Focusing on careers, not just jobs

Court Lodge colleagues held a surprise presentation, complete with cake, to thank Healthcare Assistant Heather Annear for her 30 years of service to the Lymington home.
Court Lodge colleagues held a surprise presentation, complete with cake, to thank Healthcare Assistant Heather Annear for her 30 years of service to the Lymington home.

Outstanding resident care depends entirely on the dedication and attention to detail of our amazing team.

Their input into every day is what enables our residents to live well, enjoying activities, fun and companionship and maintaining independence.

We are always thrilled when individual members of our team show loyalty and stay with us over time.

For those who wish to acquire new skills and progress their careers, we’re happy to invest in them and promote them to take on new roles and responsibilities.

A prime example is Priya Joseph, newly appointed Home Manager at Woodpeckers, the same home she joined as a Healthcare Assistant nearly 20 years ago in 2002.

Priya was already a trained Nurse in India, but needed to complete an adaptation programme to be able to nurse in the UK. She did that with support from us.

Priya then worked at Belmore Lodge in Lymington and remained with us as a bank nurse while gaining more experience working on an acute medical ward at Lymington Hospital.

She returned to Belmore Lodge as Clinical Lead in 2015 and was promoted to Senior Clinical Lead at our Lymington dementia care home Linden House in 2020.

Discussing her latest promotion to Home Manager, Priya says: “It’s a big challenge but I feel proud and excited. Colten Care has supported me ever since I joined, enabling me to transfer my nursing qualifications gained in India to my career in the UK. I have always had an ambition to progress my career and Colten has encouraged me every step of the way to keep my skills up to date.”

Jess Brolan is another team member who has gained successive promotions with us. She joined our Blandford home, Whitecliffe House, as a nurse in 2013, having completed her training at Bournemouth General Hospital, with a stint in orthopaedics at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth.

Jess was promoted to Home Manager at Whitecliffe in 2018 after being a peripatetic Clinical Lead and Interim Home Manager at Avon Cliff in Bournemouth. She took up her new role at Avon Reach after moving from Woodpeckers.

Describing her career progression, Jess says: “When you change roles, you have to change your mindset. I’ve moved from being solely nurse-led in my thinking, to taking responsibility for all the departments involved in the care of our residents. That is a challenge but I’ve had fantastic support from other managers.”

One colleague who has spent some time away but then returned is Vera Almeida, Clinical Lead at our Poole home Bourne View. Vera originally joined us at Amberwood House in Ferndown as a Senior Nurse. She was promoted to Clinical Lead there and performed the same role at Bourne View during its commissioning period. Now back after a few months with another provider, Vera says: “I came back because Colten Care is the company I want to work for. We provide excellence in care, with residents at the heart of everything, and there is support for the team at all levels.”

Another colleague who has certainly stood the test of time is Healthcare Assistant Heather Annear. She has just notched up a remarkable 30 years’ service at the same home, Court Lodge in Lymington, including eleven years working on night shifts.

Heather says that when she joined us in 1991, she had no idea how long she would stay, but has enjoyed great camaraderie over the years, adding: “Court Lodge is a family-orientated place. Staff tend to stay a long time and everyone looks after one another. The night staff are a tight bunch. You spend 12 hours together on a shift and become like a family. You’re always there for each other, happy to swap shifts and provide holiday cover.”

Asked if her role has changed much in 30 years, Heather says: “Technology and training have improved, but the focus of the job remains the same. It’s all about caring for our residents and making sure their needs always come first. I love working at Court Lodge. You can help people so much by making life more comfortable for them. They rely on you so much, you become a friend as well as a carer.”

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