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Last week we celebrated the winners of the RCN Nursing Awards 2022 during a prestigious ceremony in London.

Alison Bunce was announced as the ‘RCN Nurse of the Year’ for her ambition and imagination she showed in setting up a service to support people in her community during times of crisis or increased need.

The work of all the winners and finalists demonstrated their motivation to improve services and the lives of patients and service users and were delighted to be involved in the judging and ceremony as the sponsor for the ‘Nursing Older People Award’.

Katherine Matthews, Manager at Perry Manor Care Home took the title for ‘Nursing Older People Award’ and Aquarate were honoured to meet Katherine in person to hand over the award.

Katherine realised people with neurological challenges and mental health needs were being placed out of the county, which made it difficult to maintain contact with family and loved ones. Determined to provide a local home-from-home alternative in Worcestershire, she designed a tailored service as an alternative to a remote secure psychiatric setting.

With the full support and backing of the home’s operations director, Ms Matthews and her team designed a bespoke service to meet this unmet need. The team modified their existing dementia service to launch a 14-person high-needs option, named the Malvern suite, in July 2021.

At the suite each resident from secure psychiatric services receives one-to-one care for at least a month, while the team assesses their needs and works to reduce their anxiety and distressed behaviour. Residents feel safer and understood, reducing the need for safety interventions. Since the introduction of the suite, the administration of antipsychotic medications and benzodiazepines has halved.

Katherine Matthews said: “To win such a prestigious award for doing a job that I adore is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I am utterly delighted to be recognised, as I feel that nurses who work in the social care sector are often overlooked. For my work to be not only acknowledged but discussed in wider circles is testament to the difference my service makes and to the outstanding work my team undertakes every day.”

Rebecca Taylor, CEO of Aquarate adds “We are incredibly proud to have been a sponsor for the RCN Awards. The awards highlighted the incredible work of our nursing staff across the county and showcased the nurses passion to improve lives and better the profession. Aquarate sponsored the older person nursing category as it was particularly special to us and the work we are doing ourselves. All the entries and finalists demonstrated a strong passion to give dignity and value back to our older people within care to better their lives. Well done to Katherine Mathews! You’ve really made a difference to so many lives.”

To hear more about the work we’re doing to support carers, contact us and see how you can get involved.


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