A sustainable future

Our Quality Director Nicky Barnes’ first column has featured in the February edition of the Caring Times on page 18. This is the first of a series of feature-length opinion pieces set to investigate areas of care where Nicky is one of the leaders in the industry. The article can be read in full below.


Hartford Care’s ethos is ‘Creating Caring Communities’; our philosophy of care is underpinned by creating communities that are friendly, kind and welcoming of everyone, caring for each other and celebrating individuality by recognising that everyone needs something different to thrive.


We are committed to building a sustainable future, continuously investing in our homes and improving our green credentials. Sustainability is key to our growth strategy, and we’ve already invested over £8 million to help reduce our carbon footprint and futureproof our homes.


So far, we have installed solar panels at 11 homes, with a further five due to be completed this year. Where already installed, on average, around 30% of each homes’ energy is now being produced from the solar panels. In addition, we are undertaking refurbishment projects and extensions across our homes.


Fundamentally, to Hartford Care, sustainability encompasses much more than just environmental concerns. We continually put ourselves at the forefront of innovation and in a European first for the care sector, we launched virtual reality headsets for residents with dementia across our homes, along with trialling pioneering room sensor technology aimed to minimise the risk of falls and improve sleep. Most recently, we installed a digital thermostat control for each bedroom which automatically changes the temperature if it’s too hot or cold, along with alerting staff if windows are opened.


Our team is at the heart of the business and staff are carefully recruited so residents are supported as if they were a member of their own family. Dedicated to setting the best example in the care sector, Hartford Care was the first operator to introduce a winter fuel contribution of up to £600 for all our staff. We also host an annual awards ceremony to celebrate our much-valued employees. We are proud to be an accredited Living Wage Employer and invest heavily in career development. With the continued commitment to our staff – and recruitment and retention always being a high priority for the sector – we have decreased the use of agency staff by 140% in the last year.


We were the first company in the UK to collaborate as a resettlement partner with Communities for Ukraine, developed by Citizens UK & USPUK, and have already welcomed seven people and their families to England, where they join the company in a variety of roles from care assistants to general assistants. A significant organisational commitment, we hope that it will pave the way for other companies – inside and outside of the care sector – to offer sustainable support and aid to the victims of the Ukrainian war.


We are proud to be at the heart of our local communities. We have an active presence, hosting and attending events and raising money for local and national charities, along with working alongside local schools, preschools and churches, and various nurseries visit the homes. With our continued community focus, over the last year, homes provided collection points for people to donate goods for Ukraine and many of the homes also regularly collect donations for local food banks.


We look forward to continuing to create caring communities – existing and new – that are built on a solid foundation of sustainable practices.

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