Finding the right service to meet specific needs

Our Referrals Team is here to help find the right service, whether the enquiry is from someone searching for themselves, a family member looking on behalf of a loved one, or a commissioner with a specific requirement. We always aim for people to live in services closest to their friends and family, but what’s most important is that they have the support and environment that’s just right for them. That sometimes means that their nearest Consensus service isn’t the one most suited to their needs.

Our Referrals Team – led by Bernie Middlehurst – are highly experienced and knowledgeable about our services and the people we support and will work collaboratively with individuals we support, family members and commissioners to find the right solution.

Please call our Referrals Team to talk through your options, on 0808 223 5320.

Bernie Middlehurst

Referrals Manager

My lifelong passion is to help adults with social care support needs to enjoy a meaningful life and to play a real part in their community.”

I originally worked as a qualified social worker and then for many years in local authority commissioning and strategic planning roles.

My team ensure that referrals are responded to quickly and effectively.

We focus on performing high quality assessments with relevant operational colleagues. We then submit comprehensive service proposals to ensure the support options we suggest are right for the individuals being referred to us, where they are supported to lead a meaningful life within their local community.

I manage a small team of placement managers and I also work closely with the Development Team, analysing referral trends, identifying any gaps in our provision, and putting plans in place to fill those gaps.

Outside of work I… enjoy walking, going to the theatre and exploring new areas of the UK and Europe.

Our Referrals Team is here to help find the right service


“My journey is testament to how much Consensus supports and develops its employees so that we can also support individuals to the best of our abilities. I’ve been given numerous opportunities to develop during my time here.

Samantha Marshall

Placement Manager (East Anglia & London)

Before I joined Consensus in 2008 I’d worked in a special needs education setting and as a youth worker. I originally came to social care because I was saddened to see young people moving on into adult services and losing themselves in a sea of ‘care’: I wanted to make a difference.

My first position at Consensus was as a deputy manager of a service, and I progressed to service manager. This has enabled me to become part of the solution. I get involved right at the start with the original referral, undertaking assessments of individuals and gathering information from different sources to assess whether we can meet their support needs, before producing a costed service proposal.

Outside of work I… like to keep active, attending different classes, going to the gym and for long country walks with my family and our dog.

“I’m passionate about working with individuals and their circle of support to help them to increase their independence, live a fulfilling life and achieve their personal goals.”

Corina Tsikina

Placement Manager (Wales & South)

I used to work in human resources, but I wanted a role where I could help people to make their lives better. Since moving into social care, I’ve worked my way up from support worker to service manager, and now placement manager. Most of my experience has been in supporting people with autism, complex needs and challenging behaviours.

I joined Consensus in 2018 as a service manager, before moving to the Referrals team. I’d been part of the assessment process in other roles and had thoroughly enjoyed visiting people, assessing their needs and skills and exploring ways to support them.

Much of my role involves undertaking in-depth assessments and producing proposals. I also liaise with a variety of stakeholders, from social workers to private referrers and individuals, discussing support and care needs and how they can be met.

Outside of work I… enjoy going to the theatre, singing in a choir, keeping fit and socialising.

“Here at Consensus I work with Operations and key stakeholders to continue to drive our reputation as a leading UK provider, with the mission to make a difference to people’s lives.”

Marta Yohannes

Referrals & Partnerships Manager (Midlands & North)

I have worked within the social care sector for 15 years within forensics and extra care supporting individuals with highly complex needs, autism, severe challenging behaviour and dual diagnosis, who require supervision through the Ministry of Justice. I have also worked with people with acquired brain injury, dementia, and genetic conditions such as Fragile X and Prader-Willi Syndrome, helping to recruit, manage and retain the right staff to support them.

My previous role in business development included helping to set up new services in the West Midlands for people with complex needs, learning disabilities and mental health issues. I have a lot of experience in generating referrals, undertaking assessments and producing service proposals which ensure the best outcomes for the individuals requiring support.

Quality assurance has always formed a big part of what I do too: monitoring compliance and regulatory standards, contractual obligations, policies and procedures and promoting best practice around safeguarding.

Outside of work I… enjoy spending time with family and friends, watching football and listening to music.