Residents and staff at Elm Bank Care Home in Kettering, Northamptonshire, have applauded General Manager, Jessica Pateman, for going above and beyond in her role since she took on responsibility in August for this 115 bed home, which cares for elderly people with residential and dementia support needs. At the impressive age of 22 years and eight months Jessica was confirmed in December, by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), as the youngest Registered Manager of a care home in England.
Jessica is over the moon with her registration for a role she thoroughly enjoys, saying, “I love working in care and getting to know the residents at Elm Bank as my own grandparents were not nearby when I was growing up in Cyprus. When I moved to the Isle of Man and began working in the care sector I got an incredible sense of satisfaction from caring for people with support needs, and it is my way of contributing to the local community.
Since becoming the Manager at Elm Bank Jessica has focused on making sure there are several ways of communicating with residents, their families and staff. “It is vital to communicate effectively with everyone in a care home of this size”, she says. “I soon made sure we had regular feedback meetings with residents, zoom meetings with their families and daily staff briefings. I love to receive feedback as it helps me to maintain standards. I have also increased the visiting options for families and the different ways residents can maintain contact with their loved ones. I am grateful to have received so much support from everyone as I settled into my new role – I feel a valued part of the Barchester care group.”
Jessica began her career as a Carer for the Isle of Man Government and then trained as a Senior Social Care Worker. More recently, in order to become a Registered Manager, Jessica worked hard with the guidance of Regional Director, Catherine Tanner, to assist several Barchester homes requiring additional support to meet the high standards expected of them. Catherine says, “Jessica works very closely with colleagues and builds fantastic relationships with staff, residents and their relatives to meet everyone’s needs every day”.
Jessica has also studied to progress her career, having previously completed a NVQ Level 3 in care, and she is now working towards her Level 5 Leadership qualification. Jessica says, “Barchester Healthcare really believes in me and I have been mentored and supported by many great colleagues within the company”.
Jessica was nervous before her interview on 15th December with the CQC as she wanted to prove she has the skills and commitment to lead the whole Elm Bank team in aiming for high quality care and lifestyle for residents. She recalls, “My interview lasted an hour and was very exciting. I was asked about my career journey so far with Barchester, the care and support needs of residents, and how to maintain safety for residents and staff in a large home. I got instant approval from the CQC Inspector who thanked me for a great interview”.
Jessica’s vision is for Elm Bank care home to receive an ‘Outstanding’ CQC rating, and her personal goal is to achieve that within three years. She also hopes to inspire other young people at the start of their careers, by demonstrating that self-confidence and focusing on the next steps in experience and training will help them reach their dream job.
Jessica has been recognised by Lorna Rose, Managing Director (Central Division) at Barchester, who said, “Jessica really deserves this new role, and recognition of her hard work and total commitment to providing the best care, lifestyle and activities programme for residents in her care. She has gained experience in several Barchester homes and we have always been impressed by her attention to detail, professionalism and ability to get to know people quickly. Jessica is very caring and nothing seems to faze her in managing a large care environment. She has already created a homely atmosphere with lots of activities for respite and permanent residents. We are delighted and proud that she is working with us.”
Jessica and her team arranged a fun, festive Christmas and made it one to remember for all the right reasons. She and the whole team organised parties, a wonderful Christmas menu and family visits in the Covid-safe visiting suite. “I enjoyed spending Christmas Day at Elm Bank with residents and staff where we were like one very large, happy family”, she said.