Optalis becomes the first company to sign up to a care charter

Published: 24 Mar 2014 09:000 comments

A company is leading the way on healthcare after becoming one of the first to sign up to a charter.

Optalis staff sign UNISON’s Ethical Care Charter. Pictured from left are support worker Evelyn Ornales, managing director Andrew Pickup, home carer Gemma Lacy, chairman Bob Pitts, ways into work co-ordinator and UNISON branch secretary Adrienne Gilling, independent broker Simon Lock and Heather Wakefield, head of local government for UNISON.

Optalis, which is owned by Wokingham Borough Council, signed UNISON’s Ethical Care Charter, being the first adult social care services to do so.

The charter was developed in 2012 and aims to ensure minimum standards for safety, quality and dignity.

Optalis managing director Andrew Pickup said: “I am delighted that Optalis are taking this very bold step; we expect only the highest standards in how we deliver quality care and support. The Ethical Care Charter goes right to the heart of our collective core values.

“I can only hope other organisations set a similar benchmark and see this as key to their long term success.”

The charter also seeks to maintain a more ‘stable’ workforce, through conditions, pay and training.

Heather Wakefield, head of local government at UNISON, said: “UNISON welcomes this very positive step by Optalis. Making this commitment to decent employment conditions for care workers is all about improving the quality of life for the people they care for.

“A living wage and more secure employment makes it possible for dedicated care workers to stay in the job.”

The charter was signed on Tuesday, March 11, at the borough council’s offices in Shute End.

Optalis employs about 350 staff and provides care services across Berkshire.

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