Care Heroes Awards: Care Coordinator Award

We’re catching up on our incredible Care Heroes finalists and winners and this week it’s the Care Coordinator Award. This award is presented to a care coordinator who has demonstrated extraordinary commitment and dedication to ensuring the safe and effective delivery of our services.

Winner: Jennifer Esler –Guardian Homecare, Preston

Jennifer coordinates an area that delivers a blend of different services, including standard homecare, crisis and reablement, which means working with challenging referrals from local hospital teams. Recently, a service user – who the team had supported for a significant period of time – was being transferred onto Continuing Healthcare Funding. Unfortunately, due to the location of the service user’s GP surgery, the CCG took the decision to give the end-of-life package to another care provider.

Jennifer received phone calls from the family, who were extremely upset at this decision and did not know what to do.  Jennifer took on the case on behalf of the service user and her relatives – contacting the CCG, who would not normally commission with Guardian Homecare due to their location.  Jennifer challenged the changes to the service user’s care package provider at such a vital point in her life, highlighting every professional’s duty to maintain a person-centred approach to care.

Jennifer’s resilience and passion led the CCG to change their normal practice and commission this package with Guardian Homecare, which led to the most positive outcome for the service user.  The family and service user were extremely grateful, and the team were able to provide care for the individual until she passed away – leading to a lovely letter of gratitude from the family.

One of our judges commented, “Wow, I’d like Jennifer on my team. She didn’t accept the norm and this ultimately made the end of life care for an existing service user happier, and the family were delighted with the outcome. Jennifer’s manager describers her as ‘Tenacious, resilient and empathetic’ – these are perfect traits for a Care Coordinator.”

Congratulations to our finalists

A huge well done to our other finalists this year – Nerys Hughes from Abacare in Bangor, and Yasmin Everall from Guardian Homecare in Devon.

Nerys has been a dedicated coordinator for Abacare for over 17 years, but recently showed her commitment beyond any level while in ill in hospital with e-coli and another health complication. Despite her own health concerns, Nerys was still completing rotas and emails so her service users and staff where not left in limbo. Nerys’s manager Ffion commented, “I have never seen a care coordinator more dedicated in her role to make sure her service users and staff are always put first mostly always thinking about herself last”.

During the pandemic, Yasmin used the company Facebook page to support the whole team – raising spirits, listening, caring and wanting to make a difference for each care worker. Encouraging interaction, Yasmin posted advice and launched a competition to raise the sprits of the team, even making a video in which every care worker was named and thanked for their commitment to working through the pandemic. Yasmin’s manager, Catherine Porter, commented “Yasmin is completely unaware of affect she has on people. Not just the care workers but the clients also. She embodies everything that City & County encourage as a leader of a team.”

Congratulations to all of our finalists – you are all truly Care Heroes.

Easter Extra Care eggs-travaganza

One of our regional managers, Tracy Asbery, sent in some fabulous photos this week of Easter activities across our Extra Care schemes in West Sussex. The London Care teams in the area had thought hard about how they could get the people living in the schemes involved in the celebrations – whilst still maintaining social distance.

Firstly, the team at Abbotswood in Littlehampton held an Easter bonnet competition. Sarah Hopper, who is a member of care staff at the scheme, shared their colourful creations from the day. Sarah commented, “I have been visiting flats with social distancing observed and in full PPE, providing and in some cases assisting in making bonnets. A total of 18 bonnets were entered and they were all amazing. Ali and Zoe were the judges and all in all it was a lovely day.”

Sarah continued. “I wanted to share this with you as I know you’d be proud of all the service users who took part as much as I am”.

We think they look fantastic Sarah, as does Tracy – who told us, “Sarah is amazing with the service users and is always supporting with activities”.

Meanwhile, at Lapwing Court Chichester, their team leader – Pat Lintott – spent her own time and money making gifts for service users. Everyone at the scheme got into involved with the Easter festivities, and received both a face flannel made into the shape of a rabbit and a chocolate egg.

Well done, amazing work Pat. Your tenants certainly look very pleased with their gifts.

Health and safety committee reps still needed

We are still inviting applications to join the Health and Safety Committee, which currently has vacancies for two care worker representatives. If you are interested or would like to know more, please email

If you have already expressed an interest, we will be in touch with you soon.

EU Settlement Scheme

The Home Office are urging EU citizens living in the UK to apply for status to live and work in the UK post-Brexit. So far only 1 million out of 3.6 million EU citizens have made their applications.

We wanted to remind any of you that are EU citizens, and who haven’t already done applied for settled status, that you have until the 30th June 2021 to make your application.

Any EU citizen living in the UK is not protected unless they make an online application to the Home Office under the Settlement Scheme by the 30th June 2021. Failing to apply will mean that they may not have a legal right to live and work in this country.

Every EU citizen and their family will need to make an application before the deadline of 30 June 2021 – applications are free of charge and can be made via the Government website here.

If you are an EU citizen, please ensure you advise your manager once your settlement status has been granted. You will be asked to provide a Share Code so your status can be checked on line.

Praise for Elizabeth at SCRT

Charlene Smith, Registered Branch Manager at SCRT, shared with this us this week some outstanding feedback she received about a member of our care team – Elizabeth Cootes. The daughter of a service user was inspired to contact Charlene following the outstanding personal care her mum had received from Elizabeth, writing:

“Liz is a very caring and kind person who first and foremost thinks about the person she is caring for and tailors her approach to meet their needs at every opportunity.

“My mum and I unfortunately contracted COVID in December, and as a fit 55 year old I wasn’t too concerned about myself, but I was extremely worried and upset about mum during this time. I was unable to visit her and help with her care, in addition to feeling quite ill too. Liz was absolutely wonderful and she looked after mum to prevent her from being hospitalised and, quite frankly, it was nothing short of a miracle that she recovered so well.

“After mum became ill with COVID-19, Liz stayed with her one evening very late whilst the paramedics attended and provided emotional support to mum. Liz identified that mum required a bottle with a straw to enable her to drink and remain hydrated. Liz went out to buy her an appropriate bottle herself, and also bought her over the counter food supplements to try and improve her energy levels.

“Throughout the isolation period of two weeks Liz had to wear full PPE and this was challenging to provide the care mum needs, however Liz texted me regularly or called me once she’d finished her shift with an update on mums condition – and even FaceTimed me one day so that I could see and speak to mum, as she understood how concerned I was about her. I have no doubt that without Liz’s caring on a very personal and human level my mum would have been significantly worse off at this time

“Liz takes the time to talk to mum and share some banter to make her laugh and this again improves the quality of life for my mum on a daily basis. She goes above and beyond in providing considerate and dignified care support in a kind and person-centred way, doing what is right and professional at all times.”

Exceptional work Elizabeth, your commitment and attention to detail during an incredibly challenging time has made all the difference to this family.

Ryan’s tackling Yorkshire’s Three Peaks Challenge for Motor Neurone Disease

Finally, Ryan Griffiths – one or Personal Assistants at ICCM – is preparing to tackle Yorkshire’s Three Peaks Challenge in support of Motor Neurone Disease (MND). Scaling the heights of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough in August of this year, Ryan is hoping to help raise awareness of everyone living with MND.

Ryan was inspired to take on the challenge by the story of Rob Burrow, the former England scrum half. Rob, a Leeds Rhinos hall-of-fame rugby league player, was recently awarded an MBE for his work in raising awareness of MND following his own diagnosis in 2019.

Ryan will be taking-on this intimidating challenge in just one day – the 7th August! You can find out more about Ryan’s event and support him with a donation on his Just Giving page.