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2021 LEADERS IN CARE AWARDS SHORTLIST: REGISTERED CARE HOME MANAGER OF THE YEAR

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The registered manager is indisputably the key position within a care home service. The manager sets the tone of the business by providing a lead to staff through establishing and driving a caring culture and the pursuit of excellence.

 We are delighted to announce that the 2021 shortlist includes the following names:

Ann Aubrey, Gables Residential Home

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Ann has been at the Gables for 18 years and has dedicated everything to her job. This isn’t just a job to Ann, it’s her life and her aspiration to work with the elderly. She will always go in on her days off if there is an issue in the home or if a resident needs her. The residents idolise her, she has formed such beautiful relationships with them along the way and she is always so approachable and kind. The pandemic has certainly been difficult but Ann has kept her professionalism throughout, even in the toughest of times. Her authority over her team has ensured the safety of the residents and their families around COVID-19. As a lot of other homes, Ann has kept up with weekly testing for staff and residents and limiting social contact outside of work, alongside the use of PPE at all times and ensuring staff are fully trained to recognise and manage medical emergencies. Ann is always making sure residents are happy and entertained – every little detail matters. She makes sure residents get their favourite foods and drinks and some special prizes when doing activities. Ann organises special events where she gets in local entertainers and singers to keep residents entertained and in a joyful mood! Ann also pays close attention to the happiness of her staff and will always be a friend to them rather than a boss.

Kier Dungo, Buckingham House Care Home, Maria Mallaband Care Group

Kier is a first time manager and started a month before the pandemic hit. Being a nurse, before COVID was declared a pandemic, he had already anticipated and planned for the worst. He had PPE in place as early as January 2020 which made staff feel secured and reassured. Throughout the first lockdown, the home he is managing never had an outbreak and residents and staff were safe. Families were kept informed. He continued to uplift the morale of the team which is essential in keeping the home running safely. His home was recognised as Home of the Year during the company’s care awards in 2020 thanks to his leadership. He always puts the welfare of residents and the staff at the heart of everything he does. He comes to work when needed by the staff, be it early hours or midnight. Families were assured and very appreciative that their loved ones were and are kept safe. He has also made the highest profit for the home since it opened. Complaints have also been at their lowest. This is on top of doing a Masters at university. With all these achievements he was recently promoted to the Regional Director on 2 August 2021 whilst keeping his role as the registered manager of Buckingham House Care Home. Kier is very enigmatic and charismatic which just infects the whole room. He is a catalyst for driving continuous improvements in the home. He is never afraid to take positive risks for his residents and staff.

Heather Choat, Halstead Hall, Stow Healthcare

Heather is a superb home manager with a deep understanding of what makes a great care home. Staff and resident wellbeing is her top priority and her energy and passion are the driving force that has seen Halstead Hall excel at incredible pace. She has given Halstead Hall the breath of fresh air that the home desperately needed. Formerly Attwoods Manor, the home was about to be taken to a tribunal and shut down by CQC. Stow Healthcare took over the home on a management contract in October 2017, ahead of its acquisition in spring 2018. During this time Heather faced disillusioned staff, high agency usage, low resident numbers, an inadequate CQC rating, a social services embargo and an extremely negative perception of the home in the community. In little over 12 months, under Heather’s leadership, the home was re-inspected and rated ‘Good’ in every area and ‘Outstanding’ in well led. CQC stated: “The service and the people living in the service now benefited from outstanding leadership.” Turning around a home that has been failing is like turning around a tanker. Heather stripped things back to basics in every area, role modelling to the team how quality care should be delivered. She took a multi-faceted approach, communicating in the right way, with the right people, at the right time. By adopting sound communication practices, including a regular ‘Pulse’ group gathering staff representatives to update them on changes, this in turn kept the staff on board and helped them become active foot soldiers in consolidating new practices.

Laura Simpson, Wellburn Care Homes

In early 2020, despite Laura and her staff’s best efforts, Eighton Lodge became the first care home in the Wellburn group to have positive cases of COVID amongst its residents. Laura showed tremendous leadership to her team and commitment to the home and residents, liaising with the local authority, hospitals and family members, consistently reassuring both residents and staff.

She had to quickly adapt to the ever-changing landscape within the care setting, increasing infection control measures and changing guidance whilst keeping the residents safe. This was all achieved whilst still delivering the highest standards of care to the residents, despite a significant number of staff isolating. Although Laura received support from Head Office and the Senior Operations team, she made sure she was at the forefront of the operation of the home. Comforting family members and residents undoubtedly became a crucial part of her role, keeping staff, residents and their loved ones connected whilst being transparent of the implications of COVID, and the processes involved in isolating the home, ensuring each party was aware of the situation. Laura went above and beyond to show her dedication, without any question or sign of fear herself. She slept at the home for several weeks to ensure someone was always on hand to assist with residents.

Tickets and tables are now available for the Leaders in Care Awards can be booked HERE.

Any companies interested in commercial opportunities surrounding the Leaders in Care Awards should contact:

Josh Waddell
0203 176 5458
josh.waddell@itppromedia.com

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The author Lee Peart

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