A DEPUTY care manager has been nominated for an award, in recognition of her “exceptional efforts” in staff training at Knock Eden Fold, Portadown.
Pat McCready, who is in charge of training more than 40 staff, has been nominated in the NI Independent Care Awards 2012.
She is one of three finalists for the Best Care Training Initiative in Northern Ireland - one of seven categories in the awards.
Pat developed a two-week induction programme for new staff at the Edenderry organisation, which provides supported living for 16 people with learning difficulties.
Pat, who has worked at Knock Eden Fold since it opened in 2004, said she was “gobsmacked” at being nominated. “I love my job. I have only ever worked with people with learning difficulties. I found my niche many years ago,” she said.
Senior staff say the programme has helped improve the atmosphere and morale at the home by reducing worry among new staff members.
Manager Christina Drainey, who nominated her for the award, said, “Pat is deputy manager here, and she takes the lead in our training scheme – I call it her baby. She is devoted to ensuring that our staff members have the best and most up to date training possible – including helping them work towards outside qualifications like NVQs to improve their care and help them advance their careers.
“The benefits to our service users of having well-trained staff are obvious – it means the quality of our care is as good as possible. Pat works extremely hard to make sure our training is among the best available. She gets the best out of our staff and that’s the reason she deserves this nomination.”
She added, “She identified the benefits of mentorship by more experienced members of staff, which reduces the anxiety of new staff. Pat is to be commended for her dedication to staff and professional personal development through training.”
The Care Awards are an opportunity to recognise the quality and commitment of staff working in the independent health and social care sector in Northern Ireland. The seven award categories attracted over 120 nominations for community care staff, including those working in nursing and residential homes and those providing care for people in their own homes.
This year’s awards are being sponsored by Priory Group, who run seven homes in counties Antrim and Down. Potential nominations were scrutinised by an independent panel of judges before being shortlisted for a gong. The awards, compèred by local TV personality Julian Simmons, will be presented at a gala evening on Wednesday, September 5 in the Ramada Hotel, Shaws Bridge, Belfast.