In The Life Of
Interviews of key members of our care team.
In The Life Of Sue Winter
Sue Winter has been working at Q1 Care for just over a year, as our accountant. It is easy to assume that working in care only includes carers, so we thought it would be interesting to highlight some of the other career paths you can follow while still being able to work in such a rewarding industry.
The Things I Love About My Job
“The satisfaction of knowing your helping the elderly stay in their own homes and the community they wish to still be an active part of, interaction with the clients and their family, and supporting our lovely carers.”
Team work at Q1Care
“I enjoy being part of a team that strives to be the best they can, we are always updating our knowledge and training in the care sector even me, so that I can understand how our team works, the challenges they face and the best way we can all pull together as a team.”
“All of us receive safeguarding training which also includes financial safeguarding and are aware can safely and securely whistle blow to management or if necessary CQC.”
The Q1Care Family
“Melanie and Suzanne are approachable to all of us and receptive to our ideas and all of us here in Q1 Care have a voice that will be heard and considered, it’s lovely family feel to the business, we will all help each other where we can, we care as much about our clients as we do each other, a small close-knit team.”
“With regards to our clients, my duty is to ensure all the systems we use track the carers and clients with regards to time and care given, I then invoice them as appropriate to the client and family’s wishes. We can track the payments as soon as they come in and apply them to the accounts and we are currently looking for clients to be able to click and pay our invoices to streamline our services. We always work with the clients and work out the best way for them.”
How We Protect Our Clients Financials
“All of our Clients deposits are placed into a separate regulated client deposit account with the bank and are therefore safeguarded against business use. We will only have access to the deposits to pay the final balances, or refund to the client upon leaving us as per the Clients / POA / Probate instructions. If the Clients have any queries, they can always contact me, or any of the Office / Management and we will strive to resolve them escalating, as necessary. It is certainly different working with “clients” as your product in accounts and a whole different mindset is needed but most of all is care and treat the clients as you would like your own family to be treated at all times which I know we all do”.
In The Life Of Elizabeth Duarte
– Quality And Compliance Manager
I have felt part of the Q1Care team ever since the day I started at the company ten months ago as Quality and Compliance Manager.
“My role is to ensure that our workforce are well-trained and sufficiently supported to carry out their role as carer to a high standard. In addition, I assist and support them to meet both the e-learning and in-class training courses which are required to meet the training care standards.
I have the opportunity to meet staff through supervisions, appraisals and when I deliver in-class training courses such as Safeguarding Adults and Medication. It has been an opportunity to get to know the care staff and establish rapport, trust and good communication.
On the other hand, as part of my role, I am able to support, coordinate and manage customers’ enquiries, quality audit the customer care and carer compliance to the CQC standards, reviewing and addressing safeguarding cases, and customer care.
Now, I am able to continue growing and developing my professional management and leadership skills as a Registered Care Manager at Q1Care; I have the opportunity to add value with my experience and to continue pursuing the outstanding quality care in our local community”.
In The Life Of Carmen Sarrion
– HR Coordinator
As HR Coordinator of Q1Care I overview and care about the employees life cycle in an approachable and kind way.
“In the recruitment phase, I ensure that applicants will afforded equal opportunity of employment irrespective of their protected characteristics as well as ensuring the efficient handling of applications.
I ensure the new starters comply with UK legislation, CQC and Q1Care standards (Right to work, DBS checks, references, business car insurance, inductions,..)
My main duty is taking care of the changes and terminations of employment while promoting the welfare of all Q1Care employees. I assist Q1Care management with employment relations queries (supervisions, disciplinaries, probation reviews,…).
I do my best to promote a “record-keeping culture” within the company and I personally keep records of personnel-related data (recruitment, probation dates, training, new starter and leavers of the week, absences, leaves,…), which helps me to produce and submit reports on HR activity.
In addition to my responsibilities, I will happily help my colleagues with any other task to ensure Q1Care runs smoothly.”
In The Life Of Melanie Meads
– Founder and Managing Director
My role is to rally and drive my staff to deliver on the collective goal of excellent professional, discrete care provision in the privacy of our clients own homes. One day to the next we are required to respond, adapt and adjust to unexpected changes. Clients or carers needs can change with little to no notice, and it is my responsibility to facilitate and encourage creative thinking to support such an unpredictable working environment.
“I aim to extend our care services in an organic and measured way so we are always looking to meet new clients and discuss their needs. We have a catchment area that covers parts of Reading, West Berkshire and South Oxfordshire in order to keep our services local and personalise. I monitor recruitment and staff retention, providing security checks, training, career development and to show my staff recognition for going above and beyond. Most importantly I wish to raise the professional profile of this vital sector in society, which has become so much more visible due to the Coronavirus crisis. It has become clear that it is a desirable and viable choice for support in the community and has not met the same issues that residential care has suffered. We are regulated by the CQC and need to ensure we adhere to their requirements consistently and deliver on our duty of care effectively and safely.”
How Does Melanie Organise It All?
“We liaise with a wide cross section of professionals, working in the community including GP’s, District Nurses, Occupational Health Specialists, palliative care professionals and it is my role to ensure we have the systems in place to be able to communicate effectively and confidentially between care teams.
We use an encrypted database to run the business and document confidentially any data relating to our clients support and employee records. This needs constant attention and regularly updating to be able to support the expanding services we deliver.”
“I work closely with my accounts team to ensure the business is run effectively and that my staff are remunerated well and reliably. We have overheads that need to be covered, such as rents, rates, regulator fees, staff specialist training costs, extensive insurance requirements and equipment supply costs such as PPE. All need to be paid on time.”
Getting Our Name In An Ever-Changing And Ever-Growing Sector
“I ensure we have an active and effective PR strategy and deliver our message across a wide variety of media, be that social, published, public speaking or through professional comment and thought leadership.
I have an extensive network that I use to both get my message out to the greater community and to leverage professional relationships to improve my offering.
It keeps me informed with up to the minute changes and trends in the sector so I can guide the company in the right direction. I get intense satisfaction from problem solving, and finding a way of meeting our clients varied and individual needs.
I take pride in leading a company that makes such a positive difference to our clients daily lives and offers stimulating and rewarding employment to a rich variety of company roles.”
In The Life Of Suzanne Wilson
– Chief Operating Officer
Never 2 days the same!
My role is very varied which I love! I like working with people and would like to support and to encourage people to reach their full potential – whether this is a client or a staff member.
My days are spent ensuring Q1Care runs as smoothly as possible. This means I speak to a lot of people and try to ensure the systems and processes we use are appropriate, updated and are fully utilised. I speak to the board, to Melanie, to Sue the Accountant, to carers, clients, their families and next of kin and our office staff every day. I aim to respond to all my emails and to ensure an audit trail is kept for any communication which needs to be kept for records.
We have daily catch up meetings in the office to review anything which has been reported to us by carers – or clients. Much of this comes in by phone or by email, and we run an out of hours service so there are notes from this every day. We have a great care management team and they are directly involved in being responsive to both client and carers. The daily reviews help us to have a picture of each person’s needs and any changes they may have, whether this is to do with health, well-being or medication changes or a carers rota changing. Every day we, have rotas for our clients and carers and these need to be amended and adjusted need to make sure all care calls are covered, at the times required by the clients and with suitable carers. Quality assurance is part of my role in this. I oversee and give advice if known – or advise on the best person to talk to.
I also have staff directly reporting to me – the Care Manager, HR Coordinator and others and to ensure we are all working to our fullest, we meet regularly to have honest and open conversations to ensure any issues are addressed, progress is being made and the employee feels supported.
I am very involved in recruitment of staff – giving details of staff requirements to our recruiters and speaking with Melanie about roles we need and the person specification. I am involved in interviews for office staff and keep an eye on carer recruitment. I run many induction sessions for new staff from carers to managers – it is great to begin work with new staff and I want to help make sure they have the best experience they can have – where I can.
Sometimes I have to deal with difficult matters – we can make mistakes, have mis-communication, complaints or concerns, or a staff performance issue to deal with. It is part of my job to address these and to ensure we follow due process and are fair and honest about the matter being addressed. We treat all concerns seriously and make every effort to investigate and to respond in a timely and appropriate way. We will also try to review the processes used and flag up any lessons learnt from them.
I also help to review policies and procedures. I was recently involved in re-writing our company terms and conditions – to complete this task, I worked with Melanie the MD, with the Board of Directors and our legal advisor. Once complete the new Ts and Cs have been added to our recording systems, were discussed with the management team and have been shared with new and existing clients.
I also have responsibility for business development and speak to many prospective new clients or their families. I am always delighted to talk about Q1Care and the great services we can offer and feel proud that we can help to make a difference to people’s lives by providing care solutions to them through our amazing carer team. I regularly make contact with many people such as health care professionals and others. I have a great working relationship with specialist nurses, hospital discharge teams, insurers, solicitors and many other people.
We work hard to get Q1Care’s name known and so marketing is also part of my role – we have recently been working on the new website and our social media presence and I help by picking out stories and contacts for our marketing coordinator.
I also deputise for other managers where needed – so if someone is on annual leave or out of the office I will step in if needed.
I really enjoy working at Q1Care, we have a great team and always have plenty to do.
In The Life Of Linda Ambrose
I have been working for Q1Care for just under two years as the Personal Assistant to the Managing Director, Melanie Meads and in addition, I am the Office Coordinator. I provide full administrative and secretarial support to the Managing Director, the Chief Operations Officer, and the Care Manager.
I handle sensitive and complex issues in a professional and objective manner. I take initiative when liaising with the clients and their families, the carers and suppliers to ensure that all enquiries or requests are dealt with appropriately.
I ensure that we have a good stock level of PPE and stationary, I keep a tight record of all the IT equipment and deal with any IT issues along with running the office as smooth as possible.
The things I love about my job
My job is so varied, I assist in every department and I really enjoy the knowledge that I gain from that.
I enjoy interacting with the clients and their families: the carers do such a wonderful job I try and extend the care from the office to show that the care does not stop in the clients home, but to provide care and support over the telephone.
We have very good training programs where I like to get involved so I understand the importance of care work and what is involved, this brings knowledge and confidence so I can support the team as much as possible.
I love the family feel of the company where we all appreciate and respect each other and this really gives the value of quality which is passed on to our clients and to our carers.
Need Daily Care At Home?
Q1Care provides the below care home services.