From social care professional to best-selling author
“It really was purely by chance that I then made the transitioninto writing books”says Yvonne.
“In 1995, I was working as an external verier for one of the awarding bodies andHeinemann happened to be looking for someone to write for the NVQ in Care. Theyapproached me, I had a go at writing a sample chapter and the publisher liked what sheread! By that time, I had been working in social care for over thirty years so I was able tobring a lot of practical experience into the books, which was a real plus point.”Yvonne has now written more than fourteen books on Health and Social Care,including a forthcoming series of resources for the new Level 2 and Level 3 Diplomas.One of the early rules Yvonne set herself was to ensure that the case studies she usesin her books are always real.“I change the names of course, but they’re all based on realcircumstances that I have come across in my career”she explains.“I think this gives my booksmore authenticity and tutors tell me they like this approach because it is obvious that I practisewhat I preach, because I’ve been there and done it myself!”she laughs.
A hands-on approach to care
But Yvonne doesn’t conne herself to writing alone.
Through her consultancy business Yvonne works with all sorts of dierent organisations,including sector skills councils, local authorities and public and private sector businesses.“I work with various organisations to help determine the needs of their workforce; I getinvolved in qualications development and helped develop the national occupationalstandards”explains Yvonne.“A lot of my work with local authority social services andchildren’s services departments involves helping them develop risk management policiesor put in place new legislation or new government initiatives”. From time to time, Yvonne also takes on roles as an interim manager in organisations wherethey have a stang gap but can’t leave the post empty for a long period.“I really enjoy this typeof role as it means I can reconnect with the sector. I spend so much time telling people how todo the job, it’s nice to go back and do it myself from time to time!”says Yvonne.
The person-centred approach is changing the sector
“There’s been a lot of change in the Health and Social Caresector in recent years”adds Yvonne.
“The biggest change has been the way in which health and social care services are nowdelivered. In the last ve years, there has been a massive swing from the old ‘gift’model, whereprofessionals used to determine which services an individual needed and then it was up to theindividual to work out the best t for them from those services”she explains.“Now, we have a totally person-centred approach, where the individual is at the heart of whatwe do and we build our services around their needs. This has totally changed the relationshipbetween the professional driving the service and the person using it. The individual is now incontrol; he or she has access to their personal budget; they decide how it is spent; what servicesthey receive; how they want that service delivered and by whom. This personalisation hasdenitely been the most revolutionary change in social services because care is no longer in thegift of the professionals - individuals are now in control of their lives and can participate as activecitizens.”explains Yvonne.
The qualifications are changing too
And not only is the way care is delivered changing, but the waystudents learn will change, with the introduction of the newLevel 2 and Level 3 Diplomas in Health and Social Care, fromJanuary next year.
Yvonne has been closely involved in the development of the new qualications and her latestseries of handbooks to support them will soon be available.“The new Diplomas recognise the person-centred nature of Health and Social Care, with newcontent to address this personalisation agenda. However, the bulk of the qualication is broadlysimilar.”says Yvonne.“After all, carers still care, the way we communicate with and safeguardindividuals is the same. And learners will still need to demonstrate their competence throughboth their their knowledge and their practical skills”she continues.
So how do Yvonne’s new resources support the newDiplomas?
“The new books follow exactly the structure of the new Level 2and Level 3 Diplomas”explains Yvonne.
“They cover the key units that learners will need for each of the assessment criteria for thequalication. They also include new content on the personalisation agenda so they’re bang upto date. But although there is a lot that is new, they also contain a lot of knowledge and supportthat tutors will be familiar with around human needs and psychology, personality developmentand so on. The books also cater for all types of learners. There is plenty of visual content mixed inwith the text and lots of activities, so whatever type of learner a student is, the books will be ableto help and support them.”she adds.Yvonne is clearly a busy person. As well as her writing and consultancy work, she also runsMasterclasses where she goes into colleges to deliver tailor-made sessions to group of tutors andstudents. And her latest Masterclass just happened to be with the team at Cornwall College, whowere the lucky winners of our Yvonne Nolan Masterclass competition!
A Masterclass from the master...
Cornwall College is one of the largest Further and Highereducation colleges in the UK, with over 45,000 students splitover seven main campuses.
Debbie Pritchard, our competition winner, is the Curriculum Area Manager for Healthcare andEarly Years, at the St Austell campus. In her role, Debbie oversees the college’s full-time16-19 courses in Health and Social Care and Childcare and Development, as well as the NVQs inHealth and Social Care and Children and Young People, and is responsible for a team of 25 sta,including tutors, internal veriers and assessors at the college.Debbie explains“As part of our competition entry, we had to say why we would benet from asession with Yvonne and I explained that because we’re in Cornwall, it is often dicult to gainaccess to expert speakers because of the travel involved to get to us – I was so surprised whenwe actually won!”she laughs.