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CDC Series Episode 5: Unique Villages for Later Life

November 1, 2018 |

Best Ageing Experience – Regardless of Means

In his first CEO role, David Williams has spent the last 3 years leading St Monica Trust which has been operating for close to 100 years. Providing Retirement, Home and Residential Care services across 5 large villages/care homes, the organisation employs over 500 staff supported by a volunteer team of 700 people. David is candid and engaging when discussing strongly held views and his learning through hindsight. Key observations:

Simplify and listen (but not to the Gurus)

St Monica Trust stands for making people better off- staff and clients alike, they remunerate above market rate because it makes commercial sense and delivers significant commitment and recognition:

  • Develop a relationship with staff beyond the master – servant. Recognise any synergies between business needs and staff personal issues. Bringing the 2 together when possible drives rapid and real change.
  • Stand back, listen, interpret, check, implement – it works with clients and staff.


Government will never give you what you want, and funding increasingly will become tougher. The Care sector “moans” far too much about workforce issues.

  • Develop your own short/medium/long term strategies to ensure needs are met;
  • Build a career development process for your staff;
  • ‘We should not be competing with Aldi’.

Community engagement

Their Intergenerational strategies, such as the ‘Old people’s homes for 4-year old’s’ are building significant momentum even though their start was fortuitous.

  • Integration of volunteers into the workforce – critical part of service delivery and experience. 20% of their workforce come through the volunteer network.
  • Working to make health and social care ‘sexy’. Show the real impact of the job as well as career options.Relationship centred approaches
  • Build relationships staff/ clients as well as other stakeholders.
  • “What matters to me program”. Listen to staff if you expect them to listen to their clients/residents.
  • Value and support staff and residents; engage proactively to do this. Simple things often the most meaningful.

Being genuine, showing a preparedness to engage and not being afraid to make mistakes are central themes in David’s strategy, at a personal and company level.

In a series of blogs supporting 5 videos recently recorded, 7 UK Care Provider CEOs discuss their Workforce observations and learning through hindsight. Introduced by John Pollaers and coinciding with the release of his Australian Workforce Strategy Report, their feedback is both candid and instructional.

These reflections on a CDC environment videos and blog posts were created in a partnership between Altura Learning, Care Advantage Behavioural Screening and Neil Eastwood’s Recruitment Masterclass. The input from the 7 UK business leaders has been invaluable and the time and effort they have put in much appreciated.

Altura Learning have partnered with Care Advantage and Neil Eastwood, to produce an inspirational discussion panel with 7 successful CEOs from the UK Social Care Sector to talk about the workforce challenges, strategies and hindsight after many years in a person-centered environment.

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