Jan 19

We have to keep doing new things

Posted: 2 January 2019

Belinda Siggers is registered manager at Diligent Care Services and a member of Skills for Care. In this blog, Belinda reflects on 2018 and on her ambitions for 2019.

Firstly I’d like to wish you a very happy new year and best wishes for 2019.

As human beings we’re always changing (what’s more, we need change) and at the centre of all of our services are people. That’s why we have to keep doing new things, sometimes in response to something, but also proactively – because if you keep doing the same things you get the same results!

At Diligent Care we’re always looking to progress. We’ve introduced initiatives like our ‘Friendship, love and sex’ project to help people form adult friendships and relationships, and we are working towards accreditation with the National Autistic Society.

In 2018, perhaps our biggest change was the introduction of an electronic system to manage all of our care records; in short, we’ve gone digital! It was a big step and really positive for us. The improvements it offers the people we support and our staff are really important.

It means that changes or information can be logged live, so we’re all working with the most up-to-date information. Staff can raise issues or share what’s working well with the rest of the team; and when their colleagues come on shift all the information they need is ready for them! Ultimately, this improves the care we provide.

Of course when you introduce something like this you have to involve everyone. We did a big drive with staff, bringing them together to talk about the idea before we introduced it. We looked at our current systems, their roles and the improvements the system could offer. I’m not a top-down manager, I talk to people a lot and I believe in the power of small steps and small changes.

We also talked about where care is going; sometimes the sector can be a little slow – but the whole world is going digital.

I’m always looking at what else we can do. I do this by asking myself “without their specific needs, what would this person be doing at this time in their life?” – then we think about ways to make it possible. Every challenge is an opportunity.

Looking forward, in 2019 my ambition and the ambition we share as a service is to become ‘Outstanding’ (we were rated ‘Good’ in 2018, getting ‘Outstanding’ against Well-led). I welcome inspection (the inspectors we have had have been brilliant) and I know that we are a learning organisation and inspection is part of that.

This sector is very rewarding. On a day-to-day basis you can see the difference you help to make in people’s lives. So as we start a new year, as a service and a sector, we need to remember we can be innovative, we have to think outside the box and we can do this one step at a time, involving everyone as we go.

Belinda is a registered manager member of Skills for Care. Membership offers managers access to tailored support for their role. Find out more at www.skillsforcare.org.uk/membership 

You can follow our #2019CareGoals campaign this month on Twitter and at www.skillsforcare.org.uk/improveyourservice