22 May 2018
Hallmark role model – Daniel Rowark
Daniel Rowark was the first of Hallmark Care Homes’ General Managers to lead his team to achieving an ‘Outstanding’ CQC rating, which they did just three months after he was promoted from Clinical Care Manager to General Manager in June 2017.
Daniel is still thriving in his job role at Bucklesham Grange, our care home in Ipswich, and we caught up with him to find out why relationship-centred care is at the heart of everything he does and what makes our residential, nursing and dementia home a cut above the rest.
What does a usual day at Bucklesham Grange Care Home look like for you?
There is no such thing as a typical day at Bucklesham Grange. The joy of working with people is that every day is different and changes depending on the residents’ needs.
I start each day early with a walk around the home, visiting team members and residents and spending time talking to them and seeing how they are. This enables me to check on the well-being of all and respond to any wishes or concerns that the residents may have.
Each day is busy: answering e-mails, arranging and attending meetings and driving care quality within the team; however, I always make time to visit the communities throughout the day, attending activities and spending time with the residents.
What is the most important part of your role?
There are lots of different elements to the role of General Manager. However, the most important part of my role is being there for residents, relatives and team members when they need me.
Care should be at the heart of every team members’ role whether that be the General Manager, Head Chef or Maintenance Operative position, and caring and supporting others enables me to develop and complete the other areas of my role.
How do you encourage the team to get to know the residents and expand on your relationship-centred care approach?
When I first joined Bucklesham Grange I felt it was important to spend a lot of time on the communities with residents and team members. This feeling remains and the development of engagement with residents was approached initially by being a role model: being silly, having fun, showing sensitivity, kindness and empathy. By doing this the team were encouraged to do the same.
What factors do you think contributed to Bucklesham Grange receiving an ‘Outstanding’ care rating from the CQC?
The focus in the home has always been around empowering team members to provide high-quality relationship-centred care for all residents. Feedback received by the home from CQC and visitors is that the atmosphere and culture as you enter the home is ‘buzzing’ with a positive and an inclusive feeling.
We also have a culture of openness and transparency with residents, families, CQC and other external professionals to ensure that we respond promptly and effectively to feedback and concerns. ‘Outstanding’ to us is not being perfect; it is how we respond to the challenges we meet.
Do you have a personal highlight in your role?
I have lots! Each day, the team share ‘high five moments’ which celebrate the positive difference that both team members and residents make to the home, and each other, and I never fail to be surprised by the individual achievements from all.
Recently, the home received a wonderful gift from the family of a gentleman who had lived in the home for four years. The family brought in a memory book for the team to add photographs and individual memories and stated we “were family too”. I am incredibly proud of the care that the team deliver at Bucklesham Grange to residents, relatives and friends. It is moments such as this, that while sad, bring a personal highlight to my role.
What qualifications does it take to care for residents?
The qualifications required to care for residents vary for each specific role from qualifications in Health and Social Care, Health and Safety and/or Nursing among others; however, finding the right person to care for the residents of Bucklesham Grange goes beyond this.
When recruiting, it is important to find the right people so that we can deliver the Hallmark Care Homes’ Vision and Charter. Some of these team members may not initially have any qualifications; however, at Bucklesham Grange, we look for those with the instinctive ability to empathise, show compassion and care. We have developed the ability to recognise the potential in others, and then we provide the training, support and opportunities so that they can develop themselves.
What advice would you give to someone considering a career in care?
When I was younger I did not know that I wanted a career in care. Finding myself in a week’s work experience as a Care Assistant was the best thing that ever happened to me.
Caring for ladies and gentleman who had the most interesting life stories and experiences was, and continues to be, a privilege, and being able to contribute to this journey and these experiences gives me a sense of pride every single day. My career and journey has been shaped by the experiences I have had caring for others, and I would urge everyone to consider a career in care.
What makes you proud to work at Bucklesham Grange?
I feel proud of the accomplishments of the team members that work in the home, even in the most difficult and emotional times. I get to witness absolute compassion, understanding, total acceptance and inclusion of all those that we have the privilege to care for.
The team continue to evolve in the development of care expectations and standards, and I am incredibly proud to be a part of the journey.
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