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Case Study: Magda, Quality Improvement Partner

It’s been a little journey to get to my current role in Certitude. I first started as a deputy manager for registered care in Ealing in June 2016. I then joined the Quality team as a coordinator and progressed into my current role as a Quality Improvement Partner.

When I came for my interview at Certitude, I was also being interviewed by another organisation. Both invited me to meet people we support, and I immediately preferred Certitude’s approach. The other organisation felt big and impersonal. Certitude just felt more homely. You could see that people were encouraged to create their own environment, their own home. So, I chose Certitude. The reason I was attracted to my current role in the quality team is that I’d always wanted to work as a CQC inspector. It felt like the right path for me to start, but once I started I no longer cared about being a CQC inspector, because this is the team for me.

My favourite part of my job is the visits which I do once a week.

“I love communicating with people. Through talking, body language, facial expressions everybody we support communicates so much about their lives.”

Small observations that we make can sometimes mean big changes for people. I really enjoy going back to see what’s changed for people based on what they’ve shared with us.

Last year when visiting somebody we support, I was typing my notes very fast without needing to look at my screen, maintaining eye contact with the person I was talking to. She was immediately fascinated and was walking around watching what I was doing. Whilst she was non-verbal, she was already communicating so much. I encouraged her to have a go and I put in my observation about her fascination in how the letters and numbers were appearing on screen. When I returned the following year, she had a computer. Through our teamwork, the manager had acted on my observation and then worked with her parents to get a computer and support her to develop skills and have fun.

I’m so happy when I see actions from our observations and recommendations that improve people’s lives. We sometimes are supporting people for a long time and they and their routines will change as we all change throughout our lives. I get to see their lives progress.

My role challenges me too. English is not my first language, so I’ve never liked doing presentations. But my manager asked me to create some small training presentations for colleagues once a week. I didn’t say ‘I can’t do it’, because that’s my job, but it was really out of my comfort zone. I looked up how to manage stress with deep breathing and started to practice that. And I’m proud of myself for that.

I’m supported with my development in other ways too. I can join groups that help further my knowledge or go to conferences or webinars – we’re given those opportunities, the time and the space to self-educate and learn from our peers. Our team have a real culture of self-educating.

Eight years ago, I went on our ‘Managing at Certitude’ course which meant that over six months we were regularly meeting with peers within the organisation and learning and sharing together. The connections we made are still strong today even though we’ve moved in different ways through the organisation. It’s a really supportive environment.

When I was diagnosed with an illness, Certitude showed that support immediately. I hadn’t had a day off sick in 30 years of working, so I was a bit anxious about what would happen.

“The HR team were really straightforward with letting me know what financial support, occupational health support and health and wellbeing support was available to me.”

Until it happens to you, I don’t think you realise how hard it will be to talk about. I didn’t want to talk to people about it. I didn’t want my team mates to treat me any differently. I sent a message via ‘Teams’ and told them that and said don’t feel sorry for me, just send me positive light and that would be enough for me. They respected my wishes and when I came back, just as I requested, we carried on as if I’d never been away, which meant a lot to me.

“It’s a great environment to work in if, like me, you like change. Certitude is always learning and working on improving itself. I just love it and don’t regret choosing Certitude all those years ago.”

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