I started in a local authority role before I joined the NHS.
Over 14 years, I worked my way up from a care-worker position to managing services for people with learning disabilities and older people. I was then promoted to the directorate management team as a work-stream manager, helping to direct and lead the organisation, which, at the time, was underperforming. After this role, I then became a strategic relationship and programme manager, leading on the National Dementia Strategy for East Midlands NHS, helping to improve services and outcomes for people living with dementia.
My role was to create a new vision and direction.
Responsible for implementing the National Dementia Strategy in the region, I was committed to creating a process with people living with dementia and their carers at its heart, not just consulting about predetermined proposals but supporting them to create and lead the development of the strategy themselves. Using my management experience, we developed an innovative approach to creating a vision and strategy for the region.
After we had achieved so much, we faced “at risk” status and possible redundancy.
At the end of last year, we knew our department was at risk from government cuts. I felt very vulnerable as I do not have a clinical background.
Was there less chance of being re-employed in the NHS?
CMI helped me turn crisis into opportunity. I trust the Institute wholeheartedly. They had so much information relating to my situation, and based on this I started my own business. Having CMgr status on my CV increased my confidence; it tells people that you have been approved by the most respected management organisation – giving you a national standard.
Very soon, I was offered another position with the NHS.
As a result, I am extraordinarily busy and very happy to be! I am now employed, leading on Quality and Performance, and, although my new job does not strictly relate to improving dementia services, I am still passionate about improving the care that people affected by dementia receive, and about helping people understand the condition.
Dementia affliction is incredibly common.
There are approximately 700,000 people in the UK with dementia and, in the next 30 years, the number of people directly affected by this condition is likely to double. This is why we need to continue to understand what people’s needs are in order to live well with dementia and enjoy their life to the full.
Winning the regional CMgr of the year award was a very pleasant surprise.
It was wonderful for an outside body to recognise what we had done and achieved – it’s not often that the work we do gets acknowledged. I always say we because, although it was me who received the award, these things wouldn’t have been done without everyone involved, in particular those living with dementia, who gave their time telling us what we needed to know.
FIND OUT MORE
A case study of Jill’s work with the dementia strategy has been written in Appreciative Inquiry: Change at the Speed of Imagination, 2nd Edition, by Jane Magruder Watkins, Bernard J Mohr and Ralph Kelly.
To find out more information about the book and order it, click here
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