Head of Operations
My main focus is to ensure we have the skilled staff in place to meet the various needs of the guests who come to Leuchie House. Respite care is unique and it requires an adaptable, well experienced, trained group of staff to ensure quality care for guests. We are fortunate in having a devoted team who create a wonderful holiday atmosphere for our guests.
Work life before Leuchie
My job at Leuchie House is one of those rare roles that brings together all the elements of my career to date, giving me the opportunity to use my skills and experience within a charity I feel passionate about.
I began my career as a nurse, specialising in paediatrics and then working at a children’s psychiatric assessment centre in Edinburgh. I worked with several voluntary and private care services before moving into regulation, first with Lothian Regional Council and then the Care Inspectorate. Throughout my 22 years in the regulation of care, I have been involved in investigating and reviewing complaints, registrations and enforcement action in all types of care services. I was also involved in strategic inspections of local authorities. At the Care Inspectorate I managed a team of inspectors who were responsible for regulating care homes, care at home services, children’s day care, and nursing agencies, which has given me a wide knowledge both of the care sector and the individuals who use these services.
The importance of managing people and relationships is vital for the success of any organisation and we work hard at Leuchie to ensure all our staff feel they are part of a team and are supported in their role - any service will only be a good as the training you provide to the staff within it. Training has always been a passion I completed an MSc in Human Resource Management. It was a valuable experience undertaking the MSc but those principles learnt support my own values
Living in East Lothian, I was aware of the great work Leuchie House did to support people with neurological conditions, and having friends with Parkinsons and with MS, as well as friends there as volunteers, I knew that I wanted to get involved with Leuchie. I signed up as a volunteer and for two years had a variety of roles: assisting guests with meals, with activities and in the physio department; I was involved on the operations committee; and I provided induction training to other volunteers and to staff on the role of regulation in registered services.
Although I wasn’t particularly looking for a full time job, when the post of Head of Operations became available it seemed a natural use of all my skills. It is a challenging role, and no day is ever the same as the next, but the reward of knowing we make such a difference to so many lives is frankly humbling.
Life beyond work
I’m married to Mike and we have two daughters, Alice and Rosie. I sing with the Garleton Singers, enjoy walking and have recently taken up golf. I am also a governor of Loretto School.
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