Colten Care celebrates nursing strength on International Nurses Day   

Some of the UK’s oldest retired nurses have celebrated an official day honouring their profession.
Dozens of former nurses who live at our 21 homes in the south joined fellow residents and care team members to mark International Nurses Day.

Cards, gifts, cakes and good wishes were all exchanged to thank current nursing practitioners for all they do and to remember nursing from years gone by.

Nurses Day is celebrated each year on 12 May, the birthday of Florence Nightingale who earned her famous title of ‘the Lady with the Lamp’ nursing wounded soldiers in the Crimean War of 1853 to 1856.

At Avon Cliff care home in Bournemouth, 103-year-old Barbara Binding recalled her years as a children’s nurse looking at photos of herself in uniform just after qualification.

And fellow resident Betty Nelms, 96, a former TB nurse who qualified around the same time as Barbara in the 1940s, said: “I used to go door-to-door to treat people and I loved the job. My work has long finished and I’m just happy to be part of this commemoration.”

Betty’s sentiments were shared by ex-nurses Wendy Golding and Sue McPhee who live at Kingfishers in New Milton.

Wendy said: “Nurses Day is a fantastic way to celebrate the dedication and compassion that nurses bring to their work, reminding us all of the vital role they play in our community.”

Sue said: “Thank you to everyone who made the day extra special.”

All our homes in Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire and West Sussex are registered to provide professional nursing care and all take part in the annual celebration of Nurses Day by presenting gifts, cards and chocolates to the in-house nursing team.

Several homes, including Abbotts Barton in Winchester, Avon Reach in Mudeford and Belmore Lodge in Lymington, organised trips out so that residents could present gifts and cards to nurses working at local GP surgeries and hospitals.

In a further example of community outreach, a party from Woodpeckers in Brockenhurst, led by Home Manager Priya Joseph and Companionship Team Leader Jane Bunker, travelled to Oakhaven Hospice in Lymington with a cake specially baked for the nurses there.

Elaine Farrer, Colten Care’s Chief Operating Officer and a registered nurse herself, said: “Nurses are at the very heart of our homes, giving residents and their families the reassurance of comprehensive, person-centred care from the moment they start their care journeys with us.
“Our strength in nursing is a key reason we have such consistently high ratings from independent bodies such as the public review site Carehome.co.uk and the sector regulator the Care Quality Commission. Indeed, seven of our homes are rated Outstanding by the CQC with the rest all rated Good.

“It’s a great privilege to care for so many residents who were themselves nurses in their  professional lives and who now entrust us with responsibilities for their wellbeing in later life.”

Colten Care residents honour ‘superstar’ carers with Champions awards

Hundreds of residents from our 21 care homes have honoured the staff who enable them to live the best lives they can every day.
Colten Care’s Champions awards prompted nominations across nine categories reflecting a range of clinical and non-clinical care.

Individuals, teams, homes and departments were all recognised as the annual scheme culminated in a glittering evening at Bournemouth’s Highcliff Marriott Hotel.

Around 140 guests dressed up in style for the awards ceremony and celebration, hosted by TV presenter Dr Hilary Jones.

Nominees and audience members mingled at a welcome reception before stepping into a specially decorated ballroom for dinner, the ceremony itself and the opportunity to dance the night away.

[caption id="attachment_13325" align="alignnone" width="1314"] AWARD. Lucy O’Brien, Senior Administrator at Bourne View in Poole, won the Warm Welcome award. With her is Dr Hilary Jones, who hosted the Colten Champions evening, and Elaine Sheppard, Head of Customer Support.[/caption]

Colten Care residents were represented by special guest Jean Smith, who lives in Poole home Bourne View.

She had previously met Dr Hilary at the home’s official opening in spring 2019 when her late husband, former Poole Mayor Ray Smith MBE, became the first resident to move in.

Catching up with the broadcaster and author once again as they stood on stage, Jean said: “I can’t believe I’m here.”

She then presented Rosa Santos, Senior Care Lead at Newstone House in Sturminster Newton, with the inaugural award for Resident and Relative Choice.

This category, which attracted more than 500 nominations from residents and families, was designed to recognise an individual or team ‘who have truly made a difference to your life or your loved one’s life since coming to Colten Care’.

The common theme for Rosa’s multiple nominations was her ‘kind and welcoming approach to both residents and relatives. Rosa has patience to understand residents needs so well which has such a positive outcome for their care’.
One relative wrote: “It is always a please to see Rosa on duty, she cared for my mother and father with such cheerfulness, she would make sure my father was helped upstairs to spend time with my mother when they were on different floors. She works hard to ensure our family are kept informed, added to this her professionalism and positive attitude.”
Among other category winners, Lucy O’Brien, Senior Administrator at Bourne View, who won the Warm Welcome award, described the moment her name was read out.

She said: “It was amazing, a total surprise. I was in a complete daze and then got quite emotional. It was lovely to go up and receive the award in front of everyone and meet Hilary Jones.”

[caption id="attachment_13326" align="alignnone" width="1262"] Colten Care resident Jean Smith, right, was Honorary Guest at the Colten Champions awards. She presented the inaugural Resident and Relative Choice award to Rosa Santos, Senior Care Lead at Newstone House in Sturminster Newton. With them is awards host and TV presenter Dr Hilary Jones.[/caption]
Colten Care Chief Executive Mark Aitchison said: “Colten Champions celebrates the pride and passion our amazing team shows every single day, caring for our residents and their families.

“It is an immense privilege to lead a team full of superstars, always prepared to go above and beyond.

“We thank everyone who put in a Colten Champions nomination and congratulate all the winners, finalists and nominees.”
Mark’s comments were echoed by Colten Care’s Chief Operating Officer Elaine Farrer, who added: “There are so many shining examples of our team supporting and caring for residents, embodying our values and consistently putting the resident at the very heart of all they do.”

After the ceremony, Dr Hilary said: “Colten Champions truly reflects the importance of quality care delivered by a team working together for the benefit of residents. It’s a great initiative and the awards evening is always such a happy occasion.”

As well as the Champions awards themselves, special congratulations were given on stage to Elena Barna, Home Manager at Abbey View in Sherborne, for the home’s recent Outstanding rating from sector regulator the Care Quality Commission.

It means that seven of Colten Care’s 21 homes in Dorset, Hampshire, Wiltshire and West Sussex are officially rated Outstanding, with all the rest rated Good.

A quarter century celebrated with classical concert

We celebrated a quarter century of community care in style
Residents, families and team members marked our home’s 25th anniversary with a live classical concert.

Over canapes and bubbly, everyone was treated to an evening of music in the dining room by two visiting performers from Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.

Violinist Jennifer Curiel and horn player and pianist Kevin Pritchard played a selection of popular pieces, much to the delight of the audience.
Resident David Small said: “The music was beautiful. It felt as though we were at the theatre, not in our dining room.”
When Avon Cliff opened in the autumn of 1997, with 50 bedrooms and situated close to Bournemouth beach, Tony Blair was still in his first year as Prime Minister and Bill Clinton was in his fourth as US President.

It was also the year that saw the deaths of Diana, Princess of Wales and Mother Teresa, while popular British films included The Full Monty and the Spice Girls’ movie Spice World.

Home Manager Theresa Sales said: “Over the years Avon Cliff has been home to many residents and their families and a happy place for staff to work in.

“It was a joy to invite our residents, their families and members of the local community to join us for our celebration. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the evening.”

[caption id="attachment_4989" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Avon Cliff residents Julia Averill, left, and Edith Crowley applaud the anniversary performance with, standing in rear, Companionship Team member Elise Woolnough.[/caption]

Our home’s Clinical Lead Emma Williams, recently appointed after a decade of nursing in the NHS, started her career in care as a Healthcare Assistant at our dedicated dementia care home Fernhill in Longham.
Reflecting on her move from the NHS, Emma said: “I didn’t know the home that well but I had always thought of Colten Care with fond memories. I knew it was a nice environment to work in. They have that reputation. When I started to look for another job it was the only place I looked at. I am enjoying the role as it’s very different to what I have done before.”