Congratulations to Karen Thornton as the New Director of Care 24-7
Congratulations to Karen Thornton on receiving her promotion as the new Director of Care 24-7. Her commitment and dedication to home care is truly admired by everyone in Care 24-7, Servisource and CPL. We decided to interview Karen about how her journey into home care began and how she progressed to Director of such a respected organisation.
Congratulations Karen, you must be very proud. I’m sure it has been an eventful 20 years. Can you tell us a bit about what it was like when you first began your journey at Care 24-7?
I have worked in social care all my life. I moved into home care (domiciliary care) in 1985 working for Bradford Council. I then progressed my career to Area Manager with a £3m budget, which was a lot of money in 2001.
I am passionate about care for people in their own homes (whether a child or adult) so when work conversations changed to cost of care rather than choice of where to live, I decided it was time to step back. The independent sector lacked expertise in the industry, so I put my money where my mouth was and opened Care 24-7 with my wonderful business partner, Jeanette Emmett.
On the 4th of February 2001, we sat in the cold empty office, with no money, no clients, no staff and no contracts.
Can you tell us how you developed Care 24-7 from these humble beginnings?
Well….the first step was to gain accreditation with the local authority, then we proceeded to recruit the first 10 care workers and target hospital discharge care packages and private clients. Once we were established and had evidence of financial stability and a high quality of standards of care, Care 24-7 went from strength to strength. Proudly winning business through the tender process initially in Bradford and then Leeds.
“Thank you to everyone who has sent messages of congratulations and shared kind words. It is very much appreciated.”
Can you tell us more about your role within the company and what this promotion means for you?
Since joining CPL and the Servisource family, I have been on a constant learning curve which has been really exciting. I’ve managed and overseen the transition of Care 24-7, bringing the business into alignment with the culture and core values of Servisource and the CPL Group.
I have grown the business organically and through the acquisition, I now look forward to expanding our footprint in the UK. I joined the SLT last year whereby I have taken steps towards playing a key role in developing and implementing operational and strategic plans. I look forward to advancing my knowledge and skills of all the different business lines while meeting new colleagues along the way.
What is your favourite memory from your time working with Care 24-7?
A particular highlight was the development of Strategic Strategy and presenting at the companywide meeting held in Dundalk. It was the first trip to Dundalk following the ease of restrictions and it was wonderful meeting people face to face for the first time.
Can you describe what is has been like to join the Servisource family?
From day one everyone was so welcoming and supportive. I enjoy the culture and the great values the Servisource team represents.
How would you describe the work culture in Care 24-7?
Home care is constantly busy therefore the team has to bring their intelligence and energy to work. We enjoy the graft, have fun and relish the success and challenges. We are client focused as everyone here passionately believes that people should stay at home safely with the highest standard of quality care and support.
What is your favourite part of this job?
I have an entrepreneurial spirit which means I thrive on innovation, problem solving and managing change. Obviously, I enjoy celebrating success too!
A special message from Karen’s colleague and friend:
I have worked with Karen for nearly 11 years . She is a very friendly, approachable, supportive manager with a good sense of humor. She is very knowledgeable and always willing to help and support you in any situation that occurs.
Do you have any advice or words of wisdom for someone starting their career in the healthcare sector?
Whether you’re a frontline worker or a director, it is always important to promote the well-being of the person using the services as your real main focus and purpose of duty. This means our services provide care with a real sense of personal worth, control of lives, the feeling of being valued and trust that all will be well in life. Get this right and you will find your career extremely rewarding.
And finally, how will you celebrate your achievement as Director?
I’ve celebrated with the team and friends but intend to raise a glass of pink champagne with my family in Australia very soon.
Thank you to Karen for taking the time to answer these questions. It is great to get an insight into the home care industry and the effort that is made each day in sustaining such an admirable business. We wish you the best and here’s to many more successful years in your new position as Director.