National Care Group (NCG) hosted its first annual business conference and awards on 14th January 2020 at The Belton Woods Hotel, Grantham.
The conference emphasized the ‘NCG Vision’ with those who attended believing in that vision and as a result, it is something everyone wanted to be a part of.
The conference was a great opportunity for those who attended to get to know each other, create a network, share experiences and discuss their hopes for the future.
Keynote speakers included all the members of our Executive Team:
James Allen, CEO of National Care Group
James opened his presentation by introducing the NCG Corporate Strategy, a road map measuring where we are now and where we want to be.
To achieve our Vision and Mission…
We would need to be more ambitious, committed and work together in a collaborative way to further unlock potential.
For some, the experience of working as part of NCG may feel like being on a rollercoaster whilst for others it may feel more relaxed and calm.
He suggested that both experiences were fine in a day-to-day role, but that we needed to ensure that there was more balance at times.
Attendees were urged to think about the language used, to stop talking about caring “for” people but caring “about” people, to see the people we support as individuals and not “residents”.
James outlined that there would be some risks that NCG would potentially face if it we did not work collaboratively to deliver its vision:
- Loss of reputation
- Loss of business
- Loss of key staff
- Falling standards
- Lack of engagement
- Lost opportunity to make a difference
He hoped that the individuals we support and their families would be more involved, whilst leaders across NCG would be more empowered to contribute.
To be a successful organisation, James spoke about how we needed to evidence a culture that focuses on…
Commitment I Potential I Change
In his closing statement, James invited everyone to become part of the ‘NCG Sat Nav’ to help us learn from experience along the way and make changes where necessary.
Karen Lewis, Chief Operations Officer
Karen’s presentation covered the Respect value and focused on the impact we have on the lives of others.
She talked about the respect our operators should have for the support functions within NCG and how important it is to work closely with them to ensure success.
Karen explained that managers within NCG should provide leadership within its services but noted that the Corporate Strategy and the Board would assist by setting out priorities and direction.
She later explained that successful operations could lead to a number of improvements:
- Better retention
- Regulatory compliance
- Making a difference for the individuals we support
- Business growth
- Excellent reputation
Karen set out her expectations of the operations team and the need to focus on 3 specific areas: People, Quality and Finance.
It was explained that additional support would be provided where required through the appointment of two Peripatetic Managers.
The importance of retention and the impact it has on the individuals we support was presented, whilst Karen also explained the importance of employees feeling valued and empowered.
Karen set out the minimum expectations in relation to providing quality care to the individuals we support, particularly in relation to their care planning and documentation.
She explained the importance of giving individuals a voice and enabling them to unlock their potential to achieve their aspirations.
The importance of taking accountability for quality within services was noted with clear expectations relating to audit and compliance.
In relation to financial performance, Karen explained that this would enable investment into 3 key areas…
Environment – People – Growth
Investment in these areas would enable more individuals to experience the excellent services NCG provides.
Karen finished her presentation by thanking everyone for their hard work and commitment.
Mike Cleasby, Quality Director at National Care Group
Mike talked about the NCG value of Passion and how it is a key attribute in driving our quality forward.
The presentation covered the many operational hats Registered Managers need to wear in order to support individuals effectively and to run services.
Regulatory compliance is a key priority for NCG and Mike spoke about how NCG has supported services with a wide number of initiatives including #QualityMatters and the plan to introduce an electronic governance system.
There was also a discussion about when quality and compliance goes wrong and the impact this can have on the individuals we support, staff and the overall business.
He looked at some common themes from recent regulatory inspections, including poor risk management, records keeping and governance processes. Services need to ensure that governance is embedded within daily practices.
Mike gave an example of the CQC ‘Mum Test’ and asked attendees if they would be happy for a loved one to live in the service where they work.
If the answer is no, then the quality is not good enough and this needs to be addressed locally.
Mike closed his presentation by highlighting some of the amazing achievements involving the individuals we support and how staff have played a vital role in this.
Chloé Moore, HR Director at National Care Group
Chloé built her presentation around the NCG value of Empowerment and spoke about creating the right culture and how this will empower NCG to be the best and most trusted provider of care.
She evidenced that good and bad social care is directly linked to the behaviors of employees and listed a number of initiatives that have been rolled out over the past year to support managers to create the right culture.
This includes training and development programmes, the staff intranet, a corporate newsletter and a clear set of HR policies and procedures.
Chloé went on to speak about a number of employee engagement initiatives that will be launched in the coming 12 months, two of which are a value based recruitment process and the first full staff survey.
She then reminded the leaders in the room that by working together, with a clear and shared vision in mind, NCG will fulfill its vision to be the best and most trusted provider of care.
The presentation was closed reminding all in attendance to be proud to work for NCG and to each individually do their part to make things better by embedding the NCG values into our day to day work.
Mike Ranson – Commercial Director
Mike began his presentation by explaining how the rapidly changing and challenging, health and social care ‘landscape’ can make what we are all trying to achieve seem more complicated and difficult.
He talked about the increasing number of organisations and groups influencing, commissioning and monitoring social care and how they are working together to deliver on the expectations of the people we all support.
He spoke about Transforming Care and the development of Sustainable Transformation Partnerships and highlighted the importance of developing links and good working relationships with local commissioning teams and health providers.
He moved on to talk about how it is important that we recognised people’s expectations and support their Human Rights but should remember to not confuse self-neglect with personal ‘Choice’, or un-informed decision making with ‘Control’.
The main focus was on the ‘Commissioning Strategy’ and why it is important to NCG as a provider.
The strategy sets out what support is needed, where it is needed, how support should be delivered and how it will be commissioned.
He spoke about the importance of working in partnership and what that means.
Mike explained how the strategic partnerships NCG has established and those it continues to build, provide the opportunity for us to grow and develop both our quality and capacity.
Mike finished by saying that we should all have a good feeling and that we should all be proud of what we do.
David Rowe Bewick – Group Finance Director
David focused on the need for Collaboration.
Initially thanking all those who have worked together to make the organisation a success so far, the presentation emphasised that a sustainable and successful business begins and ends with quality.
Get quality right and the rest will follow, but NCG cannot grow further if we lose sight of delivering the highest standards of care and support.
Key information was shown which highlighted how far NCG had come in a short time, the opportunities that were presented for us all but also the future risks from cost and revenue pressures.
David was enthusiastic to share how NCG had been able to not only invest in its properties but also the invaluable staff employed.
This investment was accentuated with the announcement of the NCG Innovation Fund aimed to inspire people to think of new and innovative ways to improve the lives of the individuals we support.
After the presentations were given, the conference split into regional groups to think about how locally some of the key messages could be implemented.
The groups were asked to think about their potential (what is good about their Region), their commitment (what could be done differently or improved) and what change (what will be different) will look like.
There was some real energy in the room during the session with everybody getting involved in the discussion.
Each Region was asked to give feedback and will now be working on their commitment plans – look out for them in your area.
James brought the conference to a close by recapping on the main outcomes that were envisaged.
He hoped that everyone was clear about what NCG wanted to achieve, the risks of not working together and the huge opportunity that lay ahead.
He finished by urging everybody to look forward and to concentrate on the key message from the conference…
The Awards Ceremony
The awards ceremony gave an opportunity to celebrate some of the amazing work and achievements of colleagues who work tirelessly across NCG to improve the lives of the individuals we support.
The awards were hosted by Patsy Kensit, a household name and actor, and was kindly sponsored by many partners who have worked with NCG.
The winners were…
Support Worker of the Year
Winner: Gemma Bailey, Shelton Care Group
Sponsored by Allied Irish Bank
Making a Difference
Winner: Lisa McGregor and Natalie Parsley, Highlea Care
Sponsored by Towergate Insurance
Winner: Richard Mason, Jamesons Care
Sponsored by Advanced
Residential Care Team
Winner: The Old Dairy, Cornerstones UK
Supported Living Team Award
Winner: Jamesons Supporting Living
Sponsored by Compass Holding Group
Support Function Award
Winner: Kim Cliff and Jodie O’Donnell, Endurance Care
Winner: Melanie Lee, Endurance Care
Sponsored by Harrison Clark Rickerby’s Solicitors
Outstanding Achievement Award
Winner – Regent College
Sponsored by UHY Hacker Young
The Board Award
Winner: Affinity Supporting People
Sponsored by RSM International
The Awards ceremony ended with dancing into the early hours. Music was brilliantly provided by Shane Hatch, an individual who is supported by NCG and who many of you will have seen featured on our Intranet.
Keeping the Momentum Going Commitment, Potential, Change
There was tremendous commitment at the conference to unlock more potential across services and to bring about change, but for this to happen we need to go beyond those who were able to attend.
All of the conference slides are available by clicking on the relevant images, whilst this page can be accessed directly on the staff intranet.
We encourage you to share this page with fellow work colleagues and use the materials from the conference as part of your meetings and supervisions.
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank Jon Ralph, for drawing a visual graphics artboard that perfectly captured the essence of the conference and everything that was discussed.
Further work to bring to life the local commitment pledges will be led by Regional Management teams and it is hoped this will also enable more sharing of the key themes of the conference more widely so that we can keep the momentum going.
In addition to all of the work planned please do keep in touch with any member of the team who gave presentations – they will be happy to help.