Skills for Care

What it feels like to work for an 'outstanding' provider

20 Dec 2021

Ellen Toulson and Steven Guest

There are many reasons to aim for an ‘outstanding’ rating from the Care Quality Commission (CQC), just one of which is the benefit that it brings to your staff.

An ‘outstanding’ rating can help you retain a loyal workforce who are proud to be part of your team.

We spoke to Ellen Toulson an assistant team leader and Steven Guest a support worker at City Care Partnership about what it feels like working for an ‘outstanding’ rated provider.

1. What inspired you to work in social care?

Ellen: I knew I wanted a job that would allow me to help people. After graduating, I saw the advert for City Care and I just thought ‘this sounds fun, lets apply.’ I joined as a support worker which I really enjoyed – it was fulfilling, and no day was ever the same. Once I found my feet in that role, I wanted to progress further within the company. I made use of the different training available and was promoted to the position of assistant team leader.

Steven: Prior to joining City Care I ran my own business doing interior design/soft furnishings, and I was also a full-time carer for my mum. After looking after my mum for so long and losing her I wasn’t sure I wanted to do another caring role, but the interview day changed my view. It wasn’t what I’d originally thought a care role was and I ended up enjoying the interview and feeling confident about doing the job. I love my role as a support worker, especially being outside and active.


2. What’s been your proudest moment in your career?

Ellen: Just seeing how far the people I support have come since I started. Working together with my colleagues we make a real lasting difference to transform people’s lives and support them to increase their independence and reach their goals and aspirations.

Steven: I’m proud of the whole role.I came to this job later in life and working with much younger people and looking after much younger people takes a lot of energy and I’m still doing this at 53 which is great. Seeing the people who I support happy and having fun, working with a great team of colleagues, and feeling appreciated and part of a team all makes me very proud.


3. How does it feel working at a provider rated ‘outstanding’?

Ellen: It makes me feel proud. I’ve been given the support and the training that I need to ensure that I can do my work to the highest possible standard.

Steven: It feels good to know I work for an ‘outstanding’ employer. Going back to my initial interview I could tell City Care was something special, something more than another care provider. It’s more like a family than a care service.


4.Has City Care’s ‘outstanding’ rating influenced your decision to stay?

Ellen: Definitely! I’ve moved back home with my parents which is over an hour away from where I work, and I’m constantly asked why I don’t get a job closer to home. There’s plenty of other roles closer to where I now live, but I don’t want to leave City Care because I know that the quality of the care and support provided is second to none. I wouldn’t want to take a chance on working somewhere where things aren’t done to the same standard as they are here.

Steven: I plan to stay at City Care for many reasons and working for an outstanding rated service is a bonus. The opportunity to stay and progress at City Care is an option that many people take, including some of my colleagues who are starting out in their careers.


5. What’s your favourite thing about working at City Care Partnership?

Ellen: The atmosphere. Parity is a big part of City Care’s ethos, and this is shown in day-to-day life. The people who we support and the staff all have fun doing a wide range of different activities together. We all have fun, celebrate each other’s achievements, and grow and learn together, which creates a great atmosphere to work in.

Steven: The outdoor activities I do with the people we support. I love getting the people I support out in the garden; seeing them motivated and enjoying their time with us is really inspiring. I especially enjoy the hikes, swimming, and spending time with the horses.


6. What are some of the key learning and development opportunities you’ve had through your career?

Ellen: City Care has supported me to work on my NVQ Level 2 course. I also started the apprentice assistant team leader training which is providing me with the skills and knowledge to progress to a team leader role. City Care provides excellent training and gives you the opportunity to further your skills and learn more to progress your career.

Steven: Whilst I was doing my assistant team leader role, I also completed my Level 3 Leadership and Management course. Throughout my time at City Care we’ve been encouraged and supported to progress as well as maintaining up-to-date care standards.


7. What do you think are the most important things that social care providers can to do retain staff?

Ellen: I believe that to retain staff for the long-term care providers should ensure that their staff feel valued. City Care has a ‘Values in action’ award, this allows anyone to nominate colleagues who embody the values and ethos of the company. This ensures people know their work gets recognised and this means people feel valued within their role, which makes a big difference in staff morale.

Steven: I think supporting staff both in their roles and with future progression, continuing to provide opportunities to progress within the company and for me personally doing more specialised training in activities of interest.

Find more information and support for retaining staff on our #RetainToGain spotlight.

Find out more about CQC ratings and being a ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’ provider.

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