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Three national awards celebrate Care UK’s outstanding services for people with dementia

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The dedication, commitment and outstanding efforts of Care UK’s staff in residential homes across the country were acknowledged this week at the 2011 National Dementia Care Awards. Nominated in five of the 12 categories, Care UK came away with three awards that recognise outstanding service in caring for people with dementia. The winners were announced at a ceremony held as part of the UK Dementia Congress in Liverpool.

Carole Wardle, manager of Care UK’s 69-bed Station House nursing home in Crewe, was chosen as the national Best Dementia ‘Dignity in Care’ Champion for her pioneering work in training carers across the north-west of England. She was also praised for promoting the cause of dignity for residents in her own nursing home and throughout the region.

Elaine Carruthers, manager of the Orchard Centre, a 24/7 dementia day centre in Epsom, was named Best Dementia Care Manager in a Community Setting for the ground-breaking service she has developed since joining Care UK eight years ago. The centre offers an invaluable service to the community, including respite care throughout the day and night. People with dementia find company and a full programme of activities on offer;  meanwhile, their families and carers know that their loved ones are in good hands.

Elaine describes the service as a club with its ‘members’ deciding what they want to do and helping with the day-to-day running of the centre. She said: “Everyone wants to feel needed. If people with dementia feel they are contributing, it helps them to maintain their life skills and keeps them independent.”

Bill Roarty, home manager, and Sara Goodwin, project manager, accepted the award for the Best Dementia Care Interior on behalf of Heather View,  Care UK’s flagship new  home in Crowborough, East Sussex. The 74-bed home, which specialises in care for frail elderly people with dementia, was built as a vision of care homes of the future. It is also the first of over 30 innovative new homes to be built by Care UK in the next five years.
Heather View officially opened in September, and is based around an indoor ‘village centre’ with an old-fashioned tearoom, coffee shop, hair salon, village shop, post-box and a cinema. This has already become a favourite place for residents to catch up with family and friends, whatever the weather.

Also representing Care UK and nominated for awards were:

Unit manager Kelly Harrison, a finalist in the ‘Life Time Achievement in Dementia Care’ category at only 21 years of age, for her energy and enthusiasm in creating individually-tailored activities for residents, and in helping colleagues by developing their skills and encouraging them to be the best carers they can.

Service design manager Maizie Mears-Owens and Care UK’s head of service design Karen Morrison, short-listed in the category of ‘Dementia Care Team of the Year’ for their outstanding work improving the levels of happiness and mobility experienced by people with dementia, as a result of their innovative ‘experiential’ training for care home staff. During a special session of the UK Dementia Congress, they were invited to give a presentation about their work to delegates, who included people with dementia, their carers and leading experts in the social care sector.

Toby Siddall, Care UK’s managing director for residential care, said:  “I am enormously proud of the team here at Care UK. To achieve nominations in five categories, and then to win three of those awards, reflects our commitment to innovation and quality care that will improve life for our residents and their families.”

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