Wigan-based mental health service in the running for national honours

A Wigan mental health service has been shortlisted for a national award.

Friday, 19th November 2021, 12:30 pm
Updated Friday, 19th November 2021, 12:48 pm
Ashwood Court staff

Ashwood Court, an independent hospital and residential home in Lowton, is in the running for a Caring UK Award, which celebrates the best of social care.

The staff have together been recognised for the exceptional efforts they put in throughout the pandemic to keep each other and residents safe.

According to residential manager Judith Oakes, their “whole team” approach saw every member of staff helping out with an enhanced cleaning regime, and many cancelling all of their annual leave and covering extra shifts.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Beverly Kermode, then a housekeeper, took on extra duties, regularly covering night shifts to avoid bringing in agency staff and taking on additional support worker responsibilities. She has now accepted a new full time support worker role at Ashwood Court.

Meanwhile another staff member who was unable to work on site due an auto-immune condition, worked tirelessly from home, updating risk assessments, infection control and rotas.

A 75-year-old staff member eventually felt able to safely return to her 12-hour shifts thanks to the safe environment created by the team.

Ms Oakes said: “When the threat of Covid-19 reared its head in February 2020, staff at Ashwood Court sprang into action, immediately running a risk assessment and developing a touch-point cleaning regime, covering handrails, keypads, anything regularly touched, every three hours.

“The team stepped right up, with management, admin staff and support workers taking their turns.

“Throughout the pandemic, Ashwood Court staff motivation has been exceptional and everyone has been supportive of each other’s personal circumstances. The housekeeping team has been a driving force in this, supplying staff and patients with PPE and masks and ensuring knowledge is kept up to date.”

Ashwood Court operates over two sites and is run by national adult health and social care charity Making Space. It consists of an independent mental health hospital with 10 patient beds and a residential home for 17 residents.

In September, former inpatient Julie Lomax Newton, 60, made the national Happy List for her committed volunteering work at the service.

Ashwood Court is rated “good” by social care watchdog the CQC.

The team will find out if they have won the quality in housekeeping award at a gala dinner at Athena in Leicester on Thursday December 2.

Thanks for reading. If you value what we do and are able to support us, a digital subscription is just £1 for your first month. Try us today by clicking here and viewing our offers.