Glencarron Nursing Home shortlisted for prestigious awards

June 5, 2017

Staff at the Glencarron Nursing Home in Crossmaglen will travel to the Stormont Hotel this Thursday (8th June) for the inaugural Staff Nursing Care Awards , after being shortlisted in four categories of the prestigious awards.

The glittering ceremony is the first event of its kind which sets out to reward best practice, celebrate the achievements and recognise innovation and outstanding clinical excellence among healthcare professionals, nursing homes and residential settings across the North of Ireland.

The Crossmaglen Nursing Home began its caring journey back in 1987 when as a private home it gained residential status. By 1990 the demand for places in the local facility saw a rapid expansion to accommodate 24 residents and further development in 1997 brought the bed total to 44. Glencarron continues to grow and expand with plans in place for an additional 30 beds.  A major refurbishment in 2010/2011 was undertaken in order that Glencarron could provide the optimum environment for patients with Dementia. This work is ongoing and the proposed extension will afford external works to complement the existing building, thus allowing for greater self expression of patients with dementia.

Glencarron has been described as “more than just a Nursing Home” and “a home from home” – fitting tributes to the residential care facility which has been shortlisted for the Nursing Home of the Year award at Thursday’s event.

According to Nursing Manager Oonagh Grant, the secret to Glencarron’s success is the way in which staff have made the care they give appear so effortless and seamless.

“Caring for individuals with complex physical and psychological needs is not an easy undertaking, it requires patience, gentleness and a genuine love of people,” Oonagh told The Examiner.

“Here in Glencarron we have been fortunate to find these qualities in abundance. We do not take this good fortune for granted. Staff training, mentoring and supervision ensure a clear understanding of individual roles and expectations. We believe that staff who are knowledgeable and appreciated perform much better.”

Oonagh herself has been shortlisted in the Nursing Manager of the Year category.  Having managed the Glencarron Nursing Home since 2010, Oonagh also has experience in the care of the elderly that spans over twenty years. As well as being a first class nurse and manager, Oonagh is a Specialist Nurse in palliative care and she also introduced the “Twilight Activities” initiative at the home to supervise those patients with dementia who became restless and agitated in the evening. This initiative has worked amazingly well for Glencarron and her foresight can be attributed to her  personal experience of nursing her own father through his dementia until his death two years ago.

Staff Nurse at Glencarron, Marie Walsh, is another member of staff who has been shortlisted for a prestigious award, having been nominated in the Registered Nurse of the Year category

Paying tribute to Marie, who has worked at the home for many years, Nursing Manager Oonagh says it is “a privilege to work with someone of her calibre.”

“Nothing is too much to ask. Her dedication and commitment is beyond reproach,” says Oonagh.

“Marie has donned her wellies and walked five miles in snow in order that patients had the care they deserved.”  The proud manager says Marie’s “absolute love” for her job is an “inspiration to all who work with her” and she has high praise for her “unfailing empathy” which will often see Marie still writing reports at 10pm “just so that  she could spend time comforting the sad, lonely and isolated.”

“If I ever needed a compassionate, caring nurse I would look no further than Staff Nurse Walsh,” says Oonagh.

A third “exceptional” member of staff is also hoping to scoop an award on Thursday.  Care Assistant  Emanuelle Grollo has been shortlisted for the title of Care Assistant of the Year and, according to his co-workers and his manager, the Italian native is a “most diligent, respectful and honourable gentleman.”

Emanuelle settled in Ireland four years ago as a missionary for his church and, despite having limited English on arrival, the dedicated care assistant is now fluent, “managing the craic like a local!”

“We consider ourselves extremely fortunate that Emanuelle applied for this role,” says Oonagh.

“Emanuelle is an exceptional carer who our residents ask for specifically to assist with their day to day care. He treats each patient with the utmost respect. His attitude to work is impeccable-he leaves out no detail in his delivery of care.”   The outstanding care assistant is described as “a shining example” to other staff due to his “patience and gentleness in the most challenging situations” and his effortless provision of empathy and comfort.

The staff and management at Glencarron Nursing Home wish their nominees the best of luck in Thursday’s Staff Nursing Care Awards and congratulate all on being shortlisted as a wonderful example of the “intelligent, kind, emotionally well equipped and diligent workforce” who are caring for the elderly in Crossmaglen.