Flu Jabs

We were extremely grateful to both Steyning Medical Practice and Upper Beeding Pharmacy for ensuring residents and staff received their Flu jabs last week.

We have always encouraged people to have one but with the flu season nearly upon us, it is more important then ever with COVID-19

A special thank you to Dr Jain and Mike Slator for giving the jabs.

As you can see Mike created a ‘pop-up’ flu jab station in the garden to ensure he could maintain strict distancing and infection control measures. It was decided to provide the jabs at Valerie Manor rather than in the pharmacy as this reduced the risk to staff.

Life at Valerie Manor During COVID-19

Firstly, I hope all our friends and neighbours in the local community are keeping safe and well. It has been wonderful to see how everyone has pulled together during this time and I am so proud to be part of the local Community.

Life at Valerie Manor has been somewhat of a challenge, but I am pleased to say that throughout we have remained COVID free which is down to the award-winning team that we have.

I would like to take you on a journey to show that some care homes are ones to be proud of and do everything in their power to keep not only the residents safe but the staff and their families too.

From working as a teenager in a nursing home to qualifying as a nurse in 1996 and working my way up through the NHS as a staff nurse, ward sister, matron then General Manager to living my dream and purchasing Valerie Manor in 2008 I have never seen such challenging times for so many, especially in health and social care.

At the beginning of March, we started our COVID action plan when many care homes were still carrying on as normal. We embraced residents, relatives and staff on our journey in the decision making process as very often we didn’t have the answers due to this being such an unprecedented situation however every decision made was considered, reduced the risk as much as possible and I believe has played a huge part in keeping everyone safe.

We have tried to be one step ahead and plan for the ‘worst case’ scenario to be prepared for what may come. We started to purchase PPE prior to it becoming mandatory and overrecruited in case we had staff who became unwell or were unable to care for our residents due to their own health.

In doing this we also helped some local companies and individuals to provide them with employment. This is my Theatre and Sussex Yacht Club – without these two local companies we may have been in a very different position, the staff became our friends and were much loved by the residents and everyone within the Valerie Manor family. Two staff from SYC have chosen to remain as permanent staff with us and Simon and Ethan have already returned to perform for our residents.

Every step we have actioned recommendations both Nationally and Locally and been some of the first homes to have whole home testing and for some time now weekly testing of all staff and monthly testing of all residents.

Staff have been going at 100% throughout in difficult circumstances but have supported each other as well as the residents. We have regular Zoom meetings with staff and relatives to keep in touch and everyone is involved in writing our policies to make them suitable for everyone in our care.

We now have a ‘wellbeing coordinator’ and a very different way or working which has required us to utilise the individual skills that our staff have.

I must say a special mention to Debs and Lucy who became the Registered Manager and Deputy in January this year…………..I could not have asked for better managers to lead the team.

Imagine taken prior to COVID-19 restrictions.
Debs & Lucy undertaking the testing process.

There is so much to say and celebrate, we have had our work shared by the CQC, Care England and WSCC for our innovation – I won’t say we haven’t had challenges, tears and exhaustion but we have provided support to everyone both physically, emotionally and financially throughout through counselling and access to a staff BUPA Healthline through our Company.

I believe the team have shown and proved why they are ‘Outstanding’ and why they win so many awards.

I want to say a special thank you to all the staff at Valerie Manor and indeed all those working in Social Care who have worked tirelessly to keep everyone safe.

Also, a thank you to our wonderful GP’s at Steyning Medical Practice, Mike, Lindsay and the team at Upper Beeding Pharmacy and the local community for their continued support to us here at Valerie Manor.

Below is some feedback that was sent directly to the CQC from a relative:

Wishing you all remain safe and healthy

‘Valerie Manor is an exceptionally well-run care home. During the pandemic, its staff and management have operated with a high level of professionalism and care for the residents. Great care has been taken to meet the residents’ psychological needs in this crisis, as well as taking every possible step to protect them from infection. This has been a great reassurance in a time of national crisis. Zoe Fry has been nothing short of remarkable in this situation. She has been diligent in keeping relatives up to date with their relative’s welfare and the ever changing PHE guidance. We are very grateful to everyone there.’

National Best Nursing Team of 2020

I am absolutely delighted to announce that we have been awarded the National Best Nursing Team of 2020! I could think of a better way to recognise what the nurses at Valerie Manor have been doing keeping everyone safe. The awards had been delayed due to COVID and the decision was made to hold the awards online so that as many people as possible could watch. It was a lovely thing to do as we were able to invite all staff, residents and relatives who were so thrilled to be part of it.

Alan Dedicoat the Host was truly pleased for us having presented trophies to us from previous awards and the cheers that follow!

It is sad that we are not able to celebrate in our normal way however so proud of the Nursing Team – what an achievement!

Please do click on the link to view the 2020 Winners Book – we are on page 23!



Staff Draw

This weeks lucky winner of a Marks & Spencer’s voucher is ……..



“Such a kind and thoughtful thing to do from a really lovely family. Thank you so much for the voucher, I am so happy to have won and I’ll look forward to treating myself to something from M&S.  Keep safe and well.” 


“Please could you pass my message onto the family who donated the prizes. 

Thank you so much for your kindness it means so much”


What a wonderful surprise when I came on duty last night to have won the weekly prize draw. Please could you thank the  family for me . I was chuffed to bits as I never win anything


I was really chuffed to get the voucher (so was my wife!) Please pass on my thanks to the family, so kind!


‘I was greeted by Debs this morning with my voucher and just wanted to say a huge thank you to all the family 😊 such a lovely idea from a lovely family, I look forward to spending it soon. Many thanks’


‘Wow !!! I never win anything.

I just want to say a massive Thank you for your generous gift. This has certainly bought a massive smile to my face. What a great way to end the week.

I hope you are all well.

We miss you all’


I was very elated to be presented with this voucher

Thank you very much…I shall buy a little something for my new home