At ND Care & Support, our team is made up of experienced and passionate individuals who truly care. Each team member has their own unique and individual story that has led them to joining the ND Care & Support team; so in our Meet the Team Q&A series, you can get to know them all a little better.
To kick off the Q&As, meet Registered Manager Ken Price, who joined ND Care & Support in April 2018…
Do you have a background in care work? Can you tell us more about your career journey so far?
Yes, I do have a background working in the care sector. I first started working in care back in 1992, after being made redundant from my role as a Catering Manager. I decided to join the sector as I had always thought what a rewarding job it would be to support people with disabilities, and being made redundant seemed like the ideal time to transition into care work.
My first job was as a part-time Support Worker, supporting two gentlemen with learning disabilities in supported living services. Since then, I have worked in various services including supported living, residential care, emergency accommodation, respite services and domiciliary care too. I have had a great range of experiences working in the care sector, which has led me to where I am now as Registered Manager at the Cardiff branch of ND Care & Support.
What does a day in your role look like?
I usually start the day by arriving at the office in Cardiff 6.45am. I begin by checking my emails and calendar for the day and preparing for meetings and appointments. I spend a large proportion of my time speaking with staff and service users regarding various issues and sometimes just to check in that everything is going okay. I may also have to complete reports for the Director of ND Care & Support to show how my branch of the business is being managed. Sometimes I have to deal with the not-so-nice stuff, like concerns and complaints from unhappy services users (but not too often, thankfully!) and I usually leave the office around 5.00pm on a good day.
What key skills are required to do your job?
- Ability to predict the future
- Industry knowledge
- Values-based experience
- Budget management
- Leader of people
What do you enjoy most about your job and why?
Having worked in the industry for 28 years now, I thrive off growing a business that enables me to deliver safe and high-quality care to the people we support. It is hugely rewarding to know that we can make such a difference to the lives of our service users. My role also enables me to recognise and reward Care Workers for the extremely hard, and often not so well-recognised work, that they do in promoting peoples’ independence.
What day-to-day challenges do you face in your role?
As Registered Manager, my biggest challenge is ensuring that we have plenty of appropriate and suitably trained Care Workers who are able to carry out the high-quality care we are commissioned to deliver. I often feel like I’m trying to be in two places at the same time and need to be able to multi-task, yet I also have to adjust to curveballs daily. You never know what’s coming around the corner when you work in the care sector, so I have to be really flexible!
What challenges does the wider care sector face? How do you feel you are making a difference to this?
One of the key challenges facing the care sector at the moment is the introduction of mandatory registration of all Care Workers by 1st April 2020. This is a huge change in the sector that will affect every Care Worker (who are unqualified) and it is something that we cannot ignore. At ND Care & Support, we are helping our Care Workers to meet this new challenge by getting them through the mandatory qualifications (QFC level 2 and 3) in Health and Social Care for adults and children. We pride ourselves in prioritising the training of all our employees so that we can deliver the best care possible to our service users.
I also feel that promotion of the care sector at an earlier stage (such as during school years) would help to make school leavers more aware and more informed about the opportunities available through working in care. It would also highlight how care work is a rewarding career for life, not just a job that pays the bills!
What is your proudest moment in work or your greatest achievement in your career and why?
Many years ago, I supported an elderly gentleman who lived alone in Cardiff with an only daughter who lived in America. I supported this gentleman to pack up his home and move across the world to America to be with his family. They were extremely grateful and I became an extended member of the family and was regularly invited to visit him in America until he passed away a few years ago. I felt privileged to be in such a position and I’m proud that I could make such a positive difference to their lives. Experiences like this always stay with you and that’s what I love about care work.
What advice would you give to candidates who want to go into care work?
My top tips would be:
- Speak to a range of care companies to find out what they offer with regards to care delivery (for example, what type of services do they provide?). This will help you identify what area you would prefer to work in, allowing you to start your career in care work on the right foot!
- Contact colleges with regards to training courses available in Health & Social Care – these courses can be a strong foundation for working in the care sector.
- Look out for open days advertised on social media and pop along to ask loads of questions. No question is silly, so if there’s something you want to know, just ask – we are a friendly bunch who would be happy to help.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself
I love to bake, as this was my previous profession before care work! I think my team love this fact too, as they ask me to bake all the time… my famous salted caramel chocolate brownies are a definite favourite.
What is your favourite quote and why?
“Whatever the problem, BE PART OF THE SOLUTION”.
I love this quote because it encourages you not to just sit around raising questions and pointing out the obstacles, but rather be proactive in finding a solution and making positive change.
We hope Ken’s Q&A inspires you as much as it inspires us! Tune in soon to meet the next member of the ND Care & Support team…