Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your work background?
My name’s Liz Seymour and I’m the registered manager of Melrose Care Home. I worked previously for many years as a registered nurse before starting here at Melrose. I’ve now been with Melrose for over 20 years. I started as a night nurse before eventually moving into the registered manager position, probably about 10 years ago now.
How did you start in adult social care?
It was really a great opportunity I had when my children were young, I was looking at varying different roles that I could take on as a nurse. The problem I found was that lots of the roles would have been pretty difficult to navigate having young children. That’s when I started to look at residential care homes and I saw an opportunity there for me.
What qualifications are available for anyone wanting to work in adult social care?
I feel there are huge opportunities available for anyone within adult social care. There’s NVQ’s available at different levels so regardless of your line of work, there’s lots of different options available to learn and grow as an individual. Whether you’re in a domestic, residential, or management role, I believe it’s important to really encourage and promote progression but also recognizing the individuals needs and tailoring to them.
What do you enjoy most about being a registered manager?
I’m a people person, so I love being around others. I love meeting new people, especially families and residents. It’s great to work with others on the team and see them do well. I get great satisfaction from knowing that the residents feel well looked after here at Melrose and that their families feel the same way. And it’s rewarding to hear comments from residents themselves about how well we’re doing.
Can you walk us through a typical day at work?
My day starts at 7 in the morning. We have a handover time at around 8:15 where we share any news that’s relevant to the residents and their families. Then I embark on helping each resident with whatever they want or need for the day. Some get up early, some get up later, and some may want to come down for lunch or stay in their room. Some will be involved with activities, and some won’t. But it’s all about making it the best possible time for them here at Melrose.
What do you do to encourage and support your staff?
I really believe in encouragement and motivation is such a great key for us to be working well together as a team and we’ve done a number of things to facilitate that within the COVID time. Many people will remember on a Thursday night when people went out and clapped and we connected with some of the other homes in the local area for that. But all we carried that on. We did a regular Thursday night WhatsApp to the rest of the team. I initiated it, but then it moved around. Everybody had something that they would offer at whoever you were within the team about their encouragement for their week that we’ve just been through. And I think that that was a really positive thing to have done. There was a real “feel good” sense.
We have also done things such as general awards for going the extra mile, which is where residents can nominate staff for the excellent work that they do, and they’ll give it a little precept as to what that the staff member has done, and then we’ll give them an a certificate and financial award. But it’s just saying thank you for that, going that extra mile.
You’ve recently won your own award for Registered Manager. How does it feel?
I haven’t really thought about it, but I feel proud to have been chosen. People saw something special in me and that is an incredible thing to be proud of and grateful for because it’s a great honour.
What are the myths around care that you feel just aren’t true?
I think one of the myths I always hear about working in the care industry is that it’s just “all hard work”. I would disagree and say that there are so many rewards to be found working in adult social care. One of them is the relationships that you can build with residents and their families.
Of course, there’s your immediate team, but there’s also a sense of family—that we’re all part of a bigger family. Families have changed quite a bit over the years, and we’ve found that when people come into our home, they feel like they’re part of something special—they’re part of the Melrose Family. People often tell us things like: This is such a lovely family home; I’d love to have my own home from home. That’s what we do so well here at Melrose Care Home.
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