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!

CHA_winnersBook20_online_11_9

 

Newsround – September #1

Three of a Kind Quiz

What 3 events make up a triathlon?

S________, C_______ & R________

Name those sweets!

This week in history

31st August – 6th September

1st September 1954 – “Rear Window”, starring James Stewart and Grace Kelly and directed by Alfred Hitchcock is released

2nd September 1967 – In a change known as “Dagen H”, Sweden switches to driving on the right-hand side

Previous answers:

How many quiz – 8 pints in a gallon

Statue – Moai, Easter Island, Chile

Click the below link to download today’s Newsround.

Valerie Manor Newsround September #1

My family and I felt it was important that we did something that would support the community during these trying times. Our thoughts turned to Valerie Manor, where my grandma Muriel resided for 5 years. We have always had utmost respect for Zoe and Alan, the staff and the amazing work they do, and so wanted to find a way that we could help without compromising the safety of residents or staff.

We are all aware of the difficulties of occupying one’s mind and finding a distraction from the current situation, and these are only exacerbated by isolation from family and friends. Given that residents are unable to see their relatives or participate in the usual community activities at this time, we came up with the idea of producing a daily ‘news round’ that would include some interesting information and puzzles as an alternative to the more distressing headlines that bombard us on a daily basis.

It is our hope that we can provide a little light relief during these dark times and hopefully provide something to look forward to, as well as fostering a sense of community despite the confines of physical separation.

Our COVID-19 Journey………

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 over recruited 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 (This is my Theatre) have already returned to perform for our residents.

Simon & Ethan entertaining our residents and staff during their time with us.

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.

Debs & Lucy undertaking the weekly staff testing and monthly resident testing.

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, respectively, in January this year…………..I could not have asked for better managers to lead the team.

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.

Residents spirits have been keep high by our exceptional team.

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:

‘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.’

We are now facing further challenges as we move into Autumn and Winter and would like to seek help and sponsorship from the local community. As a small family run home we don’t have access to the grants and facilities that larger organisations have and would like to ask if there are any local Companies who would be able to design, build and sponsor a temporary unit to allow our residents to have a safe visit with their loved ones. As we are only small, we feel that a temporary external POD would be the way forward for our residents to continue to keep them safe and be able to see their loved ones.

If anyone would like to get involved and sponsor this much needed project then please do contact me on zoe@valeriemanor.co.uk or contact the home on 01903 812 105.

Wishing you all remain safe and healthy

Zoe Fry,