Shavina Patel, owner of Availl’s Hillingdon and Harrow franchise, explains what attracted her to the healthcare specialist
I wanted a career change. I had worked in the NHS for around seven years and felt that, although I assisted with patients’ diets, I strived to offer clients a wider range of care services. I also sought the flexibility of running my own business.
Throughout my career I have worked in the health and social care sector. It’s what I am trained in and know best, so it was a natural progression to choose a franchise in this sector.
I am on call 24/7, so I can receive calls throughout the night and early morning from carers and clients. The office opens at 8.45am and a typical day can vary from talking to social services, clients and staff to training new carers and attending meetings.
In between this I catch up on emails and ensure all care shifts are filled. As a care agency, I have to be quick thinking when new shifts are phoned in. I know every member of my team well and this means I can match each client with a suitable carer.
The office closes at 5.30pm - after this all calls are directed to my mobile. An average evening running the franchise consists of answering the phone and catching up on new training and guidelines.
The support from the Availl franchise team has been brilliant - they are available 24 hours a day either on email or over the phone. The initial training I received was good and the franchise team spent time within my branch to ensure everything was running smoothly.
The franchise team visit my branch on a regular basis and hold training days to cover all aspects of running a care franchise. My branch has just turned six months old, so I am always working to increase the amount of care we provide. I want Availl to be known as the number one care agency in Hillingdon and Harrow and am constantly marketing to increase the Availl presence in my area.