September 27, 2016 Leave a comment
A very “mixed” four years as a healthcare assistant with Newcrosshealthcare Solutions
When I first joined, the Brighton branch was run by a very good manager. For the likes of me (healthcare assistant and support worker, on and off for twenty years, including a great deal of agency experience) and qualified RGNs, there was plenty of work available (mostly in care homes) and we were very well supported. After the manager suddenly left, things went slowly downhill. They’ve recently closed the Brighton branch, running any remaining business from Eastbourne.
Pros and cons
Holiday pay is included in the hourly rate. Pay is not bad but they pull a bit of a fast one by including “holiday pay” in the hourly rates. It may look as though you are being paid more than other care agencies – often around £8.00 for day shifts (below a real living wage), more for nights – it’s actually about the same or slightly less than other agencies. No attempt is made to hide this but they don’t advertise it either.
Variable management. At least at the branch where I was. One stand-in manager was extremely insensitive during an annual staff review and I made my feelings clear to her and to the regional manager at the time. Newcross can be overly corporate, the word care in Newcrosshealthcare is sometimes overlooked – I had to stand up to them a few times.
The £50 fine for being ill! What on earth are they on about!? Yes, I can understand the need to discourage people from cancelling shifts at the last minute but this goes way too far. Fortunately, I’m in good health so this outrageous policy only affected me a couple of times. It may well discourage people from phoning in sick but it also thoroughly pisses everyone off! You have to come up with a doctor’s note to get your money back, a right pain.
The call centre in Devon is sometimes at odds with the local branch. At one stage I put in a complaint about an incredibly rude and unprofessional call worker. At other times I would ring in to register my availability (Newcross tend to be a bit obsessed with this) and would later find out that it hadn’t been put on the system. On the whole though, most staff were doing a good job, some were lovely people.
Continually recruiting new staff when there aren’t enough shifts for existing staff. Newcross regularly sent me enthusiastic text messages, reminding me how I can earn a bonus for recommending people to work locally. Fair enough if there was plenty of work to go round but this was often far from the case.
Mostly good but too corporate. Newcross sometimes seem a bit too concerned with their corporate mission “to dominate the market”, rather than respecting their staff at all levels. Despite that, thank you to them for helping me pay the bills for the last four years, I made some good friends and enjoyed much of the work. I’m now at a smaller, more local agency which is generally a bit more human.