This Awards category recognises the home care individuals that went above and beyond to ensure the safety and well-being of their clients during the pandemic.
The category shines a spotlight on those care professionals who went the extra mile to protect their vulnerable residents not only from coronavirus, but also the mental health implications that came with it, thinking of innovative ways to boost morale and always showing kindness, empathy and dedication to their role.
The finalists are:
Lewis Davies, Senior Care Assistant, Ruddington Manor Care Centre, New Care
NOMINATED BY: Tracy Johnston, Registered Manager, Ruddington Manor Care Centre
Lewis is passionate, professional and just gets on with every task in the background without any fuss – he is so deserving of recognition. Throughout the pandemic, he has been an asset to the whole team. He lives with his grandparents, so rather than put them at risk, he asked if he could move into the home; that way his grandparents could shield and he would be able to work, continuing to support the home during the crisis. He has gone over and above during the pandemic and his support has been invaluable to the residents, myself and the team.
Lewis has gone the extra mile during these difficult circumstances, both in terms of delivering his usual outstanding care, but also offering friendship, companionship and empathy to every resident. When visits stopped, Lewis immediately started to facilitate WhatsApp calls, Skype and Zoom for all residents, allowing them to speak to and see loved ones. He even arranged a virtual funeral for one of our residents, a gentleman whose wife, also a resident, passed away during the pandemic (when the limit of numbers to attend a funeral was three). This simple gesture enabled the husband to be with his wife as best he could in the circumstances and say goodbye to her. Lewis helped the gentleman dress smartly for the virtual funeral, and stayed with him to ensure he was ok, as he himself was also unwell. Lewis went out of his way to go shopping for particular items for residents, and our residents have been so appreciative.
Chally Chilimboyi, Residential Team Lead at Alexandra Grange Care Home, Hallmark
NOMINATED BY: Magda Anca, General Manager of Alexandra Grange Care Home
Chally is a Residential Team Lead at Alexandra Grange Care Home in Wokingham which is managed by the Hallmark Care Homes’ family. Chally has worked at the home for five years and is a well-respected, passionate and dedicated individual. His colleagues describe him as “selfless, flexible and kind”. Whether it’s a resident or a team member, Chally will be there for them, and this has been shown by Chally offering to work nights and supporting the team over the weekend without any complaints. During the pandemic Chally once worked ten days straight to cover shifts and worked nights across the whole home to support the team and he did this with a smile on his face. All Chally cares about is the safety of residents and he will support anyone with anything they need.
Despite working long hours, Chally’s commitment to helping others never falters and he always has a smile on his face and an inspiring ‘can do’ attitude. He will do any role assigned to him whether it’s care or housekeeping and he is very honest and trustworthy. When asked a difficult question Chally’s response would be “don’t worry we are a team, we can help you and each other”. Because of this, the team at Alexandra Grange Care Home have a lot of respect for him and the residents’ always praise him saying his care is exceptional; he is a very caring person and he always goes extra mile to support them.
Erlina Pascual, Registered Nurse at Loveday Chelsea Court Place, Loveday
NOMINATED BY Loveday Chelsea Court Place Registered Manager, Gabriela Zackova
Erlina is an exceptional nurse, delivering compassionate care to the very highest level on a day to day basis, but the kindness and dedication shown to her patients throughout the pandemic was truly exceptional.
One of our residents became very ill and some of her symptoms suggested signs of COVID. Testing was unavailable at this time (early May), so Erlina made an immediate decision to move into the resident’s room to provide the necessary care and to protect the rest of the vulnerable residents and the team within the care home.
Erlina took care of the resident for three days, never once leaving the room until we were able to source the test and confirm she was in fact negative. As well as caring for the resident, Erlina also constantly communicated with the resident’s family members, video calling them several times a day to keep them updated with her condition and progress. This was hugely beneficial for the resident who has advanced dementia and was very reassured with the frequent family contact.
In a time of panic and uncertainty, Erlina’s quick, critical thinking and selfless act of bravery was an inspiration to the whole team, all of whom learnt from this. She is the definition of an outstanding nurse with the most important qualities: caring, nurturing, selfless and empathetic with an uncompromised commitment to patient advocacy. She is an exceptional and inspirational team leader who truly cares about people’s health and wellbeing.
Rob Burcher, Regional Support Services Manager, Cinnamon Care Collection
NOMINATED BY Cinnamon Directors, Carole Hunt and Greg Swire
Throughout the pandemic, Rob set his own anxiety aside every day and outwardly maintained a cheerful, helpful and positive approach which boosted morale and reassured residents, relatives and team members alike.
In April, when one home faced an extremely challenging time, Rob showed his commitment and professionalism by moving in for two weeks. Always full of positivity and energy, the support Rob provided to the team, families and residents was immense.
Approaching the peak of the pandemic, the General Manager at one Cinnamon home had to self-isolate. Many team members at another home were also self-isolating. In both instances, Rob put residents and team members first, sacrificed his own domestic life and moved into the care home concerned. He remained there for the duration, giving team members hands-on support and resolving any problems. While staying in the home, Rob was available 24/7, leading by example, often up during the night helping the Night Care teams, always visible around the home, calming fears and keeping team members’ and residents’ spirits up.
Afterwards, Rob again led by example, rolled up his sleeves and helped to deep clean the two homes using chlorine, the steam cleaner and ozone fogging units, ensuring this was done to the highest possible standard so that residents had no lingering worries and were reassured for their future safety. Rob remains vigilant, ready to defend against a possible winter outbreak.
Natalie Bissessur, Home Manager, and Shaneel Bissessur, Deputy Manager, Sunnyside House
NOMINATED BY NATALIE’S SISTER BECKY COLEMAN
I am nominating my sister and brother-in-law for the Care Heroes Awards. I believe they went above and beyond in caring for their residents during COVID-19 pandemic. When things started getting worse in England, both moved into the care home to care for their 13 residents between themselves. They worked non-stop for 15 weeks without a break, starting 7.30am in the morning and not going to sleep until 11.30/12 at night. Even at night they had to be on guard just in case someone needed assistance. The home had and still has no COVID and I honestly believe this is due to the processes they have put in place and the work ethic they have.
During the lockdown, I used to speak to Natalie and Shaneel over the phone during times where they were able to steal five minutes and I could tell how tired they were but at no point did they complain, they always tried to remain energetic and upbeat.
No one expected them to make the sacrifice they did, they moved into the home because they knew that this was the only way to really keep all the service users safe. They could have continued their usual working hours during this time and would have managed any situation that arose, such as cases of COVID in the home, staff sickness etc, but the service users safety was their only focus.