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Frequently Asked Questions

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What are the benefits of working for Bluebird Care?

Making a positive difference to someone else’s life brings immense satisfaction. You will be part of a team that is dedicated to the best customer care.

We value our staff because we believe they are the key to delivering top quality services. Bluebird Care offers excellent support and the opportunity to develop a rewarding career in social care. You will receive regular supervision and training and the assurance of working for a reputable company that is proud of its achievements.

Who are the customers of Bluebird Care?

Our customers include people who; are older, have learning or physical disabilities or live with a mental health condition. Some of our businesses also provide care and support to children and their families.

What types of homecare services does Bluebird Care offer?

We support customers with all aspects of their day to day living, so they can enjoy the best possible quality of life. Each service is tailored to meet each customer’s requirements.  

Visits can range from a fortnightly service to once or more daily, right through to overnight or live in care. We can also offer short visits of 15 minutes. These are not for giving care, but are quick safety and security checks. For example, making sure the customer is safe or that the windows are closed.

What is different about the homecare that Bluebird Care UK offers?

Our franchise business is unique in the UK because our primary motive is quality. From the beginning our core value has been to provide great customer service. Our dedicated staff are committed to making a positive difference to customers’ lives. Bluebird Care UK believes in supporting each customer to be in control of their care as far as they are able. To achieve this we:

  • Work in partnership with customers and their families to provide the homecare they want in the way that they want it;
  • Value and support our staff to provide high quality homecare.
How does your recruitment process work?

To make sure the right people join the Bluebird Care UK team, we use a thorough recruitment process.  All recruitment is carried out locally so you need to speak to the manager of the office where you wish to work to find out about vacancies.

All applicants complete an online application form.  The manager reviews these and invites potentially suitable applicants to an interview.

We thoroughly vet all of our potential staff before they can start work with us. This includes checking records at the Disclosure and Barring Service.

Applicants who succeed through the recruitment process will be invited to attend skills assessment.  The manager will take you through the policies and procedures of Bluebird Care UK. This covers all of the key aspects of providing safe and effective care and usually takes about a week of classroom based learning. This provides an opportunity for both you, and us, to find out more about each other and to decide whether the role is right for you. 

Help with your application to join Bluebird Care.

Which topics will my skills assessment cover?

The topics covered in your skills assessment as a new care assistant are:

Introduction to Bluebird Care UK

  • Introducing Bluebird Care UK
  • Bluebird Care UK values
  • Meet the team
  • The early days of your career with Bluebird Care UK
  • Your contract of employment
  • Care assistant roles & responsibilities
  • Everyday paperwork
  • Supervision and support
  • Future training and development
  • Relationships with other care assistants
  • Working with the customer at home
  • How the law affects what we do

The Service

  • The rights of your customer
  • Communication
  • Confidentiality
  • The importance of care and support plans
  • Understanding customer service
  • Policies and procedures
  • Our customers and their needs
  • Safeguarding
  • Mental capacity and deprivation of liberty safeguards

 Health & Safety

  • Care of substances hazardous to health (COSHH)
  • Fire safety
  • Risk assessments
  • First aid
  • Controlling and preventing infection
  • Moving and positioning
  • Helping with medicines
  • Food safety

At the end of the skills assessment we check that you understand how to deliver safe, caring and effective care. 

What ongoing training does Bluebird Care UK provide?

All our staff receive regular supervision and ongoing training to enhance their existing skills and learn new ones. This is supplemented by routine annual refresher training.

Topics depend upon the services provided by your local office and the specific needs of their customers. This could include –

  • Dementia and other specific medical conditions such as multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease, strokes, Parkinson’s and end of life care
  • Learning disabilities
  • Children services
  • Mental health
  • Specialist training for PEG feeding etc.
Will Bluebird Care pay me for my training?

Applicants who succeed through the recruitment process will be invited to attend pre-employment skills assessment. This provides an opportunity for both you, and us, to find out more about each other and to decide whether the role is right for you. You will not be paid for this skills assessment.

After being offered a contract, and once you are an employee any relevant training and development, this includes attending training courses, e-learning, shadowing other care assistants, on the job training, supervision and meetings will be paid.

What are the main types of job roles at Bluebird Care UK?

There are four main job roles at Bluebird Care UK:

  • Care assistant and Live in care assistant
  • Coordinator
  • Supervisor
  • Registered manager

These job roles may vary according to the size of the business.  A small, new business may only have a manager, coordinator and a team of care assistants. Whereas, a large established business may, in addition to the above roles, employ a finance officer, deputy manager, support coordinator, supervisor, support supervisor, administrative staff, a training manager and apprentices.

What is the role of a care assistant?

Our care assistant provide vital care and support to enable customers to remain living in the familiarity of their own homes. Working with some of the most vulnerable members of society can give enormous satisfaction to the right person. Building relationships with customers and their families brings mutual benefits.

The most important qualities of a care assistant are to genuinely care about our customers and to have an empathy and understanding about their conditions and the impact on their families.

Each day is likely to be different so you would need a flexible approach and to enjoy the challenges that variety can bring. For example, one day you may be helping a person with dementia to wash and dress and another you could be taking a young person with a learning disability to do their shopping.

Care assistants also need stamina and emotional resilience. You may be providing care and support to a customer who is dying, or a brain injured young person or someone whose medical condition makes their behaviour challenging. You could walk into a person’s home and find that they have fallen, or are in tears or have been incontinent, so you should be prepared for the unexpected. The ability to remain calm, reassure customers and be responsive is essential.

Your supervisor and manager will be there to offer support and guidance when you need it.

What will be expected of me as a care assistant?

Being part of the Bluebird Care UK team is rewarding and gives great job satisfaction, but it also demands commitment and professionalism.

To be a Bluebird Care UK care assistant, it is essential you genuinely care for others and good communication skills, especially when listening to customers. Wanting to find out more and to problem solve are key.

You need to understand what the role of a care assistant entails and be able to follow instructions.  

Will I need previous experience of providing care and support?

Care experience is useful, but not always necessary for care assistants as we provide full training. 

What qualifications do I need to be a care assistant for Bluebird Care UK?

You do not have to have qualifications, although knowledge and experience of social care is definitely an advantage. People who are good home care assistants have a combination of care, compassion and a calm approach together with an enthusiasm for improving the quality of life of customers. It is essential that you respect the dignity and rights of each customer. This includes supporting them to make their own decisions about all aspects of their care and support as far as they are able.

Having your own transport and flexible availability is an advantage.

What is the role of the live in care assistant?

It takes a special kind of person to be a live in care assistant. Someone with a passion for looking after others, who is genuinely committed to making a real difference to customer’s lives. Live in care assistants perform a similar role to care assistants (see care assistant role above), however, providing continuous care and support for 24 hours is usually more intense. There may be times when you have been working all day and then need to provide extra care and support during the night. You may be providing care and support to a couple, each with their own care needs. It is important that a live in care assistant is absolutely clear about their duties and knows when to ask for help.

You should be comfortable about using your own initiative and also working as part of a care and support team, using the expertise of other professionals where necessary.

Your relationship with customers will be different. Unlike care assistants you are not a visitor, but a part of the customer’s household. This can bring a stronger understanding and closer relationship between the customer and the live in care assistant. It also means you need to be adaptable and be able to work on your own under pressure.

Your supervisor and manager will be there to offer support and guidance when you need it.

What is the role of the supervisor?

The key role of the supervisor is to set up the care service for each customer and then make sure we deliver what we promise. This entails visiting potential customers, and where they wish it, their families, to discuss the services they would like and how they would like them. This is a two way conversation where the supervisor can also explain the services that Bluebird Care UK can provide.

The supervisor will carry out an assessment of any risks involved in providing the services and will put in place measures to reduce these. They will develop a care plan with the customer setting out the specific arrangement for care and support.

The supervisor works with the coordinator to find a care assistant with the right skills, knowledge and personal attributes to match the customer’s requirements. The supervisor is then responsible for introducing the care assistant to the customer and for providing on going supervision, support and on the job training. They regularly monitor the quality of each service and take action to make improvements as necessary. 

What background does a supervisor need to have?

Supervisors must have a good understanding of social care, the needs of vulnerable groups of people and best practice in social care and support. They need to be compassionate and confident. Their skills and knowledge will be needed to model good practice and challenge poor performance when necessary.

Excellent communication skills are key to this vital role. The supervisor has responsibility for taking new care assistants through the induction process and providing on-going training and development. They will often find themselves in the role of assessor, mentor, coach and trainer. This requires the ability to build relationships with customers, their families, staff and health professionals such as district nurses, GPs and occupational therapists.

The following example shows how these aspects of the role fit together.

The supervisor visits a new customer and as part of the risk assessment finds that the customer has special equipment for moving and positioning to prevent injuries. The supervisor calls upon the expertise of an occupational therapist to give her the correct training and advice about how to use the equipment with this customer. The supervisor then cascades this training to the team of home care assistants who are scheduled to provide the care and support to that customer.

Care assistants may work over the weekend or evenings so supervisors must be able to work flexibly.

Supervisors will be expected to have a level 3 QCF (qualifications credit framework NVQ).

What is the role of the coordinator?

This important office based role has primary responsibility for planning staff rosters and scheduling. Care assistant work plans must be efficient, and achievable and sent out on time.

Efficient scheduling requires effective use of logistical processes and IT skills. At Bluebird Care UK we use an IT system called Staff Plan Roster to match units of care and support required against the availability of suitable care assistants in the right geographic location. The coordinator will work with the supervisor to effectively match the right staff to each customer and to maximise continuity.

Coordinators need excellent organisational skills and the ability to respond to changing needs at short notice. An example might be, after planning the rosters, you are told that a care assistant is off sick and you have to make sure that the right cover is put in place at short notice.

Building good relationships with care assistants and having good influencing skills are central to this role.

The coordinator will also check the accuracy of completed timesheets.

What is the role of the registered manager?

The registered manager in each business is legally accountable for the conduct of that business and for making sure that it complies with regulatory requirements. They must be knowledgeable about legal requirements enforced by each national regulator, health and safety legislation and employment law.

It is essential that the manager has an up to date and clear understanding of how to provide safe and effective home care services. A key responsibility is to make sure there are enough staff with the right knowledge and skills to provide the level of cover required. This includes managing and implementing:

  • Recruitment plans and procedures
  • Induction and training of all staff

Effective systems and up to date policies and procedures to support all aspects of the business.

Strong leadership is critical to the role of the manager. You must be able to build effective relationships, both within each business and with external key stakeholders in the community. Managers require excellent communication skills combined with outstanding problem solving ability.

What qualifications does a registered manager need to have?

Managers must have a relevant management qualification such as:

  • Registered Manager’s Award (RMA)
  • An NVQ Level 4 in Leadership and Management for Care Services

Registered managers who hold either of these management qualifications should also have skills, knowledge and experience relevant to their job role and care setting. This may include the following care qualifications:

  • Level 4 NVQ in Health and Social Care
  • Relevant nursing, physiotherapy or occupational therapy qualification and registration
  • Relevant social work qualification and registration with the Health and Care Professions Council

For new managers who do not have either of the earlier management qualifications listed above, Skills for Care advise the Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care and Children and Young People's Services, choosing the pathway ‘Management of Adult Services’.

Managers taking the Level 5 Diploma should use the full breadth of QCF3 units available to ensure they achieve a qualification that is relevant to the role they are carrying out. They do not need a supporting care qualification. 

What qualification will a manager need to be registered with CQC?

When managers apply to register with CQC, they must have documentary evidence of all relevant qualification/s and any professional registrations. If you cannot provide evidence of the relevant qualifications, then you would be expected to have registered on the Level 5 diploma course (as set out in the Skills for Care guidance).

What are the opportunities for career progression?

There is a strong career pathway in the care sector. At Bluebird Care UK you can work your way up from care assistant to supervisor, care manager or even run your own business, if that is what you want to do, and we are here to support you.

Will I be paid for my travel time?

Care assistants and supervisors will be paid for travel between customers’ homes. Care assistants will not be paid for their journey from home to the first customer of the day, or for their return journey home at the end of their shift. Similarly, supervisors will not be paid for their journey from home into the office and from the office to their home.

What hours will I need to work? Can I work part-time?

Depending upon your role, we offer flexible contracts, part time or full time to fit with your other commitments. You choose.

How much annual leave will I get? Will I be paid for my holidays?

You will receive 20 days paid annual leave in addition to 8 days paid bank holiday. If you work part time then this will be paid on a pro rata basis.

How much can I earn?

Rates of pay are determined by each individual office.

What type of business is Bluebird Care?

Bluebird Care UK is Britain’s fastest growing homecare business with a Franchise Support Centre based in Petersfield, Hampshire, and nearly 200 offices across the UK. We are a franchise organisation, recruiting and managing caring and competent staff to deliver the highest standards of care at home. Bluebird Care UK carries out 20,000 homecare visits to customers every day.

Our domiciliary care business is a member of the British Franchise Association (BFA). To achieve this, we have demonstrated high quality business standards to the association. We are also members of the United Kingdom Home Care Association (UKHCA), the professional body that promotes quality home care services.

What is a franchise business?

Working for a franchise business means that your local office is part of a network of individual businesses. Each business (franchise owner) has a license to trade using the brand and methods of the franchisor – in this case, Bluebird Care UK.

How do you make sure each business provides high quality home care?

We only select the right franchise owners to join our brand and strive hard to work in partnership with them to provide quality home care services. Our proven business systems make sure the customer comes first in everything that we do.

Bluebird Care UK has a dedicated team of business development managers who are in regular contact with franchise owners across the UK. They provide advice and support to make sure businesses maintain the high quality standards of our brand.

Who checks Bluebird Care to make sure that their services are safe and effective?

All home care agencies are regulated by law to make sure they comply with regulatory requirements and provide safe and effective care services. Each country has its own national regulator:

  • England: The Care Quality Commission
  • Scotland: The Care Inspectorate for Scotland
  • Wales: The Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales
  • Northern Ireland: The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority in Northern Ireland. 

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