WR Health: five inspiring stories


While the current crisis has affected all of us in some way – nowhere is this more keenly felt than in care homes. While the coronavirus has brought more attention to the undervalued work of the sector – we still think that they need as much recognition as possible!

Therefore, we want to use this blog to draw attention to the great work being done by those in the care sector, featuring a number of inspiring stories from care homes around the country, along with an account of the amazing work being done at Lowmoor Nursing Home, a client that we’re proud to supply staff for.

Care home residents take Facebook by storm

Residents at a care home for the elderly which is under Covid-19 lockdown have sent messages to their loved ones combining old-fashioned pen and paper with social media. Staff at St Vincent’s Retirement Home for ex-service personnel in Ryde, Isle of Wight, came up with the plan to take photographs of their residents holding messages for their loved ones which were emailed and posted on Facebook.

Acting manager Jessica McGovern said that the home’s 21 residents wanted to do something positive and show they were coping amid the crisis which has caused the home to be in lockdown since Saturday March 14th. McGovern said:

“As we cannot have any visits from families, we thought we would use old-fashioned pen and paper because that is what the residents are used to and sent the pictures out by email and put them on Facebook as well.”

Describing the response, she said:

“It’s gone wild, for the families they have the reassurance that their loved ones are safe, fed, warm, happy, smiling, and they are not letting the fact that families cannot visit have a big impact on them.

“The families are over the moon, we have had nothing but positive feedback, and people have been quite emotional.”

Care home residents play life-size Hungry Hungry Hippos

A care home in Wales employed novel tactics to keep its occupants in high spirits, engaging them in a life-size game of Hungry Hungry Hippos.

The residents at Bryn Celyn Care Home in Maesteg were wheeled back and forth while attempting to grab multi-coloured balls with baskets in a video that has been viewed almost 500,000 times on Facebook.

“Residents really enjoyed playing a new game today, Hungry Hungry Hippos,” the care home wrote. “Lots of laughter to lift morale of the team and residents!”

Children send care home residents uplifting messages

Just 5 days before the UK lockdown, schoolchildren in Northamptonshire recorded uplifting messages for self-isolating elderly people after an online appeal by care home staff. Carers at Bilton Court in Wellingborough asked for cheerful letters and pictures to raise the morale of self-isolating residents.

Messages by Year 5 pupils at the town’s Park Junior School were broadcast live on BBC local radio. Head teacher David Tebbutt said it was “a little boost in a challenging time”.

Mr Tebbutt said he asked Year 5 pupils if anyone wanted to help people in self-isolation and said:

“Everyone’s hand went up. Children are very aware of their predicament, they’re worried about their grandparents and their parents. To share goodwill like this might just make a difference to someone. It’s a very lonely time for many.”

Here are a sample of some of the heart-warming messages from Park Junior School children:

Calvin, 9, said: “Possibly you could learn to play chess. I love chess.”

Sahil added: Don’t worry. If you have some fish at home, feed them and watch them swim about.”

Lily, 10, told residents: “I hope you’re keeping yourself safe and well and maybe try a crossword.”

Scottish care workers receive pay boost

In a move that we think should be replicated across the country, adult social care workers in Scotland are to be given a pay increase of 3.3% backdated from 1st April, the Scottish government has announced. The deal covers all hours worked, including personal assistance and sleep-overs, with an agreement also secured on funding for sick pay when workers are ill or self-isolating.

In addition to our inspiring stories from the care sector, we’ve decided to share an account from one of our clients to bring more attention to the work people are doing on the ground. Here’s an update from Maxine Gascoigne, RMN service manager at Lowmoor Nursing Home:

“Lowmoor Nursing home is an amazing place to work. The team here are continuing to attend work as they are all dedicated to the wonderful residents in our care. The service is predominantly mental health led and in these desperate times of COVID-19 we all feel we have a war to battle against as the pandemic peaks.

My team are the forgotten front line and all brilliant heroes. While resources are being ploughed into the NHS, we struggle to get the right PPE to keep the team safe as they rally round to ensure our residents are kept safe and unaware of our issues.

Staff morale has been amazing and even in a war zone we have been creative and have given support to other care homes who have not been as lucky as we have as they have faced fatalities.

Like Lowmoor Facebook page and a friend request will be accepted, and you will see all the creative fun we have had during the current crisis. We are keeping the British stiff upper lip going even though we may be fighting a losing battle. We recently wrote to his Excellency the Archbishop of Canterbury who has agreed to put us on his special prayer list, and this has given us hope.

NHS staff have been promised medals for their hard work and I will be requesting medals for all my team as they deserve it, I hope Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock recognise the hard work and commitment in the private sector.

We have amazing carers, housekeepers, front of house, events, catering and maintenance teams. Both Chris, the deputy manager and I are first level Nurses and we are determined to look after all our residents and staff to the best of our ability. We do not want thanking for this as it is our job and we are immensely proud and privileged to be working for Liddercare and with our residents and team.”

We are proud

While these are testing times, we hope that by sharing these inspiring stories from care homes, we can put a smile on the faces of workers, and bring attention to a sector that is always overlooked. Feel free to check out our other health focussed blogs, which are all aimed at recognising the hard work done in the sector.

As always, our WR Health team is still working and providing the same high level of service as ever to workers in the sector. All of our consultants can be reached via their landlines, email, and social media profiles, so if you’re looking to support the UK demand for nursing and care staff, why not reach out to them today?