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The CIA Advice Café


With Samuel Barrington


Samuel Barrington, Managing Director at Care Improvement Associates Ltd ( and founder of the NCQP (National Care Quality Professionals) forum, was interviewed about his passion and his motivations for starting his care quality consultancy in the last issue. Since then we have been inundated with interest about CIA and we have asked Samuel to join us to host, (what we hope), will be a regular column, ‘The CIA Advice Cafe’.

With a company motto of, ‘BE OUTSANDING’ and as one of the most talked about ‘shining lights’ in the care quality consultancy sector, Samuel will be answering questions that have been sent into us around both ‘care consultancy start up advice’ and care quality questions from care and support providers.

Hi Samuel, We are a social care consultancy looking to expand our business. We see that CIA have managed to secure national contracts with both smaller and larger care providers and other health and social care organisations. How would you advise we go about this?

Thanks, Jeremy. (Social Care Consultant)

Hi Jeremy, Take every opportunity to grow and learn, but also surround yourself with people, networks and associates who are much smarter than you at certain things, that you are weaker on. Immerse yourself in networking opportunities, whether online or face to face. Create opportunities that don’t currently exist. We too are learning as we go. We make mistakes and probably always will, but we learn from them and improve as a result.

Always think like a larger business yourself. As I have said in my recent LinkedIn posts, the biggest mistake that a small business can make is to act like a small business. Think big and don’t be afraid to contact the larger care providers in a professional manner. I have recently had great success in introducing my services to larger companies and am now working in collaboration with them. If you are caring and passionate about what you do, as well as being good at what you do, just be yourself and this will shine through. Good luck in your business and always stay focussed on your service quality and the reason why you do what you do, to make a difference and to help to improve people’s lives, not financial gain. I was lucky to learn this very early on from people who have guided me and offered advice. Time to pay this forward! I hope this helps.






Dear Sam,

I am a Registered Manager of a residential care home. You say, ‘BE OUTSTANDING’, I don’t know how you can say that you will make providers outstanding, as this is up to the CQC to decide when they inspect, surely?!

Regards, Anne, (Residential Home, CQC Registered Manager)

Hi Anne, thanks for your question. Yes, our motto is ‘Be Outstanding’. We don’t say that we will ‘make providers outstanding’. What we are saying here is, you be outstanding, be different, be unique, stand out from the crowd, be innovative, yes, of course be compliant, but think beyond CQC compliance alone and aim for best practice always.

Nobody can ‘Make a provider outstanding’, but we can support providers who want to achieve this level of care quality. We are reaching out to providers who are seen as being good providers but who want to take things to the next level. Sometimes providers need external and objective ideas, new thinking and some support with fresh direction. That’s where we come in.

One example of this work is that we work with partners such as BRINA Ltd (Brains In Action UK), who provide innovative brain training programs in care settings, which have been proven over ten years of clinical research to delay the onset of dementia symptoms, where there are signs of cognitive impairment.

Another example is that we are working with Prime Life Ltd who have over 60 care and support services. We are working with them to develop and implement an innovative Management Development Program around supporting Registered Managers to be more outstanding leaders. It is common fact that if the ‘Well led element’ of a care provider falls, (if the leadership is not effective), the rest of the service and best outcomes for staff & residents will also suffer.

If you have any further question on this I am happy for you to email us. All the best, Anne. As you well know, being a registered manager is a challenging role, but with the right support you can achieve amazing things for your residents and feel hugely rewarded in the process.


If you have any questions for Samuel or the team of Care Improvement Associates, please email or call their head office on 01964 769268

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