Posted: 28 June 2017
Claire Jackson is the registered manager at Inter-County Nursing and Care Services in Christchurch. When the service received their Outstanding rating in 2016, the CQC praised Claire’s approach to developing her own practice.
To be an effective leader and motivator you have to have the knowledge and the resources to steer your team in the right direction and appeal to the right people. I believe that knowledge is power and it enables me to do my job effectively, so I am really enthusiastic about keeping my skills and expertise up-to-date.
This belief underpins how I manage the service – we are an outward looking organisation and I am in the privileged position of having an extremely supportive Managing Director who is of great support to me in my role and is as passionate as I am about delivering excellent quality care.
I feel it is extremely important to access information and support through various avenues, so I regularly network with local dementia action groups, manager forums, local authority meetings, sector conferences and training events.
Being a member of professional organisations such as Skills For Care’s Registered Manager Membership, The United Kingdom Homecare Association and our local Partners in Care to name but a few, enables me to receive regular updates and develop ideas for innovation and improvement within our service, it also means that I can ensure we are working in line with current best practice and legislative requirements.
I am passionate about obtaining feedback, active listening and proactive networking. Every manager should remember that talking to people costs nothing and at a time when services are under so much pressure, collaborative working is definitely the way forward.
An example of this is when I met another manager from a local residential service a few months ago. I expressed my interest in putting on an event in a local care home for our clients to attend. As a community service, we don’t have the facilities or the premises to bring people together in this way so we developed the idea of working together to do something collaboratively. In March 2017 we organised an event at her Care Home to promote Dignity Action Day. We made arrangements for our clients to attend with the support of our care staff - where they enjoyed an afternoon of live entertainment, raffle prizes, and afternoon tea. It was a wonderful day and for those who are often housebound it was a great opportunity for them to have some social interaction and be part of a local community event. The feedback from our clients was extremely positive and it was evident that our efforts were much appreciated by those who attended.
CQC looks for what you’re doing that’s outside the box as well as what’s expected, especially working in collaboration with others to make a better service for your clients and staff. They want to see that everyone is valued and you have evidence to not only meet the requirements but that you are auditing that evidence to see how things can be continually improved.
I have developed my management style through ongoing training, personal experiences and networking within my peer group – all of which have had a direct influence on the way I manage my team. I lead by example and take an honest and open approach promoting respect and professionalism at all times. Teamwork is a vital component of success, so active listening with staff and colleagues along with an ‘open door’ policy have enabled me to build a strong and loyal team that is extremely supportive to me in my role.
I believe that with forward planning, positive action, working together and learning to collaborate with other agencies, we are better placed to meet the demand for services and provide a quality service to the client. Building a team of flexible, reliable and competent staff is key, ensuring from the very outset that we recruit and train the right people and that they share the same vision as us - to be the best that we can be.
By rewarding and recognising staff achievements, involving them in the care planning process for our clients and communicating effectively, our staff feel valued in their role and will often go above and beyond to help provide extra cover for the service when needed.
But how do you find the right resources and information to support you in your role as a Registered Manager? With so much information at our fingertips it can be difficult to know where to start. My advice would be to start at the beginning and give yourself time to do your homework! Read the Fundamental Standards and KLOEs so that you have a good understanding of what’s expected of you as a manager, understand your responsibilities under the regulatory requirements and attend training seminars/conferences to ensure your knowledge is up-to-date and current. Utilise resources in your local area so that you can develop your own skills and knowledge further, network with your peer group and don’t be afraid to ask questions or seek advice and support when needed. Sign up to professional newsletters and magazines such as Skills for Care enews, National Skills Academy and Quality Care Matters. Be proactive by making contact with key people in your local community, join your local Dementia Action Group and develop links with GP surgeries and other healthcare practitioners to promote a collaborative way of working.
The most important thing is to remain passionate about what you do - talk to your clients and staff on a regular basis and actively listen to what they say, take note of what’s happening in the community, be supportive, approachable, visible and above all else - lead by setting a good example.
To find out how registered manager membership can benefit you go here. For information on how our Good and outstanding resources can support your organisation visit here.