A CARE home manager in Kidderminster has thanked her team after winning a national accolade at the Dementia Care Awards.

Gill Pratt, manager at Brook Court in Oldnall Road, has been named the best dementia care manager in the UK.

A registered general and mental health nurse with over 30 years’ experience, Gill took charge of Brook Court in 2017 with plans for a "whole team" approach to care, with everyone from the carers to the chefs playing an essential role in residents' care.

Gill has developed stringent recruitment and training processes and set up a ‘dementia champion’ position to train other team members and help relatives to gain a better understanding of what it’s like living with dementia.

Judges were impressed with the dementia-friendly initiatives Gill and the team have implemented at the home, including a dementia choir which performed at the first-ever dementia-friendly concert at Kidderminster Town Hall, and a wishing tree for residents.

She also supported the lifestyle and care teams to spearhead the trial of dementia-related technologies at the home, such as an interactive table.

On receiving the award, Gill said: “I’m beyond thrilled to have won Best Dementia Care Manager.

"Ever since I joined Brook Court in 2017, I’ve ensured that every decision is made with a resident-first approach in mind, with a special emphasis on team work and training, so it’s great to see this being recognised by the judges.

“This may be an individual award, but I couldn’t have done it without my wonderful team. Everyone here has an essential role to play, from the nurses, care teams and lifestyle coordinators to the catering teams, maintenance, admin and housekeeping teams.

"It’s an amazing feeling to see all the pieces of the puzzle come together every day, as we strive to offer the highest possible standards of dementia care.

“I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who contributes to make Brook Court what is – a wonderful place that residents can call home.”

Dave Ashbolt, regional director at Care UK, which runs Brook Court, said: “I’m delighted for Gill and the fantastic team she leads at Brook Court. She thoroughly deserved to be recognised in these national awards.

"The energy and passion she shows in everything she does ensures residents receive the best possible care, while leading active and fulfilled lives. Well done Gill!”