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The care exchange - Series 4

The Ƶ podcast 'The care exchange' is back for it's fourth series!

Pia Rathje-Burton and Wendy Adams, Ƶ locality managers, are back to host the podcast where you can listen to real-life insights into being a manager in social care.


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Make sure you don't miss another episode of 'The care exchange'! 


Episode 1: What is your favourite chocolate bar?

Series 4 kicks off with a fascinating conversation alongside Neil Eastwood, CEO and founder of Care Friends recorded with a live audience!

Neil discusses the secrets to recruitment including having a narrow and wide focus on attracting job applicants and how to connect with people in your local community. He also sharestips on how to improve your recruitment and retention processes including texting, hosting a dog show, reserving parking spaces, welcome cards and even providing a favourite chocolate bar! 


Episode 2: Would you dance in the rain? 

Samantha Crawley, CEO of Bracebridge Care and Director of The Outstanding Society joins us to discuss why registered managers strive for Outstanding, and the impact of the culture of a service on CQC ratings. Samantha also shares some great ideas about how to tackle difficult team dynamics and she how uses an assessment centre approach to help with recruitment. You can also find out why she gives a free audio book subscription to managers in all her homes.


Episode 3: What if I say the wrong thing? 

For most of us, the answer to the question ‘what is most important to you?’ would be our personal relationships. Join us for a fascinating discussion with Dr Claire Bates about how we can, and should be, supporting people to continue the relationships that are important to them.   

Dr Claire Bates, who set up and runs the ‘Supported Loving’ network, talks candidly in this episode about how we should be helping people to have meaningful relationships, including where people want to continue with intimate or sexual relationships, and she asks the question ‘should a double bed be offered as default?’. Claire gives some great advice on how to create open cultures, reassure staff about having honest conversations and debunks some of the myths about what it is ok to say and support people with. 

Supporting resources:



Episode 4: I get most of my success on Sundays

Stephen Forster joins the Care Exchange to talk about his success in recruiting 1000s of care workers. He shares his top tips on attracting workers, including how to create an amazing recruitment journey for each candidate and how to reduce no shows. We also chat about sending top tips to candidates before interview, creating attractive job adverts and value-based retention.


Episode 5: Nothing about you without you

We chat to Jodie Allen-Cawley, Head of Quality and Health and Safety at Lifeways.

Jodie talks about why co-production is the key to providing quality care and how it works in partnership with the people you provide care to. She explores how the ‘I statements’ and ‘we statements’ align with the new CQC Single Assessment Framework and, as a quality lead, how to evidence personalisation and co-production. 

Jodie also shares the huge range of co-production initiatives and processes that are taking place at Lifeways from their quality checkers, to involving people in the recruitment process and embedding co-production as day-to-day business within the culture of the organisation.  

“Ensure the people you support are at the heart of everything you do, then build outwards from that.” 

– a set of co-produced statements that describe what good care and support looks like. 


S4 E6: Recognise it, record it, evidence it

Maddie Watts, the owner and Registered manager of the outstanding rated Inchwater home care chats to us about the preparation she is doing for assessment under the new single assessment framework and how to evidence good practice for CQC. Maddie talks about evidencing feedback of partnership working with other professionals and the benefits of reflective conversations to the continuous improvement journey. 


S4 E7: The Single Assessment Framework represents an opportunity

Hear from Isabel De La Haye, a recently qualified solicitor who talks a lot about the new CQC assessment and shares her tips on how you can prepare for any forthcoming assessment by understanding your current position. She talks about the importance of checking the factual accuracy of your CQC report and understanding how your rating is created.  

Supporting resources:



S4 E8: My staff call me a Post-it person 

Listen to Colin Scott talking about how he has used the Ƶ LGBTQ+ learning framework in his care home for older people to create a culture where people can be themselves.  

Colin is the registered home manager of The Maples Residential Care Ƶ, and he talks about  

how he has made changes throughout the service with surprising results and how he has worked to engage people, their families and the staff. Colin also encourages placements and volunteer opportunities for younger people and discusses how this benefits his service. 


S4 E9: We have a few lifers and don’t spend any money on recruitment!  

Listen to Claire Callaghan talking about why her staff never want to leave and how she has not spent a penny on recruitment in years!   

Claire credits this to a great recruitment process focusing on mentoring and values-based recruitment, a person-centred induction and a ‘listen to’ workplace culture. She also talks about her organisational and personal commitment to diversity in the workplace and the support provided to staff around LGBTQ+, neurodiversity and menopause. Claire strongly believes in the benefit of investing in staff development and creating an inclusive workplace.