At the heart of the company is Director of Operations, Fiona Williams, an authority on care and widely respected industry figure. Having started her career in care for NHS Scotland’s mental health services, Williams’ passion for care flourished after working to bring people back into the community following long-term hospitalisation.
Her desire to have a bigger impact on the people she cared strongly about and a say in the industry’s future led her to leadership roles at various care organisations before moving to Bluebird in 2012. Although Williams understands the importance of regulation, she believes the intensity of this focus does not fully consider the people cared for or the people needed enter the sector to deliver care and support.
She is determined to tackle these challenges head-on by developing relationships with regulators, politicians, the media and general public, and recently introduced a new pilot project aimed at rewarding care workers for their hard work, and encouraging people to consider a career in the industry to meet the complex needs of an ageing nation.
Above all, she wants to make care work a profession akin to nursing or teaching, emphasising the opportunities a career in care can offer: “There’s actually a really strong career pathway in the care sector. At Bluebird Care, you can work up to being a manager or even run your own business if that’s what you want to do, and we’re here to support that.”
After 25 years working in care, the impact the profession can have on those who dedicate their lives to helping people can still surprise Williams. Having recently spoken to a school-leaver who, having never previously considered care-work, did work experience with a Bluebird business, Williams was pleasantly surprised at the effect it had on her.
“She had realised such a passion for care, and for providing a lifeline for the people we are privileged to help every day,” she commented. Williams believes some incoming changes being introduced by the Government and regulators, such as the Care Quality Commission’s new fundamental standards which come into effect next year, will positively impact the industry.
However, she understands the importance that such changes happen seamlessly to ensure minimal disruption for the sector. She is determined that Bluebird will become the sector’s provider of choice by offering the very best care for customers and promoting care as a profession. “We all have this passion and internal drive at Bluebird Care to be the best we can be,” Williams concluded.
Published: 27 November 2014
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