A day in the life of Assessment Manager Karen
We asked Karen Bloomfield, an Enquiries, Referral, and Assessment Manager (ERAM) for the North of England about her role at Lifeways.
Can you tell us what your job is, the department you work in and a bit about your background?
I have worked for Lifeways since April 2016 initially as a Scheme Manager before moving into a Project Officer role for new developments in November 2017. In 2019, I moved into my current role as Enquiries, Referral and Assessment Manager, also known as an ERAM and I am part of the Business Development function.
Can you tell us a bit about what you do?
We have ERAMs based all across the UK who are responsible for individual regions across the country. I am responsible for the North of England and I cover Cumbria, Northumberland, Workington and Rochdale which also includes registered services for the people we support with more complex needs. My role is to build relationships with commissioners and social workers to develop our business across my region. I support our service managers by completing assessments and recommending if we can support the individual.
Can you tell us what you enjoy most about your role?
The best thing about the job is meeting new people that we support and working alongside my colleagues. Each day is different and brings with it varied roles. I enjoy communicating with external and internal colleagues, working together for the best outcomes for the people we support and to develop our business.
We have a very friendly team and everyone is extremely supportive of each other. We connect at regular team meetings where information is passed over and also discussed and point of views taken on board. We have a very supportive management team and we have monthly supervisions to discuss development, training, and also to discuss any difficulties we may be having. The management team is very approachable and are always there to offer support on both a work and personal level.
What gives you the most satisfaction in your role?
It is really satisfying when you see people moving into their new home and reaching their full potential.
What qualities do you think a person needs to have to be successful in your type of role?
This role needs excellent communication skills as it involves meetings not just with the people we support and their families but also attending meetings with multi-disciplinary teams to offer support with transition to move people into our services smoothly. It is important to be able to put families at ease as very often this will be the first time their loved ones will be moving out on their own and they can be anxious. You should also be confident to speak at meetings and articulate well. The ability to manage a busy schedule and prioritise workload is also important as well as the ability to work on your own initiative and to work to deadlines.
What advice would you give to anyone looking for a career in business development in health and social care?
This is an extremely rewarding role and I would recommend this career to anyone who is looking for job satisfaction. You must be able to work on your own and as part of a team and be prepared to be flexible and sometimes work outside of the normal 9 to 5 at times to accommodate people who may be attending day services. You need to be able to drive and be willing to travel to different areas.
To find out about more about what opportunities exist at Lifeways and what opportunities exist in our Business Development team visit our careers page.