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Carer of the Year Awards
I always look forward to December. Not just because of Christmas though. I wrote last week about how my home care company post out our annual quality surveys along with a letter about anyone wishing to cancel their service over the busy festive period. Along with these letters, I advise service users and family members that they can nominate a worker for Carer of the Year.
The prestige of winning Carer of the Year always creates a buzz within the staff team. You can see how much it means to some care staff and they almost compete to get the most nominations.
Carers will ring during December for an update on how many nominations they have received, and in our staff forum it is always a hot topic of conversation. Our Carer of the Year 2007 is still bragging about it!
As the feedback forms are returned, I use a spreadsheet to note a quick summary of the feedback for each service user and use a separate spreadsheet to tick off the carer’s name. I contact the service user or family member to verify each feedback form, making sure it is their own thoughts and comments – and not those of the care staff themselves.
We also give our office staff the opportunity to put their own nominations forward for carers who they feel have made an outstanding contribution to the company within the last 12 months.
We announce the winners in early January and we ask them to attend our office for a presentation. The winner receives a cash prize of £100 and the runner up £50. We present them with a certificate, a bouquet of flowers and take a photograph. We publish the photographs in our next newsletter.
The winner also receives a gold badge with ‘Carer of the Year,’ so they can pin them onto their uniform for the world to see what they have achieved.
It is an achievement. With so much bad press around homecare, it’s a wonder any person applies for a job in this industry. I have written in the past about broadcasting good feedback to anyone and everyone who will listen including Commissioners.
It is so important that we all make a commitment to improving the image of homecare. There is a dedicated workforce of 600,000 care and support workers in the UK and we need to be highlighting good practice and praising our staff for their hard work and dedication.
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