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Multicare 2017 Review

Well 2017 is over (apart from 3 days) and here at Multicare we think it’s always good to look back and review the year.

Care Sector in crisis

Overall the picture for the Care Sector isn’t too rosy. As is well documented, the combination of increasing life expectancy and budget cuts mean that the sector is under pressure like never before.

In an interesting article in the Financial Times they noted that

  • Eighty one per cent of local authorities have reduced their real-term spending on social care for older people over the past five years.
  • …the home care industry is lossmaking and of 2,581 UK care companies, a quarter were at risk of insolvency and 69 had shut in the past three months.
  • More than 1.1m people received care at home in 2009, but by 2013-14 this had fallen to to 850,000

Another study by Opus noted that the average annual pre-tax profit of a UK care home is only £11,000, a figure well below that required to justify the operational and financial risk involved or to support the investment in the rising care standards required by the Care Quality Commission.

Clearly a root and branch reform is required if our aged population is to receive the care they deserve. However looking at the political landscape, with a weak government dominated by Brexit, it is difficult to see any progress being made in the near future. Once again this issue is likely to be kicked into the long grass.

Changing Places Success

Meanwhile the Changing Places campaign has been going from strength to strength. According to the Changing Places Year in Review, over 150 Changing Places were opened in 2017 alone, with now over 1000 registered in the UK.

Multicare were pleased to play a part in this incredible success story, working with clients and end users on a number of Changing Places projects during 2017. Of particular note was the project at the Royal Festival Hall where we completed a complete fit-out of a Changing Places room, converting two rooms into one larger room. Watch this space for a full case study soon.

Maybe there is something to learn from the Changing Places campaign. The power of social media campaigns, combined with growing media and public awareness, has created an environment where everybody is pushing the agenda forward, resulting in real and visible change. Could a similar campaign be started for care for the elderly?

Product Innovation

Meanwhile the commercial sector, change continues with the development of new and innovative products. The new GHZero hoist unit and Wall Rail from Guldmann are fantastic new developments in ceiling hoists. The GHZero combines a complete hoist unit in the rail, making the hoist unit ‘invisible’. Perfect for private homes and also care homes, it is amazingly discreet.

The Wall Rail meanwhile can be mounted quickly and simply on any type of wall, including single thickness plasterboard walls. It is quick and simple to install, reducing risk and liabilities under the CDM regulations.

Multicare Moving Forward

The year has been very busy for us as a team at Multicare. We have welcomed to new engineers to cope with our growing project order book. Towards the end of the year Hugh Bennett left us to search out pastures new, and we are moving over to a Sales Process Engineering environment now he has moved on.

Some highlights of the year for us include

  • January – Completion of hoist installation at Lindon Bennett Special School in Hounslow.
  • June – Installation of our first Guldmann Wall rail system
  • September – Installation of our first Guldmann GHZero hoist system
  • August – Completion of hoist installation at Greenmead/Ronald Ross Primary School, London.
  • November Royal Festival Hall, Southbank centre, London. Fit out contract to combine two rooms into one large Changing Places Room.
  • August to December – Work on three large SEN Schools for Farrans Construction – Tiverton (Coventry), Marjory Kinnon (Hounslow), Gresham Road (Hounslow).

All in all a very busy year – we look forward to 2018 and the challenges and successes it will bring!