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Belong appoints Chief Operating Officer

Sue Goldsmith has been appointed to the post of Chief Operating Officer (COO) at not-for-profit care provider, Belong, which operates eight dementia care villages and home care services across the North West.

A registered nurse and experienced social care professional, Sue was previously Operations Manager with the organisation and joins the executive team as Belong’s outgoing COO, Stacey McCann, prepares to retire at the end of this month.

She will work alongside chief executive Martin Rix, who took the helm at Belong in April, and Chief Finance Officer, Chris Hughes, working to expand the reach of the organisation’s services. Last month, it opened its eighth village in Chester – the first to feature an integrated children’s nursery as Belong continues to push the boundaries of its intergenerational work.

As part of her remit, Sue takes on the role of nominated individual with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for Belong care villages and home care services, all of which are rated Good or Outstanding.

Speaking of her appointment, Belong Chief Executive Martin Rix, said: “Sue’s track record in quality improvement and in particular her experience in creating quality frameworks for people with dementia stood out in the recruitment process.

“Since joining the organisation she has quickly proven her ability to contribute to our strategy and offer invaluable support to our villages. She’s also a genuinely caring and compassionate person who fits perfectly with our values and this is of paramount importance to us. I look forward to working with her as part of the executive team as she continues to drive quality and innovation across our services.”

Sue’s experience across frontline nursing and senior management positions spans three decades, including as Head of Dementia and Head of Care Improvement at Four Seasons Health Care and as Director of Care Quality and Dementia for a care coaching consultancy, where she drove improvements at care providers, supporting them to achieve CQC Outstanding ratings.

A trained dementia care mapper, Sue has developed a number of dementia care models and frameworks. Her work has been published in academic papers, and she is a contributing author of an Amazon top-selling book focused on person-centred dementia care.

Sue added: “Working at Belong has given me real insight into the organisation’s values and the real passion that our people bring to supporting a very diverse base of customers. We have huge talent and opportunity to build upon and I feel incredibly privileged and excited to be joining the leadership team.”

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