The care exchange - Series 1


Series one of our podcast series 'The care exchange' celebrates the role of managers in social care. We wanted to share experiences from other managers in social care and provide a place where managers can listen to other managers and pick up some good ideas to support them in their own role. The episodes are all hosted by Skills for Care locality managers Pia Rathje-Burton (left) and Ali Rusbridge (right) and cover the following topics:


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Episode 1: Bring your whole self to work

In our first episode Skills for Care CEO Oonagh Smyth to join us to share 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 


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 3: The chicks were heaven sent

Marlene Kelly, the Registered Manager of Auburn Mere Care Home in Watford 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. 

Follow Auburn Mere on Facebook and Instagram.

Resources to support this podcast


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 


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 and trusting and empowering members of her team. 

 Follow Carly on LinkedIn

Resources to support this podcast 

  • Delegated healthcare interventions
    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 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 


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

  • 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 - Find out more.

  • Delivering good and outstanding care - Access the resources including free online guides, practical seminars and consultancy and tailored support as well as sharing best practice to help you prepare for inspection and improve your service.

  • Registered Manager Networks - Join your local network to share knowledge, hear from guest speakers and access peer support. 



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.  

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. 


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 – Access 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 - Our guide provides an introduction into WhatsApp and how it can be used to support communication. 


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. 

Resources to support this podcast

  • Find your locality manager - Find your locality manager to support you to understand your organisation and facilitate access to our bespoke services. Support is provided via phone or email.

  • Support for registered managers - Access our registered managers area to find the right support that suits you, from webinars to joining networks we have support to suit you.

  • Wellbeing resource finder - Access the wellbeing resource finder for resources from our trusted partners that have been grouped into specific topics. You can filter your results to reduce time and energy searching for resources for yourself and others.

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