Blog from Rachel Payne – MD at Bandrum Nursing Home

Everyone at Bandrum makes me feel so proud 23/4/20

We are now into week 4 of ‘full lockdown’ and the 6th week of restricted/no visits to Bandrum Nursing Home and my goodness how the world had changed! It is fascinating and uplifting how quickly most of society has adapted to the new normal or at least got used to a new routine and we must feel proud as a country for this.

However, in a care home life is quite different.

I am prouder than ever to be Managing Director at Bandrum. Our wonderful staff have the concerns of the world on their back when they come to work. Our residents and relatives are sorely missing each other, and their routine has completely changed. However, despite this our staff are being fantastic, they are dedicated to the home and their residents, being professional throughout and striving to keep our much-loved residents safe.

I have seen our team deal with this crisis with compassion and resilience. They work tirelessly. We are all anxious about what will happen next but continue doing everything possible to look after our resident’s health and wellbeing.

Another element to the crisis is the constant news updates sharing heart breaking and tragic stories. I know a harsh story gets more views however it is not all like that. It certainly is not like that at Bandrum.

With that in mind I took part in this morning’s BBC Radio Scotland News by means of a telephone interview. You can play it back on the following link:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000hdps (1hour 55mins into the program)

I wanted to get across how fantastic our staff have been and indeed raise the profile of all care workers who are working on the front line.

Here are the 10 main points I shared in my interview:

1. Our staff are dedicated and professional, striving to keep our residents safe

2. They are anxious about what will happen next at home and at work, as is to be expected but come to work and provide the absolute best of care

3. The negativity in the media is an added burden and not the full picture

4. Support – we have lots in place to support our staff, daily meetings, communication group, cake and sing, the clap/cheer on a Thursday. These have been well received. We also have a wall of gratitude to leave messages to help lift both staff and residents’ spirits.

5. PPE – I have worked tirelessly to get the PPE our team needs. Indeed, I pledged to the team at the start I would get them what they needed and am pleased to have managed this. Some have been bought at 10 x the usual cost and some suppliers have run out of the things we needed which has led to searching for different suppliers and swapping items with other providers. The demand is so much higher that stocks have run out and suppliers have been commandeered to central stores.

6. Fife partnership have been so incredibly supportive, the triage service has been good, we have worked closely with public heath who praised our team saying we have been fantastic and the care inspectorate as happy with our work. We also got a large delivery of PPE from central stores yesterday, so we are well prepared.

7. Our residents – watch the news and read the papers, they are up to date with what is happening outside the home and so it is so very worrying for them seeing people in suits and hearing the tragic stores. They are also missing their relatives and outings terribly. We help them through this by providing video calls to loved ones and doing what we can to raise spirits. However, like the rest of society, everyone looks forward to normality returning.

8. Our care – is different to hospitals. Residents move into us as they can no longer live at home and we look after their every need. Whether they have been with us for 1 week, a few months or years they become part of our family. It is an honour to provide end of life care which our team do exceptionally. When a resident dies it is like losing a member of the family which is sad for everyone at Bandrum.

9. In the current circumstances, with the restrictions we have, end of life care is different to usual. Relatives would normally come in for as long as they wanted. Although we still offer visits when we think our resident may be dying, it is not the same but we are learning to offer palliative care support in different ways.

10. My leaving thought for the interview is my ending note for you. I hope we as a nation will recognise the wonderful work our care workers are doing and give them the credit and respect they deserve now and moving forward. They are at the very heart of society.

Thank you for reading and please stay safe. We are all in this together – and will get through it.

Rachel Payne

Managing Director, Bandrum Nursing Home