2021 LEADERS IN CARE AWARDS: Registered Manager of the Year


The registered manager is indisputably the key position within a home care service. This award recognises the managers who have set the tone of their businesses by providing a lead to staff through establishing and driving a caring culture and the pursuit of excellence.

We are delighted to announce that the 2021 shortlist includes the following names:

Claire Jackson, Good Oaks Home Care (Bournemouth and Poole)

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Claire Jackson has been shortlisted in this category for her dedication and support for both carers and clients. When she first joined the Good Oaks team, one of the first things she did was meet each client in person so that everyone knew who she was and that she is available to speak to them. As an additional treat for clients last Easter, Claire visited every client’s house to personally deliver an Easter-themed cupcake to brighten their day. She has also noted down when every client’s and carer’s birthdays are and they each receive a small gift and hand-written card from her. Claire also spends time with each new carer to get to know them, and ensures all staff are well trained and feel confident and supported. She introduced additional shadow shifts so that once a new carer has completed their training they are able to shadow a team leader to see exactly what it is like to care for a client. Claire also promotes the care industry and is passionate about raising awareness of the sector. Recently, she appeared on ITV to speak about the effects dementia has on people, why Good Oaks are recruiting for an Admiral Nurse and the benefits the new role will have on people living with dementia and their support network.

Denise Dadswell, Bluebird Care (Gravesham & Dartford)

Denise Dadswell is dedicated to maximising support for her customers, demonstrating this relentlessly over the past 12 months. Indicative of this, the care plans that Bluebird Care Gravesham & Dartford implement are often used throughout Bluebird Care’s 200-strong network of franchises as examples of excellent care practice. Denise has also implemented a new approach to care for individuals receiving end-of-life services. This involves a supervisor and care assistant attending a customer’s home and offering bespoke support every day. Denise also goes the extra mile to ensure that steps are taken in the event of the passing of a customer. She insists upon a member of the office team going to a customer’s home and awaiting medical support to confirm passing. Paramedics have noted that they rarely see this show of support from a care company in the event of passing. Denise is also committed to her team and has ensured a high retention rate of staff, with 13 carers now having been at the home care provider for over five years, as well as a number of former colleagues returning to the home care provider. She has also organised for the Kent Wellbeing Hub to become a point of contact for care assistants to go to in confidence, should they have any issues they would like to discuss.

Jackie Whitfield, West Park Care

Jackie Joined West Park Care in the middle of the pandemic, having been a deputy manager in her previous role. She took to being a registered manager with ease and has propelled the quality of care for her clients to a new level. Jackie was previously an NVQ assessor and her focus on training has elevated her team to the next level, with carers also being promoted internally to supervisor roles under her mentorship. Jackie has steered the service through COVID admirably and focused on staff mental health and the safety of the clients. During stages of staff shortages caused by isolation, for example, Jackie stepped in and delivered care herself, leading by example. Jackie has one focus and that is delivering the very best quality of care to her clients, and this is obvious in everything she does. Her passion for quality care is infectious and it has transformed the service.

Lorna Miles, Carefound Home Care (Harrogate)

Lorna Miles has been Registered Branch Manager of Carefound Home Care (Harrogate) since February 2013. During this time she has not only developed and lead an outstanding home care service, but she has also played a pivotal role in supporting other Registered Branch Manager’s across the Carefound Home Care organisation as they seek to emulate her success. Lorna’s hard work has resulted in her branch becoming one of the only home care providers in the country to achieve two consecutive Outstanding CQC ratings. She has also been used as an industry example in the Skills for Care Good and Outstanding Care Guide. Over the last 12 months, Lorna has worked tirelessly to ensure the safety of her clients, staff and their families and has succeeded in demonstrating the benefits of home care during the pandemic with no identified transmission of COVID-19 across her service to date. At the same time, her branch has achieved annual revenue growth of 40%, its lowest ever staff turnover rates, record levels of client and staff satisfaction and no official complaints for more than two years. Lorna is also committed to supporting her team. Specific examples include Lorna ensuring a carer with age-related arthritis was appropriately matched to clients to keep her safe and hosting a carer with no family for Christmas dinner.

Rachel Wright, InSafeHands

Rachel Wright is the Registered Manager and company owner of Cheshire-based InSafeHands, which she has ran for 11 years. She is also a Registered Nurse, and is proud to be able to say that her service is nurse led. Along with running her own business, she is also a trustee of a local non-for-profit mental health charity, Inner Trust, and Chair of the Board, unpaid, for a local charity-operated community hospital. Both roles enable Rachel to dedicate time and expertise to other local organisations. During the pandemic, when clients were not able to see their family members, Rachel introduced welfare telephone calls to help reduce isolation and anxieties. She also goes above and beyond to support her staff, especially on days when carers’ workloads are affected by their colleagues having to self-isolate. She will double up or run alongside carers to ensure no client misses a call. In addition, she has started a free counselling service, which she personally funds, for any staff members who are struggling with personal issues and need extra mental health support. Rachel is also a joint chair for the Northwest Registered Managers Forum, providing mentorship and coaching for new members, and sharing best practice.

Stacey Gentle, Right at Home (Stockport & Didsbury)

In the last 12 months, Stacey Gentle has guided Right at Home Stockport & Didsbury from averaging 600 hours per week to now delivering over 1,100 hours per week. Stacey has achieved this by developing strong relationships with client’s families and encouraging open feedback so that existing clients promote the service to those searching for care. One example of Stacey’s outstanding work was when she used her expert knowledge in moving and handling to support a client, a keen church goer, who had suffered a stroke and had not been able to climb down her stairs for over six months. The package Stacey developed worked out a safe method to get the client downstairs using a couple of well-positioned manual hoists, a stair lift and wheelchairs. She also encouraged the council to fit a ramp at the front of her house. Within weeks, the client was attending church every week. Stacey has also encouraged the local council to help the family of a woman with a rare genetic condition that has left her unable to walk and with severe learning difficulties. The family did not have the means to pay for professional care, but with Stacey’s help, the council have now provided enough funding for them to receive support from two carers every weekday morning.

Tickets and tables are now available for the Leaders in Care Awards can be booked HERE.

Any companies interested in commercial opportunities surrounding the Leaders in Care Awards should contact:

Josh Waddell
0203 176 5458

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Sarah Clarke

The author Sarah Clarke