Care homes are short of registered managers partly because the CQC has been too busy with their new registration system to register managers! Yet, Cynthia Bower, the chief executive of the CQC says that this puts residents of care homes at risk, but seems unwilling to admit that it is her own organisation has put them at risk.
Some newly appointed managers have been waiting up to four months to be registered, so it is hardly surprising that some care homes do not have a registered manager.
But that too is only part of the reason. Good care home managers are hard to find.
The manager of a “good” or “excellent” care home, and who may have worked extremely hard for several years to build a reputation for the home and themselves, risks a lot by moving to a home that has an “adequate” or “poor” rating and desperately needs their experience and talent. Why would a good manager risk making such a move?
It takes a courageous and determined person with outstanding skill and experience to lead a failing care home to success. Many good people have tried and failed, and in the process risked their own professional reputation.
In addition, there is a shortage of care home managers. It is a very demanding and stressful job especially if you are trying to improve a failing home. The hours are long, the responsibility enormous, and the rewards are poor. Managers have been let down by the poor training opportunities and the lack of skilled supervision and support.
Few outside the profession understand the high level and wide scope of responsibility, or the multiplicity of external organisations that demand accountability from the manager.
The head of a large care home may have to manage up to a hundred staff for a hundred residents all of whom need individual care. And this responsibility is not for eight hours a day, Monday to Friday; it is for 24 hours a day, every day of the year. The span of responsibility in terms of time is nearly five times that of a normal “office” job, and in terms of people’s lives and wellbeing there are very few jobs that carry more onerous individual responsibility.
It is extremely difficult for the care home manager to concentrate on the most important tasks in the home (the best care of residents and the management of staff) while there are countless outside organisations demanding that they spend their time on the red tape that those organisations impose on them.
The Association of Care Managers (ACM) supports care home managers and works for professional development, recognition and status for this important and essential role. ACM will always speak up for care managers and promote good management and care practice by sharing expertise, knowledge and ideas. ACM will never defend poor practice.
Members of ACM agree to “put the needs, rights and wellbeing of those we care for first”.
Source The Association of Care Managers