Health regulator praises Penrose Care’s pandemic heroism

Belsize Village, London, UK – The Care Quality Commission (CQC), England’s health and social care regulator has published a new inspection report for Penrose Care, reiterating and expanding our Outstanding rating. The report was published on March 3, 2022 following an inspection taking place on November 25, 2021 and therefore our first inspection since the onset of the Global Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020-22.

There are 426 (2.1%) home care providers in England rated as Outstanding out of 19,914 and there are 39 (1.1%) Outstanding home care providers in London out of 3,699.

Following the report, Penrose Care Manager director Robert Stephenson-Padron made the following statement:

“The health regulator’s expansion of Penrose Care’s Outstanding rating, despite the immense challenges from the Global Pandemic and Brexit further confirms the exceptionalism and heroism of Penrose Care. A special thank you to our co-founder Dr Matthew Knight MBE and all the heroes I work with, especially manager Olga Garcia, who surely is the best social care logistics expert in Europe, or possibly the world. We have achieved so much in 10 years: 1) Having no Covid staff or client deaths during the Global Pandemic of 2020-22; 2) Starting the UK’s al fresco dining movement after Lockdown 1 via the Belsize Village Streatery and successfully revitalising Belsize Village as the managing organisation of the Belsize Village Business Association; 3) Having delivered PPE to health providers during the national shortage during Lockdown 1; 4) Innovating through pet therapy via our amazing feline colleagues Pelusita and Quita; 5) Twice being named the Most Outstanding Home care provider in the world; 6) Spreading our wisdom to numerous foreign governments working to tackle their own care crises; 7) Twice being awarded by the Living Wage Foundation for our work promoting the Living Wage movement; 8) Having transformed Britain’s social care sector single handedly in 2014 by causing the minimum wage to be enforced in our sector and 9) Pioneering labour ethics in the UK’s home care sector once mired by systemic criminality and exploitation prior to the reforms we initiated.”

Dr Matthew Knight MBE, co-founder and non-executive director of Penrose Care, said following the report:

“I am so proud to see the continued dedication and hard work of the Penrose Care team reflected in the latest CQC report. Their dedication to care is inspiring.”

Olga Garcia, Penrose Care manager, who was instrumental in the inspection process, said:

“I am very proud to be part of Penrose Care since 2014. During all these years Penrose Care has proved that following the law and doing the job properly is possible. During the Pandemic, the whole team made sure that all of our clients were safe and in excellent company. No matter how many difficulties we had to pass including isolating and replacing workers at great speed, we have been able to do what we always do but with the added confidence that we have the correct personal protective equipment (PPE) and support from an incredible team. I am grateful to be with Penrose Care and to serve our clients during these most challenging times.”

Pandemic heroism

We are celebrating having no Covid deaths amongst our clients or staff during the Global Pandemic of 2020-22. Indeed, since the pandemic started, we have had only one client contract Coronavirus, asymptomatically and after July 19, 2021 “Freedom Day.” This is a testament to the professionalism of our staff and the speed and foresight of our management. Penrose Care’s stability during the pandemic has given us the resources to help other health and social care providers and our wider community during the pandemic. During Lockdown 1, before the new NHS PPE supply system to health and social care was setup, we delivered PPE to Watford General Hospital and Marie Curie Hospice Hampstead.

Pandemic meeting

Online meeting during the height of the pandemic led by Penrose Care manager Olga Garcia.

2020-04-09 (Penrose Care) Delivery of PPE to Watford General

Penrose Care managing director Robert Stephenson-Padron delivering personal protective equipment (PPE) to Watford General Hospital on April 9, 2020. Pictured with Dr Andrew Barlow, Consultant Chest Physician and Divisional Director of Medicine at West Herts Hospitals and Paddy Hennessy, Director of Environment at West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust.

Pet therapy

During the pandemic, Penrose Care has demonstrated innovations in social care especially via the utilisation of pet therapy. Penrose Care’s therapy cat, Pelusita. owned and managed by Olga Garcia spent 9 months with a client with dementia during the Coronavirus pandemic. This substantially improved the client’s quality of life.

Further, our office cat, the pet celebrity Quita the Kitty, has continued to lift spirits digitally during the pandemic – work recently praised in the Sun on Sunday newspaper. Quita was also recently named London’s Number 1 Instagram Cat by Time Out London magazine.

2020-10-10 (Penrose Care) Pelusita at work 02

Penrose Care’s therapy cat owned and managed by Olga Garcia spent 9 days with a client with dementia during the Coronavirus pandemic. This substantially improved the client’s quality of life. Thank you Pelusita, you’re a hero too! Photo from October 10, 2020.

Quita in Sun newspaper

Quita in the Sun on Sunday newspaper on January 16, 2022 for her pandemic herorism.

Technical assistance to foreign governments

Penrose Care is known internationally due to its pioneering work on integrating ethical labour practices into its provision of home care services for the elderly and persons with disabilities. Within the UK and in many countries around the world, providing consistent, outstanding social care from care and support workers that receive a Living Wage and generous worker benefits remains an aspiration but is a reality at Penrose Care. Penrose Care was also the organisation that successfully led to the step up of enforcement of the minimum wage laws in home care in the UK after lodging a complaint with the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee in 2014. Prior to this industry-changing action, the minimum wage law was widely flouted by home care providers in the UK. Over the years, Penrose Care has provided technical assistance to numerous governments attempting to solve their own care crises. Since our last CQC inspection prior to the one in November 2021, we hosted the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEP) under the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, Government of Thailand a delegation from Gwangyang, South Korea in June 2019.

Thai delegation with Penrose Care management in Belsize Terrace

Delegation from the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, Government of Thailand, with Penrose Care’s Nikoletta Makouli, Robert Stephenson-Padron, Quita the Kitty and Olga Garcia at Belsize Terrace in Belsize Village, London, UK.

Revitalisation of Belsize Village

The CQC report refers to Penrose Care’s instrumental role in the successful and remarkable revitalisation of its north London community, Penrose Care. As the primary managing organisation of the Belsize Village Business Association (BVBA), Penrose Care launched the Belsize Village Streatery on July 4, 2020. As the first event of its kind in the UK after Lockdown 1 of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Belsize Village Streatery is the pioneer of the UK’s alfresco experiment during the pandemic. The Belsize Village Streatery provided alfresco dining on Belsize Terrace, our village square, allowing the elderly and disabled the ability to dine socially after Lockdown 1. The Belsize Village Streatery not only sparked numerous other streateries across the UK – such as the beautiful streatery in Duke of York Square, Chelsea – it helped save over 100 hospitality jobs in Belsize Village, beautified our village square, saved the village from having any high street business losses during the pandemic and in fact led to the creation of two new businesses, helped transform our once scantily used village square into a vibrant community hub, led to our community’s first ministerial visit in modern history and coincided with our Clean Belsize Village program which eliminated the historic rubbish mound on our village square and drastically cut down on flytipping and littering.

On February 11, 2022, Camden Council made the Belsize Village Streatery permanent, the first event of its kind to be made permanent in British history.

Transformation of Belsize Village

Penrose Care engineered a dramatic revitalisation of Belsize Village in north London as the managing organisation of the Belsize Village Business Association.

Widespread recognition

The heroism of Penrose Care has been widely recognised. Since our last prior to our November 2021 inspection, Penrose Care was named the Most Outstanding Homecare Provider in the World in December 2019. Further in October 2020, Penrose Care’s co-founder was granted a MBE by Her Majesty the Queen for pandemic heroism to the NHS and our managing director was thanked by Sir Kenneth Olisa OBE, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London, on September 1, 2021 for sparking the UK’s “al fresco experiment” via the Belsize Village Streatery, an event originally intended to allow the elderly and disabled to dine safely after Lockdown 1 of the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Dr Matthew Knight MBE

Dr Matthew Knight MBE

Bob Stephenson Padron with Sir Kenneth Olisa

On September 1, 2021, Penrose Care managing director Robert Stephenson Padron met with Sir Kenneth Olisa OBE, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London. Sir Ken is the personal representative of the monarch, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, in Greater London. Sir Ken thanked Bob for starting the UK’s al fresco movement with the Belsize Village Streatery.

Media Contact

Robert Stephenson-Padron – 020 7435 2644

About Penrose Care

Penrose Care is an ethical provider of home care services in London, United Kingdom to adults with disabilities such as acquired brain injury and elderly persons including those with dementia. The company operates upon a fundamental belief that to promote a caring workforce, the organisation itself must be caring. As the pioneer of ethics in home care in the UK, Penrose Care in 2012 became one of the first four providers in the United Kingdom to become an Accredited Living Wage Employer and in 2013 the first independent sector provider to be compliant with Citizens UK’s landmark Social Care Charter. Penrose Care was named the Living Wage Champion for the London region in 2016 and for Industry Leadership in 2018 by the Living Wage Foundation. In July 2019, Penrose Care was named as one of the first 16 private businesses accredited with the Mayor of London’s new Good Work Standard to promote decent work in London.

Penrose Care’s ethical social care framework has garnered international acclaim, resulting in Penrose Care receiving research delegations from Canada, China, Japan, South Korea and Thailand. Penrose Care is rated Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission, the highest rating given by England’s health and social care regulator.

Penrose Care’s ethical approach promotes higher quality social care workers and low staff turnover which in turn results in excellent care. Penrose Care is headquartered in Belsize Village, north London – between Hampstead, Belsize Park and Swiss Cottage / Finchley Road – and was founded by Robert Stephenson-Padron, a healthcare research analyst, and Dr. Matthew Knight MBE, a hospital physician.

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