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What made this particular day so unique was that Susie was accompanied throughout by Karen Dooley, Policy Lead of Audit Social Care Quality at the Department of Health.

Ms Dooley spent the day out on the road with Susie, visiting her clients. Throughout the course of the day she documented her findings on her Twitter account and by the end of her ‘shift’ she was able to come to six important conclusions.

Among these conclusions, Ms Dooley noted that strong leadership at every level is vital when it comes to the effective running of the service, and especially to the culture and retention of staff. She also noted that a good relationship with local councils that prioritise care and commissions for quality is a huge help, that homecare is indeed a vocation, not just a job, and is one that is immensely rewarding.

Ms Dooley’s other findings included the fact that Care Co-ordinators play a vital role in making sure that people get the care they need, when they need it, that training is another key to staff retention, and that CQC inspectors, who provide good follow-up support and signposting to improvement, can be a positive and helpful influence.

Perhaps most pleasingly of all, however, was the praise Ms Dooley heaped on the ‘fab’ team at Caremark (East Riding) for having taught her a great deal in a relatively short space of time, and for providing her with plenty of ‘food for thought’ to take back to the Department of Health to inform policy making.


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