Recently the Communications Team sat down with Kiran Kaur, Service Quality Director for The Camden Society (London), and Julie Small, her Executive Assistant to talk about Kiran’s experience as a Service Quality Director.
Service Quality Directors are people with a lived experience of a learning disability who are responsible for making sure the people we support across Thera Group receive the highest quality of care.
“We give the people we support a voice,” says Kiran. “A Service Quality Director does the quality checks on the support that Thera offers. They represent the people we support.”
They use their lived experience to make sure people supported by Thera get the support they want and ensure that Thera’s Vision is upheld.
“It makes the people we support more comfortable in speaking with us. You start gaining trust slowly, but you get there in the end.”
Kiran has recently had the opportunity to chair the meetings between Thera’s multiple Service Quality Directors. These meetings bring the Service Quality Director’s together from across the country to share ideas.
“The meetings are about sharing ideas. There is a set agenda, and we cover areas like Company Membership, Being Heard, Thera Trust updates. It’s all about sharing what we have been doing and why.”
“We meet up twice a year face to face and every 2 months on teams.”
“They’re the most wonderful group of people to be involved with,” Julie says. “Everyone is so passionate and the support we got when we first started was incredible. It’s the most fabulous group of people but chairing a meeting has its challenges.”
Kiran goes on to explain what is required of her in the role:
“It’s important that I am able to keep people on track. We have agendas we need to stick too because there’s lots of topics. I have had good feedback that says I am good at it.”
Julie adds: “The temptation is we start talking about one subject and veer off to something interesting that isn’t relevant.”
“It’s about being assertive,” says Kiran.
Kiran and Julie understood that taking on this responsibility would bring fresh challenges, which was the primary reason they were motivated to pursue it.
Julie says: “Kiran wanted to gain new skills. There is a lot of work that goes into chairing these events and she wanted to gain experience and confidence in those areas.”
Chairing these meetings means communicating with the Service Quality Director’s to make sure people can attend and the dates work for everyone. It also involves building an agenda that covers what everybody wants to speak about. This can be a complicated process which involves managing relationships and has supported Kiran’s professional and personal development.
I have noticed a difference from when we started doing the Service Quality Director meetings to now and I think it’s a big difference. I think it might be my confidence building up and I find it is important to try new things.
Julie agrees, “There’s a massive difference in Kiran taking the lead in going out and meeting people and asking questions. The confidence has skyrocketed.”
The responsibility to chair the meetings rotates throughout the SQDs, providing them all with the same opportunities for development that Kiran has benefitted from.
Make sure to stay tuned for any future blog posts exploring the lives of our Service Quality Directors.