Job File: Regional manager, Scottish Care
Name: Henry Mathias.
Job description: Overseeing registration,
inspection and complaints for care services in south west
Skills/qualifications needed: I am a qualified
social worker and have an MSc in advanced social work studies from
Pay: £49, 032.
What’s the job like?
An important part of my work involves making regulation more
user-focused. We do spot checks, inspect care homes at night and
weekends and quote service users in inspection reports.
I spend a lot of time chairing regional management meetings and
supervising eight managers, each responsible for a team of
inspectors working in a local area.
The Scottish Care Commission has a wider remit than inspectors
in England, and includes day care for adults and children,
childminders and child care agencies. But most cases that reach my
laptop are care homes for older people, despite these being a small
minority of registered services.
I originally joined the commission as a team leader and got
promoted to locality then regional manager. Before that my
background was in early years child care in the voluntary and
private sectors and as an early years inspector for Lothian
Since I started out as one of the few male inspectors of child
care, the way care services are regulated has changed considerably,
for the better.
When I think of the times that myself, family or friends have
experienced care, the crucial aspects that I remember and what made
the difference between a good and bad service, were whether the
staff were kind and responsive to individual needs.
While most residential homes for older people provide reasonable
standards of care, I have been shocked at the poor quality of a
minority of services.
I won’t forget the first time I visited a care home for
older people. I was struck by the general lack of respect and
dignity inherent in the institutional routines, plus an
overwhelming smell of urine. This was not the fault of any
individual members of staff – it is indicative of society’s
wider attitude. I’m sure we’ll look back at aspects of
today’s care of older people in the same way that we now view
Victorian attitudes to the care of children.