Mar 19

Making it real with LDC Care

Posted: 25 March 2019

Our CEO Sharon Allen reflects on a visit that embodied the passion, commitment and intrinsic person-centred, relational based support our sector needs.

One of my favourite quotes is from Rosabeth Moss Kanter: “The most radical thing we can do is connect people to one another. That starts conversations toward a vision for change."

Very apt I think for social care which is at its heart all about relationships. I was delighted to be introduced a few months ago to Lara Bywater, CEO at LDC Care in Kent, Chair of the Registered Manager Network in Folkestone, board member of Kent Independent Care Alliance amongst other roles. It was a great pleasure when through our conversation Lara invited me to visit her and colleagues, hear more about their work and visit some of the services they provide.

Lara embodies the passion, commitment and intrinsic person-centred, relational based support we want to see in all social care and support. While we were meeting and I was learning more about the organisation and finding out how the Registered Manager network and other support offers from Skills for Care enhances LDC provision, a group of new colleagues who joined the organisation on Monday were on day two of their induction. Over lunch I had the opportunity to have a chat with a number of them and it was really encouraging to hear of their different routes in to the organisation and the sector and their enthusiasm for their roles. It was heartening to see colleagues engaging so early on in the Care Certificate and to hear the importance attached to this as providing a key part of effective induction.


When I was a provider prior to joining Skills for Care, I committed time to visiting the services I was responsible for, engaging with the people we supported and the colleagues providing that support. I learned a lot from those visits and interactions so I was grateful to Steve and Adrian who took me to meet some of the people supported by LDC. The same experience happened, listening to the people supported by the organisation and the colleagues providing support reinforced the importance of respectful relationships, being kind and being able to have fun whilst gently providing guidance and supporting people to consider how to manage risks.

When Lara told me that being part of the Registered Manager network, ably supported by my colleague Pia, the Locality Manager for the area, had enabled her to do things she wouldn’t otherwise have done, as usual, I asked her for examples. Lara told me that the relationships developed through the network meant that when for example she had noticed a trend about something, she had been able to ring round the other managers and ask if they were having the same experience. When they confirmed they were, Lara then contacted the Local Authority colleague supporting the Local Workforce Advisory Board and together they are working toward a solution. This wouldn’t have happened without the connectivity of the network.

She also talked of the value of inviting guest speakers and gave the example of inviting a colleague from NICE to remind her and colleagues of their guidance for social care providers and the quick guides which are invaluable.

Whenever I’m speaking at events, I talk about these networks and the value of joining the Skills for Care Registered Manager membership offer and this conversation brought the value to life again.

I’m sure it will come as no surprise reading what I’ve shared thus far that LDC Care trainer Julie Berry won the Kent Care Awards ‘Care Trainer Award’ in 2018 and Lara won the Care Home Manager award in 2017. Nor that this is an organisation continually looking to develop including being part of the Skills for Care peer review process for PBS training. I’m delighted to hear that LDC Care is exploring hosting a Graduate from the Skills for Care Graduate Management Trainee programme. What a brilliant experience this will be for one lucky grad. 

In my last week with Skills for Care I am so pleased to have had the opportunity to spend time with this fabulous organisation, to meet colleagues totally passionate about providing high quality person centred care for people who other organisations have labelled as challenging. To hear the difference the resources and support from Skills for Care, particularly the active engagement and relationship with Locality Manager Pia makes was the perfect note to sign out on.