Posted: 13 November 2017
Laura Hambridge is Chair of the new registered manager network in Coventry. She is a registered manager herself and got involved in establishing this local network in her area.
I was invited to attend a care home forum event in my area where we were introduced to the registered manager networks by our Skills for Care Locality Manager, Clare McKenzie.
Clare described the purpose and ambitions of local networks and told us about the role of network chairs. Myself and another registered manager took on the responsibility for a new network in Coventry, which was being set up by the Chief Executive of Carers Trust Heart of England, Penny Collard MBE. We decided to take on the challenge and the network was formally launched earlier this year.
I wanted to be involved in the network because I know that the role of the registered manager can be isolating. You can often feel alone, particularly if you are working for a small company, with a single location. I wanted somewhere to get that extra advice and to ‘let-off steam’. I was motivated to become one of the chairs because I wanted to make sure that the network was a success, and that it continues, so that other managers can access the sort of support that I was looking for.
I am always trying to spread the word about the benefits of coming along to our network – even if I am not speaking directly to a registered manager, I will say ‘if you know a manager, then tell them to come along.’
I think networks have lots of benefits. It’s a great place to come and have another registered manager to speak to away from the office. Managers receive support and reassurance in a confidential environment and it helps you to realise that you’re not alone. Networks are unique from other meetings I attend because of the breadth of topics on the agenda - which are set by the managers - which make them a great place to keep up-to-date.
We’ve already covered a lot of subjects and topics since we started. We’ve talked about Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) processes, making sure that everyone attending the network are using the correct forms. We talk about local issues and initiatives, such as the ‘React to Red’ and ‘Say No to Infection’ campaigns.
We also receive updates and discuss new resources from Skills for Care and their membership offer. Staff retention, the development of new managers and person-centred care are also important issues for the group.
We set out an agenda at the first meeting for the next twelve months, which includes a list of topics for each meeting. We’ve had guest speakers, including a safeguarding lead from Coventry City Council, who was able to provide direct feedback on the way that we are currently completing paperwork and processes, and a speaker talking about medication management. We also want to make connections with local occupational therapists and get students involved in coming into care homes.
Skills for Care facilitates over 150 networks in England. If you’re a registered manager, you can find your local registered manager network here.
Find out how powerful networks can be for registered managers and hear about the value of networks from registered managers themselves. See the highlights of our 2017 survey here.