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Leading the way in Social Care

by Kirsty Kirsty

Tom Lyons, Managing Director, Black Swan Care Group

Leadership within Social Care is more important than ever and a key focus for us as an organisation. Our emphasis is on leadership rather than management. I feel that it is important to lead from the top and ensure that company values are embedded in all aspects of the business.

With recruitment and retention such a challenge within social care we ensure that supporting our team is our key focus. If we get this right, then quality care and financial success usually follows very quickly.

Whilst employing staff to reduce the need to require an element of agency use is pretty much normal within the care sector, we also believe that we must not accept the small element of carers that should not be working within the sector. Making tough leadership calls on those not performing to desired standards, after coaching and support is provided, is paramount to providing quality care, even if it results in a need for some temporary agency use.

Over the last few years, we have appointed Wellbeing Officers, looked at and revised staff rewards and ensured that we provide regular acts of kindness to our staff.

Outstanding care can only be provided if the leaders in our organisation are given the tools and trust to develop their teams. If we hire great leaders, we must allow them to make decisions and flourish. I don’t believe in micromanagement but believe my role to be one of support and guidance. By creating environments that make people want to perform well we get much better responses than where we are over prescriptive.

We are aware of our team’s desire to progress within the organisation, so we have clear career pathways for both operational and non-operational roles and an openness that allows for honest feedback and goal setting.

Learning and adapting through feedback is important to us, so we take every opportunity to solicit feedback. Feedback through questionnaires, meetings and directly are always acted upon and responded to positively. This feedback is gathered from staff, residents, relatives, and professionals, all with the purpose of driving up and delivering a better standard of care.

This ethos has worked well for us as an organisation with all 20 of our care homes rated good or outstanding. 9 have outstanding lines and 3 are overall rated outstanding. This would not be achieved were it not for the dedication and kindness of each of our team.

Image depicts Tom Lyons, Managing Director, Black Swan Care Group

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