Posted: 10 June 2020
Bill Mumford is a Skills for Care Fellow with 40 years’ experience in the health and social care sector, starting as a live-in care assistant at Barnardo's, and then progressing to senior leadership roles.
Bill’s knows how important registered managers have been in fighting COVID-19 and wanted to thank them for their leadership in this crisis.
Registered managers are the backbone of social care. Social care would collapse without you and never more so than now.
With senior managers, inspectors and commissioners all largely prevented from visiting services our registered mangers have shouldered the burden of keeping people safe. Whether supporting our loved ones in care homes, nursing homes or in their own homes our frontline managers have been bearing the brunt: balancing the needs of vulnerable people with the fears and vulnerabilities of their care and support colleagues.
At the same time, with less support than usual, you have been managing your own fears, anxieties and uncertainties both at work and at home. From afar we have felt your grief, your anger and your exhaustion and have admired your resilience, ingenuity and love.
This blog is to salute you. To say ‘thank you’. Also to gently encourage you to also look after yourself - as best you can. Because you are worth it.
We all know that the pandemic is far from over and the people in your care are just as vulnerable today as they were at the start. Their families continue to feel anxious. They, your colleagues and everyone else will continue to look to you for guidance and leadership.
The challenge now is how to sustain safe practice, keep colleagues confident and families reassured. Likewise, how do we keep you safe, confident and reassured? How can we help to sustain you? There is a limit to how much anyone, even the strongest of us, can just soldier on. Even the sturdiest of backbones can weaken under the strain.
Here’s a few top tips:
Take a break - you have probably cancelled all your summer holiday arrangements, but you need a rest. Think that you will still be fighting the good fight for months to come and you must make the time.
Keep your personal wellbeing topped up - remember the ‘5 Ways: give, learn, notice, connect and be active. If not look it up - now is a good time to re-do your wellbeing plan. Make the time.
Give yourself some love - a bit of pampering, some treats, walk the dog, ‘me-time’. Make the time.
Give yourself a bit of slack - not everything will have gone as you had hoped, and you may have had to cope with some very sad situations, or make some very difficult and compromised decisions. Tell yourself you are doing your best and remind yourself you are not alone. Managers up and down the country will be feeling the same.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help - formal or informal, practical, psychological, spiritual - you decide. It is a sign of strength. Again - you are worth it.
Then, when your senior managers, inspectors and commissioners all start to visit again in the future remind them what a damn good job you did and invite them to show their appreciation with a pay rise, a ‘Good’ rating and some additional funding!
Thank you - on behalf of the people you support, your staff, Skills for Care, the social care sector and society at large - we are grateful.