Geraldine Banham, Swallows Meadow Court - Winner: Care Team of the Year Award

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Swallows Meadow Court is a care home in Shirley which specialises in end of life care for residents with life-limiting illnesses. The team include nurses, care assistants, staff who arrange activities for residents, along with catering, domestic and office workers.

As a team their aim is to achieve compassionate, holistic care carried out with dignity and respect for each person under their care. They also support families throughout the bereavement process when a resident passes away. This is done using practical and emotional methods which include written information, support with the bereavement process, funerals and memorial services.

Geraldine Banham, Manager for Swallows Meadow Court, said:

“When the team were told we had won we were elated. It was a total surprise, but more than that was an overwhelming feeling of pride.  To win the award of Care Team of the Year it’s a real honour. And to be finalists in the category of ‘collaborative working’ was brilliant. We couldn’t believe it.

“It’s always good to be recognised for the hard work you do by people externally, but for us as a team it’s all part of the service.  Our work gives us the privilege of looking after people in what can be their last months or weeks of life.  Residents’ families and friends only want the best for their loved-one, and the last thing a relative remembers is the way someone dear to them has died. By working with the resident and the family our aim is to make sure their wishes are carried out whenever possible.

“Care and compassion are key for us and underpin everything we do. We’re dedicated to end of life care, and for people to have their final moments with dignity. The team I work with here are fantastic. Everyone works hard and really put their heart and soul into what they do.  As a team we aim to make relatives feel supported with access to talk to staff at any time. We believe this open access for relatives helps us as a team to achieve high quality care.

“I’ve worked at Swallows Meadow Court for 20 years, as has my deputy. The amount of time we’ve been here is a testament to how the place is run and how we work with residents.  When I say this is a team effort that’s extended to people who we work with outside of the team. Our collaborative working with Monkspath Surgery and the Macmillan team is crucial to how we work, so this award is for them too.

“We all know that dying is a part of life, but nothing can prepare you for it, which is why we believe that a continuous improvement in what we do will not only benefit staff and local families in Swallows Meadow Court, but also the wider community.”

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