Much loved care home manager honoured for keeping residents safe
- Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown
A much loved care home manager, who has worked in the business for over 20 years, has been honoured by the Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk and Sheriff of Suffolk for her 'sense of duty.'
Mrs Crowley has been honoured with specific recognition for her and her team's dedication throughout this year and last in keeping the residents at Alice Grange Care Home in Kesgrave, Suffolk, safe and well.
Mrs Crowley qualified as an RGN in 1998 and has worked at a managerial level ever since 2000.
She has been in care homes for her whole life. Her parents owned and managed care homes and she has always known what standards are essential for a great care home and has been called 'a natural nurse'.
Mrs Crowley took over the reins at Alice Grange in spring 2020, during what was a tumultuous period for care homes across Suffolk and the rest of the UK.
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But her steady leadership and constant striving to improve the standards of well-being at the Barchester Healthcare home have led to recognition not only by the Lord Lieutenant but also by the Care Quality Commission who conducted a full inspection just before Christmas and declared that Alice Grange is to be rated as Good across all key areas.
A spokesman for Barchester Healthcare said: "Andrea took over at Alice Grange in May of this year and the home was not in a good way.
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"The CQC had published a report at the beginning of April stating that many of the quality domains it looks at were inadequate.
"So Andrea took over with a remit of turning the home around, changing its culture and improving every single quality standard – all during the toughest period that the care industry has ever seen.
"Five and a half months later, the CQC came back to inspect again and rated the home Good across all areas, the CQC do not raise a home from Inadequate to Good that quickly, but they have done so."
Mrs Crowley has ensured throughout the pandemic that resident safety has been at the forefront of her planning.
She has entertained residents by putting on an in-house cruise week, complete with language lessons, national cuisines and virtual tours, and also taken part in Barchester Healthcare’s behind the scenes at Blenheim Palace programme.
Relatives of residents in the home have also praised Mrs Crowley for her steady leadership in times of crisis.
One relative said: "I would just like to say that I have experienced a significant and sustained improvement since the appointment of Andrea."
Another relative said: "I had 15 minutes with Andrea and I thought she seemed honest and open.
"Empathy given to me and my family member. Very caring and practical. She listened and took notes. She phoned me to follow it up."
When Mrs Crowley received the Certificate of Merit from the Lord Lieutenant her first thoughts were for her team, saying: “This award belongs to the whole team, who have pulled together beautifully through the tough times of this year.”
Mrs Crowley is determined to keep up the good work and ensure Alice Grange Care Home is outstanding across all areas by the time of the next CQC inspection.
She added: "My vision for Alice Grange is for it to become the best care home in Suffolk and to be awarded Outstanding certification by the Care Quality Commission.
"Our home will achieve this through delivering high-quality care that is tailored for each resident and by creating a whole home community supporting our residents to thrive and enjoy every aspect of life.
"We will provide all residents with the opportunity to engage in a range of meaningful activities, grow their experiences and learn new skills.
"My door will always be open to new ideas and suggestions for improving the lives of our residents."