From not for profit and independents and to large corporates, this award recognises the organisation that has led the pack in terms of providing outstanding care over the past 12 months, despite the many challenges they have faced.

We are delighted to announce that the 2021 shortlist includes the following names:

Care UK

Story continues below

The pandemic has seen Care UK unite in extraordinary ways and never lose sight of their main aim – fulfilling lives. Teams have united to support residents and each other as they faced challenges nobody could have imagined. They have been heroic in keeping life as normal as possible for residents, finding new ways to safely maintain family connections during lockdowns, filling the void created by external visitors being unable to enter the building whilst continuing to radiate positivity even when mourning the loss of much-loved residents. Creativity delivered unique activities ranging from street food markets to live talks on the history of food with BBC presenter Polly Russell.

Care UK still have one of the highest regulator ratings of the larger UK providers and operate more CQC Outstanding-rated homes than any other provider (18). They continue to improve resident and relative satisfaction. Both are currently at the highest ever level: 85% from relatives and 93% from residents. All this in the context of a Net Promoter Score of 52, which is considered excellent.

In the last decade, they have driven the biggest new build programme in the sector, opening 50 homes. They have started operating eight beautiful new homes since January 2020 creating hundreds of jobs and 541 much needed places. And, all this has been achieved while everyone has enhanced the lives of residents and supported worried and sometimes grieving relatives.

Hallmark Care Homes

Hallmark Care Homes, established in 1997, is an industry-leading, financially stable care home group. They provide residential, nursing and dementia care to over 1,000 residents across 19 locations UK wide and currently have three homes rated outstanding by the Care Quality Care Commission.

They currently employ over 2,150 people who are supported with continuous learning and development and award schemes so that they feel motivated to deliver excellent relationship-centred care to the residents. During the pandemic, Hallmark also proactively supported their teams ordering sufficient PPE, putting vulnerable team on furlough, offering counselling for all teams along with a support fund people could apply for if they needed to go into self-isolation and were struggling financially as a result. This financial year, they have also increased their team member’s salaries in reflection of their efforts during the pandemic so that all employees in England are paid at or above the Real Living Wage. They have won 100 awards over the last 24 years for the quality of the care they provide, and receive exceptional feedback from residents and relatives. In 2020, they were awarded the highest recommendation in the top 20 mid-size care home groups for the fifth year running with a review score 9.6 out of 10 on This has increased to 9.8 this year. Moreover, all their homes bar one has a ‘Good’, ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Compliant’ CQC/CSSIW rating.

Cornerstone Healthcare

Cornerstone Healthcare provide unique, specialist care for vulnerable people who present with challenging behaviours associated with complex neurodegenerative and mental health needs. Their challenging behaviours coupled with complex physical needs result in most homes not being able to accommodate them. Cornerstone’s core aims are to provide the best possible quality of care in this niche sector which is hugely underserved within the care sector. Despite the challenges that COVID presented, their occupancy rate for financial year end 20/21 was 97.2% and they currently run a waiting list, due to the trust that local authorities and CCGs nationally have in their service. Their zero placement-breakdowns means they see Cornerstone as managers of their risk by taking ‘difficult to place’ patients into safe and reliable settings with ‘good’ CQC ratings. When presented with a resident with multiple placement breakdowns, commissioners know that Cornerstone will be able to care for them due to their reputation for caring for challenging residents. They help to manage commissioners’ risks, giving them peace of mind when placing residents that other homes cannot manage or where the residents are in an NHS facility yearning for a place that could be a safe home for them.

Anavo Group

Anavo Group is one of the fastest-growing care groups in the UK. In only 12 months, they have successfully expanded their portfolio from 3 to 10 operating homes with 500 residents and 700 staff and progressing an ambitious development pipeline of new build homes across the UK. Anavo’s operational team has focused on developing effective quality monitoring frameworks that enable their homes to deliver transparent, responsive care and reporting frameworks. In just three months, the leadership has successfully improved operations and regulatory ratings of three homes.  90% of Anavo’s homes are now ‘Good’. The co-founders of Anavo Group have put together a highly experienced senior management team, with decades of experience in the sector. Anavo’s eminent advisory board includes Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England. International collaboration, for instance, with AgeCare in Canada, pioneers of using technology in care homes, adds depth and breadth to an already impressive line-up of people with specialist expertise.

Anavo’s flat leadership structure enables staff to directly access senior management, raise questions or concerns, and be part of the conversation. Decisions are made quickly, informed by people’s feedback. Anavo’s senior management team has expertise in delivering radical transformational programmes and driving innovation to achieve outstanding quality of care and is being proactively approached to take on homes that require improvements or a strategic overhaul.


The past year has been like no other. With care home residents amongst the most vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus, the sector has been in the spotlight. Little was known in the early stages, and late and frequently changing government guidance through the winter and spring challenged the sector. As a leading care provider in the UK, Bupa is worthy of recognition for its clinical expertise, speed of response and rounded care for their residents, families and workforce. Safety has been the priority. This involved the fast procurement of essential PPE for which staff are trained frequently on appropriate use, clinical expertise to interpret changes to government guidance, fast cascade to frontline teams and implementing strict infection control measures. They were also an early adopter of the regular testing programme so changes could be quickly responded to. This pace and expertise relieved pressure from frontline teams, providing them with support to care for residents.

Alongside resident safety, Bupa recognised the importance of family connection for resident wellness. They took extensive steps to facilitate family visits in line with guidance, giving loved ones needed time together. Over the past 12 months, Bupa has been a stand out leader in the provision of care: reassuring residents and families of quality, safety through their clinical expertise; supporting family connection to create an enjoyable resident experience; providing support for teams and creating a welcoming workplace for their people; investing in innovative new methods of care; and leading on key issues to support the future of the sector.

Tickets and tables are now available for the Leaders in Care Awards can be booked HERE.

Any companies interested in commercial opportunities surrounding the Leaders in Care Awards should contact:

Josh Waddell
0203 176 5458

Tags : Leaders in Care Awards

The author Lee Peart

Leave a Response