Saturday 1st November saw over 400 of the very best in social care attended a glittering awards ceremony at the Palace Hotel, Mamchester,  for the  finals of the Great North West Care Awards, where the category winners were announced.

The Great North West 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 West 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 nominati0on, 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.”

David Potter, 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 and The Arco Housing With Care Award, have 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 West Care 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 British North West Care Awards, together with the judge’s comments are detailed below:


The Care Employer Award

CLS Care Services

We were impressed by the clearly passionate management team who were hugely focused on staff wellbeing and performance through effective engagement.


The Care Home Worker Award

Gill Entwhistle – HC-One

Caring through and through , Gill’s dedication shows now boundaries.  She puts the residents’ needs first and foremost, embraces training and regularly goes the extra mile.  A very worthy winner


The Home Care Worker  Award

Christine Adams – Warren Care Ltd

A category for frontline workers who make a real difference. The winner showed real feeling and passion and was able to demonstrate how effective training and supervision really improved the quality of care to clients.


The Care Newcomer Award

Jennifer McKenzie – Dovehaven Care Homes

Jennifer described the role as having more to it than she expected but it was far better than she imagined. She enjoys going to work every day! She likes to really get to know the residents which help her to detect any needs that they have. She is approachable, dedicated and enthusiastic.



The Care Home Registered Manager Award

Dorothy Pye – Meridian Healthcare

Dorothy is a natural leader with the big future view. She has a strong eye on her vision, strategy and own behaviours and the culture and relationships required to achieve excellence in care. She is finds it important in her sharing her knowledge and praise and understanding, the importance and developing a well-equipped, flexible team. Her Honest and infectious personality shone through from the outset.



The Home Care Registered Manager Award

Kelly Buckley – Direct Health

In an extraordinary strong field of candidates, Kelly’s management and leadership shone through. The way she listens actively, challenges the givens in her role and puts the service user of the heart of every decision, making her a worthy winner. She demonstrated huge impact in her role in just 6 months. Well done Kelly!


The Home Care Coordinator Award

Chantel O’Reilly- Community Life Choices

Chantel’s natural person-centred approaches shine through on every level. Chantel has an excellent understanding of the link between well trained, supported and motivated staff and the provision of high quality person-centred support.


The Nutrition & Hydration Award

Linda Sutton – Dovehaven House

Linda shows huge passion for ensuring each resident receives well balanced individual meals which contribute positively to well-being. Judges felt they would be very happy if their loved ones were receiving such attention to detail.


The Dementia Carer Award

Robin Eddleston – Springhill Care Group

He really loved what he did. Such a warm character with a real passion for caring true believer in what it means to deliver person centred care. Outstanding!


The Dignity in Care Award

Jean Wood – Tameside Learning Disability Team

Dignity is embedded in all aspects of Jean’s practice.  She gains trust from the service users and is an excellent advocate.  She has clearly demonstrated good practice by promoting  dignity, independence and respect


The Care Team Award

Grafton Avenue Team – Affinity Supporting People Ltd

What this team of 6 has achieved over the short period of 10 months is inspirational and a credit to the commitment and determination of all of them. To sum up the attitude of the tram towards their role, Ill quote a line from their nomination form “nothing is impossible, and we will do everything we can to support them (the service users)”.


The Care Home Activity Organiser

Marie Calderbank – Belong

An exceptional candidates in every respect ‘who really gets it’ with true in-depth understanding of the people she supports. She translated her philosophies into meaningful, person-centred activities.


The Ancillary Worker Award

Lee Mcloughlin – HC – One Ltd

Lee is an inspiration to the care sector, who should be very proud of his achievements. Lee’s actions in the past 12 months have gone above and beyond what is expected providing care and compassion at Dale Park. Lee recently made 8 separate visits to Blackpool lights so all the residents who wanted to go could. A true winner!


The Putting People First Award

Fir Trees – Meridian Healthcare

The representative of the team demonstrated a good understanding of personalisation. Illustrated the difference they make to their customers lives and how they are influencing others for example G.P’s, which will have a long term impact in Tameside.


The Care Trainer Award

Yvonne Crowhurst- Wirral Autistic Society

Yvonne came across as incredibly experienced knowledgeable with a clear flair and passion of her role. She clearly is an effective trainer. A well-deserved winner.


The Care Innovator Award


Lesley Gill, Janet Robson and Gillian Moncaster – North West Dignity Leads Network

This trio have put all their knowledge and experience to the best use, on their own time to produce this great product. The training manual challenges poor practice by supporting individuals, working within health and social care, to handle, challenge and question poor practice.



The Frontline Leaders Award

Michelle Jones – Belong

Michelle is a natural leader who has demonstrated her ability to understand styles without perhaps being aware. She looks at each person in her team and individual needs and provides the appropriate leadership style.



The Good Nurse Award


Hazel Croston – Care Concepts Ltd

Hazels Passion for her residents, and providing them with best life she could, really shone through. Her approach to end of life care showed her resourcefulness and compassion. Going beyond concern for her own practice, she focuses on raising standards, embedding good practice, and training. A clear winner!


Outstanding Contribution to Social Care


Neil Matthewman – Community Integrated Care

Neil Matthewman began his career in care in 1982, as a porter at Doncaster Royal Hospital, and has risen through the ranks to become the Chief Executive of Community Integrated Care, one of Britain’s biggest social care charities. Throughout this astonishing journey, he has been driven by changing society, improving wellbeing and changing lives.


Upon graduation, Neil took a job in a NHS training scheme, and over the course of a decade had a rapid ascent through acute and mental health hospitals in Yorkshire, ultimately becoming the Director of Planning at Burnley NHS. In 2003, he was employed to modernise Lancashire Teaching Hospitals. His success saw him join NHS Blackburn with Darwen in 2005 – ultimately becoming its Director for Commissioning and Chief Executive.


In 2011, Neil was appointed as Chief Executive of Community Integrated Care and was tasked with modernising the organisation. He has excelled in this role – developing an ambitious strategy that has the aim becoming ‘The UK’s Leading Health and Social Care Charity’ and overseeing a programme of investment and organisational development to achieve it.