Extraordinary achievements in care and support for older people were recognised at the annual Care UK Residential Care Services Awards, where 80 finalists from across England and Scotland gathered to celebrate the achievements of colleagues over the past year.
Individuals and teams involved with administration, care, catering, maintenance, nursing and specialist dementia support were nominated in 18 award categories. Colleagues in business support roles were also recognised for their hard work and dedication, with awards being presented to individuals involved with human resources and recruitment.
Anybody could nominate a colleague or manager for an award and the judges, who were looking for examples of innovation, outstanding care and teamwork in Care UK’s 112 homes, commented that choosing the winners was a very difficult task.
Director Richard Pearman opened the evening by highlighting the contributions made by the people and teams who had won through to the finals. He was joined by Care UK chief executive Mike Parish, who presented the award winners with their certificates, prizes and trophies.
It was an extra special evening for the team at Tall Trees care home in Colchester, which picked up both the Dementia Award and Maintenance Person of the Year Award. This double success quickly followed Tall Trees winning a National Dementia Care Award at the UK Dementia Congress last month for the outstanding work of its care team who help residents living with dementia lead fulfilling lives.
Ros Stevenson, manager at Whitebourne care home in Frimley, was thrilled to win the Activity Based Care Award for her commitment and dedication to helping residents lead active and independent lives. Care UK’s expert on Activity Based Care, Deirdre Timney, said: “Ros and her team do a wonderful job as their annual satisfaction surveys show. The home is a hive of positive and worthwhile activity.”
The Fulfilling Lives award was presented to Tor-Na-Dee home manager Maureen Barrett, who was nominated by residents, relatives and fellow team members. Maureen was praised for creating a beautiful and stimulating environment and for the range of activities on offer, such as keeping chickens, visits from therapy dogs and trips, as well as raising funds for local charities.
Lisa Scott, a nurse and the clinical lead at St. Peter’s Court care home, shared the Nurse of the Year Award with Anna Pochron, a nurse and the deputy home manager at Catherine Court care home in High Wycombe. Both Lisa and Anna were praised by colleagues for their commitment to ensuring the wellbeing of residents and the judges were equally impressed with their ability to provide the very best care.
A compassionate nature, a sense of fun and a winning smile won Mill View receptionist Caroline Newman the Customer Service Award. Home manager Julie Millward said: “Caroline has a wonderful manner and always has a huge smile that greets all who walk through the door. She is always happy to help everyone in any way that she can and nothing is too much trouble for residents, their relatives or colleagues. She has a true love for the residents and will talk to them whenever possible. She just has a truly caring personality.”
Garmit Wright was crowned Home Manager of the Year after being nominated for her commitment and leadership in developing the team, their skills and their attitude to caring as a profession. Garmit, who has been home manager at Heavers Court for five years, said: “I was very touched to be nominated by so many people. As a manager, the most rewarding thing is to hear from residents, relatives and your team that you, and your efforts, are valued and appreciated.”
Blyford care home acting manager Marc Scott won the Team Leader of the Year Award after being nominated by colleagues for his “calm and professional way of dealing with any problems”. The judges were looking for qualities such as a professional ability to handle tasks and a capacity to be responsible, reliable and good at listening to others. He picked up his award after impressing judges with his approachable personality and ability to run the home as smoothly as possible.
The Environment Award was given to Hadrian Park care home for its team’s commitment to creating a life-enhancing physical environment for the home’s 73 residents. The judges were impressed that the team had created a number of relaxing but different environments that give residents lots of opportunities to spend time alone, or with friends and family, in places that suit their moods or that facilitate their interests.
Also recognised for her commitment to helping people to live fulfilled lives was Lynn Legg – a dementia support worker with Poole Care at Home. She won the Carer of the Year Award for the positive difference she makes to people’s lives every day and the great feedback the team has received about her work. A colleague who nominated Lynn commented: “Lynn ensures people are looked after the way she would look after her own family. She is a credit to Care UK.”
There was an award too for Oak House chef Tomas Flont, who won the Catering Award after fending off strong competition from care homes and wellbeing centres across the country. David Adams, home manager at Oak House, said: “Tomas has been working at Oak House for the past four years and since then we have received a five star food hygiene rating every year. All of the food that Tomas and his team cook is homemade and he speaks to the residents after each meal to gain their feedback on the meal they have just eaten.”
The Colleague Engagement Award was presented to Paisley Court manager Allison Kennie in recognition of her team’s impressive work ensuring residents at the home receive truly personalised care. A colleague commented that “The team at Paisley Court works extremely hard to provide the very best care to residents. Their residents have highly complex care needs and everyone is focused on ensuring the residents are able to enjoy each day.”
Working hard to provide a beautiful home for residents resulted in the team at Pinetum picking up the Housekeeping Award, which was collected by Sue Weigh. Activities organiser Adele Elliot, who nominated her colleagues for this award, said: “The support they give to residents and the activity team is integral to activity based care and fulfilling residents lives. They are always ready to help with daily activities and work hard to provide a beautiful home for residents and all who visit Pinetum.”
The other awards presented throughout the evening went to Bowes House administrator Nikki White (Administrator of the Year Award), Colchester-based resourcing advisor Jenni Rowan (GEM Award), the Surrey team (Regional Team of the Year Award), Little Holland Hall manager Pauline Goh (Sales and Marketing Award) and the Colchester-based HR and Resourcing Team (Support Team of the Year Award).
Mike Parish, chief executive at Care UK, said: “Every day our colleagues work extremely hard to provide person centred care and I am very proud of their commitment and dedication. I would like to thank everybody who took the time to nominate their colleagues and congratulate the award winners on their achievements.”
The annual Care UK Residential Care Services Awards took place on Thursday 14th November at Heythrop Park Resort in Oxfordshire.