Mumby’s Live-in Care is celebrating 20 years of excellence and success. Born in 2002 by husband-and-wife team Ann and Trevor Mumby, the outstanding care agency is rapidly growing. Mumby’s team is enjoying time to reminisce about the good old times, to reflect on the changes they have seen since they started out as a domiciliary homecare provider, and the learnings they have made over these two decades.
As a nurse, care home professional, and a woman who is passionate about providing a first-class quality care service, Ann saw that home care was an eminently better option than nursing homes. Today, 97% of us want to stay in our homes when we get older. Mumby’s live-in care supports this and helps people to continue to live safely and happily in the home they love.
We hope you enjoy reading our 20 learnings, achievements, and changes we’ve experienced over our 20 years of excellence and success. We’ve enjoyed putting this blog together.
Celebrating 20 years with 20 learnings, achievements, and changes
Outstanding CQC rating
CQC has become a huge organisation from its origins as the Healthcare Commission. In the early days, they used a star system to grade healthcare organisations including the NHS and independents. In 2006, they changed to a four-point scale of “excellent”, “good”, “fair” and “weak”. Mumby’s enjoyed an excellent rating at this time. It became the CQC in 2009 and moved to the rating system we currently know. Mumby’s was rated ‘good’ until 2019 when we achieved an outstanding rating, with a mainly live-in care business model.
“CQC has become a lot more expensive for registration fees, but regulation is a good thing for the sector as a whole as we are helping vulnerable people who need protecting.” Ann Mumby.
With our outstanding rating under our belt in 2019, we started to enter awards. This gave us the confidence to strive and showcase that we are a first-class care agency.
We are delighted to have won Employer of the Year 2019 and Female Entrepreneur of the Year 2020 at our local Thames Valley Business Awards.
In the Care Awards, we have been shortlisted in the Care Heroes Awards 2020, Leaders in Care Awards 2021, and The Great British Care Awards 2021. After winning the Mental Health & Dementia Care Expertise Award and gaining a High Commendation for the Live-in Care Expertise Award in 2021, we were delighted to be 2022 winners of the Live-in Care Award at this prestigious award ceremony that identifies the best UK companies in home care. We now eagerly await the results of the 2022 Leaders in Care Registered Manager of the Year Award for which Operations Manager Nancy Walters has been shortlisted for.
A dementia specialist agency
This has been a natural progression for us. In the early days as an hourly provider, we endeavoured to get as many hours as possible for our care staff to provide them with an income. With an aging population and population growth, sadly dementia numbers have risen. According to the Alzheimer’s Society, there are currently around 900,000 people with dementia in the UK and this is projected to rise to 1.6 million people by 2040. Our Director, Trevor Mumby, brings a wealth of specialist knowledge in dementia care and well-being to guide and direct Mumby’s staff and their training programme. Today, 90% of our clients have some form of dementia.
Over 100 staff employed
This was a major milestone for Mumby’s when we hit this in 2020, mid-pandemic. We have always wanted to grow as a company since inception, but this was a concerted effort from the team to build capacity into our business.
Over 2000 clients served
It’s truly amazing to think about this and to remember the stories of all of those whose lives we have been a part of. It’s a real point of pride for us. In the beginning, as an hourly provider, we were able to serve more clients with a smaller care team, but since our transition to live-in, we offer 1:1 client to carer care which means our client numbers have fallen, but carer numbers have more than doubled.
Longstanding carers of 19 years
We know our carers very personally. It’s part of our culture to get to know our team like they are family. Our trust in staff enables our clients to have the best possible service. We also really value our staff and our goal is to keep carers with us for as long as possible. The average length of time in service in the industry is around 2 years, so to smash this is great for our team. In celebrating 20 years of success, we also celebrate the longstanding service of carers of 19 years.
Very high retention rate
We have seen an amazing 92.7% retention rate over the last 6 months. As we said above, this is a major goal of ours and has remained fairly constant since the early days of Mumby’s. Looking after our carers is critical to providing consistency of care for our clients.
People matter and family values are important
This is a core principle of Mumby’s and has been since the start. Even in recent years when we have seen rapid growth, we have maintained these values and with the pressures of the finances from councils and families, we have navigated and upheld this. It gives us a good base to always refer back to and say to ourselves when problems arrive.
Creative international recruitment
This has been a big area of change for us, massive in fact. When Ann started Mumby’s Homecare Support, only British nationals were employed. Our first international carers were recruited in 2006 from Poland. We then went to other EU countries such as Hungary and Spain. Currently, we have 80% of our staff from overseas, so a big change for us, especially when it comes to employment checks and transport plans to and from work placements.
Paper records to electronic systems
It’s amazing to think about the way the care monitoring, rostering, and payroll systems used to be run. Care notes were handwritten and sent into the office every month to be checked. Rosters were written out and then entered into a very basic computer program from which we could print timesheets. But there was no central PC system or payroll software. Now all information is in real-time. This means we can see exactly what medications have been given within five minutes of it being done, rosters are on mobile phones, and payroll is nearly all automated. This has vastly changed care and the service we provide, but also the well-being of our care staff and the trust they have in us and vice versa.
Homecare to specialist Live-in Care Agency
A concerted transition began around 2015. We had always provided live-in care to a few clients, but hourly care was our bread and butter. This changed as our workforce changed. The home carers we had known since inception started to retire and we could not replace them, however, we were able to recruit live-in carers easily. We could also recognise and appreciate that live-in care provides a higher standard of care compared to hourly pop-in visits, which is important to us. This is because of the higher contact time between carer and client which allows for so much more.
Electric cars and a pledge to reduce our carbon footprint
A sign of the times and a conscious decision that we have an environmental responsibility. Although live-in carers create few carbon emissions as they live in their client’s homes, we as a company do a lot of driving. So, reducing our carbon emissions is something that our directors and staff feel strongly about. Changing from domiciliary care to live-in care reduced our carbon footprint, and introducing electric cars has gone a step further. We also encourage carers to use public transport to get between placements, offer online and telephone communication for staff and clients, reduce energy consumption by turning lights off at night and keeping the office and client home temperatures respectful, and trim down waste by thinking before we print and using online data systems.
Trevor Mumby has spearheaded this unique and simple tool that is particularly useful for dementia patients. His lifetime career in elderly care psychology is invaluable and we wanted to put it in a format that can be interactively utilised by our care staff. Staff use the ‘Smile file’ to build trusting and personalised client relationships. Feedback so far has been unanimously positive, so we are excited to promote it more.
Increased office staff numbers
We have found that more office staff has massively enhanced the quality of our service and our client’s experience, improved staff retention, and increased our care capacity in the field. We were not expecting this as we have always grown the care team first and then reacted by increasing office staff. But by doing this in reverse, we have seen more benefits. To go from two staff in the office in 2002 to 13 today is great.
Introductory business model
This was around when Mumby’s first started, but was much less common as clients would often find a local neighbour or friend to help them privately. However, with the emergence of the gig economy, agencies started acting as the middle man. For agencies that know what they are doing, like Mumby’s it is great as we already have the care knowledge. But introductory care is unregulated and carries a risk for businesses that think it’s as simple as placing carer and client together. Of course, it is much more complex working with vulnerable people who need support, and unprepared businesses don’t have the know-how to support it and often get into difficulties. As long as the right people are running an introductory business model that’s fine, but they know, understand, and manage the risks.
Decreased state funding
When Mumby’s started, 80% of the business was state funded as the councils had the budget to spend on people needing care. This stopped around 2008/09 with the global financial crisis and austerity packages that followed with the conservative government. It simply forced us to move to 100% personal budgets or privately funded care.
Decreased involvement from Councils
As a consequence of tighter budgets, councils tend to think more about the cost per client, rather than the quality of care provided. Individuals within the council are still as caring and they want the best for elderly people, but as organisations, they have too much financial pressure which affects their caring element of care.
Of course, there has always been competition, but there is definitely more nowadays. In our eyes, this is a good thing. We strive to be a top-rated agency and so we are (hopefully) always going to attract new clients. Whereas, lower-rated businesses are more affected by other competitors with a similar business model in their efforts to bring in business. Being Outstanding is a definite USP for Mumby’s.
The recent increase in tech-based competition has been interesting for us to see. They are often backed by huge private equity funds that demand returns on their investments. This means they are always built to sell on to other companies.
Also, some companies have become industry leaders from organic growth. This is almost always from franchise growth. As long as care companies come into the industry for the right reason and deliver the best quality care, we don’t mind them. It’s the companies that are purely driven by money that are an issue.
Expanded office premises
We have grown from a two-desk office to a 14 desk and 7-room office with an onsite training facility. This is great to reflect on. It’s a tangible symbol of our growth and success. To be able to train in-house is a great resource for us. We even loan out our training room to other agencies. However, with growth comes logistic issues to face.
View for 20 years’ time
In celebrating 20 years, we now look to the future. We see there being a lot more Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the home to aid care. The workforce will become even more international. However, the ethos at the heart of care will be the same and with an aging population, there is always going to be a need for care and the problems and benefits will generally be the same. As long as there are caring people in the industry then it’s a positive outlook.