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Jan 22

Planning for 2022: key takeaways from our 'The care exchange' podcast

Posted: 5 January 2022

In a recent episode of our podcast ‘The care exchange’, we spoke to Debbie Dry, the registered manager of Windsor Care Home, an ‘outstanding’ rated small family-run home for older people in Buckinghamshire.

Among her many useful insights, Debbie shared how she plans for the year ahead at the start of each year. The number one piece of advice Debbie would give to other managers is to focus on planning.

What I would say to someone is to start at the beginning of the year – I just find that easier for me – and look at all your quality assurance tasks and each month plan monthly what you want to tackle or try and achieve.

It’s very easy in this job to feel overwhelmed, particularly in the last year, but even if CQC come in in February, June, or December, if you haven’t finished all your tasks what you can show them is what you’ve planned to do.

It shows you’ve got a real understanding of your role and the opportunities that are there for the rest of the year.

Try not to become overwhelmed by it. It’s about managing your time for the here and now and being realistic about what you can achieve. I’d rather do things slowly and do them well.

Windsor Care Home is rated ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), and Debbie explains that a large part of that rating comes down to clear planning and evidencing.

Debbie explains that if planning and evidencing is running smoothly through the year you can be prepared for a successful visit from CQC at anytime of year, where you can show them what you’ve been working on and what you’ve planned for the year ahead.

She says:

It’s about evidencing everything that you do as you go along.

It’s about planning for the whole year and managing yourself, so you don’t become overwhelmed, and you don’t become stressed.

Talking more about CQC, Debbie highlights that rather than placing too much emphasis solely on inspections, providers should be focusing on putting the people they support at the heart of everything they do, and making improvements at all times; if they do that then meeting the standards required by CQC should come naturally.

She explains that at Windsor Care Home their priority is always how what they do will benefit the people they support. For example, when the team complete training it’s not about getting a certificate, it’s about putting the learning into place in a way that benefits the people they support. For Debbie, training and learning opportunities for her team is something that she looks to plan out at the start of each year.

As the new year begins listen to Debbie’s podcast discussion in full for more inspiration on planning and other advice and insights from her experience as a registered manager.

For more information and support on planning for the year ahead have a look at our #PrepareToCare22 blogs and articles.