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22 November 2022

BBC Radio 5 Live

5 minute read

Lavender Hills staff and residents enjoyed a few hours of fame on Tuesday as the team from Naga Munchetty’s BBC Radio 5 Live show paid us a welcome visit.

The purpose of the visit was to give the show’s listeners a real live picture of how a care home like ours operates and all the different people involved in our residents’ daily care.

The interview was organised following the announcement of the government’s new social care plan last week, to discuss how we can build a world-class social care system as well as honing in on other topical themes surrounding Covid, including the booster jab and mandatory vaccine for care home workers.

Before interviewing began at 10 am, Naga had already enjoyed a flavour of real life at Lavender Hills; witnessing the beautiful views over Ramsbottom, saying hello to resident John out on his daily morning walk and tucking into poached eggs on toast, served by Andy the chef.

She was surprised at how unscheduled life was here, and this was the first point of discussion with our Home Manager, Stacey.

Stacey explained: “They’re (residents) here to live their lives the way they chose, we’re just here to help them if they need help.”

Stacey Astin - Home Manager

The conversation moved to 84-year-old resident Margaret, living here with her husband George, who enjoys being brought a morning cuppa, as well as having the freedom to go out and take her car for a spin.

Moving on to more serious matters, Naga and Stacey then discussed the implications Covid-19 had on the home both in terms of new residents coming in and visitations with existing residents.

Stacey explained that their staff and residents were one of the first groups to be invited to have the vaccine in January of this year and that they were able to offer Covid safe visits from family and friends by opening the visitation lodge.

Of welcoming any new residents, she said: “The fear of Covid really stopped people from coming into care homes, but I tackled this with reassurance and providing resources and information.”

Stacey Astin - Home Manager

Stacey talked about the booster vaccine and how they would work closely with the local GP to find out how this might be administered as soon as the news is officially announced.

And she was, of course, asked about the new mandatory vaccination for staff and how this was going to impact Lavender Hills.

“Do I think it’s fair that people who work in care homes are going to lose their jobs come 11th November if they don’t have the vaccine? Not really”, she said.

“I believe everybody’s got the right to choose, but also as somebody who works in social care, we have a duty of care”.

“I feel really sad that we are going to lose 10% of the workforce here and some very valuable staff due to the new vaccination announcement.”

Stacey Astin - Home Manager

HR Manager, Katie was then questioned by Naga about pay, staff shortages and the mandatory vaccine, and asked to share Millennium Care’s views on the three critical subjects.

Reflecting on her experience, Katie said: “It was a great opportunity to be able to share my passion for improving standards for care workers and attracting talent to the sector by highlighting the fantastic career prospects available.

“It is a significant issue at the moment for the sector and we are really grateful that Naga Munchetty chose Millennium Care to be involved in the show.”

Katie Salisbury - HR Manager

Stacey added: “It was wonderful. It is nice to have a voice within the sector and for the company, and to shine a light on the care sector.”

Stacey Astin - Home Manager
Kathryn Barton
Written by
Kathryn Barton
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