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Social care provider, Be Caring Ltd, showcases a collaborative approach to care funding

Social care provider, Be Caring Ltd, showcases the real lives benefiting from a collaborative approach to care funding

A collaborative approach with forward-thinking commissioners – based on openness, transparency and sound financial modelling – can pave the way for new ways of working.

As provision of social care in the UK becomes the latest focus of an investigation by an All Party Parliamentary Group, set up to understand the workings of the UK’s social care system, and not before time. The group, sponsored by the GMB, will gain real evidence from across the UK. They’ll be covering essential issues such as funding for a workforce who deserves fair pay for the vital care they provide to the nation.

Largely these pressures are compounded by a widely accepted model where care commissioners set the rates on a time and task basis. These rates leave a small margin to operate effectively, to deliver the necessary care, provide skills training, pay a fair wage and offer career prospects to the sector’s largely female workforce. However, new models are emerging through necessity. An innovative regulated care provider and Newcastle Local Authority are paving the way for change.

Be Caring Ltd, with its head office in Newcastle upon Tyne, invited Professor Martin Green, Chief Executive of Care England, to exemplify strong commissioning in the North East. He recently presented at the House of Lords on 29th January 2019, with the UKHCA on the Social Care Funding in England and was unable to cite any good examples.


Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, pictured third from left, meets the collaborators for the commissioning of Allendale Court.

Hayley Quinn, Chief Operating Officer at Be Caring, believes that bold and forward-thinking commissioning by Angela Jamson, the Commissioner for Social Care for Newcastle Local Authority supported by the Cabinet members and Directors, led to the development of Allendale Court.    

Allendale Court in West Denton, Newcastle, is a purpose-built supported housing service for young people with learning disabilities. LIFE by Be Caring delivers the service at Allendale to support adults from across the Newcastle city region enabling them to live as independently as possible.

The purpose-built supported housing setting is funded through Individual Service Funds and the approach may be the key to unlocking further potential in the care system. Allendale Court is part of an ambitious build programme by Newcastle City Council, which includes further specialist housing, extra care for older people, ‘step up step down’ accommodation, and a range of other innovative approaches; each designed to deliver better outcomes for people through developing new models of commissioning.

Professor Martin Green met with some of the young adults living at Allendale Court to find out how their lives have benefitted from the bold move.


Professor Martin Green, Chief Executive of Care England, said:

“I have been so impressed by my visit to Allendale Court. The commitment of their staff supports people to have a life and not just a service. I believe the partnership approach shown by Newcastle Local Authority, Your Homes Newcastle and Be Caring Ltd is truly ground breaking and a model for the rest of the country. Quality support is dependent on the quality of the workforce. The values of Be Caring Ltd are absolutely lived by their people.

As the social care system hangs on a fine balance, the positive stories are often missed and go un-celebrated. While focusing attention on our solutions for an ageing population, the younger adults in our society who require support often go without a voice”.

Hayley Quinn, COO, Be Caring Ltd, said:

“The whole system must change to enable better and financially sustainable support for all vulnerable people in our society. We want to offer good career prospects, fair pay and first-class training and development. We’ve recently mapped a career progression chart for our workforce, underpinning our provision with certified qualifications and training. Be Caring is a social enterprise owned by its employees. This means we’re committed to putting people first.

Although we have experience of poor commissioning, we didn’t feel this was a fair reflection of what is actually happening across the North of England. We asked Professor Martin Green to come and see an example of strong commissioning at Allendale Court. We’ve talked to him at length about the innovative work the Newcastle Local Authority and key partners are driving forward.”

Sharon Lowrie, Chief Executive, Be Caring, welcomed the invitation to participate in the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Social Care last week and attended with a number of carers.

Sharon Lowrie, CEO, Be Caring said:

“Innovation is a necessity and we’re continuing to work in collaboration with commissioners, health-care and key social partners to understand how we can best deliver on all priorities. While developing a well-equipped workforce is challenging with the current financial pressures of the present social care system, new models of working are emerging as a result.”

Allendale Court resident shows off her creative skills and the Allendale logo she designed with support from the LIFE by Be Caring team.