Michelle Broom has joined Care Matters Darlington as Registered Manager, having moved into the care sector 21 years ago after serving in The Army from being a teenager.
Michelle’s first task was to oversee a Care Quality Commission inspection which resulted in Care Matters Darlington being rated ‘Good’ to build on previous years’ success.
“It’s a great foundation to build on, and my ultimate aim is for us to be rated as outstanding,” said Michelle. “However, the day-to-day priority is to provide a service that gives every single client the best possible care.”
Shildon-born Michelle joined the Women’s Royal Army Corps at 18, working as a staff clerk at the Ministry of Defence, in London, before being stationed at The Army’s Northern Ireland headquarters, in Lisbon.
She left the military in 1991 to start a family, becoming mum to Danyelle, Ellie, and Charlie, and then took her first step into the care sector in 2002 when she took up a post as officer supervisor in a residential care home in Shildon.
In a quirk of fate, the care home was based in a building that had been Michelle’s infants and junior school.
“I fell in love with care from that moment and it’s become my passion. I just loved seeing the residents every day, the opportunity arose to become operations manager, and I’ve never looked back,” she said.
Michelle has gone on to work in a variety of roles as a registered manager and area manager, covering a range of client groups, including children, adults, learning difficulties, mental health, autism, complex needs, and clinical care.
After a 21-year career in the care sector, she describes joining Care Matters Darlington as “the perfect fit”.
“Care Matters is like a breath of fresh air,” she said. “I’ve worked for some good companies, but Care Matters is a caring company from the top downwards. It puts its staff and clients ahead of everything – you can feel how much it cares.
“The staff have all the tools they need to do their job well and they know they can come to us with any problems they might have.”
Care Matters Darlington, which is part of the Newlands Group, has nearly 40 staff, focused mainly on domiciliary care but with some specialist clients. Customers include Darlington Borough Council, and the company is also working closely with NHS Continuing Healthcare to provide end-of-life care.
Care Matters managing director, Lisa Spark, said: “We are thrilled that someone with Michelle’s experience and knowledge has joined us as part of the continuing expansion of the business. The aim is to go on growing but to do it patiently, with the emphasis absolutely on the quality of care we provide.”