10 Questions with... Brendan Kelly
Each issue we ask an industry professional the Tomorrow’s Care 10 Questions. This month, we chatted to Brendan Kelly, Managing Director of Heathcotes Group.
shoestring budgets in most cases, which forces them to engage with us as providers on a cost basis rather than a quality basis.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE CARE INDUSTRY?
I found myself working in a call centre doing credit control and, aſter a ‘road to Damascus’ moment, realised it was absolutely not what I wanted to do; so I started volunteering with a local support group for young people with mental health issues and found my vocation! 23 years on, I still look forward to coming into work every day and I still get satisfaction from making a difference to people’s lives.
WHO, IN ANY OTHER INDUSTRY, DO YOU MOST ADMIRE?
I’m a lifelong Rugby League fan, so I have huge admiration for the players. It’s the toughest, most physical sport in the world, and I can’t imagine the mental toughness required to train and play the game at a high level week in and week out.
HOW WOULD YOU IMPROVE THE CARE SECTOR?
For me, the single biggest area for improvement would be joining up the different parts of the sector – so that health, social services and the private sector worked together much more collaboratively, to improve outcomes for vulnerable people; and I would like to see the funding for social care that is given to local authorities totally overhauled – they’re operating on
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IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY SUPER POWER FOR A DAY WHAT
WOULD IT BE? I’ve read and collected comics for 40 years, so I have a lot of background material to draw on for this one! Whilst flight and invisibility seem like obvious answers, I think I’d be more inclined to go for some kind of special mental ability – so I’ll go for telepathy, so I always knew what people were thinking; it would save a lot of time in meetings!
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE FACING THE CARE
INDUSTRY TODAY? It has to be funding – we’ve seen millions slashed from local government settlements in recent years, with no end in sight, and that puts huge pressure on LA commissioners and frontline staff; which in turn translates to huge pressure on providers to increasingly deliver more for less.
IF YOU COULD HAVE A DINNER PARTY WITH ANY THREE PEOPLE,
DEAD OR ALIVE WHO WOULD IT BE? Alan Moore – the creator of some of the greatest comics and graphic novels ever written, and the owner of truly remarkable beard.
Christopher Hitchens – a fearless polemicist, a powerful writer and one of the greatest debaters in history; a personal hero of mine.
Muhammad Ali – a genuinely remarkable human being, who transcended sport and became a worldwide cultural icon; another hero of mine.
WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU COULD GIVE TO SOMEONE NEW
COMING INTO THE CARE PROFESSION? Care – before, during and aſter everything you say and do, and every decision you make. Take time to reflect on how it will improve the lives of the people you support. This is not a career in which you can clock on and off if you don’t care, you’re in the wrong job.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE IN A FUTURE ISSUE OF
TOMORROW’S CARE? I would like to see more features on specialist care, and articles related to learning disability and mental health services.
WHAT DO YOU THINK THE FUTURE HOLDS FOR THE CARE INDUSTRY?
With my futurist hat on, I think the industry will increasingly be asked to consider how technology can be used to firstly improve the lives of vulnerable people and also to reduce the cost of care. Clever providers will be looking at that now, because it’s a certainty that commissioners already are.
NORMAN NIVEN, FROM TELMENOW.COM
DO YOU THINK THAT BREXIT WILL BE USEFUL TO HIDE BAD NEWS? I can’t see that Brexit is useful for many things, but I guess that might be one of them.
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