The Key Duties of Care Home Managers

Becoming a Care Home Manager is a tough, but rewarding job. It takes an ambitious person who can focus on the day-to-day details, whilst building an environment that delivers the highest quality of care. The role requires a unique blend of skills, as well as a deep commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of others. 

What are the responsibilities of a care home manager?

Managing staff effectively

Becoming a skilful manager can come from gaining experience on the job, bringing experience from another sector or formal training. Either way, as the backbone of the team, you need to empower and value your staff. They need to know they can come to you with any problems and always have your support. Making sure they have everything they need to do their jobs safely and effectively is the top priority. 

Effective communication skills, time management and strong leadership skills will all be needed to create a productive workplace. Very importantly being able to keep a clear head in a crisis will help bring together a strong and loyal team. 

Day-to-day operations management 

This is the overseeing of the day-to-day running of the care home. Dealing with stakeholders – be it laundry service providers, waste disposal teams, hairdressers, nurses or family members – requires clear communications and in some cases clear instructions on your expectations and standards. Building strong relationships with them, and addressing any challenges supports your team and the running of the home.  

There are sales, marketing and recruitment goals to keep track of. Inspections to prepare for and risks to identify. 

If your care home is supporting older people, there may be end-of-life care to manage and give bereavement support to family members and staff. 

Managing a large team will always come with challenges. You will need to support your team with developing their careers. There is also the pressure of sometimes disciplining and letting staff go. 

Managing the finances of the home is a very important part of the job. If expenses increase, it’s up to the manager (and sometimes the board members or leadership team) to either work out how to bring in more money or make budget cuts.

Ensuring the quality of care

Formal training for your team maintains high standards, legally essential for care workers. Also, developing your own training on the values of your care home can promote a ‘can do’ attitude and empower them. Having plans in place to deal with emergencies and ensuring all equipment and resources are up-to-date and maintained is critical. Providing a level of care with compassion, patience and dignity is essential when running a professional and successful care home.    

Compliance with care standards

Ensuring services meet national care standards is a legal requirement. A regular amount of studying needs to be done to keep up with any Quality Care Commission regulations and changes. There needs to be a love of legislation around the management of care homes and being familiar with the Social Care Act is necessary.

The manager is also legally responsible for safety e.g. fire drills and training, food hygiene, and protection for vulnerable adults.

Financial management

Handling the financial aspects of the care home, including budgeting and resource allocations is required by the manager. If your care home is part of a larger group there may be the support of a finance team, but the information will still need to be gathered, to assess the sustainability and success of a care home. 

What are a care home manager's working hours?

Nearly every care home manager will be expected to work full-time, around 40 hours per week. There will also be an element of on-call duties, which will usually be on a rota-basis and will incur an extra payment. The shifts a manager works will be dependent on the needs of the home, but there may be flexibility around personal commitments and weekends. For more information read our recent guide on care home shifts patterns. 

What are the different types of care homes managers can work in?

Some of the main care homes are either privately run, NHS run or part of a charity. Within those different groups, there are the different residents that may need care; older people, older people with serious health needs, dementia patients, people living with disabilities. All of these combinations of homes, and more, need strong leadership to build success and deliver excellent patient care. 

Can you successfully transfer to any kind of care home?

There will always be opportunities to transfer to a differently managed care home to where you started. Managerial skills are transferable and will always have relevance in another care facility or environment. Never let an extensive job description hold you back from applying for roles – no-one ever ticks all the boxes.

Can you manage multiple Care Homes at the same time?

In short – yes! This may be known as an area manager or district manager role. It will involve travel and not as much time with one set of staff/residents but can be hugely rewarding and a career progression from managing one home. 

Stress vs reward?

It can be a stressful role, people are unpredictable and there are always going to be many elements that are outside of your control… However, the positives of supporting the people around you to thrive and develop are the most rewarding parts of this job. Working in an environment that is improving people’s quality of life and building a home from home for them is a joyful profession to have. There is no opportunity to get bored as each day brings a new challenge.

How heavily involved are you in the day-to-day running of the Care Home?

If you have a deputy there may be more space to spend time on the managing of the home, but it all depends on the size of the home and the amount of staff employed. However, the primary tasks and activities of the organisation are the manager’s responsibilities, which encourages client-based time. Keeping the standards of care maintained, and the staff supported and constantly developing, are the priorities. 

If the above Discover more about how you can become a care home manager with our guide

What is the role of a deputy manager in a care home?

The care home deputy manager is the second in command and supports the manager with most of their tasks:

  • Supporting the manager with the running of the care home
  • Providing leadership to the team
  • Ensure high-quality person-centred care is being provided
  • Writing or signing off resident care plans 
  • Ensure staff are equipped with the necessary skills through training and supervision
  • Deputising in the absence of the manager

They need to be flexible in their approach to work, offering continuity and advice in the manager’s absence. 

We hear a lot, when talking to care professionals, that no one day is like the last, but it truly is the case for Care Home Managers. If you think you would thrive in a role that has heavy demands, but thrilling rewards, this might be the profession for you. 

Register with Social Care People today and let us support you in finding your perfect role in the care sector. 


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