During my recent update-training appraisal, I was asked if there was anything I particularly disliked about this job. No hesitation there … handover days and the uncertainty of future bookings.

As far as I could see it should be simple … a database of clients needing carers on specific dates and a database of carers available on those dates. Then with the click of the mouse, voila, the two come together and Bob’s your uncle. When the green team rang to invite me in to the office a few days later to see the reality of their role I was to eat my words.

Firstly Amy from the green team showed me the database and information they hold for the carers. Their work load is tremendous. Beside the weekly routine calls to carers to as many as 250 of us checking on availability and the arrival and departure times of carers on handover days they deal with a constant stream of phone calls and emails from carers needing answers to an unbelievable variety of queries.

Next, it was a trip to the bookings teams where James (the booking office’s very own ‘Mr Bond’ I was led to believe) showed me the work involved in matching a client and carer. They take into account the preferences of both parties and aim to keep the handover chain to a minimum, both in the number of carers and in the time involved. And yes, despite what we may think, they do take the length of journeys into consideration, both the time it takes from a clients home to and from the stations and the length of the journey. He did concede that as yet they are unable to take the actual train times into consideration. Another part of their role is to make follow up calls after an introduction to ensure the client was happy with the carer and vice-versa. Again, this was a very busy department where all the teams seemed to be working flat out in order to fill introductions.

All in all, both the support teams and the booking teams work hard to ensure that we are able to keep the show on the road and my brief time with them has made me more aware of the obstacles they overcome to ensure things run as smoothly as possible for all of us.

Janet Cross, a Christies Carer