Friday 24th October saw over 400 of the very best in social care attended a glittering awards ceremony at the National Motorcycle Museum, Solihull,  for the  finals of the Great West Midlands Care Awards, where the category winners were announced.

The Great West Midlands 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 west midlands 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.”

Darren Vander, 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 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 West Midlands 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 West Midlands Care Awards, together with the judge’s comments are detailed below:


The Care Employer Award

Choices Housing Association


We felt that choices housing association demonstrated an outstanding person cantered approach, demonstrated by their long standing clients and well trained and motivated staff. They demonstrated the ability to provide excellence across the whole client journey.


The Care Home Worker Award

Anna Connolly – Akari Care


Anna showed that she understands how actions can positively impact on people’s lives. She shared fantastic examples of how she has been able to use her skills to make a difference.


The Home Care Worker  Award

Lucy Butcher – Allcare Shropshire


Lucy both demonstrates and facilitates the highest standards in care provision; promoting people’s independence and encouraging personalisation. She impressed the judges with her wealth of knowledge and her sheer dedication to the role.


The Care Newcomer Award

Michael Hanna – Allcare Shropshire

Michael’s passion for care shone through.  Michael put’s the service user at the heart of everything he does and his enthusiasm is infectious.  An asset to the sector and a very worthy winner!


The Care Home Registered Manager Award

Lorraine Gregory – Villa Farm, Young options College


Lorraine’s passion for her role was clear, she has the ability to empower and enable staff to carry out their roles exceptionally well. Positive and creative in her work, Lorraine clearly makes a difference to the lives of the children she supports.


The Home Care Registered Manager Award

Gillian Christie – Care Companions.


Gillian puts the service users at the heart of everything she does. Passionate about quality care Gillian cares for herself as well as the people she supports. A dedicated individual and worthy winner.


The Home Care Coordinator Award

Aurang Zeb – Sevacare

Aurang’s thoughtful and proactive partnership working, enables him to pass on an innovative approach to practice which maximises the promotion of independence in customers, by his staff.



The Nutrition & Hydration Award

Lisa Morris – Care UK


Lisa is a dedicated chef who is enthusiastic about the nutritional needs of her residents. Her passion for their meal starts with sourcing high quality local ingredients and extends to involving the residents in designing menus.


The Dignity in Care Award

Sarah Tittensor – Choices Housing Association

Sarah Fully embraces and simplifies the dignity ethos for her challenging client base and makes it easy for them to exercise choice when many haven’t had a voice before.


The Dementia Carer Award

Emma Moore – Care Companions Ltd


Emma presented herself as a warm and approachable companion. Her willingness to go the extra mile, coupled with a truly centred approach made her stand out as the winner of the dementia care award.


The Care Team Award

Direct Health


The judges were impressed with the dedication and personal commitment provided by the Palliative care team at direct health. A small team providing a fantastic service to the local community. The requirement for effective team working being essential. A well deserved winner.



The Care Home Activity Organiser

Fiona McCracken – Greensleeves Homes Trust


Fiona is passionate about consistently driving improvements in the activities provided at Pelsall Hall. Implementing activities with local schools and churches and building sustainable links with community groups. Fiona was instrumental in getting funding for a woodland project that all the residents were involved with. Fiona ensures that everyone lives well at Rellsall Hall.



The Ancillary Worker Award

Zoe Mills – Elizabeth Finn Homes Ltd


Makes a real difference to people’s lives, with innovative ideas to promote social inclusion and mental wellbeing. Going beyond call of duty to have a visible impact on the residents.


The Putting People First Award

Wendy Riley and Camilla Phillips – The Hope Centre


Camilla and Wendy are inspirational and embody what it means to provide personalised support. Their passion and drive overwhelmed the judges.


The Care Trainer Award

Angela Staphnil – Herefordshire Care Homes


An inspirational woman who has gone out of her way to train herself and ensure that all the staff at Herefordshire care homes are enabled to give residents, especially those with dementia, the best possible life experience.


The Frontline Leaders Award

Hannah Puga – Elizabeth Finn Homes Ltd


Allying professional training to her inherent caring nature has enabled Hannah to reach her present post where she leads an effective team of dedicated carers delivering high quality end of life care.


The Housing with Care Award

Amanda Perry, Julie Lowe and Anita Williams – Housing and Care 21


They displayed an infectious passion that portrayed an excellent team spirit and focus on person centred services and support. As seniors they demonstrated 100% commitment both during and outside working hours to provide support to the entire team as role models.


Outstanding Contribution to Social Care


Karen Rogers, Herefordshire Care Homes


The  owner of Herefordshire Care Homes, Karen is passionate about delivering person centred care to vulnerable people whilst juggling a full family life.


Prior to owning Herefordshire Care Homes, Karen spent several years inspecting care homes, specialising in raising standards, as well as advising the Department of Health on regulatory policy for care homes.


Herefordshire Care Homes stands as the culmination of her 20 year career in social care and the personal vision that has grown from it: a belief that a care home can be a positive addition to one’s life experience, focusing on quality of life and dignity for older people.
Karen is very well respected in the sector and has written for numerous journals.  She has

worked across a broad range of services in both the statutory and independent sectors and
is an inspiration to others with her imaginative ways to deliver care services.


Working in social care is never plain sailing – but Karen’s passion for delivering quality care for vulnerable people has ensured she has always risen to the challenge!