Dorset leader of multi-award winning learning programmes shortlisted for Care Champion awardAlison Innes-Farquhar, former Director of People Development and Engagement, before her retirement in June 2020 at care provider HC-One, has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Care Champion category at the prestigious National Care Awards 2020. 

The shortlisting follows an impressive and successful career spanning 30 years in health and social care, during which Alison worked for the NHS, a number of health and social care companies and ran her own company project managing multi-award-winning learning programmes for social care providers. Prior to her retirement this year, Alison was the Director of People Development and Engagement at HC-One for nine years. 

Alison joined HC-One in 2011, as part of a team of six led by HC-One’s founder Dr Chai Patel CBE FRCP. Dr Patel is a doctor, entrepreneur and philanthropist, and led the team to form HC-One, rescuing over 200 care homes following the collapse of Southern Cross.  

Alison was involved in all aspects of HC-One’s conception, early growth and development, including the company name, values, brand, organisational structure and recruitment. Whilst Alison was in her role at HC-One, she led the people function with responsibility for the design and delivery of people development projects and oversaw Colleague engagement initiatives. 

Significant highlights of Alison’s career include leading on the development, roll-out, adoption and launch of HC-One’s Learning and Development platform called Touchstone. The Touchstone platform has received an array of international and national awards for its bespoke content and learner impact, including recognition as a Skills for Care Centre of Excellence. In 2012, Alison initiated the ‘Kindness in Care’ Award, with tens of thousands of Colleagues recognised under this Colleague Engagement scheme. However, Alison’s proudest achievement was the inception and development of the Care Assistant Development Programme in 2014, accredited by the Royal College of Nursing. Alison toured HC-One care homes across the UK, with her Colleagues, to host Care Assistant Programme roadshows to Managers, Nurses and Care Colleagues. The programme proved to be an excellent career development opportunity for Colleagues, many of whom progressed to become Home Managers.

Alison’s passion for people, leadership and engagement has been demonstrated on numerous occasions throughout her career. Throughout her career at HC-One, Alison dedicated her time to improving the quality of life of Residents and supporting the learning and development of c. 23,000 Colleagues across over 300 care homes in the UK. As a valuable member of the Senior Management Team at HC-One, she supported and inspired thousands of people across the company with her drive, ambition and passion to ensure that Residents receive the best and highest quality of care and Colleagues experience rewarding careers to reach their full potential. Through her leadership, Alison strengthened HC-One’s position to become the first-choice care provider in each of its communities that it serves for Residents and Colleagues, and has left an outstanding legacy. 

The National Care Awards 2020 marks 22 years of celebrating the very best people working in the care sector and those who go above and beyond to provide consistent exceptional care. The National Care Awards ceremony will be taking place virtually this year on Wednesday 25th November, when the winners will be announced. 

Sir David Behan CBE, HC-One’s Non-Executive Chairman, said: 

“We are delighted to have eleven HC-One finalists chosen by the judging panels for the National Care Awards, National Dementia Care Awards, Care Heroes Awards, Great British Care Awards and The Northern Echo County Durham Together Awards this year. This is an amazing achievement, and I am so proud of our finalists. Alison has made an exceptional contribution to the lives of Residents and Colleagues during her career at HC-One. We wish her a well-deserved retirement.

Alison Innes-Farquhar, former HC-One Director of People Development and Engagement, said: 

“I am delighted to be named as a finalist in the Care Champion category at the National Care Awards. I am humbled to have been nominated by Dr Chai Patel in recognition of my achievements throughout my 30 year career dedicated to the people working in the health and social care sector.”

Dr Chai Patel CBE FRCP, Founder of HC-One, who nominated Alison for the award, said: 

“Alison has made an unparalleled contribution to the development and learning of Colleagues in social care. She has been a life-long pioneering champion in every sense of the words. She embraced technology, fearlessly fought hard to get budgets and developed great passionate teams who single-mindedly broke down the barriers to learning and opened up possibilities for thousands of her Colleagues.”

Alison is one of eleven HC-One finalists that have been shortlisted in the National Care Awards, National Dementia Care Awards, Great British Care Awards, The Northern Echo County Durham Together Awards and the Care Heroes Awards 2020 across a variety of award categories.