A message from UK CEO, Natalie-Jane Macdonald
We are living in unprecedented times at the moment, and I couldn’t be prouder of each and every member of the Gracewell Healthcare team.
A huge thank you to the entire Gracewell team
With news on the coronavirus outbreak moving fasting than ever, the entire Gracewell team has been making exceptional efforts, not only to support residents and their loved ones through this troublesome time, but also to support each other. The Gracewell values of kindness, respect, trust and joy in the work we offer have never been more important, and we will come through this national crisis together.
At Gracewell, we are also incredibly grateful to NHS staff during this time, especially those working in hospitals and GP surgeries, and the health professionals who are supporting all Gracewell homes locally at the moment. The bravery, hard-work, and commitment shown by all those working within the NHS, and the healthcare sector more widely, is second to none, and is making an invaluable difference to countless lives.
With the restrictions on visits from friends and families currently in place in all our homes, the Gracewell team has been going above and beyond to ensure that residents continue to feel happy, supported and socially engaged. We have been holding a range of extra art and cooking clubs, as well as ensuring that our residents are able to stay connected to their loved ones using technology.
One example of the lengths that our team members have been going to is shown through the way in which the team at Gracewell of Camberley worked alongside two of our residents’ family to arrange a surprise virtual 50th anniversary party. It is heart-warming to know that as a result of our team’s hard-work and support, our residents have been able to continue to celebrate milestones and enjoy their daily lives - despite everything happening in the outside world. Similarly, it is extremely encouraging to hear positive words from our team members at this time, such as those written by Vicky Radmore, Home Admissions Advisor at Gracewell of Bookham, a few weeks ago.
These are just a couple of examples of the phenomenal work going on across Gracewell homes every day. Each member of our team, from those providing hands on care, to those behind the scenes, should feel an immense sense of pride in the exceptional services they are providing, and I would like to say a huge thank you to you all.
In order to show our appreciation and to bolster support for our team members through any difficulty they may currently be experiencing, we have introduced a range of new staff benefits.
- Paying 4.36% above the National Living Wage for non-care positions and 5.5% above for care positions, from April
- Awarding a COVID-19 bonus on top of basic hourly rates and overtime payments – from April until mid-May
- Offering team member loans to those who are unable to work
- Free meals for those on shift
- A free laundry service
- Minibus and car share scheme
These measures have been put in place in an endeavour to relieve the strain on our team members, and will also help to prevent the spread of the virus, in addition to the thorough contingencies and infection control procedures we already had in place.
In order to further safeguard the wellbeing of both our staff and residents, we have also been sure to source a robust supply of soap, sanitiser and cleaning products for all our homes, as well as the delivery of face masks, full-face visors and disposable aprons.
Volunteering with Gracewell
A couple of weeks ago we saw more than half a million volunteers sign up to help the NHS throughout the coronavirus outbreak. The CEO of Care England, Martin Green, then added his voice to this and said “Social Care Needs You Too”. Gracewell is also calling on members of the public to help us help others during these challenging times. This is a chance for people in the local community to support our team members and help to keep older, vulnerable people safe and well. We will ask that these volunteers engage in some of the following activities:
- Assisting with meals and drinks
- Supporting residents to FaceTime their loved ones
- Accompanying residents when they go out for walks in the garden
- Supporting with fun activities (in very small groups)
- Talking with, reading to and spending time with residents
- Supporting housekeeping, laundry and kitchen staff as required
- Collecting prescriptions and medicines as required
Support within the adult social care sector has never been more appreciated than it is now, and we look forward to welcoming volunteers to assist our team members who are providing the highest quality care to every resident across all our Gracewell homes.
For more information, please contact your nearest Gracewell home here. You can also find regular updates here.
If you are interested in working at Gracewell, click here.