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  • 07 June 2019
  • 88 min read

Care Home Quality Podcast - episode 2 with Samuel Barrington, CEO of Care Improvement Associates

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In this, the second episode of the Care Home Quality Podcast, Liam Palmer meets with Samuel Barrington, CEO of Care Improvement Associates.

It's a consultancy business that supports care homes in delivering outstanding care. 

From specialising as a learning disability nurse to running his own care consultancy, Samuel shares how he got to where he is now and his thoughts and perceptions on what it means to work in care.

You can listen to episode 1 here.

--Here's the full transcript--


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This is Liam Palmer, your host for this second episode of Care Home Quality: Meet the Leaders and Innovators.

My guest for this episode is Samuel Barrington; Samuel is the CEO of Care Improvement Associates and a pioneer and innovator with raising standards across the care sector.

I first came into contact with Samuel in the summer of 2018. I had a job interview for a large residential home.

It was a home manager role in the West Midlands with a very attractive salary.

Whilst I did secure an offer, for my own reasons I chose to decline it. The owner of the group evidently needed some input around compliance and quality and I introduced him to Samuel to meet those needs.

I first saw Samuel on LinkedIn, he was quite active as he is now, I've followed some of his posts.

Based on the language he used I sent a values-based leader with some integrity and certainly a very strong passion for providing great care.

We set up a call and I found he was congruent with his posts.

I found him to be very grounded, easy to talk to, a very good listener and very perceptive.

He also had her quite impressive rolodex of high-level consultants and contacts in Social care.

He was obviously a useful guy to know.

I know the owner was pleased with the introduction and with the professionalism and expertise that he brought.

Some months later we met in person, and within a minute or two I just sense that he got it.

For those new to Care Home leadership, when I say he got it what I'm talking about very specifically is that he understood how to create a culture of great care at both a macro and micro level.

For me the essence of getting it, just to break that down a little bit more, is an understanding that the budgets, the plans, the strategies, the job structures, the vested interests; all of these must work together to better the interests of the residents, and keeping that in mind is the main thing and that is the main way of providing positive care outcomes for those in our care.

In my experience, keeping that in the forefront of our mind as leaders is the main thing that separates organizations who do have a strong and effective resident focus for services that don't do that often other interests will come to dominate the service.

In extreme cases, this can be an underlying cause of services that cause harm or actually create a space for abuse of the resident. I think we've all heard of the atrocities of Winterbourne View and more recently, its May 2019, as I record this we've heard via the Panorama expose on TV about the atrocities at Whorlton Hall.

I think for me, it's a sobering reminder of the importance of good leadership in social care and also the connection between the CQC outcomes of well-led and effective, and how that's linked to positive care outcomes for residents, and for me, it's just a reminder of why we've got to keep striving to create and maintain services that are well-led that are effective so that the people in our care don't experience harm and that they experience the very best sort of life outcomes, care outcomes, health outcomes that we can achieve.

Happily, for me and for you, for this podcast Samuel and his team are innovators in this space.

They certainly taught me a great deal about effective leadership.

I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did and as usual, at the end I'll be sharing my own observations and thoughts and what I took from from listening to Samuel.

Thank you very much.

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Part 1 - the profession

Hello everyone, this is Liam Palmer here. Absolutely delighted to welcome Samuel Barrington to our podcast.

I'm sure you would have captured and seen Samuel on LinkedIn, very active blogger there and general interesting guy I think in Social care, so really really delighted to have him on the podcast.

So as is our normal format, we're going to have two parts to this interview. In the first part we're going to talk about Samuel's professional career and his steps, and you know, the decisions he took, the mentors, so we can draw out some lessons for the listeners, draw out some inspiration for people that want to become entrepreneurs, that want to become social care managers, that want to develop from being a nurse into something else.

I think Samuel's got some some really good stories and anecdotes to share with us so we're just going to dive right in, actually.

So, welcome Sam, and would you like to tell us about your work today, and you know the status of your various interest businesses and kind of where you're at right now?


Yep, hi Liam. Thanks very much for having me on your podcast, it's a real pleasure to see you again and to be interviewed really so real honor, so thank you very much.

So at the moment, I'm two years into, I guess what you'd call the startup really, we're still at that kind of stage.

My core business is Care Improvement Associates Limited, we started that in April 2017.

We work across the adult social care sector and have a network of specialist Consultants across the country, so from the south coast right up to Newcastle and everywhere in between.

And we obviously work around care quality, promoting outstanding Care Quality best practice and obviously CQC compliance does come into that as well.

Our motto is basically be outstanding, and by that we support care providers whether it's done sponsoring home care providers, nursing homes, Care Homes and supported living environments to aim for outstanding quality care.

So we do that through various means, one of them being helping people with mock inspections and then coming up with an action plan and improvement plan, another one is through mentoring, another one is through interim management.

But basically we put together a package or a solution for a care provider based on what their needs are, so it's very much tailored around that individual organizations needs.

So, if they come to us and say can you do X Y and Z this is what we need help with, whether it's commissioning a new service or some project management, we will put the expert team together to meet that requirement and that need really.

"We listen to what people actually do one and fit the solution around them."

So, it's more about what does the actual care provider need from us, we will then tailor the best but solution for them.

So that's where we're at and we are still a startup and we are still finding our feet, but it has gone really well, you know, we've got really good that's that's down to the network of experts that we have, it's all credit to them really because without them Care Improvement Associates wouldn't be anything.

It just be me sat in my office twiddling my thumbs!

So they're the ones who go out and really make an impact in the care sector, if that makes sense.

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Yeah, okay. Absolutely perfect sense. Yeah. Thanks Sam.

And I think it's fair to say that, you know, you were one of the early voices in talking about outstanding, and also I think where we connected well from when we first spoke was your values-based manager.

Do you want to just talk to us very briefly about the sort of values that sort of underpin your work?

Because I think that's part of why you've been so successful and I'd like to sort of share that with our audience if I may just briefly.


Yeah, I mean, I think the main overriding principle behind Care Improvement Associates are CIAs people call the CIA groups and that's our domain name on the website.

I think the overriding principle is that we listen to the people that are actually asking for the service so we don't just kind of push our experts on to people to say 'we know what we're talking about, we're the experts, we'll come in and sort this out, you step aside', that isn't the way consultancy should work.

I think it does happen a lot that way in certain places, but that isn't how we do things.

We listen to what people actually do one and fit the solution around them.

So we talked about person centered care, this is person centered business, this is person centered solutions if you like for businesses for services within the care sector.

So, listening is a key principle, but putting the client first and and putting relationships first so very much around people and not kind of tasks lead, okay.

So, if we're putting together a package, we don't talk about, you know x amount of time on this task and well that's going to cost you that much.

We really focus on that relationship as a priority, and of course we're building systems and processes on top of that but we're very much driven by the people that we serve.

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Yeah, and I think I think that came across when we you know, did some work together, you know when I was looking for a Compliance Partner.

I was a bit hesitant that you know partner would just trying to sell me to death everything and be really pushing I think and that's partly why I've invited you on to the podcast, is that what was clear was that you were more interested in talking about quality.

You didn't have an agenda and you are interested in really deeply understanding the brief and and that's why we did work together well because you weren't selling to me, effectively, and I think that's a great model for social care.

It's actually having that focus on quality and that focus on relationship.


It's about building the team around that model who appreciate those values and who understand how to deliver on those values and get the right outcomes for that service for that organization.

So obviously with that particular project that you're talking about we had obviously Hillary involved, people like Barry people like Marie, the really key.

Lead Associates within the organization who represent our brand and represent our values, and that's really important finding the right team to do the deliverable part and get the right outcomes for that for that service.


Let's dive in a little bit then into your kind of, what brought you to this point as a professional, to see if we can, you know, glean some insights into you know, what makes you the professional that you are and how we can all learn from that.

So perhaps we could start with kind of prior to University and how did you come into social care, and who was Samuel as a late teen?


Yeah, I guess around that kind of 16 year old stage was just prior to kind of college and uni and stuff like that.

All I really cared about was music. I was a very, very passionate musician. Instead of playing football with a lot of the other kids in the playground, I was in the practice room on my own.

I was with some mates who are also into music, bashing away tunes on the piano and building a band so that I could play the youth club at the school that's all I cared about!

So when it came to choosing a career, I did alright in my GCSEs, I didn't particularly find myself a very academic person, but I tried really hard and that got me on GCSEs.

I was always a real kind of adamant tryer of stuff, even if I wasn't very good at it.

So I kept going and going, got my 5 GCSEs A-C, or seven or whatever it was at that time.

That was enough to get me into college, but they asked me at the time, the careers guidance officers as they were called and I don't know if they exist anymore, what you do want to do? I said 'well, I want to be a musician', you know I had the long hair, I looked a little bit like Hanson, if you remember Hanson from the long long blond hair looked a little bit, well like a girl really!

So I did actually get mistaken for being a girl quite a few times from the back! Then my mum was with me in the meeting, and the careers guidance lady just said 'well, you can't get job in music, that's just not very likely, the competitions too high.

"We really focus on that relationship as a priority, and of course we're building systems and processes on top of that but we're very much driven by the people that we serve."

You need a good strong vocation' and it just so happened that I'd been doing some voluntary work at the time in National Children's Home, which is NCH Action for Children now.

There's a children's home in the hometown of Scarborough, where I do live again, now.

When I was about 16 17, I got into doing sessional work.

So taking young people children with learning disabilities and physical disabilities out into the community, giving the parents and carers a break giving them some respite.

So, I don't know if you've heard of Flamingo Land, which is a theme park with rides and a zoo and that sort of thing, we would take them out to places like that or to the park, swimming, playing games and activities within the home itself.

And that was on a voluntary basis and that was through contacts that I knew through my mum because she was a social worker the time.

So my interest in the care sector had being kind of ingrained into my kind of genetics really from the very beginning but also on my dad's side the entrepreneurs were present as well in my genetics, and also in my grandparents on both sides of my family, so there was a very strong pull towards care and entrepreneurship at the same time just from the very nature of how I was brought up in the people I was around, really.

So that then led me on to become the care assistant in residential care and eventually went to do my Nursing degree at Leicester De Montfort University, which was, we were one of the first people who did like the nursing 2000 program, so I chose learning disabilities as my specialist subject.

So you all do the same subject for a year, you all go to the same classes, same lectures, and then you start doing your placements for like six weeks or whatever it is, and then yeah.

The second part of the three years, so the second year and a half, you do specialism area.

I think the change in now so you do like a call one year and then you do two years, especially the book but those it was a year and a half each side.

I did learning disabilities and that just taught me so much about professionalism and what person-centred care was.

Learning disabilities as a sector, as a service providing services to people than this but has always been at the forefront I think of person-centred care and values and actually looking at individuals.

I think it's always been what maybe the older persons care sector other areas within adult surgical look towards sometimes to see where they should be going, you know, and I think leaders in the learning disability sector have always driven care and support we're above and beyond, I think, what the expectations have been another path of the sector.

So, I learned a lot from being in that specialism and seeing how we can truly identify people's needs and wants and desires for life, really and not just being about care.

What and how people want to live their life.


And I mean did you, appreciating what you explained about your mother's background with being a social worker, how did care come to you?

Did you did you develop sort of empathy and compassion as you did it? Did you find that natural or was it something that you learn?

Because not everyone gets care do they, so how did how experience it when you first went into it?


I think just from being around in those early days in the session of the voluntary sessional worker roles with young people and being able to relate to some because there are similar age to me, that was really helpful and thinking actually I really get this because if I was in that position at the same age as them, you know that time of my life which I could relate to very well that would be really difficult or actually that would be really hard on my parents as carers to have to deal with that and are very challenging and you know people not getting a break and you know that 24/7 of being that caring role.

So, therefore, what are the solutions to that? How do you help people? How do you relieve some of that pressure? How do you help some of those challenges?

And it's the Care Sector, it's the adult social care sector.

Without charities, without care providers, without services that are out there trying to improve care, whether that's a regular to where we provide a review with a consultant, whether you're a training company, whether you're a manager, it doesn't matter - what we should all be aiming for is the same thing, which is if you look at the end result of all of this work that all these organizations are doing, the end result should be the same; to improve the standard of individuals lives.

Simple as that.

So working with people at that level on a day-to-day basis and in care assistant roles, and then as a nurse, just taught me the true values of what it actually meant to contribute somebody's life and try and improve that person's day every single day.

So whether you're a manager or you're a care assistant, it doesn't matter, that should be the same.


Yeah, I get that. So, you're supporting young people the same age as you and then therefore you've got that natural empathy to get it, because I think when we first worked together it's this sense of what is good care, and I think for the leaders and some of visionaries that I've been fortunate enough to meet over the last few years, there's some people that get it which is about like you said it's kind of getting people to have recipients of a service to have the fullest best life possible. It's not about management, it's not about that.

It's about the the users having the best quality life that they possibly can and how everything should be designed to support that end goal.

So that's I get why you get that so that's really good to hear, actually.

So, do you want to talk us through from initially being a nurse and what sort of organizations were you working for, and and how were you finding your way career-wise, because you were, what, you were in your 20s or something at that point?


So, I qualified in 2001, so started in '98 and finished in 2001. By that point I was 23, something like that.

I passed my driving test, which is a major breakthrough in Leicester as well, which was quite a fascinating place to drive, a very busy city and that obviously gave me lots more independence.

I could start applying for jobs that were a little bit further afield not having to work necessarily in my University Town, I could kind of work a bit further afield.

So, I got a job because of my experience with younger people. I got a job in Rensbrook Secure Training Center, which was near Rugby, and that was basically as a nurse.

So where people have committed crimes that were so serious from the age of I guess 11/12 years old up to the age of 15 where they're repeated offenders, so we're talking serious crimes here - we're talking about murder and repeat burglaries, obviously assault that in a serious assault or maybe multiple basis where their chances had run-out basically, there was no other option, but to incarcerate them effectively.

They were sent to a place called a Secure Training Center, that's before a young offenders institute, so it's not a YOI and it's certainly not prison, but it's certainly along those lines and doors are locked, nurses and secure Training Center workers do carry keys and people are obviously restrained.

There's lots of health issues obviously as people that age the same as anyone else in the community that are jobs health issues, so nurses are there, to help with any injuries at the may get from getting into fights and things like that, they do get restrained by the wardens or the workers there and also they need clinics.

We run clinics, dentist clinics GP clinics, and health clinics are related to their health.

And obviously we were there to help them around education health education, so lots of drugs work, alcohol work, a degree of I guess Counseling in effect.

Although I wasn't trained counselor, obviously we'd done counseling as part of our nurse training and we've done modules on counseling and good listening, active listening etcetera.

So, that was really useful for that because I was fresh out of University into that situation.

So again, I could relate a lot to some of the young people in there.

It hadn't been that long since I'd been a teenager myself and it was really handy to be in in that environment at that age really, and some of the kids in there looked up to me and, kind of, hopefully I think I had a good impact on some of their lives and try to entor some of them and help them out.

I remember one a very young kid, he must have been I guess 12 13 years old and he told me his story I said to him, why are you in here? You know why you locked up effectively?

They said well, I was just basically a prolific burglar, kept going back to the same places over and over again to rob these houses.

And I said well, how did you get away with it for so long as he done it for a long time, he said 'I used to hide in the drawers' - he was that small it could fit in people's dressers and drawers where people kept the kind of you know, their underwear and stuff.

So, he would climb inside a drawers, his mates would push him in, they would leg it, and he would be left in the house.

People would come back and not realize he was still there and then he'd carry on robbing the place, so they eventually got caught and locked up.

But, a lot of these kids who are coming in were, as I said, children, so they were absolutely petrified when they arrived.

Obviously they've come in a secure van and we were the first people that they saw, so you have to be very, very good at keeping them calm, reassuring them, you know and being a person that they could talk to because it was very scary for them as children coming into that environment, you know, the doors being locked behind them and having guards on either side of them everywhere they go.

Very, very scary for them.

And at the end of the day they were kids who just had a bad start in life. That's all it was effectively.

So, I had a lot of empathy for them and a lot of time for them and it was nice to build offer that side, you know, to them as a nurse, as a professional nurse, and being able to be somebody who they could talk to in confidence and be kind of like a mentor, hopefully.

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How has that contributed to your care practice?


It taught me a lot of things about communication, about people, about how, like I said, some people just get a really rough start in life and where that can lead.

I mean, some of those people now may or may not even be around anymore because of what they may have gone on to do, they may have ended up in prison.

Hopefully, some of the work that I did in that secure Training Center might have led some of those kids off on to a better life and hopefully onto the right track, and I really hope that was the case.

Obviously not working there now I don't know, but I'm hoping some of the work we did at that time did send some people there on the right track, which is a nice feeling.

And you did see people leaving, which was good at the time when I did work there.

After a while, I wanted to get back into the adult social care side because I had obviously worked on that side as a care assistant with people with learning disabilities and older people Etc.

So, a job came up nearer to my home where I lived in Leicester so I didn't have that kind of long journey to Rugby every day and back, and it was a more kind of, in terms of hours, it wasn't that kind of 12-hour shift that we did in secure center, it was a more office based role and management role.

I thought yeah, I'm going to take a chance and try and take a step up to management.

It was a branch manager of a domiciliary Care Agency the time.

So I went to the job, didn't think in a million years that I'd get it.

They were asking you to be nurse qualified for whatever reason, I think they just wanted aprofessional qualification, I don't think registered managers awards and things like that were very well known at that time.

So yeah, they asked for a nurse qualification and management experience, which had got a bit of that from the nursing because you do managed care assistants and people at that level.

So yeah, I got it, to my surprise, and it was fantastic experience.

They were delivering about three and a half thousand hours a week across Leicester city and county.

So, they had two offices, I managed one office and I was a deputy at the other one.

And yeah, it was a massive experience, a massive learning curve, it was well before we had all of these kind of tech solutions for you know, rosters and care rotas and things like that - and if they did have them, they certainly weren't using them!

It was kind of like handwritten spreadsheets and things like that and maybe a bit of Excel and what have you.

But to manage the coordinators of that service and the staff, and to get into the routine of supervising staff and and and senior care workers and and building up relationships with relatives was key, you know really key.

And stakeholders, local authority commissioning, it was really, really a massive learning curve and served me well, really.

"If you don't have active listening, you have nothing."

And then from that, I actually went to work for the local authority for about five years I think, in Leicester city council as a review officer.

So going out reviewing care packages in the older persons services, so going out and actually finding out what were people's care packages, usually home care obviously the community, were they meeting their needs, was there any gaps, was anything missing, do they actually need them anymore, could we reduce the care package or do they need increasing.

So, that was really good, and obviously writing care plans; really in-depth care plans and assessments Etc.

Really kind of key skills to take me forward into kind of more high management levels really and just that ability to manage a caseload of sometimes 60 older people at one time in a big city like that, so yeah a balancing act.

So that's given me the skills, I think, later on in life to be able to wear many different hats and juggle many different things at the same time and have focused on each one.


What I find particularly rich about you sharing that experience is whether it was sort of accidental or not, but in retrospect looks very smart the idea of managing the provision of a care service and actually, you know, organizing it, delivering it being responsible for it and getting a deep knowledge of it.

Yeah, and then later to review the same, so then you've got all the skills to know, to ask the right questions, you know, so you've got a complete loop having you there.


Working as part of a team of other people doing exactly the same thing and learning so much from people who are much more experienced than I was, because that was my first kind of role in a commissioning body, if you like, in a local Authority, so there was people that had been there for like 20 years, you know people who just didn't want to do anything else because they got you know the pension and it was very kind of, almost cozy to a degree like the got a really nice job and they were going out in the community in the cars and reviewing care package.

Yes, it was challenging at times.

You got into areas of real social deprivation at times people who literally, you know, had next to nothing, but at the time and we did have more budget to commission.

So to say even at the time we were allowed to commission cleaning for example, which now is unheard of from a local Authority that just don't commission things like that, but we could commission Home Care staff to go out and help cleaning and things like that, but that's long gone now as you know, so but now that was a really good grounding in local authority work and that led to more senior roles in the private sector again in home care, and then that led on to Quality Management type role.

So, I was really interested in that promoting quality and ensuring the quality was far from that of every service that I worked in, and I saw opportunities that came up around quality management and training and that's that's how I ended up.


I want to zoom in on that because obviously part this podcast is to raise the bar about quality. It's about to acknowledge the innovators, people making a positive contribution people that really get what the provision of good cares about, in my mind that's a focus on quality and all things come from there.

And you've certainly got a lot more experience and more diverse experience than I have and I'm sure the listeners would be really interested to, kind of from the top, can you talk through what you consider the fundamentals of good quality Care is and how to do it?


Yeah, and it's very very similar in a way to what I was talking about when we talk about how we listen to our clients in terms of care providers.

You have to do exactly the same in terms of the individual people that you're working with, whether they're in resident in a care home, whether they're an individual is receiving your home care services, whether they're in your supported living service, you need to listen and I think sometimes that's a very simple principle that is overlooked.

I don't think people always actively listen and I think obviously from your background working in you know with people and along the lines of psychological therapies and Psychotherapy, you know about active listening, but not everybody does.

And I think that's something that if you do study a care sector profession like nurse in all social work on management within the care sector, you do learn about active listening and I think it's something that we need to train our care stuff more and I think it's covered in the, you know, minimum care standards training, the care certificate as it's called now, but I think we need to do more on communication and active listening.

So that's key, if you don't have that you have nothing.

And then it's actually responding effectively to what that person says, not just listening but actually doing something about it.

And I know we have budget restraints and know we have resource restraints specifically in the care sector, but it's how do you actually promote that person's well-being?

By thinking, I know it's cliche, but outside the box.

Okay, you've got the budget restraints, you've got resources restraints, you've only got so many staff.

But an example would be the guy who was getting on the day centre bus every day, so he was going from his residential home getting on the day center bus and he was displaying challenging behaviors, okay, so they tried to work out what was going on.

Why is this guy lashing out on the bus?

So the consultant went to the home, I think it might have even been an inspector went to the home, and said what are you saying to this guy when he's getting on the bus?

The care staff said, 'well we tell him he's going to work because that's the only way to get him on the bus to get to the day center'.

Okay, so you tell him he's going to work. What did this guy do as his job before he was at this residential home, before he was going to the day center? 'Well, he was a bus conductor'.

Right, so he was a bus conductor, so how did you know about this? 'Well, we picked it up when we did the assessment of that was his previous employment'.

So what does he do when he gets on the bus to go to the day centre?

'Oh, we always strap him into his seat'.

So you're telling me this guy was a bus conductor, you're telling him that he's going to work and then you expect them to sit down in the seat and be strapped in with a seatbelt.

So it was suggested, why don't you let this guy dish out some tickets, have a ticket machine, get a costume that he would have worn in his day when he was actually a bus conductor?

That is true person-centred care.

It's not necessarily always about resource, how much would that actually cost?

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That outside of the box thinking doesn't cost really anything, but you're focusing on his needs very specifically.

So that's what individual person-centred care means in a nutshell that story kind of demonstrates that really.

So the gave him a ticket machine, they gave him the hat and gave him some tickets, then let him go around the bus with the other residents, collecting tickets and punching tickets and after he'd done that he felt like it done his job, and he was quite happy to sit down behind the driver and go to the day centre.

So, that's a really good example of what I mean by that. You don't need a lot of resources for. It's a perfect example.


And I think we've talked about that in informal conversations, haven't we? That's where we kind of do get on in terms of, it' having a holistic view, not just responding to what's in front of you and trying to understand the person.

You articulated that really clearly kind of getting their frames of reference and then trying to relate to them.

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So now that's that's a lovely example actually.

So talk us through, I mean you mentioned moving from, that's moving into quality management, you've explained about your ethos of quality and then I think you said sort of private sector.

So talk us through kind of either those roles or kind of how that transition, and what you were learning and and how was that?

Because I think you know moving from nurse to Quality to a manager is a pretty significant transition and I'm sure lots of our listeners would like to understand, how does it work?


Well, obviously following doing kind of quality management roles within providers, that give me a step ladder into doing kind of specialist projects within local authority.

So I worked as a PPDO, which is a practice and project development officer for quite a few years, which involves basically training and developing staff, but also writing policies and procedures and embedding those into practice.

So that was a really good experience in terms of being able to manage projects, develop projects and actually see them through to the end and get them embedded into people's mindsets, and that was usually around regulatory requirements, compliance, but also best practice.

And the type of people that were delivering those projects to were usually managers of independent care sectors or their staff or managers of social work teams within local authorities so that they could do it from a commissioning, understand it from a commissioning point of view and deliver and that side also with independent providers, so they understood, for example, mental capacity act as a lead on mental capacity at for these riding and deprivation of Liberty safeguards.

So that kind of project management experience in working with those providers and going out there and speaking to maybe a hundred fifty providers in a room about MCA and dolls for example, and how we need to embed that into our daily practice and using examples like I just talked to you about there really really helped me to understand what consultancy might look like.

So even though it was an employed role, quite a senior-level in a local authority, that got me thinking about actually this is effectively consultancy.

This is going out to revise and helping them to understand concepts and regulations and best practice and really got me thinking I think actually I might like to do this on a kind of more independent level, which is where it led me to, really.

So that led me to an employed role in consultancy, which there's a story in that in itself, which I can obviously tell you about.


Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think I think that there's quite a few people coming into this space, I think isn't there, around compliance.

And I think you've done, you've got a pretty high-profile in the sector and you're very active on social media, and you've already won customers and contracts.

I think there'd be listeners who might be wanting to move across to consultancy.

They've maybe got some of the, probably got some of the skills to be fair. But from the ones I've spoken to, there are many that seem to understand the kind of how do you go from having a salary to making a living?

You know, how do you go about getting customers? How do you go about marketing yourself?

And you know, I think you've done that judging by the results, you know, really well. Is there anything that you can share for these people that might be wanting or hoping to move across or indeed have moved across but don't know how to build the business is anything can share on that?

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Yeah. I mean for me, I just applied.

There are employed rolls Consultants out there very few and far between, but I was employed as a head of operations for quite a well-established consultancy that have been around for like 10 years or more but I was made redundant from that.

So I was kind of pushed into a decision where it's like do I go and get another job or do I actually set up my own version of this and actually set up a an independent consultancy?

And the only tip I can give you on that is, if you do decide to go for it, you need to kind of burn your books really, because if you still keep looking for the employed positions, you're not putting your focus on your potential business and building that consultancy business and you do have to be entrepreneurial about it and put lots of ideas and focus into it, otherwise, it won't work. It's got to be a hundred percent 'this is what I'm doing'.

So I'm not saying I did this but it is something I've learned I should have done from the very beginning stuck to it.

So I kept looking at Indeed or some of these job or to think 'oh, that's a really nice salary' or, 'oh, I've got the skills that I could do that' but actually what you need to do is not do that.

And if you've decided to consultancy is for you, just go for it!

And eventually I did decide that was the path I was going to take after a kind of few weeks of thinking 'should I shouldn't I?' and then thought, no let's do it.

So I got the website built straight away myself, just did it on a templates site. They're easily done, you know can easily get one of those together if you've got a little bit of creativity inside your get some help to do that.

There's lots of people on LinkedIn who are really good at that sort of stuff and just put a post out there and you get help with you website.

And think really strongly around what your model is all about, you know, what what are the outcomes that you want to deliver to people?

Is it about quality? Is it about helping organizations to save on costs?

Is to make them more effective and more efficient? What is it you are trying to deliver under your consultancy umbrella if you like?

And really get that brand delivered quite strongly in the message, quite strongly in your logo, in your website, in the messages that you're putting across as a person, and just make sure people understand that from the beginning really.

" I learned a lot from being in [learning disability nursing] and seeing how we can truly identify people's needs and wants and desires for life, really, and not just being about care."

And we've always aligned ourselves with the idea of, we want to help you be the best care provider you can possibly be and deliver the best care to individuals every single day, so be outstanding, kind of encompass that.

So, obviously, people equate that to the CQC rating but actually being outstanding is so much more than that.

An outstanding CQC rating is fantastic, but it's about a mindset.

So you've got to get into that same mindset as a consultant about being outstanding yourself.

And then to be nurses to as an organization that is being outstanding in what their do as well, not just promoting that to their client. Liam: That's really care.

I mean, and again reflecting on consultants that I've spoke to that wanted to develop their business in this area, I mean from from the first time we met last year, you know, what comes across very clearly is you have a clear sense of purpose, and you're very confident and kind of clear.

I mean, I wonder is that an innate confidence that you have?

Is there anything that you could say to help someone who's got really strong abilities but is a bit shaky in confidence. Is there anything that you could say to them that might help them to step up?

Because I think that's something that you've you do really well.


I'm not naturally confident person.

I think a lot of people who are quite good at stuff like this, maybe speaking publicly or you know talking on interviews, I'm pretty good in job interviews as well, actually.

But actually as a person, I'm quite shy person as you might have picked up another times of our conversations outside of this, and I think that's the same with performers.

You find a lot of musicians and performers and people who get up on stage, they look really confident when they're up there doing what they do, you know, they can sing their heart out, you know people like Queen, you know, I've just watch Bohemian Rhapsody the film and you know, he's actually very flamboyant when he's kind of performing or if he's a party or something like that but he actually was quite insecure about himself.

So, I think everybody, if they're honest, have insecurities and things that they're not very confident about.

It's just in certain situations you can kind of, you know just get really focused and project what you need to project to that time.

And that's about being professional to a degree but it's also about believing in what you do and I think that's hopefully what I try and get across, is just the high really strongly believe in what we do.

So, if that comes across as confident, that's great, but actually I don't intend it to be a kind of confidence thing.

I'm not trying to project forget confidence, I'm just trying to show you that I believe in what I'm doing.

So, I think it's that's the kind of underlying thing that you really need to believe in what you're doing. If you don't then you won't project confidence, you could be unsure about it and other people won't buy into it, which obviously as a business you do need people to do do that.

Whether that's on your LinkedIn posts or if it's on your website, your content on your website, whether it's how you come across in person business meetings or with clients or your team that you have on board, whether they're you know, you associate business associates or whatever, they might be partners, they need to believe in you and and and what your aims and goals are as a person and first and foremost, but also the business.


I might be completely off, so forgive me, but some words not that everything needs to be described accurately or words put to necessarily, but some words that sort of come to mind with that is is a kind of a sort of introversion, introvert kind of bias, maybe with that sense of when introverts can kind of come alive in certain situations depart from that can be sort of relatively unassuming in some ways.

I think talking about that confidence I sort of may be described as kind of situation your confidence, you know that, you know your area really well, and I think the other sort of things I would draw out from what you just said is this sense of authenticity to what you believe in, and if you're true to that then when you talk about it, there's passion, there's dynamism, there's a kind of sense of purpose and conviction and then that sense of connection to what you're doing and then kind of joining the dots with working with like-minded people and then kind of building a almost a sort of circle of influence of like-minded people.


A network around you that believe in what you're doing and you believe in what they're doing as well.

It's a two-way process really is as to way partnership and partnership is key.


Yeah, yeah perfect, I think that's come across very well.

So just a couple of short-ish questions to sort of wrap up this profession part, but I think this has been really, really educational.

I've learned a lot and I'm sure our listeners will feel the same.

So thanks for you know being so open and what you shared so far, really appreciate that.

And so, my first question of this last three then Sam, is what's been the most challenging aspect of establishing your business?


As most consultants has and will find, it's kind of getting that first contract or those first few contracts across the coastline, so to speak really, but I started delivering a contract myself.

Obviously, when I this is going back to years when I was still quite up on what was required to be frontline consultant, delivering personally to the client, obviously since then we've grown the network from myself and and one of the personal to we've got now think 41 contracted Associates on the CIA Network.

So I think my role for the last two years have been very much around building those partnerships as relationships, working on the marketing, the brand, developing that network of Associates and obviously clients, the business development side, you know working with people like yourself and that's become my role and that's okay, because it's naturally evolved and organically-grown, that's okay.

So, I think just the first initial challenge is just getting those contracts in, so obviously you can get recommendations and you can get credibility in the market place and I think sometimes people can criticize you for shouting from the rooftops about the recommendations, but without us doing that certainly from the beginning we wouldn't have got the next contract because I'm not the professional going out now delivering that and getting kind of another contract of the back of word-of-mouth.

It's got to be from that kind of bigger perspective now, where we're actually talking about achievements as a company rather than just an individual consultant.

So it's about achievements as an organization.

So we do tell people when we've had achievements but we also tell people when we've got challenges and we share those challenges and we're quite candid about that because I think that's really beneficial for other people, it's beneficial for us.

"An outstanding CQC rating is fantastic, but it's about a mindset."

We can learn from those mistakes, every company, every consultant makes mistakes.

They need support themselves, they need those alliances with colleagues and Associates and partners in the sector and LinkedIn's great for that.

But also obviously networking events and even just things like this, you know meeting of like-minded people going through processes.

Like this is really really beneficial, you know, you can feel you know, that kind of an tension lifting as you talking, you know, you're talking to somebody about your experiences, it's kind of like a helping your own wellbeing almost. Going through processes like this and just discussing, you know, what challenges you have first and what successes you have achieved, it's good.

It's really good thing to do.

So anything like this, anything where you can talk to like minded people, it's all really beneficial.

You don't feel kind of so isolated, I think that's really key because it can be really isolating as a consultant.

So yeah, get people on board, meet up with people even if it's just for a coffee, you know, throw some ideas around, you know, there's nothing wrong with just saying, actually this doesn't have to be formal, let's just chuck some ideas around to see where it leads and maybe something might Sprout from it.

And that has happened quite a lot actually, just from kind of having these informal chats in a coffee shop, you know, or just over a Skype conversation or you know, just get out there basically and meet people.

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Yeah, two things that's just sort of themes that come out from how you've led, how you've created this business with sort of many strands, one thing that comes across quite strong is a sort of focus on relationship building, which you appear to have done really well and also being the lead on marketing your business, you know, so marketing and relationship-building seem to be two themes that you do quite a lot of.


We've got David Ruston on board now as our associate head of marketing, he's now taken the lead because it just got to a stage where I couldn't do it all myself.

And we are now employing people internally our office if you like for want of a better word, but we are still a micro business.

We are still a small business with a national reach. I would say we are growing, we have had our successes and will continue to do, hopefully, if we continue in the same vein.

But we will always have challenges and I think it's important to recognize that side of it as well and not just make out that everything is easy, because it's not, you don't have to lead people into a false sense of security that consultancy is just fabulous all the time.

You've got this lifestyle, that's great and you can kind of you know, do what you like but you can't because you've responsibilities to your clients and although it gives you more freedom, more creative rights if you like, more abilities to be more flexible around your lifestyle, if you have got children or parents that need care or grandparents or other commitments around your work life, it's that work-life balance, which is really important and that does help to feedback into your work and makes you more positive about your work and more focused if you've got those other outlets that you can obviously balance as well.

So, I think yeah being healthy trying to keep yourself healthy is really important so that you can benefit your business and the people you work with.

Having family time is so so important, you know, whoever your family is to you that is key to success really because that's what motivates me personally.

That's what makes me feel like getting up in the morning because of the relationships I have with the people I work with but also with my family.


It's great to hear what underpins you as a professional and work where you draw that motivation from and it's quite a personal sharing.

So thank you for that.

Just two last questions then and quite an unashamedly positive, I like your balance from what you just said about, you know, there is things to shout about but let's also be candid about where the challenges are.

So these are kind of on the positive side, but just to just sort of draw some inspiration encouragement for people as we sort of draw this part of the interview to close.

So what would you say, I mean we've heard about your background and musician and you know, really sort of interesting and sort of eclectic it on some levels I think and that's a compliment, and what would you say your strongest transferable skill or skills have been to the work that you're doing now?

Sam: I think being able to identify gaps.

If you talking to an entrepreneurial, like you said I kind of had this entrepreneur in me bursting to get out while I was in the care sector if you like and care professional care sector roles and it was kind of like, how do I marry the experience and expertise of gaining the care sector with this kind of entrepreneur that's bursting to get out?

And I've been told that those two things combined the quite rare, because I think you a lot of the time you can be a caring person but not really into the entrepreneurial side or could be an entrepreneur and wouldn't touch the care sector for whatever reason, but people do and they make a great success of it.

And I think that's where some really good stuff, really good creative stuff can happen in the kind of care and business world combined really.

So I think, yeah, I think that's really important to be able to identify gaps.

So I would definitely say look at what's around you, what's already in existence.

Is this something that you really like the look of but you feel you could do differently, not necessarily better, it's not always about better, who's the judge to say something is better?

But actually, could you tweak it? Could you re-engineer it?

Could you reverse engineer it?

When I was employed as a consultant as the head of operations, I was always out on consultancy delivering front line console.

How can you develop and scale a business if you never doing business development because all your time to spend with clients?

So you need that element and that time to be able to scale and grow a business if that's what you want to do. If you are really happy being a freelance consultant and being an associate for big organize it that's fantastic, you know, keep doing that, make a good name for yourself, you'll get business through word-of-mouth as a lot of our Associates do.

But yeah if you want to scale and if you really want to get out there and make a difference on a larger scale, which not everybody wants to if you do you need time for business development.

So it's either do you work in the business are on the business, that old adage, isn't it?


Lastly then on this part, what would you say you're most proud of when you look back over your career in Social care?

What's touching your sweet spot in terms of whether it's a contribution or whether it's a sense of pride about you know, where your work has made a difference, what stands out for you then?


There are just so many little things that pop up down going where you kind of get that little sense of pride and I think there's not kind of one thing where I think I 'that was the thing'. It can range from one of our associates that kind of sent me a picture of their son playing a flute and saying 'the work that I've done with you is enabled me to get my kids an instrument, so I've got them and now they're learning how to be a musician' and it's because I'm a musician myself that really struck a chord and that was really nice.

Right up to kind of you talking about, you know on a client level people just kind of feed him back and saying what a difference the impact our consultants have made in terms of it's inspired people, you know Care staff teams and managers within Age UK for example said that Hillary's input, whose like one of our key consultants, actually inspired them.

I mean that's like going beyond doing a good job or yeah, that was really useful, that's great if that stuff happens as well, but for a staff team to come away from our services feeling inspired just really made me proud.

You know, I'm really proud of Hillary and I think Marie as well was involved in that and with such a kind of credible organizations well who kind of feed that back.

So yeah, that was that I've got a real glow from that, and people can see that as showing off or you know shouting from the rooftops and 'aren't we wonderful', actually it's okay to be proud about when you actually inspire in a team of people, that's okay to feel a little bit proud about that.

And I'm not saying that was down to me that was down to the team and I'm proud of them.

Part 2 - the man behind the profession

Hello, everyone, this is Liam Palmer.

We're going into part two of this far-reaching conversation with Samuel Barrington.

In part one we talked about his career the steps from being a carer to through to being a manager to through to being an entrepreneur and kind of heard about his thinking about his sort of professional values and his motivations and I'm sure you'll all agree is really, really fascinating story.

I certainly learned a lot, and also in particular about those career steps about how one step led to another and some smart choices that he made there. So that's great value, I think.

"That's what makes me feel like getting up in the morning because of the relationships I have with the people I work with but also with my family."

We're moving on now to Part 2 where we're going to understand Samuel bit more as a person rather than as a professional per say, a little bit like in The Wizard of Oz, you know sort of like the person behind the curtain as it were.

I'm really honoured that you know, Samuel and my other podcast guests are sort of willing to give us a little insight to them to themselves as a person.

And so if I may Sam, so welcome back, I'd just like to ask a little bit about your background in terms of, you know, from a child, perhaps we are where you're brought up and sort of, you know, any particular influences as the young Samuel 5, 10, 12, whatever and any sort of formative experiences that sort of form the sort of Bedrock of the person that you are now if that's not too broad!


Thanks for him for having me back. I think the main thing for me, really, was kind of seeing from a very young age how much freedom in a sense that entrepreneurship and or having your own business gave people I knew really well.

So for example grandparents on both sides of my family so my mum's parents and my dad's parents both were business people - not in the care sector, but kind of seeing those businesses and growing up, even going and helping out a little bit like you do on the Saturday with people that you know, and just kind of having to go on the tail or whatever you do my doing, you know, 7 years old or whatever, just really kind of inspires you and makes you think 'wow this is a great!' kind of idea to kind of Be Your Own Boss, that thing that's just kind of I think sometimes just innate inside people if you have been brought up naturally in that in those environments.

So my grandparents had a children's and women's clothing shop in Scarborough, which is where we sat today in Scarborough in one of the offices here in this creative space that we found, and I think you know, hearing about that through the years and seeing their life stories come together, which they've kind of written actually into books and things like that, and seeing that come to life is really inspired me.

And then later on in life and I was around and if they had been born and I saw them continue their Journeys in through different businesses and they then had a health food shop in Scarborough as well.

And I did, like I say actually, go and help out there when I was a kid; put the white coat on, you know, the chemist type coat, you know, help mix the muesli with my Grandad in the cellar and all that and thinking, do you know what?

This is great!

You know just working for yourself, it's kind of like self-made kind of thing that just feels really nice, you know, not talking about the muesli but the business - both actually!

So that's where it's come from.

Adding on my dad's side, my granddad again just always had his own business and then kind of stemming from that, seeing my mom as a social worker and not at all in the kind of self-employed sector and been in the care sector and being strongly influenced from her and seeing her come home from work and seeing all the emotions and the trials and tribulations that she went to as a social work on the front line, dealing with safeguarding issues.

Obviously not knowing the insides of what was going on because it's confidential, but in terms of just seeing her go through that professional journey and thinking wow, she's really making an impact on people's lives and really being those support mechanism for people, you know, both young and old, you know and everything in between.

So, that was a huge influence in my childhood definitely.

So like I said earlier you've got that kind of ingrained entrepreneurship that's kind of in my genes, plus this this inspirational woman in my life in my mother kind of, you know in this profession that seems to be really hard work with really rewarding as well, and gave her actually a really nice kind of status as well you know, she got that kind of respect from people and she's seen as a, obviously the further she went on the career, she's a leader in that sector and did really well in that sector, so I was really proud of her and it's something that I aspire to really but didn't quite know how I was going to navigate my way to being that good at what I did. I didn't know what I was going to do.

But I knew I wanted to be that good, you know, as I saw my mum being and actually still is; she semi-retired now, but still does, you know a bit of work in social work.

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That is an inspiring story that you had that desire and then it's taken 15 odd years to mature your skills or that might have not been a deliberate plan you had a direction, and then 15 or 20, whatever it is years, then those things came together for you don't you know and I think that is inspiring for people that have worked for other people for a long time and would dream of that sort of freedom and stuff that not just those things that have come together, but there was a point in time where you've actually made it come together, right?

So, I think that is is inspirational because it gives us hope people who do want to sort of follow in your footsteps as it were.

I mean, what what did you learn from those entrepreneur mentors? What did you learn about business? Was it about the lifestyle or did you learn anything in particular?

Did you sort of absorb it? What did you get, because I didn't have that background so I'm curious to know!


I mean obviously in terms of that very early influence from my family, you just took that there's just something about it that's quite special.

Not having to go through lots of other people to get decisions made you can actually make decisions really quickly.

And if you are quite a creative person that's really beneficial, and because of my creative background, like I say I'm a musician, I used to write music, I do see myself as a creative person and an entrepreneur to degree.

I wouldn't see myself particularly as a business person because I think the business side I'm learning all the time, but I think if you're an entrepreneur, it's just within you.

It's kind of innately in there and whether you can actually make that work or not I guess that's where your business skills come in.

I'm learning those as I go, I'm still startup.

It isn't easy, it's very challenging.

But what I learned from those people initially in the early life was it can be done, you know, despite recession, despite the doom and the gloom that is portrayed in the media a lot with its social media or the wider mainstream media, you know, everything's pretty much terrible all the time if you listen to all of that stuff, but actually there's little pockets of success going on all around the country and the world that people don't necessarily get to hear about unless you talk to individual business owners orentrepreneurs who have actually just gone for it and decided, do you know what, I'm just going to try and make a success of this, try my very best to make success of this.

"We're not robots were not all outstanding all the time, we're not all very good all the time. Some days we can be pretty crap. And that's okay, and that's something that you learn as you go."

And I guess that's what I saw in my grandparents that they just thought, we're going to go for this and just make it really good quality service and deliver what they promise to deliver and they did that, and I saw that and that was very inspirational I think.

And then later in life, obviously those those mentors and those people have come from maybe people I've worked with in a professional sense, obviously through those different roles I've had in the care sector and especially now I'm self-employed, I do come across a lot more people obviously that have contact with that are very inspirational, so people like Angela Fletcher at Happy Futures.

She's just about literally made an outstanding business not just in the sense of what she delivers to a service use, which is fantastic but to her staff, to her team too in the way that she comes across in her marketing and the way that she's got just really key people on side of the that believe in what she's trying to deliver more she does deliver on, you know from commissioners to family to you know, relatives of the individuals at they support is just fantastic, as such it does what it says on the tin.

They are providing Happy Futures, so that's been wonderfully inspirational to your care provider achieve those outstanding results and be award-winning uncie QC rated outstanding.

So that's a massive thanks to Angela the for advice, mentorship and guidance really throughout this two years that I've been on this self-employed journey and prior to that as well.

People Anna Farmery - Anna started in global corporate companies like Hallmark cards as kind of head of marketing and accounting HR and things like that.

She's been a massive mentor to me and really helped me along the way.

She's a good friend - actually met a through, funnily enough, she was a working - she's retired now - so she's a carer.

I'm sure she won't mind me saying that she's also into kind of helping people with the business so she helps people with dog walking services.

So she got involved with that and that's how I met her, she was helping a friend with her dog walking service, and she so she came to walk our dog and we met her through that means really but ended up being really good friends and she's mentored me quite a lot.

And she had a company called Engaging Brand where she did similar things to what you're doing now, podcasts with business people in all sorts of different sectors and was number one on iTunes for business podcast. So it's worth checking out Anna Farmery's podcast, The Engaging Brand, it's still on there, I believe.

So yeah many thanks to Anna for many different reasons, which would take so long to go into really.

Yeah, people that you just come across in daily life are massively inspirational, you just pick up inspiration from all over the place don't you, you really do.

It's kind of like, you're a bit like a child when you first start in business, you like a sponge you just absorb everything and anything and then you've got to pick through it all and work out what you can actually use effectively I suppose.


I just wanted to ask, you obviously talked a little bit about being a musician and a creative but what were you interested in school?

And how were you, you know, as a young person? Can you tell, give us an insight into how you've evolved to the person you are today?

What would we find if we had talked to you then?


I'd have been listening to my Walkman, my cassette Walkman playing 'Now 9' or something, 'The best of Now 9' or whatever it was in those days, reading, watching Wacker Day, Timmy Mallett.

Going out on my bike, staying out till it got dark in the summer, kicking about footballs and kicking tennis balls into grits and make them into makeshift goal post and things like that, you know that that was my life age 10. No idea what I wanted to do apart from maybe fantasies about me not being a policeman or a fireman or those sort of things that kids have.

I knew I wanted to help people but didn't know how but yeah, I had a really strong inkling that I want to do some that helps other people that's all I knew.

But I guess a lot of kids feel like that in a way, where they want to be The Rescuer or the hero, I don't know.

So yeah, that's what I was thinking of at that age in terms of potential careers.

But yeah I didn't know and I still didn't know really, truly what I was going to do until quite recently I suppose.


I mean, from reflecting on things you talked about in the first part and just now, I'd like to know a little and I'm sure our listen would too, I'd like to know a little bit about that creative urge, that sense of the music in you, you know, what does that look and feel like?

Where does that come from? And what is the motivation and the and the desires behind that?

Because I'm sure there's people that would love to have played the piano, that fantasies lots of people have, but you've done it and you've taken it to a standard where you could play.

And I think you've got some stories about putting on events and stuff that, so could you, if it's not intrusive, sort of share a little bit about that?

Because I think that's part of what makes you the person you are today and the successful marketer, I would say.


I just again drew a lot of influence from people around me, so both my stepdad, Jeff, and my dad who's sadly passed away a few years ago now, but they were both musicians, really strong musicians and we're always getting the guitars out at Christmastime or parties or they both had like the party pieces that they could do and just getting them out and having a good sing a song, you know, and it sounds cheesy, but that's actually what happens, It sounds a bit like the the Waltons or something!

But that is actually what happened. It was great and I learned to play guitar by ear, I'm really not, I don't really read music that well, and piano by ear to the point where I could write songs and music.

"I started myself being the core of it, I guess offering consultancy services myself, but then I've added layer and another layer and I've hoped that each layer is added quality."

And I got to the point in later life, in my, I guess teens, and twenties thirties where I would do open mics and perform at festivals and gigs in pubs and things like that just that kind of level, and you know release some songs on iTunes as well that kind of done in a garage type studios really where you know pay 10-pound an hour and the engineer put sure music together.

I would play the guitar, play the piano, do some singing with one of my own songs usually, and then put it all together.

And you know, it was such a rewarding experience to kind of put layer on layer of track together and then hear the end result, you know.

If you do watch any films around musicians, we mentioned Bohemian Rhapsody earlier, but there's lots and lots of films out there, documentaries about, you know, artists going into the studio and recording and it's such a rewarding experience.

And I think you can kind of, in a business sense, it is kind of relatable really because that's what you're effectively doing - you're building something that its core, so that's your kind of melody or your rhythm or whatever it might be that just gets you going with this song that you kind of writing, and then you add in layers layer upon layer to kind of build a bigger picture and a bigger sound, so you've got that complete offering at the end of it and I guess that's what I've tried to do with my business.

I started myself being the kind of core of it, I guess offering consultancy services myself, but then I've added layer and another layer and I've hoped that each layer is added quality.

Sometimes you get a bit wrong and you think, I shall remove that layer that sounded rubbish that, in a business sense, that didn't work I need to rethink that one.

So I have drawn experience from that creative process, I think into my marketing, into my business model into the way that you want to produce almost as perfect kind of end result as you possibly can, an outstanding result at the end.

You want people to listen to that track after that process or look at that service or feel and experience that service has been the best it can be, and thinking I've got a really good experience out of that, a really fantastic outstanding experience.

Do you know what, that's worth listening to or doing again or experiencing again.

Yeah, so I think there's definitely parallels there, if that makes sense.


Yeah. I mean what's fascinating for me just reflecting on another recent podcast and where the person I was interviewing had these sort of absolute clarity about what they wanted and how they achieve that and I drew a lot of - I was inspired by and at the same time for my own point of view, I thought I couldn't do that I don't think that way, and then I personally I felt a little bit flat because I can't do that.

But what's really refreshing, what comes across really strongly is how, you know, what you say is pretty normal.

I think it's a bit of a gift in a way because you naturally come across people you but naturally is in you see the value they've got.

You draw something out from them and something happens, and your journey and your person and your practice gets richer and that takes you off in this direction, then you notice something.

So it's almost like, If I've correctly understood, you've got a direction but you allow people to kind of input into where you're going.

Yeah, and so yeah, so you're building not purely from all your own ideas, but you're actually drawing from others and what's exciting for me is that that works for you, it is working and so it's a completely different approach from that other person I interviewed, but it's strong and you found a way to work your way and and it's working for you.


Like I said, it's not without its challenges. I'd hate to paint the picture that you know running in any business is easy because it's really not in that you're always going to face challenges.

You're always going to, you know, you're going to have times when you do get negative feedback or criticism or whether it's constructive or not, you're going to get criticism and it's about how you deal with that.

I think if you embrace those challenges and yeah, it sounds a cliche, you know, take it on the chin band think how can I actually turn this around and actually improve myself or my business all our service that we offer as a company.

How can you use it as a tool?

How can you use it to motivate you to take you to the next level and actually, next time you're going to get feedback from that person they're going to hopefully says, you know what you've really turned that around and I think that's now, you know, pretty outstanding all that's pretty good.

That's okay, you know, and it's okay to make mistakes and everybody does, it's human nature.

We're not robots were not all outstanding all the time, we're not all very good all the time.

Some days we can be pretty crap.

And that's okay and that's that's something that you learn as you go.

And I think you need to set your sights high, always in to be the best you can be but do acknowledge in your own mind you will make mistakes, otherwise you get terribly, terribly disappointed when it happens inevitably.

So, you know don't set yourself up to be too disappointed when mistakes do happen because that's just not realistic in life or business.

Is it that you never going to make mistakes all people that you work with are going to make mistakes, but yet on the whole if you aim for that really high level outstanding quality will 99% of the time I think, you know some of the good chance of hitting the mark with.


As we sort of draw this to a close, and thanks again Sam for you know, sort of sharing a bit behind the curtain of what makes you the person you are and has lead to you having the success you're having as a professional, because I think we can all we can all learn from that and we can see ourselves to some degree in your experiences.

And I think where I'm going to close on this one is to reflect on the parallels. There's a two gentleman called Mark Homer and Rob Moore, leader, a property training business and very successful people in their own right, and their company structure is that Rob Moore is the inspirational coach visionary, and Mark Homer is the finance and extremely analytical quieter person and they make a great combination, you know a great team and what I always took from that was the fact that they've got all bases covered.

And I think having sort of listened to you sort of explain your ethos and your values, what stands out for me is that you're, you know, you are self-aware, you're clear about where your strengths are and you're sort of how you operate which is about authenticity and relationship-building, and those are the things you're really strong at.

You use your strengths and you've used them to build your business, but you've got a degree of self-awareness that says, I'm not that strong at these other things, I'm okay with that.

And then you've brought in other people so it's a bit like those those property guys where you've got all bases covered and and you're doing business your way.

And I think what why that's inspirational for us is that. It says, you know, you can take what you've got and do something with it.

You don't have to be the finished article.

You don't have to know it all and therefore there is space for all different types of people to do their business or launch their dream, and I think that's a great place to end.

Thank you very much. It's been really educational, it's always a pleasure to spend some time with you. So thank you very much.

To conclude...

So there you are, an audience with Samuel Barrington.

What were your thoughts? It was a comprehensive interview where we covered a lot of ground. I wonder what stood out for you?

I think for me I found the source of his entrepreneurial - that's a hard word, isn't it - thrive from his family, I found that very interesting.

I think then the influence of his mother as a social worker and having a sort of subtle influence on his career direction and also sparking that interest in care and you know the value of supporting people.

I was also fascinated by how is experience with young people with learning difficulties helped him form his care practice and then the influence of nursing, dom Care, Quality Assurance, managing care packages in a community for vulnerable people.

I think you can clearly see how these experiences came together as a deep connection and passion for for great care.

So, thanks again to Samuel. If you'd like to contact him you can find him on LinkedIn and also via his website

Next time on the Care Home Quality Podcast...

The next episode is with another very interesting entrepreneur, and in this case Pioneer called Dr. Karen Wilson.

Dr. Wilson is a former owner and operator of a large Retirement Village group in the USA, and from my point of view that's only worth a conversation at the very least.

But when I add in that she's the actual pioneer of this concept to Senior Living you can imagine just how interesting this interview is.

I'm so grateful to Dr. Wilson for giving me some of her time that I can share it with the listeners of the Care Home Quality Podcast coming soon.

Hope you enjoy.

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About the author

Liam Palmer is the author of 3 books on raising quality standards in care homes through developing leadership skills. In Oct 2020, he published a guide to the Home Manager role called "So You Want To Be A Care Home Manager?". Liam has been fortunate to work as a Senior Manager across many healthcare brands including a private hospital, a retirement village and medium to large Care Homes in the private sector and 3rd sector. He hosts a podcast "Care Quality - meet the leaders and innovators”.

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