Natalie Beckett, a health care assistant for Kent SCP, was recently recognised at the National Care Awards as Apprentice of the Year.
Natalie moved into Health and Social Care after working in childcare and found it instantly suited her kind and compassionate nature. She is only a third of the way through her qualification but has already completed 63% of the programme due to her enthusiasm and dedication. Many of Natalie’s patients interact only with her on some days, therefore, an important role is her listening and communication skills. Her company and conversation is extremely important to them.
Natalie works with a range of conditions including Parkinson’s and dementia, both of which can be particularly challenging. Often regular service users don’t recognise her, ask endless questions and try to leave the house. Natalie has a calm chat with them for half an hour and they start to relax and feel content.
One of the areas Natalie focuses most heavily on is the patients’ care plans, reading them carefully and reporting immediately on any aspects that need updating depending on their condition.
Part of the role that Natalie clearly excels in is the complete trust she builds with the patients’ partners, children and friends. The faith they have in her to care for their loved one is unwavering.
“Natalie has been an excellent learner since the start of her Level 2 course,” said Buki Akilapa, her Lifetime Training Care Trainer. “Natalie is such a hardworking carer. Working many hours every day whilst driving round in the community to make sure she attends to all her clients at the scheduled time and supporting them in the best possible way. During her observations, her clients have all said how extremely lucky they were to have Natalie. She was calm and very supportive at all times and communicated effectively to make sure that she gives them the best possible care.
“Natalie gave choices to her clients and she also respected their wishes while using the care plans and risk assessments as guidelines during her observations. She always called the office if she felt something was not right with any client or their care plans. She made sure that the care plans were updated regularly as the needs and abilities of her clients change. She has very good knowledge of using person centred approaches to improve the quality of life of the clients. She was able to encourage their active participation through inclusive practice during her observations and she ensured that all clients were treated the same way to promote equality.
“Natalie deserves an award for being truly exceptional at work and on her course. I am very proud of her and feel very lucky to be her trainer. I have learnt a lot from her too and will be overjoyed if she gets the award.”