Home / Resources & Guidance / Care Friends win the King’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation

Care England, the largest and most diverse representative body of adult social care providers in England, is delighted that their partner, Care Friends, has today received a King’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation.

Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, says:

“Despite promises to ‘fix social care once and for all’, the sector has an overwhelming lack of confidence in the Government’s plan to alleviate the current challenges. Care England and Hft’s Sector Pulse Check report found that high vacancy rates within the sector are an enormous problem and a cumulative result of the aforementioned barriers to recruitment and retention, including low pay, the challenging nature of the work and better opportunities elsewhere. Care England is proud to work with Care Friends and firmly believes that the work Care Friends is doing provides a crucial solution to recruitment and retention pressures. Being one of 48 organisations to be awarded for its excellence in innovation is an outstanding achievement and Care England is excited to continue to support Care Friends as their work goes from strength to strength.”

As a recruitment channel, Care Friends is unique in both creating long-term recruitment infrastructure which continues to deliver year after year, as well as reaching out to those many high-potential candidates in the local community who are not actively job seeking. The solution is proven to retain staff for longer for half the cost of traditional recruitment methods and can be up and running within your services in around 2 weeks.

To date, Care Friends has:

  • 46,000 app users
  • 700 CQC-registered employers
  • 85,000 candidates generated to date
  • 950,000 job shares to friends and contacts
  • £4.5m earned by care workers in points

Martin Green continues:

“When the Government’s White Paper, People at the Heart of Care, was published in 2021, it was pledged that the adult social care sector would benefit from at least £500 million to improve recruitment, retention, progression, and staff wellbeing. We are now in a position where over a year down the road there has been no material difference to the development of the workforce, the £500m allocation has been halved, and we are facing a record number of vacancies. The workforce crisis is one of the most significant pressures facing the sector currently and the solution offered by Care Friends is simple, affordable, and helps recruit more loyal individuals into adult social care. The most important resource in any care service is the staff, and recognising their hard work is vital to recruitment and retention. By addressing both recruitment via the Refer a Friends process, and retention, by providing reward points for staff, Care Friends is providing the best possible solution to resolve the workforce crisis. Care England encourages Local Authorities and Integrated Care Boards to purchase Care Friends licenses for their providers using their Discharge Funding to increase workforce capacity within adult social care to support hospital discharges.”