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. Send your feedback to 

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Episode 10: Everything is solvable

In this end of series episode our hosts Ali and Pia reflect on the amazing managers who have shared their experiences and tips throughout the series. The conversation includes common themes that have emerged, highlights some of the useful suggestion’s guests have made and discusses how they relate to the new CQC strategy.

We’re extremely grateful to all the managers who have contributed to this first series of ‘The care exchange’ and celebrate the incredible work being done every day by registered managers across the country. The Care Exchange will be back with series two in October 2021. 


Resources to support this podcast

  • Find your locality manager
    We have area teams across England who can signpost you to relevant information, tools and the availability of funding for learning and development. 
    As well as running workshops and networking events, locality managers can work with you to understand your organisation and facilitate access to our bespoke services. Support from locality managers can be via phone or email.
    Find your locality manager

  • Support for registered managers
    As the membership organisation for registered managers, our support will help you with the issues you face on a day-to-day basis.
    Join a local network where you can connect with other managers at a local level, building a supportive network and sharing best practice and learning. Find out more.
    Our registered manager webinars cover a range of topics to support managers and their services. They are 30-minutes long and are delivered to a live audience and recorded for further viewing.

  • Wellbeing resource finder
    Here you’ll find wellbeing resources that have been selected as particularly relevant for the social care sector. All the resources are from our trusted partners and have been grouped into the topics. You can filter your results to reduce time and energy searching for resources for yourself and others. 
    Take a look at the resource finder

  • Delivering good and outstanding care
    Our ‘Good and outstanding care guide’ shares recommendations and best practice from 'good' and ‘outstanding' rated services, under each area of inspection. You can use the guide to benchmark what you're doing now and decide where to make improvements.


Episode 9: Just try to add lemon curd 

We’re joined by Azhar Juri who talks about being a mental health nurse and registered manager of a residential care home for people with enduring mental health issues.  

Azhar shares their thoughts on developing a positive culture to support staff “to be the best they can be”, being honest with yourself and how WhatsApp is a lifesaver.  We also talk about Azhar’s very personal journey and how Bollywood dancing changed everything.   


Resources to support this podcast

  • Mental health – our website has information on the skills and knowledge that staff who work in mental health services need, including the ‘Mental Health Core Skills Education and Training Framework’ that can help you to design and commission high quality training that meets the needs of the people that you support. 

  • Equality and diversity - our resources help to develop awareness of the standards on equality and diversity to allow you and your team develop an inclusive and confident approach to diversity. Take a look at our ‘Confident with difference’ resource.    

  • A guide to WhatsApp - WhatsApp is a quick and effective way of sharing information with your workforce. Our guide provides an introduction into WhatsApp and how it can be used to support communication. 



Episode 8: Oh lovely, we're home


We’re joined by Debbie Dry, Registered Manager of Windsor Lodge, a small care home for older people in Buckinghamshire.  

Debbie talks about the importance of the resident being at the heart of everything and how that drives her desire to constantly improve quality. She explains how she ensures that any training her staff do is a learning opportunity for everyone and has an impact on the care delivered.  

Debbie sums up her podcast with a quote from Theodore Roosevelt – “They don’t care what you know they want to know you care”. 

Find Windsor Lodge Care Home on Facebook


Resources to support this podcast

  • Leadership skills - Debbie talks about leadership skills which is linked to the Leadership Qualities Framework that describes the attitudes and behaviours needed for high quality leadership at all levels. 

  • Learning from events digital module – This 35 minute, interactive module is designed to support managers and leaders in all adult care settings carry out learning reviews.

    Learning reviews are an approach that bring people together to holistically explore an adverse event or near miss. They allow teams to explore different perspectives and create a positive action plan that supports individuals and seeks to avoid repeat incidents. 

    You can claim £100 from the Workforce Development Fund for every employee who completes the module.


Episode 7: Can I run something past you?  

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 - drawing 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

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


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

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

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

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