Julie Jones, newly appointed Operations Manager for our New Forest homes, says she is proud to have joined ‘the best provider in the south’.
A former cardiothoracic nurse, Julie has worked at a senior level in domiciliary care and residential services and was recently an interim Home Manager.
Having registered with a recruitment agency, she was delighted when the opportunity with us came up.
“I was sitting with my dementia lead looking at a brochure for Bourne View in Poole,” she recalls. “I said, ‘This is what we are striving for, Colten’s reputation precedes them. They are the best provider in the south’. On the same day I got a call from a recruiter saying I had been invited to interview for the Operations Manager job.”
After the interview, Elaine Farrer, our Operations Director, phoned the same night to offer her the job. “I was over the moon,” says Julie.
Speaking to the Chronicle in her fifth week in post, Julie describes her induction as ‘superb’, adding: “I’ve been given the time to go round every department, visit the homes to meet people and get to know Colten House. There is a lot to learn, with many new systems and processes, and of course it’s always difficult being the new girl settling in, but I have the feeling I am getting to grips with it.”
Julie is one of three Operations Managers across our 21 homes, along with Jacky Sylvester and Peter Doyle, all reporting directly to Elaine. “Everyone is so supportive,” says Julie. “Elaine, Jacky and Peter have all been really helpful and full of advice if I’ve had a question.”
Defining her role, Julie says: “I am here to support the Home Managers and help them be the best they can be. I have been in the hot seat so I know what it’s like. It’s so reassuring to know you can talk things through with someone at a senior operational level. We’re all striving to be outstanding and I’m there to help so everyone can move forward.”
Julie trained to be an RGN in her home county of Sussex and has also worked in London, Surrey and Hampshire. Her career has varied from a field care supervisor for a domiciliary care provider to, more recently, a regional operations manager for a family-owned business of care homes. She was covering 2,500 miles a month and living in hotels across the UK, hence the attraction of a much more localised role with us.
A mother-of-three, Julie did once switch career roles completely, working with her husband to set up and run a private hire aviation business, based at Northolt in London.
Now living in Blandford, Dorset, Julie says one of her main interests is organising events for the whole family, not least the annual skiing holiday. “It’s often a big logistical exercise, but also a lovely opportunity to bring everyone together,” she says.