A care home manager was “overwhelmed” to win a top national award.
Tracey Cuthill, 46, registered manager of Pebybryn care home, at Pendine Park care organisation, Wrexham, won Silver in the Leadership and Management in Residential Care Services category sponsored by Christi & Co at the Wales Care Awards 2014.
The glittering awards night, at City Hall, Cardiff, which celebrates best practice for the care sector in Wales, is run by Care Forum Wales and sponsored by Barclays Bank.
Tracey said: “I’d never been before and the atmosphere was really exciting – I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was a bit overwhelmed and the hall where it was held was quite breathtaking.
“It was a real honour to be at the awards and It was lovely just to be nominated.
“When I got back into work the staff had got me a beautiful bouquet of flowers to congratulate me. There was a card with it that they’d all signed. I was really touched.
“We work really hard as a team and this is recognition of their hard work. I just steer the ship, the staff are the ones who drive it forward, so this is for all of us.”
The married mother of three from Denbigh started her career in care in 1992 as a care practitioner and three years ago was made Registered Manager of Penybryn which specialises in providing care for people with brain injuries and other neurological problems.
Central to Tracey’s ethos is supporting the families of residents.
She added: “I’ve had some lovely feedback from family members that means a lot. We not only support the residents, but their families as well. Building a relationship with families is fundamental to what we do here at Pendine Park.
“It’s about building trust and achieving outcomes and ensuring that you deliver on what you say you’re going to do.
“A lot of the people who we care for here have gone to work one morning and have come back as a different person. Some of them have been in accidents and others have been attacked, and have sustained life-changing injuries.
“I think we promote and encourage re-enablement to whatever degree that might be. Literally holding a pen can be a massive achievement for an individual. With others we support them to look for work opportunities and access in the community.”
Senior Manager Gill Hughes. who nominated Tracey, said: “Tracey has developed positive relationships with residents’ families who find it difficult to come to terms with their loved one’s conditions and is seen by many as their friend. She leads by example and is well respected by her colleagues and visiting professionals.
“Tracey promotes and develops the skills and knowledge of her staff allowing them to take responsibility and be accountable for their areas of service delivery. The staff group have gelled under her leadership and have clear purpose and a common goal – positive outcomes for the residents in their care.
“Tracey is never frightened to roll her sleeves up and regularly works with her staff to ensure quality care is delivered.
“During the three years Tracey has been Registered Manager together with her staff she has developed a bespoke service for younger adults with acquired brain injuries. Her philosophy of meeting the needs of younger adults has transformed the care of the most vulnerable individual.
“Professional links have developed from consultants witnessing improved outcomes for their quality of life which is leading t services being commissioned from all areas of Wales and the north of England.
“Tracey I believe is unique in her approach to care delivery for this group of residents and the care home has certainly become a home for the residents and their families.”
Mario Kreft MBE, the Chair of Care Forum Wales, said the Wales Care Awards had gone from strength to strength.
He said: “The event is now firmly established as one of the highlights in the Welsh social care calendar.
“The aim is to recognise the unstinting and often remarkable dedication of our unsung heroes and heroines across Wales.
“The care sector is full of wonderful people because it’s not just a job it’s a vocation – these are the people who really do have the X Factor.
“If you don’t recognise the people who do the caring you will never provide the standards that people need and never recognise the value of the people who need the care in society.
“We need to do all we can to raise the profile of the care sector workforce – they deserve to be lauded and applauded.
“It is a pleasure to honour the contribution of all the finalists. Each and every one of them should be very proud of their achievement.”