Their Stories

Daniel Inglis - Balhousie Care Group

Nominator: Tony Banks

Position: Head Chef at Balhousie St Ronans Care Home, Dundee

“Daniel Inglis, Head Chef at Balhousie St Ronans, continues to go above and beyond by consistently supporting and nurturing his kitchen team while helping the vulnerable in the local community.

In 2019, when 15-year-old James was having problems at school, he was offered work experience at the care home. As soon as James met Daniel, something clicked.

He came to life learning to cook. James was able to continue his work experience in the kitchen one day per week in a joint project with his school. Since then, Daniel helped James join an apprenticeship scheme and he now works five days a week in the kitchen.

James was a foster child with Swiis Foster Care. Meeting James marked the beginning of Daniel working with the foster agency helping other young people in the Dundee area. Earlier this year, Daniel began a series of weekly workshops for five young people from Swiis Foster Care covering everything from cooking to budgeting and CV writing.

All classes are run in Daniel’s own time, on top of his day job. When Covid-19 gained momentum, he didn’t let the closure of the home to non-essential visits stop his classes. During lockdown, Daniel jumped at the chance to volunteer with Scottish charity Social Bite’s drive to provide free food to those in need.

Daniel headed up the preparation of 2,000 meals per week. During this initiative, Daniel visited the food banks on his days off to ensure they had everything they needed. He is a shining star and an inspiration to others.”

Peter Widdowson - Country Court

Nominator: Alykhan Kachra

Position: Hospitality Manager

“Peter has worked extremely hard throughout the pandemic and continues to lead by example. He consistently and dogmatically ensures that all of the care homes in his region are supported in their infection control efforts and are fully supplied with PPE at all times.

He has also gone above the call of duty to help other homes outside of his designated region. When demand for PPE was at its highest, Peter spent all of his weekends driving around homes, which are quite some distance apart, distributing equipment to ensure the staff were fully kitted out and that they had enough to work their long shifts.

When a care home has needed support with infection control or cleaning, Peter has been there to assist. Sometimes it takes a very stressful event to test someone’s mettle; Peter is a worthy winner of this award and we are very proud of him.”

Candy Sharrett - Dormy Care Communities

Nominator: Helen Davies-Parsons

Position: Operations Manager

“Candy retired in 2019 but with the onset of the pandemic, she returned to work to manage a unit for patients coming out of hospital having recovered from the virus. Moving from Newbury to Herefordshire, Candy left behind her husband and beloved dachshund Dotty knowing that she would not be able to return home for 8 weeks. She, unfortunately, tested positive to Covid-19 shortly after she started and isolated for the requisite time before returning to her position.

Working relentlessly to ensure the best possible care for her patients, the unit has been recognised by the commissioners as being “competently and diligently managed”. The home has remained Covid-19 free throughout and this is testament to her diligence in ensuring that health and safety standards continue to be adhered to at all times.

Candy decided that she would like to continue to work for Dormy Care and is now the Operations Manager. Candy has, without doubt, gone above and beyond and is a very worthy winner of this award.”

Frank Cummins - Caring Homes

Nominator: Paul Jeffery

Position: Clinical Director

“Frank, our Clinical Director, is the backbone of the company Covid-19 Steering Group. He deals with everything in his knowledgeable, reassuring and straight-talking northern way.

At Caring Homes, under Frank’s expert eye, we have introduced almost 80 pieces of guidance since the pandemic began. Under his watch, new policies and procedures cover thorough testing, external visitors, PPE, admissions and isolation of staff and residents.

On our regular calls with home managers, Frank will help with any query directed at him; if he doesn’t know the answer, he will go out of his way to find it. Of course, Frank isn’t a one-man band and will say he has just been “doing his job” alongside the other 4,300 employees of Caring Homes.

But he has undoubtedly gone over and above in the name of excellent care, working 16-hour days for the first 8 weeks and 12-hour days since the peak of the pandemic, surviving on very little sleep. He is our ‘Healthcare Hero’.”

Lorraine Windsor - Runwood Homes

Nominator: Gordon Sanders

Position: Care Assistant

“Lorraine has been a Care Assistant since 2016, and is, without doubt, a true asset to our company. No task is ever too great or unachievable.

Due to visiting restrictions, Lorraine would come into work on her days off, presenting all the residents with cakes and biscuits to spread cheer during a difficult time.

She also shopped for toiletries, new clothes and slippers for residents as gifts so that they didn’t “feel lonely”.

During the pandemic, to make sure her colleagues avoided public transport, Lorraine often travelled to pick up and drop off colleagues outside of working hours.

Lorraine enlisted herself as part of the domestic team to support their additional rigorous cleaning responsibilities, helping to ensure the home was safe at all times for both staff and residents. We are honoured to nominate her.”

Karen Johnson - HC-One

Nominator: James Tugendhat

Position: Clinical Director and Chief Nurse

“Karen Johnson has been instrumental in steering HC-One through the Covid-19 pandemic.

She has been a pillar of support to colleagues during these challenging times, showing her dedication, determination and unwavering commitment to supporting those around her.

Karen demonstrates unwavering commitment and empathy for residents, colleagues, and relatives. When Covid-19 gained pace back in March and it became apparent that care homes would likely be hit hard by the pandemic, Karen formed and spearheaded a team of colleagues that have helped to deal with translating, interpreting and communicating the guidance to homes coming from national and local governments.

Karen has taken on a central and high-profile role within the organisation and very quickly found herself having to work at a fast pace to deliver complex communications in a constantly changing environment ensuring the safety of tens of thousands of people.

She has taken an innovative approach to communicating key messages including co-launching a blog with one of our colleagues, which has been an effective way of engaging with the homes, whilst also adding an element of light-heartedness to the information being communicated.

Karen’s work on wellbeing and dementia care has helped revolutionise HC-One’s provision of this aspect of care to promote the use of technology to enable communication with families and resources to promote the best care possible in a socially distanced environment. She has truly gone above the call of duty and is a worthy winner of this award.”

Luke Owens - Bupa

Nominator: Joan Elliott

Position: Home Manager

“Luke is the Manager at Broomcroft House in Sheffield. Luke sees everyone as an individual with very different needs, striving to enhance our residents’ quality of life, whilst providing a homely and caring environment.

Luke enjoys spending time on the units and is instrumental in supporting staff to embrace the Bupa values. Throughout the pandemic, Luke has shown incredible leadership. He moved into the care home with a team of staff and lived with the residents who suffer with dementia.

This allowed him to support both staff and residents, but particularly the residents who were frightened and missing their loved ones. He has since made some fantastic changes to the home, which has shown there is life after Covid-19.

He leads by example and it is an honour to award him with this recognition.”

Sally Gregory - Sanctuary

Nominator: Sarah Clarke-Kuehn

Position: Home Manager

“Sally Gregory became home manager at Guy’s Court this February, as the global Covid-19 pandemic rapidly gained momentum.

In April, some of her staff tested positive for the virus. Sally made the tough decision to leave her young children with her husband and move into Guy’s Court for 10 weeks. Having no physical contact with her children was unbelievably hard, but the residents and team needed her and it was where she wanted to be.

For the first two weeks, Sally was joined by a core team of seven staff. New to the home she nurtured relationships with her residents, their loved ones and team. She learnt everything about her residents, their views and the things they loved so that she could make sure their care was truly person-centred.

Despite following strict infection control procedures, several residents developed Covid-19. Sally was meticulous about ensuring staff were strictly following the processes to treat and contain the virus.

Sally supported with doing laundry, cooking and cleaning while singing to keep everyone’s spirits high. All this in addition to running the home and reassuring residents’ loved ones during continuous phone calls.

The team’s mental health was at the forefront of Sally’s mind. She made sure they had downtime to talk and express their emotions. The bonding that took place has benefitted the culture in the home enormously. Sally demonstrated she is always there for her team, will do anything to protect her residents and create the very best environment she can to enrich their lives.

Quickly learning so much about her staff and their individual strengths, this has enabled Sally to champion their progression through learning and development opportunities. Two care assistants have now become team leaders, thriving in their new roles. We are so proud of Sally and she deserves this fantastic recognition for her tireless work.”

Elaine Mignott - Four Seasons Health Care

Nominator: Jeremy Richardson

Position: PAL (Personal Activities Lead)

“Elaine has worked at Harrogate Lodge for 23 years. Initially as a carer, then senior carer and in February she took up the PAL role. Elaine over the past few weeks has not only kept our patients and residents engaged but has, like so many other members of staff, pitched in with cleaning, maintenance and care.

When we were in lockdown with our group activities curtailed, Elaine set up our mobile Activity Trolley. She galvanised care staff into action to assist with providing 1:1 activities in bedrooms. We had patients and residents teaching staff how to play Poker!

Elaine bought walkie-talkies so residents who were/are having to isolate can join in with quizzes and bingo, both of which are very popular!

Elaine mapped out a safe route through the home so she could take residents from our dementia unit into the garden meaning they did not have to go through the intermediate care unit where we still have positive cases.

VE Day celebrations were a great success when Elaine took up the reins and organised a great ‘stay at home street party’. Residents were put to work making table runners and decorating cups. It was not the garden party we had planned but residents all enjoyed the day and the photographs taken clearly showed that.

Elaine decided that the garden needed attention. Anyone who has been to Harrogate Lodge will know they have a garden the size of a farmer’s field! Elaine has mowed the grass, cut back bushes, trimmed branches from trees, weeded and cleaned all of the garden furniture.

There are many, many more examples of her kind-hearted actions. She is a great example of the amazing staff we are very lucky to have working here and we congratulate her on winning this award.”

June Hoggart - Barchester Healthcare

Nominator: Pete Calveley

Position: General Manager

“June joined the Barchester family in January 1991 as a Care Assistant. Over her 29 years and 9 months of service, her career progressed to Senior Care Assistant, Unit Manager, Deputy Manager and, most recently, General Manager in May 2008. June is extremely well respected by her team due to the fantastic leadership skills that she continually displays. It is no surprise that the home is rated ‘Outstanding’ with the CQC.

In 2017, her team were presented with the ‘Team of the Year’ award at the Barchester Care Awards and they have won many other awards over the years. They are finalists again in the 2020 Care Awards for Team of the Year, along with GM/HD of the Year and Hospitality Champion. She is a brilliant General Manager who leads a fantastic team and we are extremely proud of her.

She deserves this recognition and is an outstanding example of the compassionate staff we have at Barchester Healthcare.”