Suffolk Business Awards: Stow named Employer of the Year

Ladies with trophies

The way Stow Healthcare looked after its people on the Covid frontline secured it Employer of the Year award, sponsored by Birketts and Pure - Credit: Stow Healthcare

There’s no doubt that while 2020 stretched every business, the challenges facing care homes were especially demanding. By putting people first as it adapted to the pandemic, Stow Healthcare not only took care of its staff and residents but also secured the Suffolk Business Awards Employer of the Year title, sponsored by Pure and Birketts. 

“It hasn’t passed people by, but there hasn’t really been time to celebrate,” admits managing director Roger Catchpole. “What it has done is provide that reassurance that we’re doing things right as a group of staff and as a team... It’s been a case of all hands to the pump and we’ve really dealt with the past ten months as an almost constant emergency situation.  

Award logos

Employer of the Year is sponsored by Birketts and Pure - Credit: Archant

“The award has provided a nice morale booster at a very difficult time,” he adds. “So while we haven’t been able to go out and celebrate, it has perhaps given people that extra lift to get them through the difficult times. Lots of staff are working extra shifts, changing hours and really having to flex quite dramatically to deliver the best care we can and keep our residents safe.” 

For all the operational demands facing the Stow team, the success if founded on keeping a clear focus on the staff. “It does feel like we’re moving mountains at the moment,” Mr Catchpole says. “This is not a money issue: this is a people issue and we will do what we can to support our community.” 

The business has continued to grow over the past year and in January – with just a few days’ notice - opened a 25-bed unit to support Essex County Council with Covid-positive patients. By taking the those who could be moved, it freed up beds in hospital for the critically ill.  

“For us, the public-private partnerships we’ve built up during the pandemic have been substantial,” explains Mr Catchpole. “We’ve supported Norfolk County Council and the CCGs there, Suffolk County Council, West Suffolk CCG and Essex County Council. We will help in any way that we can to support the NHS and adult social care in the counties in which we operate. It’s just what we have to do.” 

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