By Rachel Payne – Managing Director
Somehow a year has passed since we first had to lockdown. There has been huge change, loss, grief and also amazing camaraderie and compassion. Here, I interview our General Manager, Katharine Spence to hear her reflection on a most challenging year….
What is your role within Bandrum?
As General Manager I’m responsible for leading the delivery of care and the staff team within Bandrum.
How has your role changed over the past year?
I have become a more visible leader – providing extra support to residents, staff, and relatives.
Because Covid was a new and unfamiliar disease, and guidance was developing (and changing daily at times) I had to get more involved in clinical decisions that were out with the knowledge of our very – experienced nurses. Restrictions meant that our relatives could not be as involved as before, so we had to find new ways to keep in touch. There was an increase in the layers of scrutiny and reporting, which has been an extra pressure.
I am now in regular personal contact with our relatives to try to keep them up to date with all the changes and re-assure them about their loved ones. This has been very important.
What are you most proud of?
I’m so very proud of the high-quality care we delivered despite the challenges that the year has brought. I am immensely proud of the staff – they have been fantastic and I’m also so proud in the way relatives have supported us.
What have you learnt?
I’ve learn that I’m quite resilient, and that if you are honest and try your best then people will trust you. We have been open and transparent throughout the year and our relatives now know that we will be in touch if there is a concern. Also, as a leader, you have to be brave and make difficult decisions!
Bandrum has learnt that we can do change! It wasn’t our best skill, but we have all embraced it very well. Some of the changes include the addition of our Nurse Assistant role, activation of Wi-Fi throughout the home, which has enabled all the video contact, and our ever-expanding Facebook page with all the interactions. We have also developed outdoor activities in our lovely grounds to support social distancing while keeping folk entertained.
Is there a moment that you’d like to share?
Yes, we’ve been so resourceful and found loads of great ways to make our own entertainment. We have had to be resourceful to support social distancing, and made great use of the courtyard to provide entertainment such as Body – Boosting Bingo, Going for Gold and dancing. The sight of residents and staff dancing together, in the sunshine, really cheered us all up.
Id like to share a heartfelt THANK YOU to Katharine for the non-stop, tireless dedication she has given to Bandrum. Every resident, relative and staff member has benefited from her expertise and compassionate leadership. We are very lucky to have her.