News & Blog

dateApril 21, 2024
bookmarkCase Study
authorSmall Care Home Group
Group 339

Kata Care Solutions Blog Consultant Spotlight Image Main Image

Eddie Hoult is the founder of UpEd, and one of Kata’s key consultants with over 30 years of experience working in social care. She has kindly agreed to be the first featured guest for Kata’s new Consultant Spotlight, highlighting the lives and talents of the people who keep Kata great.


How did your career in social care begin?

I have always worked in social care, starting as a teenager working in a private residential care home in the Cotswolds. Although I didn’t do amazingly in my GCSEs, I completed a Family Community Care course followed by a BTEC in Social Care, and later earned a degree in Sociology. I supported myself through agency work during my studies. After leaving university, I became a deputy manager for a company aiding adults with disabilities and mental health issues and stayed there for 17 years as it expanded. I tapped into every aspect of the business and am still very close with one of the directors now all these years later.  After leaving in 2015, I spent nearly 4 years as a CQC inspector, for the last 18 months of which I was very heavily involved in enforcement. I wanted to get back out on the provider side, so I moved to a head of compliance role at a start-up focusing on supported living and homelessness projects. The pandemic pushed me toward consultancy as my husband helped me to see that I could be doing all of this for myself. It took me 6 months to be able to say, ‘I am a consultant’ out loud. There isn’t really an aspect of social care I haven’t touched on, I simply enjoy some bits more than others.

What can you tell me about UpEd, the company you founded?

As soon as I stopped working for another provider, I got my sparkle back. In February 2021 I registered UpEd and in July left my full-time post. Unsure how to really get started, I reached out for national agency consultancy provider jobs, not knowing there was a whole head of people out there doing a similar thing. I had always been part of the quality framework within part of larger organisations that never reached out to external consultants due to having quality teams within them. It was a whole world that I didn’t really know was out there.  I came up with the name UpEd because I feel care is about bottom-up thinking, ensuring that the foundation is strong so that the rest falls into place.

What brought you to Kata and what has been your experience thus far?

I’ve known Fae since 2021 and jumped at the chance to be involved with Kata. Fae has always had excellent communication skills and gotten back to me quickly. Currently, all of my agency work is conducted through Kata. There have been times when a big piece of work for a private client has come to an end, then Fae has been a little fairy godmother saying, ‘Eddie would you like to do this?’ and suddenly I’m busy again. Watching Fae and Kata grow in such a relatively short space of time shows that it’s possible for a newer business to thrive.

I really value Kata’s report writing guidance that has come out. When I was an inspector and worked as part of teams, I’d always have a peer to go to and have a peer review. Since that’s going to happen more with Kata, I’m all for that. Somebody else’s eyes over what you’re writing is so important. Because I write a lot of reports for myself, I have my own style that I’ve developed, but that doesn’t necessarily fit in with an agency’s style. I’d rather be getting things right, and Fae knows that, which is why we have carried on our relationship together.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

I’m a lover of getting out there and all things practical. As much as I can say, ‘there’s a regulation breach there’ what I really love is going into services, talking to people serving care, chatting with managers and saying, ‘Have you thought about doing it this way?’ I enjoy being part of the process of driving improvement.

What do you think are the main challenges in social care today?

Lots of registered managers have left, which is really sad. I think it’s difficult to keep them motivated in quite a tough climate. The pandemic has changed how we view things and people want a better quality of life. A severe investment is needed to be a registered manager and that doesn’t always come with decent pay. I still meet so many managers who are getting it right, crack on, aren’t defensive and love their job, but that’s when they’re being paid and they’re supported and their wider provider has said, ‘Let’s bring in people like Eddie to support you’. Then they have somebody else to turn to that might have a different or more objective perspective. Most of what I find is through observing. You can tell so much about how people are being supported by sitting down, taking a back seat and observing. That’s what I enjoy. Then, going back to the manager and saying, ‘Can you see what I see? Let’s do something about it – it can be done!’

Do you have any goals or aspirations for the future?

For me, it’s really about maintaining the balance. Looking after myself and making sure my husband and kids are happy at the same time as progressing UpEd is essential. My husband is a director and he travels quite a bit. It’s nice that I’m in a position where he earns more than me, but I complement our finances by buying the treats! I’d like to be a support worker again one day.

What are your hobbies and interests outside of work?

I enjoy that some days I can say ‘This afternoon I’m going to swim in the sea.’ I love a sauna and an ice bath. I joined the gym last September and my personal training sessions have been an absolute game-changer.

Any advice for someone considering a career in social care?

Someone gave me advice once on delivering feedback: take the words out of your mouth, look at them, and then put them back in before you say them. Nobody’s perfect, nor can they give 110% every day. I always reflect because the people being supported are the ones I’m most rooting for, and that never goes. Since I became that support worker at age 13, I’ve never stopped. There’s never any excuse for poor care.

Working in care is always going to be about thinking, ‘If that were me or somebody I loved, how would I want them to be treated?’ whilst recognising that one size doesn’t fit all. At some point in our lives, we will all be accessing some form of social care, either for ourselves or for somebody we love. For me, there isn’t a more important job.

Thank you

A huge thank you to Eddie for chatting with us this month. If you would like to be interviewed for a future edition of Consultant Spotlight, or have somebody to recommend, message