Call us today: 


Garry Costain is the Managing Director of Caremark Thanet, a domiciliary care provider with offices in Margate, Kent. Caremark Thanet provides home care services throughout the Isle of Thanet. Garry can be contacted on 01843 235910 or email garry.costain@caremark.co.uk. You can also visit Caremark Thanet's website at www.caremark.co.uk/thanet.







Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Do you Live in Margate?

Do you want to work in domiciliary Care?

We are looking to recruit a number of people to join our team of care and support workers in Thanet. We currently provide help to around 250 people and employ over 100 people. We are particularly keen to recruit car drivers in  Margate. However, we have work throughout Thanet.

Caremark Thanet's Fun Day

We are looking for people with talent and ambition; who are flexible and reliable; and who share our ambition to transform domiciliary care. When you work for us you are never just a carer; you are one of the most important people in our business.  
Our ethos: "We believe that our customers are the most important people for our business; that our care and support workers are the most important people in our business; that a socially responsible business is most important for everyone. We are part of the service sector."
We have some fantastic opportunities for the right people. These are not just jobs; they are careers. We can offer very competitive rates of pay; petrol payments;  promotion opportunities; pensions; free uniforms, and last, but by no means least, some of the most exciting training opportunities in Thanet. 



Do you want to work for a company that has an ambitious vision? Do you want to work for a company that is uncompromisingly and unrelentingly customer focused? Do you want to work for a company that recognises and rewards your reliability, hard work and commitment? Do you want to work for a company that is engaged with the local community?

Our Vision: "To be Thanet’s first choice private domiciliary care provider for customers and carers."
Don't miss these fabulous opportunities. If we sound like a company that you would like to work for, contact us today on: 01843 235910 or email: thanet@caremark.co.uk.


Garry Costain is the Managing Director of Caremark Thanet, a domiciliary care provider with offices in Margate, Kent. Caremark Thanet provides home care services throughout the Isle of Thanet. Garry can be contacted on 01843 235910 or email garry.costain@caremark.co.uk. You can also visit Caremark Thanet's website at www.caremark.co.uk/thanet.

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Caremark Thanet's Dementia Conference 23 April 2019

Dementia in Thanet

The Alzheimer's Society suggests that in the UK this year 225, 000 will develop dementia, a rate of approximately one person every three minutes. 

Dementia respects no-one. It has no sympathy for illness, for gender, for status. Dementia will touch the lives of many of us. It is estimated that in Thanet there are over 2000 people living with dementia and this figure will rise to approximately 3000 in 2026. In Kent the figures are over 22 000 people currently living with dementia, rising to over 30 000 in 2026. Nationally, it is estimated that there may be some 850,000 people living with dementia. One of the biggest challenges for people affected by dementia is finding reliable information. And information is the principal aim behind our dementia conference. 

Information About Dementia: The Challenge

Finding information about dementia is sometimes very challenging. Sometimes you can’t quite find what you want; sometimes there seems too little information, and sometimes far too much – often conflicting – information. 

The aim of our dementia conference is to bring together a number of experts in dementia and related areas and an audience of people with an interest in dementia. The event is open generally to the public. If you know anyone who might benefit from attending our conference, please pass on details to them. 



The event will be held at the Yarrow Hotel, Ramsgate Road, Broadstairs CT10 1PN. It starts at 10.00 am and runs through to approximately 13.00 pm. This may not answer all the questions that you have. If it does not, it may well sign post you in the right direction to find answers.   

Organising conferences that give information about various areas of health and social care is something that we will be doing much more in the future. If you want more information about our dementia conference or future events, please contact Jemma Clayton on 01843 235910.

Garry Costain is the Managing Director of Caremark Thanet, a domiciliary care provider with offices in Margate, Kent. Caremark Thanet provides home care services throughout the Isle of Thanet. Garry can be contacted on 01843 235910 or email garry.costain@caremark.co.uk. You can also visit Caremark Thanet's website atwww.caremark.co.uk/thanet.

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Moments of Truth and Creating Community Well-Being

What is a Moment of Truth

The term “moment of truth” is used quite a bit in marketing. We’ve adopted this term to recognise the impact that our carers have when they do something special for a customer. We use the term in a way that is very similar to how it was used by Jan Carlzon in a book entitled (would you believe) Moments of Truth. I should wholeheartedly recommend this work to you if you are even vaguely interested in inspiring leadership stories. Carlzon recounts the way he turned around a failing Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) in the early to mid-1980s.
Carlzon became Chief Executive Officer of Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) in 1981 and transformed its fortunes. When he took up his post, the company was losing about $20 million, a year later it turned a profit of about $54 million. He did this by concentrating on the customer experience. He managed to get most of his workforce to buy into his vision. SAS developed an unrelenting, uncompromising, obsessive customer focus.

I have taken this a step further. When a moment of truth occurs carers have placed upon them a privileged duty. I have explained privileged duties thus;
"It is a duty, but one that is unenforceable. I can walk away from it. I can ignore it. The world will probably be no worse if I ignore it. However; the world generally, my community more particularly and the group of people to whom my duty is owed more especially still, may benefit from my acting on my duty. My acting for the benefit of others – and in the circumstances outlined I am the only person who can act in this way and bring about this benefit – benefits everyone, including me. It adds something to the store of individual and community well-being. And being able to do that, indeed, is a privilege."
Carlzon explained that a moment of truth occurred when a customer had an interaction with an SAS employee. He estimated that each day there were about 50, 000 of these moments of truth, probably lasting no more than 15 seconds. He called them moments of truth because this moment in time is an opportunity for an SAS employee to provide a customer with a peak experience. It is, of course, equally an opportunity to leave customers feeling deflated. In short, then, a moment of truth is a brief moment in time when an employee can delight or deflate a customer.

Caremark Thanet’s Moments of Truth

As a domiciliary care provider, we have hundreds of moments of truth each day and almost inevitably some of these interactions will provide carers with the opportunity to delight or deflate customers. When carers delight customers, it gives us wonderful opportunities to recognise the fantastic work that they do. We invite customers and their families to tell us about the special things our carers do. We also invite our carers themselves to tell us about the things they or their colleagues have done. Each month we choose three winners. Each winner receives either our gold, silver or bronze moments of truth award.
Some of our moments of truth winners
What delights a customer can be something that may seem quite small. That does not mean that it is without monumental significance to the customer concerned. The customer who is anxious because he can’t get out to post his weekly letter to his sister will be delighted when his carer walks twenty yards to the post box to ensure his letter is sent. Of course, the actions of some of our carers are, occasionally, far from small.

Creating Community Well-Being: Transforming Domiciliary Care

We did not call our recognition awards moments of truth just because we thought it sounded good – it does sound good by the way. We chose it because it says something fundamental about the type of company we are. We are not an ordinary domiciliary care provider. We are different. We are different because by our activities we are creating community well-being and transforming domiciliary care. And to do this we need people who buy in whole-heartedly to our belief that creating community well-being and transforming domiciliary care are the right things to do. Our Moment of Truth awards also recognise the fact that award winners have responded to the duties they owe to other carers, customers and our community in general. 

Creating Community Well-Being

The people who care for our customers are special people. We expect our carers to buy into our vision of a world where their actions can have a very positive effect on the well-being of the community in general.
We live in an interconnected world. By providing outstanding care to our customers - something upon which we will never compromise - we are making a significant contribution to the store of community well-being. But we do far more. We do far more by making further contributions to the store of community well-being. We do this in many ways. One way is by providing fantastic opportunities for our carers to progress personally and professionally.
We believe in communities; in the Thanet community and the wider East Kent community. We believe in the people who make up our community. Our carers and our customers. We believe that each of us has opportunities to contribute to the store of community well-being. We believe that each of us has a duty to ourselves and our communities to develop ourselves to enable us to play a greater role in creating community well-being. We believe that one of our responsibilities as an employer is to provide opportunities for our carers to develop their talents to allow them to play that greater role in creating community well-being.

Moments of Truth and Community Well-Being

Our moment of truth awards recognise occasions when carers have delighted customers. They also represent occasions when carers have contributed to the store of our community’s well-being. It might only be a small addition, but like grains of sand small additions grow.


Recognising achievement

Could you buy into our vision? Do you want to play a significant role in your community? Why not find out more about the type of company we are and our opportunities for you.

Garry Costain is the Managing Director of Caremark Thanet and Caremark Dover Garry can be contacted on 01843 235910 or 01304 892448 email garry.costain@caremark.co.uk. You can also visit Caremark Thanet's website at www.caremark.co.uk/thanet or Caremark Dover's at www.caremark.co.uk/dover.