01 Jun 2021

Director of adult social care to retire

Dr Carol Tozer has announced her retirement from her post as director of adult social care and housing needs at the Isle of Wight Council.

Praising her team's "professional skill" and "unstinting hard work", as well as that of the independent care sector, Dr Tozer said it had been a privilege to lead the department since December 2016.

However, she said ongoing ill health following major spinal surgery last year had led her to make the difficult decision to stand down.

She said: "Mine is not a job that can be done part time and so, after discussions with my family, I have decided to retire from full time work in local government.

"I have worked in social care for more than 30 years and it has been my life’s calling. I came into this professional area because of experiences in my own family — and I have never lost that overriding passion to make a positive difference to disabled, mentally ill or frail elders and their carers.

"My continuing drive to support people to live fulfilling lives has been bolstered by the tireless commitment to supporting our Island’s most vulnerable and at risk residents to live fulfilling lives that I witness every day from my colleagues across the department, the wider care sector, the Island’s voluntary and community sector, our housing needs partners and our local NHS."

Dr Tozer said the past decade had been particularly challenging for the social care and housing sector with councils doing their best to prioritise adult social care and homelessness in the face of significant resource reductions and rising needs.

In addition, she stated the pandemic had asked so much of everyone working across adult social care and housing — and that her colleagues, whether working for the council, the independent care sector, housing, the voluntary and community sector or the NHS, had shown themselves to be among the “nation’s finest” and that a massive debt was owed to them.

She said her own team had remained "focussed, creative and effective" in meeting people's needs throughout her tenure and highlighted the council's 'Care Close to Home' strategy, recognised nationally as among the best in class.

Until her departure at the end of August, Dr Tozer said she was committed to:

• supporting the incoming Cabinet member;

• contributing to the development of the council’s new corporate plan;

• working with colleagues in health to refresh the Isle of Wight Health and Care Plan;

• working with her own departmental colleagues to refresh the Care Close to Home strategy.

John Metcalfe, the council's chief executive, paid tribute to Dr Tozer's crucial leadership role, overseeing transformational change in adult social care on the Island.

He said: "Carol has been a real inspiration, driving through changes and improvements — in really challenging times — to health and social care. Her commitment and leadership have been second to none.

"Carol is admired and respected among her colleagues, both at director level nationally, where she has been pivotal as a trustee of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), and those on the frontline.

"I want to thank her for all her efforts and know all the team here at the council, the wider health sector and beyond will wish her well in her retirement. She will be sorely missed."

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Dr Carol Tozer
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Factfile
  • Dr Tozer said it had been a privilege to lead the department since December 2016.
  • Ongoing ill health following major spinal surgery led to her decision to stand down.
 
Isle of Wight, UK