This is my first column for Care Management Matters and it is a pleasure to have the chance to tell you a bit about myself and what I have done between volunteering at my local care home at fifteen and becoming Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care at the CQC.
By background, I am a social worker, having been drawn to a career in social care at a young age by the possibility of helping people to live independently and have their voices heard where they might not otherwise have done.
I have worked across local government for the whole of my career to date, from commissioning to my last post as Director of Adult Social Care at Oxfordshire County Council.
Although I was sad to say goodbye to my job in Oxfordshire, I was excited to take on a new challenge and join an organisation where ensuring people receive high-quality care is at the heart of what we do.
I am very grateful to be in a position where I can contribute to achieving that goal, as this is as much of a driver for me now as it was when I began my career.
As I write this column, I have been in my role as Chief Inspector for a little over a month, but I have already had the chance to meet so many interesting people, both within the CQC and across the sector, who have shared their insight with me.
Meeting with provider representative organisations has been one of my highlights so far and has shone a clear light on the fact that we can work together more closely to achieve the joint aim of improving experiences for people who access social care.
Having the chance to shadow three inspections so far has also given me an insight into the hard work that both our inspection teams and providers put into being ‘inspection ready’.
Working in social care for many years now means that I very much value the importance of working together to respond to the collective challenges we face and to raise the profile of our sector. The voice of people who use services, their families and carers, providers and stakeholders is vitally important and should inform all aspects of our work.
Currently, we deliver care and regulate services in a siloed way, but people often do not differentiate between the services they receive – they just want good, joined-up care. I am interested in exploring how the sector can deliver care that is more joined-up and how we can regulate to support this.
As well as working together, I believe that we must be innovative with care practices and technology. Having the confidence to share ideas, test them in a safe and measured way, and discuss them with others is something I am very passionate about and would encourage everyone to do.
Learning from mistakes is just as important as celebrating an idea that is a success. Over the summer months, we will be publishing a number of reports, including our Oral Health in Care Homes report which will look at the quality and awareness of oral health in care homes in England.
This report has been developed by inspectors from Adult Social Care and Primary Medical Services within the CQC, working in partnership with providers.
I hope to talk to you about more work which has been successfully collaborated on in the future. I hope that has given you a taste of what I am passionate about and will be driving forwards at the CQC in my new role.
I look forward to talking to you in more detail about our work in future columns.
Kate Terroni is Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care at the Care Quality Commission. Twitter: @CQCProf
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