Covid strengthens our team bonds

Gina Smith

Having to manage Covid-19 has made us work even better as a team. This is one of the key findings from our latest survey of Home Managers and Clinical Leads.

Respondents to the ‘Tell us what you really think’ survey spoke of their pride in how homes have been coping with the pandemic impact.
They said they had been able to continue offering support and reassurance to residents at the same time as ensuring staff teams have the help they need too.

Internal communications have been ‘concise, timely and informative’ which, said respondents, has helped with Covid management and bolstered resilience.

Based on the survey feedback, we’re already taking action on several fronts. On our response to Covid, we are developing new resources to increase the resilience of our managers and help them support all staff.

One opportunity was a ‘resilience workshop’ held in early December 2020 with polar explorer and round-the-world yachtsman Manley Hopkinson. He was the keynote speaker at our 2016 Nurses’ Day conference and is an expert in motivational leadership and teamwork.

Gina Smith, Home Manager at Fernhill in Longham, said: “The workshop served as a good reminder of the importance of taking care of ourselves so we can support our teams. There were useful tips such as taking a moment for conscious breathing when you feel under pressure, breaking down bigger situations into smaller, more bite-sized parts and, to paraphrase Manley’s sailing language, setting our sails, facing the wind, holding on tight and remembering there is always hope on the other side.”

We’ve gone on to engage with Liggy Webb, an award-winning, best-selling author and presenter who has delivered Zoom sessions to the extended support teams and Home Managers on building on our inner resilience, how to live well with uncertainty and leading wellbeing.

Andrew Arkinstall, Director of Human Resources, said: “Every session with Liggy offers up a wide-ranging buffet of ideas on how to bounce back from our current challenges.”

What residents and their families said

Residents and relatives continue to praise our approach to care. Here are some recent comments:

“It’s amazing what the team did to care for him. Dad needed 24/7 care, so having the peace of mind that nurses were on hand made all the difference.” – Ewan Brown, whose dad Derek spent a year at Kingfishers in New Milton until he was well enough to return to the family home.

“I feel happy here. I am so comfortable. I have a very nice room and no worries. I’ve got lots more to do here than I would have at home.” – Penny Cummins, resident at Wellington Grange.

“Mum participates in most of the activities and she comes onto Zoom smiling and engaging in conversation about her social life. It is amazing. In fact, on Zoom, she looks younger and younger every time.” – Shaign Hancock, son of Braemar Lodge resident Frances, who herself adds: “The staff are very good and I am very grateful. Being registered for nursing is so important as it gives you peace of mind.”

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