Karen Knight, managing director of NorseCare says it is extremely important to be able to recruit from as wide a pool of staff as possible, which is among the reasons why she is voting to Remain in Thursday’s EU Referendum.
Replying to Care Home Professional on the Tuesday before the referendum, Ms Knight states she is “Most definitely voting to remain in”.
NorseCare is a care home operator and care provider owned by Norfolk County Council that operates at arm’s length from the council as a private limited company.
It is the largest operator in Norfolk, and recently opened Bowthorpe Care Village in Norwich, a £19 million property containing an 80-bed care home, 90 housing with care apartments and a communal hub.
Running one of the largest employers in the county, Ms Knight believes that NorseCare needs to keep all options open when it comes to recruiting and retaining staff.
“It is extremely important for our company to be able to recruit from wider pool of staff. We rely like most care companies on recruiting from a whole range of European countries and from wider afield. We believe employing a variety of people from different backgrounds brings enhanced skills and expertise to our services,” she explains.
Norfolk, like many parts of the UK, is home to citizens from all over the world, and Ms Knight values the language skills of her multi-cultural team. For our residents, who are also from a whole range of countries, it is good that we usually have member of staff who can speak their native language ( very important where people who are living with dementia have forgotten how to understand and speak English even when they have lived in Great Britain for many years,” she says.
Speaking more personally, Ms Knight believes that countries work better together than apart. “The European Union was originally formed to prevent conflict post WW2; this has been on the whole successful. It is good for all countries not to be too introspective and have interest in other cultures, languages, etc.,” she stresses.
And from an economic point of view, NorseCare is a growing organisation looking for stability. “Any major changes from a political or economic perspective also creates uncertainty for investors and developers. As a company that is very interested in expanding, we believe if Brexit was to be successful plans could be delayed whilst investors wait to see what the potential “Fall out” could be,” she concludes.
Karen Knight sat down with Care Home Professional at the new Bowthorpe Care Village this month for the Big Interview, which will appear in the July edition of the magazine.