The care exchange


'The care exchange' is a new podcast series for managers in social care hosted by Skills for Care Locality Managers Pia Rathje-Burton (left) and Ali Rusbridge (right). 

Throughout the series, we’ll be inviting guests to join us as we celebrate the role of managers in social care. We’ll be sharing experiences from other managers in social care, providing a place where managers can listen to other managers, feel less isolated and pick-up some good ideas to support them in their own role. Our episodes cover the following topics:


We’d love to hear what you think about our podcast series. Please send your feedback to 


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Episode 7: Can I run something past you?  

In this episode our guest is Joseph Hughes from City Care Partnership. Joseph is the registered manager of two outstanding rated services that support people with learning disabilities.

He talks about the importance of managers not thinking they have to be the best at everything and not being afraid to ask for help. 

Joseph discusses the value of their ‘What’s Up’ group and how he wants his staff to come to work and feel valued, comfortable, well trained and with funded walking boots!

Resources to support this podcast

  • Learning disability webpage and newsletter - we have a range of resources that explain what skills and knowledge workers need to support people with a learning disability, their carers and families, and how adult social care employers can develop their staff. Find out more and sign up to the newsletter for regular updates.
  • Supporting individuals with face coverings and other COVID-19 related challenges - our guide sets out how to support people with learning disabilities and autistic people with some of the current COVID-19 challenges. You can also find a range of resources which include easy read documents, videos, social stories and webinars - Find out more.
  • Delivering good and outstanding care - our ‘Good and outstanding care’ range draws on practical examples from Care Quality Commission (CQC) reports and regulated providers, to share best practice, help you prepare for inspection and improve your service. The range includes free online guides, practical seminars and consultancy and tailored support - See the resources.
  • Registered Manager Networks - Thousands of managers attend the local networks that we support across England. At each network, managers share knowledge, hear from guest speakers and access peer support. Our networks are now being delivered virtually and through WhatsApp groups. Stay in touch with each other during these challenging times and join your local network today. 



Episode 6: It’s your time to shine

In this episode of ‘The care exchange’ we’re joined by Karyn Ross who is the registered manager of the Shared Lives scheme in Coventry.

Karyn’s service was rated outstanding in her last CQC inspection and she shares how she used her mantra ‘plan, invest and record’ to prepare for the inspection.

Karyn also talks about the importance of promoting personal relationships, how students on placements can inject fresh ideas and why her team is always open to learn new ways of working and continue to try to improve. 


Resources to support this podcast 

  • Karyn talks about how she used the ‘Good and outstanding care guide’ when she prepared for her latest CQC inspection – find out more about the guide.  
  • If you have been inspired by Karyn’s positive experiences of having students on placements check out our guide ‘Offering meaningful work experience: a guide for adult social care employers’.  
  • New resources on supporting personal relationships, developed in partnership with CQC. The resources will help you to think about what your workforce need to know and understand about personal relationships, and how they can create a training plan. See our resources.



Episode 5: You can’t juggle all the balls


In this fifth episode our guest is Carly Rochester, manager of Lodge Group Care’s domiciliary home care service.  

Carly talks about how much respect she has for home care workers, the way everyone pulled together during the pandemic and how as a manager it’s so important to value your staff as “without them where would we be?” 

Carly shares her belief in the importance of using the workforce's different skills and abilities and how she has learned to delegate, letting go of some of the thing’s managers hold on to and trusting and empowering members of her team. 

 Follow Carly on LinkedIn

Resources to support this podcast 

  • Partnership working
    Carly talked about how she has found it really useful to work in partnership. Our new resource ‘An introduction to working with partners – a practical guide for social care managers’ would be really helpful if you’re thinking about partnership working. If you’re a registered manager member you will get this guide if you renew your membership. Non-members will be able to purchase through our bookshop when it reopens later this year. 
  • Delegated healthcare tasks 
    If like Carly your staff are providing more clinical tasks the delegated healthcare tasks resources can be helpful. The two short guides support decision making and provide information and guidance on delivering delegated healthcare tasks safely and competently. 


Episode 4: It’s like watching poetry

In our fourth episode we’re joined by Ronnie Lillywhite who talks about being a manager in a supported living service.

Ronnie shares what it’s like to support a service to improve, why safety comes trumps every time and how she has remained focused on making improvements during the pandemic.

Ronnie also explains why she has never felt so connected to her peers, that great things are still happening and how she has learnt to act with balance. 

Resources to support this podcast 

  • Driving and evidencing improvements in difficult times webinar 
    This webinar looks at how services have continued to deliver quality during the pandemic. It also looks beyond the pandemic on how new virtual approaches and other quality assurance changes can help providers to improve beyond these challenging times.
  • Preparing for the CQC Transitional Monitoring Approach 
    Visit our dedicated webpage to see our information video that provides an overview of the new CQC virtual inspection calls. The video is complemented by a new self-check resource, action plan, and bite-size versions of our ‘Good and outstanding care’ guide to help you to demonstrate the high standards of care you are providing.   

Episode 3: The chicks were heaven sent

In this third episode we talk to Marlene Kelly, the Registered Manager of Auburn Mere Care Home in Watford.  

Marlene shares her views on the importance of concentrating on meaningful activities that provide occupation and connection and talks about how the chicks that arrived at the home during the pandemic provided great joy.

She discusses how the pandemic has helped her work out what really matters and highlights the importance of managers thinking about their own wellbeing, as to have enough energy for everyone else you have to look after yourself. Marlene shares some great tips on how she has looked after her own wellbeing during the pandemic. 

Follow Auburn Mere on Facebook andInstagram.

Resources to support this podcast


Episode 2: Stay connected always

In this second episode we talk to Sue Ann Nnamani, the Registered Manager of Priscilla Wakefield House in Haringey, London. Sue Ann shares her approach to managing a large nursing home, including how she made sure that values are embedded into the service, the importance of looking inwards and outwards and why it’s the simple things that matter.   

 Follow Sue Ann on LinkedIn!  

Resources to support this podcast

Episode 1: Bring your whole self to work

In this first episode we invited Skills for Care CEO Oonagh Smyth to join us. In this insightful session Oonagh shares her motivations in her own role, shares her views on why the role of registered manager is so important and so much more. It’s a conversation you don’t want to miss. 

Follow Oonagh Smyth on twitter!



Resources to support this podcast