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The Importance of Appreciating Care Staff on the Front Line

At Westgate Healthcare, it's our staff that makes us special. Although this is something we've always known, the past few months have given us a new level of appreciation for their dedication, optimism and unwavering kindness. 

Our care staff, who have become frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19, amaze us every day. They've faced numerous challenges since the beginning of lockdown, yet they've handled it all with a smile. We couldn't be more proud of what our teams have achieved during this time of uncertainty.

Challenges and Changes Faced by Our Care Staff

Protecting our residents and our staff is our number one priority, so our teams have had to adapt the way they work. These are some of the ways our fantastic care staff are ensuring the safety of everyone in our care homes:

  • Instead of travelling to work in their uniforms, our staff members get changed once they arrive
  • Our teams limit what they bring into care homes and they don't leave bags or personal items in residents' areas
  • Care staff carry out daily checks on residents and other staff members for symptoms of COVID-19
  • Our staff have increased their flexibility with regards to working hours and days, so that we always have enough people to care for our residents

Adapting to New Ways of Working

As a result of lockdown, many of our staff members have taken on responsibilities outside their roles. In these uncertain times, it takes a group effort to keep things running smoothly, while also providing an excellent standard of care to our residents. Here are a few examples of how our staff have stepped up to the challenge in recent weeks:

  • As no outside visitors are currently allowed, our staff have been cutting residents' hair and tending to their feet to make sure they feel their best 
  • Our Head Office support team took on the mammoth task of assembling face shields (kindly donated by the Nissan Motoring Group) and distributing them to all of our staff
  • Meanwhile, our Head of Activities carried out job interviews over Zoom to make sure that we would continue to have the care staff we need 
  • Jane Hare, manager of our Riverdale Care Home in Braintree, has moved into the care home so that she's always on-site 

Our Staff are Getting Creative

Friends and family of care home residents aren't currently allowed to visit their loved ones. So, to make sure that everyone stays happy and entertained, our staff have come up with creative ways to keep our residents busy. These are some of the fun things our residents and staff have been up to over the past few weeks:

  • Ashview Nursing Home held their very own Westgate Olympic Games!
  • Ashview residents and staff adopted two donkeys from the Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth – which means they now have two lovely photos to put on the wall!
  • Kingfisher Nursing Home celebrated Easter with a fun tombola and great prizes
  • Residents at Riverdale Care Home are continuing with their favourite hobbies, like arts & crafts and lawn bowls 
  • Residents of St. Pauls Care Centre celebrated National Gardening Week with some beautiful leaf paintings
  • There have been birthday parties galore in our care homes with delicious cakes, cards and treats for our residents 

Community Support for Our Staff

We're overwhelmed with gratitude for all of the support and appreciation we've received from our communities. Families have given flowers to our staff for going above and beyond, while others have kindly ordered take-away meals for our teams. Meanwhile, all of our care homes have received "Superheroes Work Here!" banners to thank staff for their efforts.

We're incredibly proud of our extraordinary staff and their tireless work ethic. We want our staff to feel supported during these challenging times, which is why we're on the lookout for more dedicated people to join our teams.  

Across the country there are approximately 122,000 available jobs in care homes, including those in the Westgate Healthcare group. So, if you've ever considered becoming an adult care worker, now is an ideal time to apply. For us it's not just about experience. We place a lot of value on kindness, honesty and dedication, so there could be a role that suits you perfectly. If you're interested in supporting your community, take a look at our jobs board today! 

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