Jacqueline Mckenna, Managing Director
I come from Devon, and spent many happy childhood years with the moors as my garden. Well not quite, but it felt like that.
I have over 20 years’ experience working in the care industry. Many of which I spent working in elderly care homes, progressing to Deputy Matron in a residential home, a role I really enjoyed.
I went onto work in mental health for the following 6 years.
Based in and around the Totnes area, I worked as a Senior Houseparent. My responsibilities involved the supervision of staff, liaising with relatives, social services, local health authorities and advocacy agencies. I also carried an on-call bleep and on occasions I was required to liaise with the local constabulary.
And then for another challenge, and a move away from Devon, I worked for a fiber optics company holding the role of Resource Performance Analyst. This involved scheduling and coordinating a large team of 200 engineers, ensuring their skill sets matched the jobs requested for the network in the UK and in Europe.
I then moved to London to be with my then Partner who is now my husband.
I took on the role of acting Manager for a Domiciliary Care Agency in Muswell Hill. Without realizing at the time, this role was to become the most important and sobering of my career so far within the care industry. A role that has now become the driving force for Maids Care CIC.
After only 3 months I found it very difficult to continue with the employment due to the lack of care and empathy given to service users. On many occasions I discovered that carers were not where they were supposed to be and had not administered the care that was contractually agreed. I discovered that on many occasions the elderly and vulnerable people had agreed 1 hour visits reduced on occasion to minutes. I was outraged and deeply saddened to see at first hand shockingly poor care. I therefore made the decision to resign but did not leave it there, I wrote to, and met in person, representatives from Hackney, Haringey and Barnet councils. I openly expressed my concerns over the welfare of vulnerable adults under the care of the Domiciliary Agency. The outcome was that Hackney Council did not continue with the contract and they were under investigation with Barnet council.
This life changing experience has years later helped to confirm and set in stone "our promise" to all of the very Important service users that we at Maids Care CIC have the privilege to work with.
At this point in my life I was in early stages of pregnancy. So Martin and I decided that we would move back to Devon where we got married and have resided in Torquay for 14yrs. Whilst my daughter was young I completed a bookkeeping course and took up the role as finance officer in a GP surgery.
I missed the interaction with people so then enrolled onto Plus Employment agency at Torbay Hospital and slowly transferred to working full time as bank staff mainly working on EAU3, EAU4 and A & E.
I then decided to enroll onto the Access to Science Course, I passed and the went onto study diagnostic medical imaging after 2 years I was given the opportunity to go into business, so I left Exeter University with a transcript diploma.
I have been the Managing Director for Maids in Torbay Ltd for 3 years now, many of my clients have constantly requested personal care but I have had to refuse, I have now made the decision with my colleague Anna Brewer to set up Maids Care CIC, our vision is to eventually be able to acquire a care home, we are both very passionate about the care industry and staff well-being within the industry, the reason behind a CIC company is the profits made will serve the community by way of a Care home solely for Torbay and then move onto a Nursing Home.
At present our team number is 5 people, 2 Directors myself Managing Director, Anna Brewer Business development and HR Director, Registered Manager Becky Wilcock, Tia Collinson Care coordinator and Helen Stewart Deputy Manager. All three are doing their Level 5 leadership in Health & Social Care to ensure there is consistent cover.
Our vision is to create a pathway of care, stress free, for the autumn years of life for our service users and their relatives.