SCIE opinion - 08 April 2013

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Photograph of Andrea Sutcliffe

My first year

From SCIE's Chief Executive, Andrea Sutcliffe

It is hard to believe that I have now been at SCIE for a whole year! Here's an A-Z countdown of what it has meant to me.

A is for action packed - a lot has happened and the year has whizzed by.

B is for Bradley Wiggins - subject of my first blog for The Guardian Social Care Network, which also featured in their annual Christmas Pick of the Year (blushes with pride!)

C is for Co-Production - working with people who use services and their carers, drips out of SCIE's DNA and in 2013 (on the hottest day of the year) we launched our Co-Production Network, an invaluable support for the work we do.

D is for dignity - which should be at the very heart of everything we do in social care. SCIE is proud to support the Dignity Champions Network, and Dignity in Action Day n 1st February was an opportunity to celebrate their amazing work.

E is for energy - boundless quantities required to keep going, and a never-ending supply of optimism!

F is for Find Me Good Care - good quality information is essential to help people navigate the complex world of social care. It's great that our on-line service launched last October is proving so useful. Take a look at Info4CareKids too.

G is for Get Connected - a fantastic, award-winning project that SCIE has been running to get staff, and people using services, connected to IT and all its benefits.

H is for holidays - rest and relaxation. Didn't score highly I'm afraid. Must do better.

I is for integration - it wasn't just the new Ministerial team that heard "integration, integration, integration" when they started - me too! Not only because it is so important, but also because of the excellent Research Briefing SCIE published last May on the factors that help and hinder. Go on, it's a good read!

J is for jumping through hoops - as anyone who has won contracts or commissions will know.

K is for Kuchen (cake) in Küche (kitchen) - a bit of a cheat, but I love the SCIE tradition of celebrating with cake at every opportunity.

L is for leaders - who look long-term; who engage with everyone; who are authentic; who deliver; who evidence empathy; who are resilient; and who support staff. A good blueprint to try and follow.

M is for mental health – I wrote in January about the death of my brother and the need to talk about mental health issues to reduce stigma. The response has been wonderfully heart-warming and generous.

N is for NICE - and the new NICE Collaborating Centre for Social Care, which SCIE is proud to lead with our partners.

O is for Olympics and Paralympics – I may not have been on holiday much, but I loved London 2012. It was amazing!

P is for the power of personal stories - I have shared some of mine and enjoyed reading other people's too, especially Gill Phillips' Whose Shoes series and, more recently, Ming Ho's Dementia Ain't Sexy.

Q is for quality - an important focus for the Care and Support White Paper published last year which SCIE's resources can help to deliver.

R is for research - the bed-rock for evidence-based practice that SCIE promotes.

S is for the social care community - and all our partners who have given me a very warm welcome, thank you.

T is for twitter - a fantastic source for links, opinion and connections within the social care community and beyond. Follow me @Crouchendtiger7 and SCIE at @SCIE_socialcare - and see for yourself.

U is for Unite - working with our staff is so important as we change and develop SCIE and last year we revamped our partnership working arrangements with the Unite union

V is for vision - for SCIE to support the improvement of social care services through the development of innovative and evidence-based resources, working in co-production with users of services and their carers; and in partnership with, and support of, policy makers, commissioners, providers, managers and practitioners.

W is for working with Wales and Northern Ireland - great people to work with; I have loved my visits!

X is for the X Factor - that special ingredient that gets me out of bed in the morning; the desire to make a difference and the joy that working at SCIE means I can help to do just that.

Y is for Generation Y (and Z) - remembering that the old way of doing things may not suit everyone, so we need to be innovative too.

Z is for zzzzz - and this A-Z induced snooze you are now experiencing!

So there you have it - having limited myself to one item per letter I feel I have missed loads out. None of this would be possible without the support of our board, fantastic team and partners - a big thank you to each and every one of you.

The next year looks just as busy, so stay tuned.

See also