Supporting care managers is crucially important for thriving, high quality homecare. So we sat down with Jane Borland, Chair of Northamptonshire Registered Managers Network, to understand why joining a network can help homecare managers thrive.
Tell us about the Registered Managers Network in Northamptonshire.
“Our network is one of 140 across the country that are facilitated for registered managers by Skills for Care. We have 180 managers on our mailing list, and 130 in our WhatsApp group. We meet face-to-face every two months and chat on WhatsApp in between. It’s open to all registered managers in the area within adult social care.”
What kind of things do you talk about?
“Our WhatsApp group is really active. What often happens is a manager has a situation where they want some help or advice. Usually someone else has already dealt with something similar and can share what they did. Other times, managers will share news or findings, or something they’ve put together that others might find helpful, such as a policy. This was really helpful during COVID when new guidance kept coming out on a Friday night, and there was a lot of misinterpretation.
“When we meet face-to-face, we usually have a speaker - such as someone from the NHS Integrated Care Board (ICB). Our Skills for Care Locality Manager (Lauren) usually attends and is really knowledgeable. And I share any information I’ve found out or been sent, which I think might be useful.”
Why are networks like this important?
“Being able to network with other managers can make it less lonely - you have someone to talk to who understands what your job is like.
“You spend a lot of time trying to find out information as a registered manager, especially if you’re new to the role. 9 out of 10 times, when someone asks a question in our network, someone else has a name or phone number, or a suggestion of where to look.
"Having a well-supported, well-developed, experienced Registered Manager is proven to have a really positive impact on turnover, retention and standards of care."
- Lauren Stacey, Locality manager (Midlands), Skills for Care
“It’s also really helpful for giving you a heads up about what’s coming that might affect your care business. For example, one of our managers recently put together a list of what the CQC and local authority are going to start looking for from care companies, because she’d attended a meeting where it was discussed. That information sharing is priceless, as it’s given our members time to get ready for what’s going to become important.”
Find your network
Registered Manager Networks - Skills for Care supports over 140 networks across England for managers to come together with other managers working in adult social care in their local area.
Deputy Manager Networks - for deputies, team leaders and aspiring managers in adult social care to connect with peers and learn with others.
Mentoring - annual registered manager membership with Skills for Care costs £35 a year and provides access to mentoring as well as other sources of advice and support.
For more networks and resources for the whole of the UK and Ireland, download The Thrive Guide.
Jane Borland has been chair of Northamptonshire Registered Managers Network since 2018. Alongside hosting bi-monthly meetings and coordinating information sharing, for the past two years she has organised an annual conference for Northamptonshire care organisations - something no other regional network has done. She describes it as an “intense learning day”. Jane is also Care Manager at Rathgar Care Home in Northampton.
For more great ideas on growing a thriving homecare business, download The Thrive Guide.