Congratulations to Ashwood Court, an independent hospital and residential home in Lowton, which has been nominated for a prestigious social care award.
In fact, the whole staff team at Ashwood Court have been recognised for their exceptional effort to keep residents and each other safe during the pandemic, with a nomination in the Caring UK awards, which celebrate the best of social care.
And, describing the experience of working through the COVID outbreak, Judith Oakes, residential manager at Ashwood, says it was their “whole team” approach which made the difference.
Judith Oakes said: “When the threat of Covid-19 reared its head in February 2020, staff at Ashwood Court sprang into action, immediately running a risk assessment and developing a touch-point cleaning regime, covering handrails, keypads, anything regularly touched, every three hours.
“The team stepped right up, with management, admin staff and support workers taking their turns.”
Pulling together was key, she says, and every member of staff helped out from the outset. Many staff even cancelled all their annual leave and offered to cover extra shifts to keep residents safe.
Going over and above
Among those who really stepped up to the mark during Covid was Beverly Kermode, then a housekeeper. She took on extra duties, regularly covering night shifts so that the home wouldn’t have to bring in agency staff, increasing the risk of infection. She also took on additional support worker responsibilities during the pandemic. Now, having more than proven her credentials, Beverley has been offered a new full time support worker role at Ashwood Court.
And it wasn’t just Beverley who worked around the clock for the residents. Another staff member, who was unable to work on site due an autoimmune condition, worked tirelessly from home, updating risk assessments, infection control and rotas. This role was an invaluable support to colleagues, and a great example of the teamwork which made them so successful.
And because there was such a committment to keeping people safe, a 75-year-old staff member eventually felt able to safely return to her 12-hour shifts and felt safe to do so thanks to the environment created by the whole staff team.
Judith added: “Throughout the pandemic, Ashwood Court staff motivation has been exceptional and everyone has been supportive of each other’s personal circumstances. The housekeeping team has been a driving force in this, supplying staff and patients with PPE and masks and ensuring knowledge is kept up to date.”
The team will find out if they have won the Quality in Housekeeping award at a gala dinner at Athena in Leicester on Thursday, 2 December.
About Ashwood Court
Ashwood Court operates over two sites and is run by national adult health & social care charity Making Space. It consists of an independent mental health hospital with 10 patient beds and a residential home for 17 residents.
In September 2021, former inpatient Julie Lomax Newton, 60, made the national Happy List for her committed volunteering work at the service.
Ashwood Court is rated ‘good’ by social care watchdog the CQC.