A young mum is proud her work keeping spirits up and standards high at a Powys care home has been honoured with a national award.
Lucy Wheeler, who works at the Crosfield House care home in Rhayader, was presented with the silver award in the category for Excellence in Palliative and End of Life Care, sponsored this year by Hallmark Care Homes, at the Wales Care Awards.
Hosted by popular tenor Wynne Evans and sponsored by healthcare products company Ontex UK, the glittering ceremony – dubbed the social care Oscars – took place at City Hall in Cardiff.
Lucy has been the Lead Clinician at Crosfield House, which is part of the Caron Group, for just over four years.
Currently on maternity leave following the recent birth of her daughter Charlotte Lucy said she was delighted at the news of her nomination.
Speaking before the ceremony Lucy said: “It means a lot because my job means a lot to me and it’s nice someone else has thought I do a good job too.
“I was absolutely gobsmacked. I did the interview for the care awards the day before I went on maternity leave and I thought goodness, I won’t even be able to get my name right.”
Lucy, who plans to return to work after Christmas, does all the clinical audits, supervises all the nurses and conducts meetings with other health care professions at the 64-bed care home when they are required.
Hailing from Birmingham, Lucy worked at a discharge liaison nurse on an acute ward at a hospital before moving to mid Wales.
Nominating Lucy for the award Wayne Rees, the Registered Manager at Crosfield House said he had been I was impressed by her approach, the clinical knowledge and most importantly her determination for the best level of care to be delivered to the residents.
He added during the Covid-19 pandemic Lucy ensured staff were doing everything possible to keep residents safe and keep the virus out of the home.
“Being a 64 bed care home with over 100 staff maintaining high levels of infection control to protect everyone has been so difficult – it impacted on staff morale having to gown up in multiple layers of personal protective equipment daily during really hot days.
“Lucy managed to maintain exemplary standards despite this and kept staff’s spirits up and, although it was such a team effort, I feel that Lucy played such a big part in this and keeping everyone safe and healthy,” he said.
Mario Kreft, chairman of Care Forum Wales, said the ceremony was all the more poignant because of the Covid pandemic and what front line staff had endured.
He said: “I would like to pay a heartfelt tribute to all the wonderful people who work in social care after the rose magnificently and courageously to meet the unprecedented challenges they have faced over the past couple of years.
“We have always recognised their true value and hopefully now the rest of Wales is also aware of how lucky we are as a nation to have them providing care and safeguarding our most vulnerable people.
“Our finalists are the best of the best and are here representing the whole social care workforce who all deserve a big pat on the back.
“There are only winners here tonight so it is only fitting that the finalists will receive 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 and in the months and years to come.
“In the words of the powerful song, Heroes of our Heart, written by the acclaimed poet Mererid Hopwood and sung by Sir Bryn Terfel, let the Diolch last forever.
”We take our hats off to them.”