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Carewithal Care Services

Why and when to choose a care consultant?

Interim management

Has your manager left? Have they been dismissed?  Do you have a vacancy to head your care service? Are you in the process of recruiting?

If the answer is yes, a care consultant will ensure stability for the team and keep a leadership presence while you recruit.  Ideally you should find someone who has held a peripatetic management role previously, but most certainly they should have been a registered manager.  They should be adaptable and have a vast array of knowledge around legislation and care standards.

To lead the team well, they should be personable, have a will do attitude, show a willingness to get to know the people within the home and have outstanding communication skills at a variety of levels.

“FEEL INSPIRED TO BE INSPIRING”

After a long-standing manager departs

Has your service lost their leader after many years?  Have they retired?  Has the home currently got a good or outstanding rating?  Was the manager well respected?

If yes, don’t recruit straight away for a permanent manager.  Their replacement will have a lot to prove, and big shoes to fill.  The team and the residents will need time to grieve their loss.  A new manager will come in with new ideas and will want to stamp their own personality on to the service.  This can be detrimental at the beginning of this new relationship.  There will be a ‘don’t fix what isn’t broken’ and defensive attitude amongst the team.  Initially they may not want to get to know a new boss!

A care consultant can help this process by coming in for a few months and preparing the ship for its new leader.  Ensure they are experienced in managing a number of homes previously, and at times for short periods, and that they have sound legislative knowledge. Ideally, they will have experience of coaching for leadership and be able to support the team without becoming a counsellor to them.  Teams can feel at a loss without their parent, and they need to get to a stage where they can operate without them and be ready to accept a different personality.

This is not a time for change; this is a time to lead and coach a team to continue to work under the legacy of the manager that they have lost.

“A PERSON LIVING IN CARE NEEDS TO FEEL LIKE THEY STILL MATTER”

Crisis management

Have you just had a poor CQC inspection?  Have you just experienced a major safeguarding issue?  Have you had a local authority contract monitoring visit that didn’t go well?  Do you receive a lot of complaints, and poor customer satisfaction reports?

If you haven’t managed to catch these concerns in good time, you are now facing a crisis.  This could include an embargo or moratorium which will be devastating for business.  You may receive enforcement; and potential prosecution which could result in your care service ultimately facing closure.

This is a key time to appoint a highly experienced care consultant. Ideally someone with, not only turn around experience but proven turnaround success.

In one of my previous articles, I spoke about how I have supported care services in previous crisis situations, and I advised how to do this well.  This included the Capsize vs Clarity analogy:

I so often saw crisis capsize before improvements were evident through:

Crisis = a top-down panic

Autocratic = management became autocratic, dictating what needs to happen

People = are sent in to check and fix, often the same support services that had been involved in the crisis occurring, leaving other services without support

Silence = these people then whisper behind closed doors with lack of effective communication to the people they need to get on board

Ideas = people start implementing their ownideas, new forms, new visions, and in effect rebranding

Zealous = people become overzealous, their enthusiasm becoming quite intense, which could overkill the situation and was often driven by their ownego

Education = over training can begin

When I support a crisis situation I implement effective change through clarity:

Crisis = required stability and consistency

Leadership = through coaching and engaging the team

Acceptance = pulling away from the whys to acceptance that crisis has occurred and leading people to their own acknowledgement of accountability

Realistic = being realistic on what could be achieved, how, by when and by whom; ensuring this was communicated effectively for whole team understanding

Intuitive = through knowledge and guidance, using company policies and procedures effectively to gain buy-inwithout the need for reinventing the wheel

Tenacity = taking and keeping control of the situation, knowing my own limitations and communicating this where required to ensure that the grip was not lost

Yearning = through a real passion and dedication to meet the vision

“CAREWITHAL WORK HAND IN HAND WITH CARE SERVICES TO IMPROVE CARE QUALITY FOR OUR ELDERLY AND MOST VULNERABLE IN SOCIETY”

Management coaching

Is your manager underperforming?  Can poor Key Performance Indicators measure this? Have they just experienced a management crisis as above?  Have you implemented a personal development plan?  Do you, ultimately, want them to stay?

We are not all perfect, we can’t always get it right, we have personal lives and pressures, and we can’t be everything to everybody.  In our industry we know full well how heavily regulated we are; and how quickly things can go wrong.

I have previously worked in ‘blame cultures’.  Our managers and leaders all too often fall victim to this.  My experience as a management coach has shown me that given the right people this doesn’t have to be the case.  You recruited that manager because you saw potential.  Or you may have inherited them as one of your employees; and if so they know more about the service they manage than you do.  CQC have interviewed them, and confirmed them to be a fit person; this meaning they are the Registered Manager of that service and therefore accountable.

So, start the process of supporting, and coaching; nurturing the skills and abilities you know they have. You will satisfy yourself, and the regulators; that you have offered them as much support as you can; and have clear reasons for either investing in the person or parting ways.

A care consultant can offer extra support to this.  Ensure that you measure their abilities by checking the services that they have managed and their ratings under the key line of enquiry well led.  Ideally, appoint someone with a management and leadership degree, and someone who has references confirming that they have supported managers to become better leaders.

If the manager then proves not to have the skills and abilities to take your service forward, you will have an experienced consultant on hand to take the reins whilst you recruit a permanent manager.

“NURTURE IT’S IN OUR NATURE”

CALL SAM – 07792662846 OR EMAIL ME AT samantha@carewithal.co.uk FOR MORE INFORMATION ON HOW CARE CONSULTANTS CAN HELP YOUR SERVICE TO BE A CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE, WITH INSPIRATIONAL MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP.