I started my care career when I was 17. I was a care assistant working in a residential dementia home. I then chose to complete my nurse training and qualified in 2009.
I always knew I wanted to be a nurse but never knew what speciality I wanted to work in. I also trained as a midwife, however as I was training I found work as a bank nurse at St Johns, where I work now.
I worked there as and when I could help out alongside my midwifery. I then made the decision to apply for the deputy manger’s position in 2014 and things have just progressed from there. After success in my role as a deputy, I am now registered manager.
I am registered manager for a 42-bed nursing home. We are part of Amica Care Trust, which has five homes in total.
St Johns is the home I manage; it is situated in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire and we care for people who are funded by the local authority as well as those who are paying for their own care. St Johns is open to residents over the age of 50, and provides full nursing care. We support those who may be living with dementia and we also provide end of life care. Our aim is to help support residents to live the life they wish.
I have been in my current role as home manager now for over 12 months. I enjoyed my role as deputy manager but always knew I would like to progress to home manager.
My expectations were quite different to the reality of becoming registered manager. It is such a massive step up from the deputy manager position in many ways, and it was a shock, but in a good way, although it can be very hard feeling like there aren’t enough hours in the day! I’d say that’s the most difficult part.
One of the best parts of my role that I really enjoy is having the team I work with around me. I have a vision and I always make sure I’m sharing this with them, and keeping them aware of my wishes for the home so we can all work towards them together.
I was nominated for the NCF Rising Stars programme by Amica Care’s Operations Manager, John Chapman.
I hadn’t really heard of the Rising Stars programme, so once I was nominated, I looked into it and realised what a massive opportunity it was, so I was very grateful for this.
So far, I have mostly enjoyed meeting lots of new like-minded people; it was nice chatting with the other Rising Stars knowing that we all have the same apprehensions and share similar challenges. It’s also great to meet other people in the sector who you can learn from and it has been good to share best practices too.
As far as the future is concerned, I definitely want to continue being registered manager for St Johns Court over the next few years and develop my skills and leadership style, as well as my knowledge.
I’m happy with where I currently am in my career. The Rising Stars programme has helped to reassure me and make me realise that we are all doing a good job. It also encourages me when things are hard that it’s worth continuing to offer the best care we can to hopefully improve care in the future.
My advice to other registered managers, or those who are looking to move into a registered manager role, is that no matter how hard each day may seem, definitely persevere! It is worth all the hard work and you are making positive changes.
We care for some of the most vulnerable people. Before I became registered manager, I was always being reminded that you can’t do everything, your to do list will never go down and it takes time to complete tasks. I always wanted things done yesterday and now I know, it takes time.
About NCF Rising Stars
The NCF Rising Stars is a programme run by the National Care Forum for new and leading registered managers. Over the course of a year, Rising Stars are provided with a variety of leadership experiences and supported throughout the programme by an external mentor who will be a senior leader within another NCF member organisation.
The programme starts at the NCF Annual Conference in summer where they are introduced to the programme, meet the other successful applicants and meet their mentors for the first time. Held for chief executive officers and senior directors, the conference covers a wide range of policy and practice sessions with an emphasis on ensuring that leaders are fully equipped for what the future may bring.
Development and experience days include:
- Diet and Nutrition Day with apetito, a leading food supplier to the care sector, with input from a lead dietician.
- Technology Day with Person Centred Software, sharing knowledge and testing the latest tools which digitise the adult social care sector.
- Recruitment and Retention Masterclass with Neil Eastwood, Founder of Care Friends and Sticky People and author of Saving Social Care.
This year’s cohort of NCF Rising Stars was also invited to visit the Houses of Parliament to attend an exclusive roundtable discussion with the Minister for Care, Caroline Dinenage MP.
Recently, the Rising Stars attended the NCF Managers Conference ‘Change Makers… be the change you want to see’.
Held over the course of two days, the programme brought together inspirational speakers, shared knowledge of specialist provision, explored latest innovations and delivered an understanding of the external care environment enabling managers to shape the future of great care.
The conference incorporates a visit to the WCS Care Innovation Hub. As well as this, there was a tour of Castle Brook care home which helps Rising Stars to learn how a wide range of technology and arising data can shape service development and delivery.
Each NCF Rising Star shares their personal development journey and experience of the programme in Care Management Matters Magazine.
CMM members can read past interviews dating back to the beginning of the Rising Stars programme. Log in to access the articles. Not a member? Sign up here, it’s free for care providers.