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Registered care home manager career guide

This role combines both a person’s ability to care for people with leadership responsibilities.

Safeera Sarjoo
28th April 2016
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What is a registered care home manager?

It’s very easy to get caught up in the rush and buzz of life that we sometimes forget that our loved ones are aging and slowly becoming frailer. Care home managers are on the frontline in terms of leading a team within a residential care home. They run the day to day operations and ensure that patients are getting the best care and that the quality of their service meets and exceed the National Minimum Standards. In addition to the day to day running, they are also responsible for managing staff, managing budgets and monitoring performance within the home.

Care homes are now seen as an integrated part of the community and there’s an emphasis placed on their services being a local resource. They are fast becoming more specialised particularly for patients suffering from dementia and those at the end of life. It’s also important that care home managers ensure that staff members are clear about their responsibilities and provide the support they need in order to safely carry out their duties.

There are different types of care managers who work in a range of setting such as:

  • With adults and young adults with learning difficulties
  • With the elderly in nursing homes
  • Supported housing
  • In hospice care

What are their responsibilities?

This isn’t an easy role and as an individual in a leadership role, you will be expected to:

  • Managing budgets
  • Recruiting and supervising staff
  • Chairing meetings and delivering training
  • Maintaining the quality of care and ensuring that staff are meeting standards and that the care home is compliant with health and safety
  • Delivering person-centred care
  • Organising events for the residents
  • Working with the families of the residents and providing information, advice and support
  • Promoting the independence and rights of the residents
  • Ensuring residents are able to contribute to the local community and access local services

You will also be required to think about the business itself and take other responsibilities like maintaining full and accurate records, implementing quality management and improvement systems and managing complaints and incidents effectively. Remember, you’re also in charge of the safe delivery of the service in line with legislation and company policies.

What characteristics suit this role?

Becoming a registered care home manager takes a lot patience and a love for taking care of other people. Some important skills and characteristics include:

  • Excellent communication skills and the ability to connect and communicate with a range of people through a number of methods
  • An affinity for working with people and providing person specific care
  • Being able to take the lead with good decision making skills
  • Working under pressure and adhering to strict regulations and guidelines
  • Good problem solving skills
  • Ability to manage a budget and negotiate
  • An organised individual who can manage records and keep them accurate and up to date
  • Knowledge of relevant legislation, local services and resources

As an individual you will need to show compassion and empathy as many residents will be experiencing some of the most challenging obstacles of their lives. There is a great need to show respect and dignity towards these residents and being able to listen and take on board their thoughts and feeling are qualities of a good care home manager.

In order to help make their time a memorable and happy one, imagination will be required when it comes to organising activities that will appeal to the wide range of people residing in a care home.

Entry Requirements and Training

Most jobs require two years management experience in a relevant field. You could also move up from a deputy manager’s position. New managers are encouraged to start with a Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care and Children and Young People’s services.

This diploma has six pathways to choose from, which you would select according to your specialism. If you are working within settings that provide regulated activities then you will be required to register with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) within six months of starting your post.

In terms of progression, registered care home managers have an abundance of options. Care managers are able to move into large health-care companies or charities that offer regional manager opportunities. Another option would be the ability to move between frontline operational roles to commissioning posts within local authorities and NHS Trusts.

Experienced care managers can also move to the CQC as they sometimes recruit inspectors and inspection managers. You would be able to draw on your experience when it comes to making sure standards are being met.

Further study is also available if you’re keen to become a specialist in a particular area such as dementia or learning disabilities. This could then lead to teaching or lecturing positions within higher or further education institutions.

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