5 minutes with...

Karen Caffrey, Managing Director of Home Carers Liverpool

Posted by Liverpool and Sefton Chambers of Commerce

Thu 17th, May

Introduce yourself – name, where do you sit in the business, and what does the business do

Karen Caffrey Managing Director of Home Carers Liverpool (HCL) and Chairperson of Liverpool Home Care Providers CIC actively promoting the sector. HCL are a lead domiciliary care provider in Liverpool established in 1994 and currently delivering domiciliary care services to older people in their own homes. We recruit all our staff locally supporting the neighbourhood model of care delivery. As a former Practice nurse, I am passionate about promoting health and wellbeing across our workforce and the people we care for to support healthier lifestyles and reduce the strain on the NHS.

We work collaboratively with a range of providers from public, private and voluntary sector in order to deliver holistic care services to our service users and support the local economy.

What changes would you like to see to improve or develop your sector?

Recruitment and retention is a big problem in social care and there are lots of measures that I think would help - probably too many to list here! For example, we fully support the apprenticeship programme, working with a range of schools and colleges and in the past eight years we have trained over 270 apprentices. I would love to see more political support at a local level for funded apprenticeships for young people in social care.

I would welcome a joint initiative with the health sector to support recruitment to create more parity between the sectors as we are often seen as a stepping stone to a career in the health sector which means we lose a lot of the talent we nurture. We need to raise the profile of social care and the opportunities it can provide across a range of skills.

I would also like to see closer working with primary care providers to reduce the number of hospital admissions and delayed discharges. This could include, for example, shared access to training to upskill the workforce in preventative measures.

What does a typical working day look like?

No two days are the same in social care as it moves at a fast pace and that’s what makes a great place to work! Typically I have daily meetings with my senior management team where we will review targets, address any complaints and celebrate any positive feedback. I have a great team and we work with a range of partners to support staff particularly through health and wellbeing initiatives. It was so rewarding for all the team to have our work recognised when we won the Chamber's Responsible Business Award in 2017. I also seem to spend a lot of time writing tenders!

What advice would you give your teenage self

Study while you are young before you start a family - I established my business with four children!

Don’t worry if you make the wrong career choice. I started out a nurse, ended up in social care and established my business as a result.

Where would we find you on your day off?

In the gym or Anglesey - my favourite place to unwind

What is the best advice you have been given in your career?

Focus on quality, aim high and network.

Who is your role model in business

Maggie O’Carroll at the Women’s Organisation is inspirational, supporting women across business. Maggie has been instrumental in giving me the confidence to aim higher and to develop our business model to help us to go to the next level. I also want to mention Rosemary Kay of the eHealth cluster who has supported me to develop the links with the digital providers in the city and across Europe, helping us raise the profile of SME’s in social care and putting Liverpool on the map.

Why choose Liverpool City Region?

I was born in Liverpool and I love the city and the people and LFC of course! We are now expanding our business across the Liverpool city region and I am delighted to be working with Sefton and Knowsley to share our experience of delivering preventative services in Liverpool. I am excited about the new procurement models of working and look forward to working more closely with our health colleagues across the region.

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