Q&A with Amanda Scott, Sunrise’s Managing Director in the United Kingdom

Sunrise Senior Living  |  October 29, 2014

Meet Amanda Scott, managing director of Operations in the United Kingdom. We recently sat down with Amanda about her connection to seniors, an update on the UK and what she enjoys doing for fun.

Q: What is your career background and how did you find your way to Sunrise?

A: I started caring for seniors when I was 17, to earn extra money prior to starting my nurse training. I worked in pediatrics and intensive care before moving to assisted living 19 years ago. I came to Sunrise more than three years ago as the Care and Quality Director. What attracted me was how different Sunrise is from other assisted living communities.

Upon first joining, I remember being moved by the story of our founders, Paul and Terry Klaassen, and noting how current the principles of service remained. In addition, the general managers struck me as “can do” – with a willingness to strive for excellence. When promoting clinical and quality governance in an organization, that mindset alone can take years to establish. The communities are beautiful, and the life and “buzz” from residents, team members and visitors is tangible. I have enjoyed every minute.

Q: How would you describe your leadership style?

A: I believe in transformational leadership, which means identifying the needed change, creating a vision to guide the change through inspiration, and executing the change with the commitment of the members of the group – it works very well in the United Kingdom. I am privileged to be amongst talented individuals. This includes my team, the general managers at our communities and their teams.

Q: Sunrise recently acquired the management company of Gracewell Healthcare. How’s that going, and what’s an overall update on the UK?

A: It’s exciting times here in the UK! We have met so many dedicated individuals as a result of the acquisition. The brand looks different, however the core principles, such as safety and comfort, are the same which results in a great product.

Being a resource of information and support for those experiencing memory loss and their families is also a huge focus for us. We are running an all community event to become Dementia Friends, an initiative part of the Alzheimer’s Society, and invite local people to join us in undertaking this training and commitment. In addition, we recently won the National Association for Care Catering (NACC) Sustainability Award for 2014.

Q: What can we anticipate in the future for UK care homes?

A: Technology is going to become even more relevant and useful, enabling professional services new ways to reach the senior population. A doctor can now undertake a consultation in a resident’s room using a monitor and attachments to record heart rate, oxygenation and blood pressure. It seems futuristic, but if this means that residents receive care effectively, then I am a fan!

Q: Why do you think residents and their families choose Sunrise?

A: Quality, quality, quality – of the care they receive, the environment they live in, and of the life they can lead. The communities are not institutionalized; they buzz with life and are happy homes.

Q: Describe Sunrise in five words or less.

A: Happy, Enabling, Attentive, Respectful, Trusting

Q: What makes Sunrise unique in the senior care industry?

A: It is due to the vision of founders Paul and Terry Klaassen – to have principles of service and core values that are as true and relevant as the day Sunrise was established. The roots are deep and the branches are wide, hopefully growing wider.

Q: Have you learned any life lessons or words of wisdom from seniors?

A: My grandmother always said, “It will be alright in the end. And if isn’t alright, it isn’t the end.”

Q: What do you like to do for fun?

A: After cycling the Isle of Wight to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society with Sunrise, I acquired a love for enjoying the countryside by bike. My husband and I now cycle most weekends. As my youngest son has now also left for university, it is great to visit my sons and see them becoming independent, young men.

Q: What’s your favorite book or movie?

A: I am a bookworm and love biographies or historical fiction. I am also fascinated by the royal family – anything by Philippa Gregory will do. The story of Ann Boleyn is fascinating, as well.

Cold Mountain is my favorite film. The scene when her husband appears is very emotional.