Jamie Cooper is a Registered Care Manager at Riverside. In her blog she offers a little insight into what it’s like delivering this role.
I’ve been with Riverside for 6 years, and joined as a Team Leader at Laurel Court in Huddersfield, where I’m now the Registered Manager. The majority of our customers have learning disabilities, and we also support people with ADHD, Autism, epilepsy and Dual Diagnoses. We have 26 flats, where customers have their own accommodation, including individual kitchens and living rooms.
As our service is for customers with learning disabilities, I’ve been on PBS (Positive Behavioural Support) courses to build my knowledge, and also qualified to undertake functional behaviour assessments. This means that not only can I help my team to understand how to manage behaviours, but we can all also understand why the behaviour is happening, creating understanding and positive relationships between colleagues and customers, and therefore more positive outcomes.
It’s about understanding how best we can interact with our customers, making sure that the team are recognise and understand why people may present behaviours which challenge. We have a focus on reflective practice, so if an incident has happened, we look at it as a group and try to think about different perspectives as to how we can better support the individual in future.
All Managers in our management team are part of our national Care Management Team, and are managed by a national Care Services Manager. although geographically distanced, we are a close team and support each other, and we always know we will be there for one and another at the end of the phone or on screen (!) if we need support, or just to share ideas. Prior to Covid, we would regularly visit each other’s services and carry out peer audits, which were a great way to share best practice and think differently about what we can do to improve our services.
It’s been amazing to see how our care services have grown so quickly, and I’ve been lucky to be involved in setting up three different Riverside Care services in different parts of the country. We put what we’ve learned and what’s working well into our new services, getting them off to a brilliant start, and it’s great to be able to give someone coming into post that reassurance.
The team are going from strength to strength, and this year, I was proud to be nominated for a Great British Care Award, for the Registered Care Manager for West Yorkshire and Humber. We’ve also received another nomination for Care Management Team, after our win at the regional finals last year! I think people can see how much we care and how willing we are to learn, as well as how willing we are to get stuck in, whether that’s on a team away day or wider Riverside projects. We’re a small team from a diverse range of professional backgrounds, and look forward to welcoming the successful candidate to the team.
Ultimately, the success we’ve experienced in the past few years comes down to recruiting dedicated care staff. We look for people who will go that bit further for customers, and will think outside the box.
I’m particularly excited about these new services we are opening in Liverpool as I will be using my skills and experience to support the new Manager in my role as a Peer Mentor. I can’t wait to help my new colleague settle into the team and also help get these fantastic new developments off the ground.