Prestigious National Award for Dementia Care Professional

Sue Ashcroft, Approach to Care Lead for Dementia and Lifestyle Services at Care UK, has been recognised with a prestigious and respected national award.

Sue is the recipient of the 2021 Hennell Award for Innovation and Excellence in Dementia Care. The award celebrates the achievements of an individual or team who have shown their ability to implement positive change for people living with dementia. It is open to anyone who has attended a course facilitated by the Association for Dementia Studies at the University of Worcester.

Sue is a pivotal contributor to Care UK’s Approach to Care initiative. The initiative supports colleagues within care homes to develop their dementia care skills in order to create a care environment which focuses on the individual as a person and not a collection of symptoms.

Sue’s area covers the north Midlands to Aberdeen, a region which includes 40 Care UK care homes. In her role Sue works with lifestyle teams, dementia champions and a broad spectrum of care home employees. She also develops dementia care coaches, who are part of the Approach to Care initiative and who take responsibility for supporting and coaching best practice with regard to dementia in each care home.

The awards judges have recognised Sue’s outstanding contribution to the development of dementia care at Care UK – for the benefit of both home residents living with dementia and the team members who care for them against the backdrop of restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite the restrictions imposed by the pandemic Sue has trained more than 260 care practitioners in the past 12 months, to the point that each care home in her area has eight to 10 Namaste practitioners.

She has also helped to nurture a working environment where it is not about pointing out what is wrong, but rather asking the questions “how can we do this better?” and “how can we make a resident feel valued as a person?”.

On hearing of her success Sue said: “I am delighted to have won this award, which is as much for my colleagues and those in our care as it is for me. My thanks go to everyone at Care UK who has supported me and helped me.”

Sue was nominated for the award by Suzanne Mumford, Head of Nursing, Care and Dementia at Care UK. She commented: “We are committed to providing the best possible care for all residents and in particular those living with dementia. Sue’s contribution to dementia care at Care UK is a shining example of this commitment. She skilfully weaves what is required for residents to live a happy and fulfilled life with the support, training and mentoring of team members who feel valued and professionally satisfied. She is a worthy winner of the award and we are immensely proud of her achievements.”

 

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