Gillian Duggan is co-founder and Regional Director of Operations of Hibernia.
With over 20 years of experience in the home care sector, she knows first-hand how to provide and maintain the highest quality of care.
Here she tells us about her career to date, what sets Hibernia apart from its competitors and her dreams for the organisation.
Hi Gillian, tell us about yourself and your career to date.
I have over 20 years of experience in home care, but I actually started when my own father was sick. At the time, I helped with his care and decided that was what I wanted to do long-term. I did my training in college in Rathfarnham and completed work experience in a nursing home, but then I took a break to become a mother. I returned to work and was a carer for about nine months and was asked by my superiors if I would be interested in becoming a supervisor. In that job I was out and about in the community, checking on clients and carers and I loved it. I knew then I was on the right path.
I completed my full QQI and was approached by another care company to take on a managerial role. Shortly after, I was made managing director and ran the entire company for 12 years. Through this, I learned how to manage a team and oversee the business. It was challenging, but it was the right fit for me.
Why did you want to set up a new home care company in the form of Hibernia?
A lot of Hibernia’s initial conception came from chats over coffee with John Martin, Hibernia’s Managing Director. It was his idea to set up Hibernia. Both of us would be very similar. We have the same values and visions about what home care should be. Originally, I was simply going to work for John, but then I thought why don’t I take a chance and really go all in?
Then John agreed that we should both invest in it and Hibernia grew from there. We were both very positive about creating this business. We knew we both wanted to provide the very best care and because we have actual care experience, we believed we could do it.
What differentiates Hibernia from its competitors?
We are always growing. We are an open-minded company. We want to hear feedback from clients and carers so that we can constantly improve. Hibernia is always striving to be the best. We put both our clients and our carers first. They are at the centre of everything we do and both sides are always treated with the utmost respect
Why is Hibernia choosing to invest so much in its culture and people?
We did a lot of competitor research. There were brands that stood out and we asked ourselves: “why isn’t Hibernia one of those companies?” So we decided to invest in changing and invigorating the business and the results have spoken for themselves. Hibernia is now a defined and recognisable brand.
And finally, what does the future hold for Hibernia?
As a business, we want to keep growing but maintain our high standard of care. I don’t want it to ever drop. I want people to say that we stood by our values. And we know this will happen because our commitment to caring and helping others will never waver.