Diplomat magazine meets Care Manager Latha Kathirkamathamby
Can you tell me little about yourself and background?
My passion for helping people generally was something I envisaged pursing once my children graduated and was fueled by caring – together with my parents and siblings – for my brother who had a learning disability. I am also committee member for the Harrow Patient Participation Network and have been the chair of the Ridgeway Surgery Patients Group for the past four years.
How did the Blue Crystal Care Agency come about?
The idea of a care agency came about when my elderly friend required extra help. The service provided by the carers was highly unsatisfactory, with no empathy shown towards the patient. So, I stepped in and looked after my neighbour, hence Blue Crystal Care Agency was formed.
The name Blue Crystal means trust, faith, patience, respect and calmness in yourself and others, which was appropriate as my staff and I deliver all these qualities to our clients.
Can you list the various services that the BlueCrystal Care Agency can provide diplomats andtheir families while they are posted in London?
Blue Crystal Care works with children and adults with issues that include: dementia, challenging behaviour and learning disabilities, recovery from operations, as well as general one-to-one support for individuals who need
assistance, a chaperone service, or accompanying clients to their home country after illness. We provide the following services: emergency respite, respite care at home or any other location, live-in or live-out care services, post-operative care and end of life care.
We also work with corporate organisations who require care or support for their staff ’s parents or relatives who are living with them whilst they are working on a contract basis in the UK.
Can Blue Crystal provide support and care for high profile clients, where discretion and cultural sensitivities can be essential?
Blue Crystal Care Agency caregivers are highly vetted and have experience delivering our High-Profile Service to a variety of clientele – celebrities, members of the diplomatic corps and senior government officials. Our carers have lots of experience working with many different nationalities, and high-profile individuals. Our caregivers are trained to be discreet and respect the confidentiality of the client and their family members. They are comfortable working in private and secure environments and are adept in managing personal and professional boundaries.
Whether resident in the UK, planning to come to the UK or travelling out of the UK for treatment, Blue Crystal can provide caregivers that are matched to the needs and requirements of the client. Clients can be supported with personal care, mobility, medication administration, blood pressure readings, meal preparation and community outings, and all with the objective of ensuring a speedy recovery.
What kind of education and ‘hand-holding’ can you supply the client and their loved ones on the UK system?
We have huge experience, so we can easily advise on the best course of care in the British system. My staff and I are also able to accompany the client either on holiday or travel back with them to their home country.
My staff and I work as a team, and I make an effort to personally get to know all our clients and their families. We are flexible in what we can provide as ‘a service tour’ for clients.
How are you attracting new clients and business?
The success of Blue Crystal Care is based on word-of-mouth. All our business comes from referrals, GP’s, hospitals, care homes and memory clinics, etc. We are registered on the NHS website and also on the home care group. On our website, you will find testimonials from clients using our services.
As founder of Blue Crystal, I am delighted to have been selected to appear in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review, showcasing the organisation’s best practice to the public and private sector, in particular to leading policymakers/ executives within the care sector. So, we must be doing something right!
How do you vet and train your carers and staff to ensure the standards are kept high, and there’s never any abuse of power?
All our staff are highly vetted: they have police checks and references are obtained long before they are put into the field to work with clients. I personally oversee the first couple of sessions just to make sure the clients are happy with the service provided. We don’t have a high turnover of staff, so I know them all well. Staff are monitored closely and have to provide daily feedback. This is an open policy, where the client’s family and myself can see what care has been delivered.
Our team has carers of various nationalities, including Filipinos, Afro-Caribbean and Asian. All our staff are caring individuals who have been in the industry for many years, and go through further training each year. Our clients are treated like family members, with respect and dignity.
Can you tell me a little bit about Rose Quartz Ltd?
Blue Crystal Care’s other arm is Rose Quartz Ltd., which is a supported living accommodation for people with learning disabilities. We teach the clients life skills and integrate these individuals back into the community with the support of carers
provided by Blue Crystal. The four-bedroom house is located in North West London, everyone has their own room, and access to a communal lounge and kitchen. There’s even a vegetable patch in the garden for clients to grow their own plants!
T: +44 (0)203 7703601