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Head of Service Development

Leadership & Management
Career Pathway

Career Directions

  • Management

Area of Practice

  • Learning Disability Nursing


  • Independent/Voluntary Sector

Job/Role Summary

I have two parts to my role one concerned with commercial activity the other focussed on governance and best practice.

Commercially I line manage the tenders and contracts teams in attracting new business while ensuring the sustainability of the services we already operate. This also includes working closely with management accountants creating financial models for service delivery and using these as a baseline to negotiate with commissioners.

In terms of governance I support the diversification of the service models we offer by developing new services for individuals with learning disability, neurological rehabilitation and mental health needs. I’m involved in the creation of governance structures to support these new care models and help develop policies, procedures, care documentation and audits to ensure new services are delivered safely and in innovative ways.

I also undertake external speaking engagements promoting the nursing home as an integral part of the health and social care environment. These workshops focused on ensuring positive outcomes for older people by reducing admission to and speeding up discharge from acute hospital settings.


Specific qualifications and experience required

I have a degree in Sociology, a Post Graduate Certificate in Education and am a Registered Nurse Learning Disabilities. I’ve managed residential care services, nursing homes and a Supported Living Scheme. Additionally I’ve been a Regional Manager, an Operations Director and an Executive Director of Quality and Governance; all for companies in the independent sector.  


Career Milestones

Throughout my career I’ve been involved in the creation of dynamic services that give individuals control over the support they receive and produce positive outcomes in their everyday lives. Perhaps the best example of this was during my time as Director of Quality and Governance for an organisation supporting people with a learning disability.

The fundamental requirement of the governance system we created was to ensure that those individuals that used our services were at the heart of the process. It sought therefore to ensure a meaningful and powerful voice for the individual both in the services they received and the organisation itself. This was achieved in a number of ways; users of services were involved in delivering induction training and took part in the supervision and appraisal of the staff team. All internal service monitoring and external regional audit involved interviews with the individuals we supported and a review of their outcomes. Users of our services had representatives at staff meetings both locally and regionally while full Board meetings were held twice a year at a service. As part of the governance process Board Members were required to visit a service on a bi monthly basis.

The most enjoyable part of the governance process was working with Choice Support to create an ‘experts by experience’ group made up of individuals whom we supported and family carers. The experts were fully trained, became paid employees, were an integral part of the Quality and Governance team and undertook regulatory style visits to audit the quality of services.


Enjoyable aspects of the job/role

Seeing the growth of the individuals we support when they are empowered to take greater control of their lives and contribute to the management of the services they receive.


Advice for those considering the type of job/role?

Be ready to challenge and be challenged in the pursuit of services that make real differences in the lives of the people we support.


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