Registered Managers, commonly the lead professionals in home care and care home settings, have a pivotal leadership role. The White Paper, Caring for our future: reforming care and support, recognised the particularly important impact that they have on people’s experience of care and support, and the need to provide more support for them to combat the isolation that they can sometimes feel.
The White Paper identified strong leadership as fundamental to the provision of high-quality care and essential to the delivery of all its proposals. As part of the Department of Health’s commitment to strengthening leadership, the National Skills Academy was tasked with producing an over-arching Leadership Strategy for the adult social care sector, to support Registered Managers.
In the White Paper, the Skills Academy was charged with coming up with an integrated support programme, which is now ready. Norman Lamb MP, Minister of State for Care and Support, launched the programme on 20 March saying; “The programme is fantastic. It will make a real difference to Registered Managers, providing the practical help and support they need.”
The new programme, which has also received support from right across the social care sector, is rooted in the needs identified by Registered Managers. It uses the behaviours identified in the Skills Academy’s Leadership Qualities Framework to put values at the heart of social care practice and strengthen leadership capacity.
The programme includes:
- Funding to establish or strengthen local networks of Registered Managers, to reduce isolation and enable managers to support each other and share good practice;
- Fully-funded meetings, workshops and other events;
- A national online network and easy access to information, guidance and support through pages on the Skills Academy website dedicated to Registered Managers.
The aim of the programme is to build practice and leadership confidence amongst Registered Managers, to strengthen the pipeline of talent in the sector and to drive up the quality of care and support to people who use services.
As well as the Registered Managers support programme, the White Paper, Caring for our future: reforming care and support also tasked the National Skills Academy with creating a further leadership strategy.
The strategy, Leadership Starts with Me, was launched in April by Norman Lamb who described it as “an excellent publication and another really important step towards achieving the goal of excellent leadership.”
Sitting alongside the Leadership Qualities Framework, the strategy, which has received support from right across the social care sector, is grounded in the experience of people who use services, carers and employees, and sets out the fundamental principles of leadership for the sector, showing how everyone can play their part in developing leadership in social care.
The strategy aims to do three things:
- Explain why leadership in adult social care matters;
- Set out what leaders can do that will help make social care excellent;
- To show how it can be made to happen.
Written in plain English, the strategy can be accessible to everyone and, taken alongside the framework, constitutes a comprehensive guide to good leadership in adult social care and a practical development tool for individuals and organisations.
Having started the process with service users, carers and small providers, the Skills Academy plans further versions of Leadership Starts with Me, following similar consultations with other groups in the sector, including large providers and local authority commissioners.
For more information on the Registered Managers programme, Leadership Starts with Me, the Leadership Qualities Framework or the Leadership Development Forum, please contact:
Information supplied by:
Graham Earnshaw, Adult Social Care Workforce Programme Manager, Workforce Division.