A PASSIONATE and hardworking nurse who has played a pivotal role in turning around the fortunes of a failing care home has been rewarded with a national award.
Terrie-Ann Chindley, 31, has been hailed for “going the extra mile” when it comes to caring for residents at Ely Court Care Home in Cardiff where she took on the role of lead clinician last year.
The mum-of-two, along with manager Rebecca Roberts, was brought in by the new owners Care Inn Ltd and have vastly improved the reputation of the home in nursing circles.
Terrie-Ann, who lives in Ely, has been praised for training and developing the existing staff so that they provide the best possible standard of care, as well as being singled out for the vital support she provides residents coming to the end of their lives.
This has led to her scooping the silver award in the Independent Sector Nurse of the Year category sponsored by Ontex UK, at the 15th annual Wales Care Awards which took place at City Hall in Cardiff.
The prestigious national awards, sponsored by Onyx Healthcare and run by Care Forum Wales which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, has been dubbed the “Oscars” of the care industry as it acknowledges the hard work and exceptional performances of those in the sector.
A modest Terrie-Ann said: “The nomination came as a complete shock. I don’t think I do anything different to what any other nurse should be doing.
“I feel a bit like I’ve been nominated for doing my job. I’ve been amazed reading all the feedback – it’s like reading about a different person. It makes me feel very proud.”
She added: “My role involves general nursing duties throughout the day and as an additional part I manage the team to make sure everything is running smoothly.
“It’s all about person centred care, making sure they’re at the heart of it. If they’re not happy then you’re not doing your job properly.
“When we arrived this was a failing home with a poor reputation. We’ve managed to change the mindset of people.
“We were under quite direct scrutiny from the start. The home had so many issues and was meant to close down.
“We’ve worked hard with the team here. The staff are excellent but needed better management. We’ve all turned it around together.”
Terrie-Ann, who is a qualified mental health nurse after studying at Cardiff University, has made a real difference to the quality of care at the home which was evident within her first two weeks of being in the post.
Terrie-Ann explained: “When I first qualified as a mental health nurse I had no intention of working with old people or children.
“But I started working in a care home as a stop gap and I fell in love with my job.
“There was a lady I became quite attached to who was coming to a natural end of life.
“I had to ensure she had everything she needed so that it was a dignified and comfortable death.
“To see someone go away with such dignity and care makes all the difference and I thought if I can do that for someone in the their last hours then I’m doing my job properly.”
In nominating Terrie-Ann for the award, Rebecca Roberts home manager said: “Terrie-Ann always has the wellbeing of the older people in her care as her priority in her practice.
“Terrie-Ann is a credit to the profession, she will always go the extra mile to protect these vulnerable people.
“Terrie-Ann has a strong passion for supporting older people to be treated with respect and dignity at the natural end of their lives.
“Whether that be in the care planning for preferred place of care and death, having their chosen family and friends with them, ensuring support services are engaged as indicated and fully supporting the individual to achieve a dignified and pain-free death.”
Mario Kreft, the Chair of Care Forum Wales, said: “There are only winners here tonight so it is only fitting that the finalists have receivee a gold, silver or bronze Wales Care Award.
“I trust that they will continue to inspire those around them as role models and encourage others to aspire to even greater heights in the months and years to come.
“This awards ceremony is our opportunity to pay tribute and to celebrate the talent and commitment that is improving the quality of life for thousands and thousands of people throughout Wales.
“We take our hats off to them.”