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Feb 5th, 2013 - Four Seasons Health Care and unions sign joint recognition agreement

Four Seasons Health Care ("Four Seasons") together with the GMB, the Royal College of Nursing and UNISON are pleased to announce the signing of a land-mark voluntary joint recognition agreement. Four Seasons is the UK’s leading independent provider of health and social care services and the agreement covers more than 500 care homes, hospitals and specialised care centres employing more than 30,000 staff caring for more than 20,000 residents.

This is the first such voluntary joint agreement between a major independent care provider and the three unions. Under the agreement Four Seasons and its specialist care division, The Huntercombe Group, will recognise the joint unions for negotiation and consultation on a unit by unit basis.

Chief Executive of Four Seasons, Pete Calveley said: "We are committed to provide the highest standards of care for our residents and to set the sector bench-mark for quality and value. We are fully supported by our owners Terra Firma, who share this commitment and understand it is best achieved by having a well trained, stable and highly motivated workforce and good co-operative employee relations. These are the same objectives that our employees and the unions have."

Chairman of Four Seasons, Ian Smith said: "Terra Firma has given us a stable financial position, enabling us to focus on our long-term development as leader in an independent sector that has an increasingly important role, complementary to that of the NHS and local authorities, as our society adapts to the challenges of an ageing population. We share concerns with the unions about the future of care services, including a sector-wide shortage of experienced qualified nurses; how to make the care sector more attractive to good quality candidates and the constraints on public sector finances for funding of care. We believe that our joint commitment to promoting best quality of care for our residents and more widely throughout the sector provides a strong foundation for a constructive relationship."

Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary, said: "This agreement is a new dawn paving the way for a whole new approach in the care home sector and setting the bench mark for the rest of the industry after a very unsettled few years. GMB members will welcome the agreement as GMB begins work with the company to find ways to secure the funding necessary to provide first class care from a committed and fairly rewarded workforce."

Royal College of Nursing Chief Executive & General Secretary, Dr Peter Carter, said: "The RCN welcomes this historic agreement and looks forward to working with Four Seasons to provide advice and support to our members in the workplace. We have always maintained that a partnership between employers and trade unions contributes to a better working environment and benefits everyone with better pay, terms and conditions and improved care andtreatment for clients. By working together we have an opportunity to have astronger voice on professional issues."

Dave Prentis, UNISON General Secretary, said: "I am pleased to be able to sign this important agreement which signals a positive commitment to partnership working. Four Seasons is a major employer across the UK and this agreement is key to boosting good employee relationships and delivering good quality care."

Further information:

Four Seasons Health Care Bob Mitchell 07976 514833

Terra Firma Andrew Dowler 07887 607744

GMB: Steve Pryle 07921 289880

RCN Deepa Kerai 0207 6473637

UNISON Mary Maguire 0207 1215463


The requirement for elderly and specialist care provision is forecast to grow annually by 3.1% over the next 10 years driven by the needs of a growing elderly population. Most of this need will be met by the independent sector offering services that complement the NHS.

Four Seasons Health Care operates 445 care homes, in the UK, Isle of Man and Jersey. Its specialised services division,The Huntercombe Group, operates 61 hospitals and care centres and is a leading provider in the areas of adult, child and adolescent mental health, acquired brain injury, neurodisability, eating disorder and addictions and children with special needs.

GMB has 622,000 members working in every part of the economy including the care sector. Membership is growing and more than half are working women. More than half the members work for private sector employers. GMB is a recognised union for workers in some of the largest private sector employers in the world like ASDA Walmart, G4S and DHL. GMB is a recognised union in local government, schools, civil service, NHS and other parts of the public sector. Founded in 1889, GMB with 124 years experience representing people at work in every possible situation are experts in the world of work. GMB is a democratic organization controlled by its members. GMB is affiliated to the TUC, Scottish TUC, Irish Congress of Trade Unions and a range of international trade union bodies. GMB is a founding member of the Labour Party and its third largest affiliate. GMB supports 86 Westminster MP's as well as elected members in the European Parliament, the devolved assemblies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and in local councils.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is the voice of nursing across the UK and is the largest professional union of nursing staff in the world. The RCN promotes the interests of nurses and patients on a wide range of issues and helps shape healthcare policy by working closely with the UK Government and other national and international institutions, trade unions, professional bodies and voluntary organisations.

UNISON is the UK’s largest public sector union with nearly 1.4 million members working in health care, local government, education, the utilities, environment and the police.

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17 Dec 2017

Residents, relatives, the care team and local community have all been helping get Riverside View Care Home in Darlington in the festive spirit.

Claire Westmorland, Home Manager, said: “Firstly we want to thank the local Co-Op who raised a lovely £180 for our resident’s fund. This will go towards our Christmas entertainment. On behalf of everyone in the home I want to thank Co-Op for their kind donation.”

Christmas has definitely hit the home, as they all got ready for their Christmas raffle. Complete with their very own naughty elf.

Claire added: “I want to thank everyone who donated to our raffle. The monies raised will go towards providing special experiences for our residents over the festive period. Merry Christmas from everyone at Riverside View.”

Are you looking for a care home in Darlington? Riverside View Care Home provides support for residential care, dementia care, respite care, end of life/palliative care and intermediate care.


16 Dec 2017

The team at Laurels Lodge Care Home in Woodside pulled out all the stops last week as they took part in Laurels Lodge has got talent.

It was an afternoon full of fun and laughter and the team were up for the challenge and showcased their talents amazingly.

Children from Donbank Nursery also joined the residents that day and they got involved and joined in dancing to the birdie song with the Marlene Smith, Personal Activities Leader. Relatives who came also joined in the dance and had a fun afternoon.

May Duncan said “this is great”! as she danced the birdie song.

Other relatives such as Lorna Graham and Irene Sivewright commented on how good the show was.

The headline acts included:

  • Linda Mason (Deputy Manager) and Lynn Smith (Home Administrator) - ABBA
  • Morag Leslie (SNCA) & Jenny Watt (Care Assistant) – as Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers
  • Rhodora Antiojo (Staff Nurse), Felix Mahinay (Care Assistant), Ewa Misztal (Care Assistant) & Arlene McGillivray (Care Assistant) as the Village People danced the YMCA music
  • Nomeda Jackstienne (Cook) as Madonna
  • Jolanta Nieckarz as Lady Gaga
  • Marlene Smith (PAL) dressed up as Chicken
  • Sheila Gesma (Home Manager) as the DJ

Marlene Smith, Personal Activities Leader, said: “The whole show was fabulous! The teachers from Donbank Nursery said to me that what we did was fantastic and they were very happy that the kids thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon. Sheila our manager was our DJ. It was also great to see relatives participating; it was indeed an afternoon full of fun and entertainment!”

Are you looking for a care home in Woodside? Laurels Lodge Care Home offers support for dementia care, nursing care and respite care.


16 Dec 2017

The Rookery Care Home has been fundraising to get some new activity equipment to provide special experiences for those in their care.

Susan Dyke, a member of the team made a big sacrifice and as a result raised over £400 for the cause.

Gail Llewelyn, Home Manager, said: “Sue decided she’s cut her hair off for the cause. She used to have hair that would rival Rapunzel and had never been to a hairdresser, so to have it cut off into a pixie style was a big deal for her. On behalf of everyone at The Rookery I want to say thank you!”

Are you looking for a care home in Ebbw Vale? The Rookery Care Home offers support for dementia care.


15 Dec 2017

The team at The Sycamore and Poplars Care Home in Mansfield celebrated a huge 120 years’ worth of experience last week, as 5 team members received long service awards.

Karen Gilbert, Home Manager presented the7 team members with their Long Service Certificates and gifts as a thank you for their continued dedication and hard work.

Karen said: “It was a pleasure presenting the team with their awards. I want to say massive congratulations to them all for their continued dedication and hard work. They’re all thought of very highly here in the Sycamore and Poplars by the rest of the team, the residents and their relatives.”

Are you looking for a care home in Mansfield? The Sycamore and Poplars Care Home offers support for all types of care including residential care, dementia care, nursing care, respite care and end of life/palliative care.

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