Saturday 22nd November saw over 300 of the very best in social care attended a glittering awards ceremony at the Hilton Hotel, Newcastle,  for the  finals of the Great North East Care Awards, where the category winners were announced.

The Great North East Care Awards, sponsored by Specsavers Healthcall, in association with Access Health & Social Care and the Royal Bank of Scotland, brought together the category finalists from across the North East region.

The awards are part of the Great British Care Awards, a series of 9 regional awards celebrating excellence across the care sector.  The purpose of the awards is to promote best practice within both home care and care homes sectors, and pay tribute to those individuals who have demonstrated outstanding excellence within their field of work.

Sector support includes the Department of Health, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), Alzheimer’s Society,  National Skills Academy for Social Care and the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) as well as local authorities and commercial organisations.

There are a total of twenty award categories available for nomination, which represent all areas of the care sector,whether it be older people or specialist services and from frontline staff such as care workers and care managers to people who have made an impact in other ways such as training, and specialist care in areas such as dementia and innovation.

The gala awards evening started in style with a drinks reception, followed by a superb gourmet dinner with some surprise entertainment throughout.  The awards were presented by entertainer Steve Walls with a surprise appearance of Stavros Flatley from Britain’s Got Talent fame.

The awards support a chosen charity, The Care Workers Charity, the registered charity for the care sector that support current, former and retired care professionals by providing assistance to relieve financial hardship or sickness and also provide advice and guidance on the availability of state support and links with debt counsellors.

Jayne Rawlinson, director of business developmentof Specsavers Healthcall said:

“Specsavers Healthcall is proud to support the Great British Care Awards. It’s important to recognise and celebrate the incredible dedication of people working in the social care sector. Without them some of the most vulnerable people in our society would be far worse off.”

Paul Patarou, divisional manager, Health & Social Care Division, Access Group, said:

“As sponsors of the Great British Care Awards, it’s a great honour for Access Group to be involved in the judging process. With so many fantastic entries it’s clear to see the talent that abounds in the health and social care sector. The Awards provide an opportunity to recognise the hard work and dedication of everyone in the industry from volunteer carers and front line care staff right through to their colleagues who administer and manage the organisation. Working within Access’ dedicated Health and Social Division I often see first-hand the passion and commitment displayed by these incredible individuals; they’re truly are a credit to their industry.”

Bryn Bates, healthcare relationship director at Royal Bank of Scotland said:

“We are delighted to continue our support for The Great British Care Awards in 2014, a great avenue of celebrating the hard work and successes of care across the country. Our support for these Awards is just one way RBS reinforces its’ commitment to the Care sector and those that work within it.”

Lisa Carr, director of the Great British Care Awards said:

“The Great British Care Awards are now in their sixth year and are continuing to go from strength to strength.   We never cease to be amazed with the quality of nominations and this year is no exception.  The two new categories, The Good Nurse Award has also proved very popular, demonstrating the significance of integration between health, housing and social care.

“This evening was a true celebration for the unsung heroes of social care, without whom quality care provision in our communities would fail.”

Winners of the Great North East Awards will go through to one of two national finals for both care home and home care.  The finals will take place at The ICC Birmingham in April and June 2015.

The winners of the Great North East Care Awards, together with the judge’s comments are detailed below:


Care Employer

Inspired Care Ltd

Tracey and andrea sparkled with their vision – what the person wants they work for and with people. Aim to be inspiring, innovative and inclusive to ensure the personal touch is not lost.


Care Home worker

Jan Armstrong – Advinia Healthcare

Jan was an inspiring passionate individual who spoke from the heart in a refreshingly honest and genuine manner. Her approach was clearly driven by the desire to make a real difference to peoples’ lives.



Home Care Worker

Paul Lyall – Direct Health

Paul demonstrates a truly caring nature and enjoys working with all his clients. Job satisfaction spurs him on to go the extra mile and has a clear understanding of what his own initiative to deliver client centred care. Well done Paul


Care Home Registered Manager

Lynn Day – Anchor

Lynn is clearly passionate with all aspects of her role. She embodies the whole perception of what care should look like. A true ambassador for care.


Home Care Registered Manager

Alison Gray – Gateshead Council

Alison is a dedicated home care manager. Person centred to both service users and her staff, Alison is committed to providing bespoke quality and care. Her passion for dignity and choice at end of life care is inspirational.



Tara Smith – Boltonshaw Homecare

Overcoming personal adversity, tara has committed her talents, time and energy to transforming the lives of those in her care.


Nutrition and Hydration

Margaret Faire – Community Integrated Care

Margaret involves the people she supports in providing stimulatory nutritional care. Acting as an advocate and challenging the system. Margaret is passionate and driven in promoting person centred care.


Dignity in Care

Paula Oumaouche – Bluebird Care

Passion and dedication shines through in her practice and the difference she makes.


Dementia Carer

Joan Pate – Advinia Healthcare

After everything in life that she has suffered she still has the passion and the pride to ensure all the people in her care have the best possible life.


Care Team Award

Huntercombe support team – Huntercombe group

This team has shown dedication and motivation in striving to improve the quality of lives for the people they support. Judges were impressed by their commitment whilst working with people with complex needs.



Care Home Activity Organiser

Connie Turnbull – HC-One Ltd

Connie’s enthusiasm and passion for providing meaningful activities for people was evident. The panel were impressed with connie’s research undertaken to develop opportunities that are personal, fun and meaningful.


Ancillary Worker

Michelle Salkeld  – Advinia healthcare

Michelle showed passion and care in her work involving resident at every opportunity. Goes beyond the scope of her job role to the benefit of residents.


Care Trainer

Lisa Lunn – Allied Healthcare

Lisa wowed us with her passionate assertive and fun approach to training, coaching and mentoring and her reflective – feedback sandwich. Being proud of her own achievements and how that enhances others.


Frontline Leaders

Wendy Scope – Gateshead Council

The Judges were impressed by Wendy’s passionate outlook towards integrating the people her service supports into the community. She is truly an inspirational leader appreciated by all her staff.


Home Care Co-ordinator

Samantha Cave – Advantage Healthcare Group

Samantha’s passion and enthusiasm shone through, her personality was perfectly suited to the challenges of the role – Samantha was inspiring to listen to and clearly demonstrated how to lead a service


Putting People First

Peer Review Project – community integrated care

Inspirational and ground breaking project that has changed the life of the reviewers as well as those that they represent.


Care Innovator

Keith Hogan – Gateshead council

Keith has developed a pioneering employment scheme which has twin benefits; it saves money for the local authority and transforms the lives and opportunities of those with learning disabilities.


Good Nurse

Andrea Green – HC-One Ltd

Andrea’s passion and commitment to delivering personalised care. Her belief that people can flourish when the correct level of care is identified and provided, by supporting, questioning, challenging and delivering care.
Unpaid Carer

Sandra Falkner

Sandra came to the Alzheimer’s Society 6 years ago when her husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and he was under 65 years old. Sandra became a volunteer and has supported lunch clubs, carers’ groups and fundraised for the Alzheimer’s ever since . Her husband has been in long term care for a year now but Sandra still helps run our groups , providing invaluable support and advice for carers and raising funds . Her experience and knowledge have now enabled her to facilitate a Dementia Cafe in the city centre on behalf of the Alzheimer’s Society, and she assists with our Singing for the Brain sessions. She has helped and supported many carers over the years who often felt confused and afraid once a diagnosis had been given . She continues to develop her skills and reach as many people as possible.


Outstanding Contribution to Social Care

Debbie Bond, Careline Lifestyles


Debbie is an Area Manager for Careline Lifestyles.

Debbie has worked with individuals with varying disabilities throughout her career. She ensures that compliance with all regulatory bodies is met in the homes and is always on hand for any advice or support that is required no matter what time of day or night it is.

Debbie will not lower her standards for anyone and works hard to ensure that the standard of care provided is of the highest quality – this may mean that she has to complete night time inspections, weekend inspections and any other form of observation that may be required.

Debbie helps the staff and advises them with regards to challenging behaviours and different ways of implementing diversion tactics to ensure that residents in the care of the company have as much quality time as is possible.

Debbie is extremely calm and this calming manner passes onto others in the team to ensure the best outcome. Debbie will support with the writing of any documentation that is required and works closely with the Care Quality Commission to ensure the company is compliant at all times.

The support Debbie provides to her whole staff team is invaluable.