10 things that Exemplar Health Care is proud of in 2020

29 December 2020

Male resident with 'Happy New Year' sign

2020 has been a year like no other. Like every other health and social care provider, Exemplar Health Care has faced unprecedented challenges.

As we come to the end of 2020, we reflect on some of the ways that we’ve adapted and responded to the challenges of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and ensured that we’ve continued to make every day better for our people.

1. Virtual induction and Care Certificate eLearning modules

A robust induction ensures that colleagues integrate well into the company, and are confident and competent to do their role. 

In April, we introduced virtual inductions and eLearning modules to support new recruits to complete the theoretical elements of the Care Certificate.

This enabled us to efficiently recruit and induct more people, to ensure that our homes continue to operate at safe staffing levels during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Read more about the Care Certificate eLearning.

2. ‘We Care’ package of support for colleagues

We are extremely proud of the commitment and dedication of all of our colleagues this year. 

In recognition of this and as a thank you, we created 'We Care' - a package of additional support for colleagues across our 32 care homes and central support teams.

The package included initiatives such as:

  • free meals on shifts
  • food ordering service with 10% discount
  • financial support for colleagues whose children are eligible for free school meals.

Read more about our We Care package of support.

3. Associate Carer role

When the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic started, we developed a new temporary Associate Carer role, for those working in the hospitality, leisure or travel sectors, or students, who were looking for extra work.

The role helped us to maintain safe staffing levels across our homes and meet the growing demand for social care during the pandemic.

Read more about the Associate Carer role.  

4. Every Day Letters

Over the past year, it’s been inspiring to see how communities have come together to support each other.

In March, we launched our Every Day Letters campaign to encourage school children to send letters, poems and drawings to the people living in our care homes.

We were thrilled to receive hundreds of letters to our 32 care homes across England, which really brightened up people’s day!

Read more about our Every Day Letters campaign.

5. Tyne Grange and St Andrew’s Court open

In 2020, we opened two new complex needs care homes, to ensure that more people can access the specialist nursing care that they need, in a welcoming home that’s close to their loved ones.  

In January, our St Andrew’s Court care home in Hull marked its opening with a visit from the Lord Mayor of Hull, Councillor Steve Wilson.

And in September, we opened our first home in the North East of England, Tyne Grange, which is located on Grainger Road in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.

6. Fairwinds and Greenside Court achieve an ‘Outstanding’ CQC rating

We’re proud to invest in the quality of our homes – which is reflected in our CQC ratings and endorsements from across the sector.

At the start of the year, we were thrilled that our Fairwinds and Greenside Court care homes, both located in Rotherham, achieved ‘Outstanding’ ratings in their Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspections, along with Dearnevale retaining its ‘Outstanding’ rating for a second inspection.

This places the three homes in the top five percent of all nursing homes in England.

7. Award finalists at Great British Care Awards, Laing Buisson Awards and Tomorrow’s Care Awards

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has shone a light on the outstanding contribution that the social care sector makes to society.

And, despite the challenging circumstances, Exemplar Health Care was announced as finalists in three prestigious awards.

A total of ten frontline Exemplar Health Care colleagues have been shortlisted as finalists from over 4000 nominations in the prestigious Great British Care Awards 2020, as well as the company being shortlisted in the ‘Care Employer Award’ category.

The company also made it to the final of the Laing Buisson awards in the Specialist Care Providers category, and the Tomorrow's Care Awards for our commitment to supporting colleague health and wellbeing.

8. Our Service User Council goes online

Life at Exemplar Health Care is all about choice – and our Service User Council is one of the ways that we encourage this.

The council is made up of ambassadors from each of Exemplar Health Care’s 32 homes, who meet every month and get involved in important decisions and projects across the company. 

This year, the council has taken to Zoom to continue it’s vital work, and has arranged company-wide initiatives such as:

  • Exemplar Elite Games – a sporting event designed by our residents
  • Exemplar’s Got Talent – a virtual talent show during the festive period
  • Christmas card competition – a fun competition that brings in people’s creative side.

9. Growing Trainee Nursing Associate programme

We’re proud of the learning culture that we’ve built at Exemplar Health Care, which offers colleagues at all levels and in all roles opportunities to develop and progress.

In October, we welcomed 13 new colleagues on to our Trainee Nursing Associate programme, which makes us one of the largest private sector providers of the apprenticeship in the country.

Introducing the programme has helped us to develop our existing colleagues, so that we can continue to grow our nursing workforce internally.

Read more about our Trainee Nursing Associate programme.

10. My FIRST Rewards

We know that our colleagues are what makes us the outstanding company that we are, which is why we invest in them.

In 2020, we worked with Reward Gateway to design a unique rewards and benefits package – My FIRST Rewards - which includes lifestyle and retail discounts, an award winning 24/7 employee counselling and support service, and an online Wellbeing Centre.

We hope that this will support our colleagues to stay well and healthy at work.

Read more about My FIRST Rewards.  

Keep up-to-date

Keep up-to-date with what’s happening at Exemplar Health Care by following us on social media. We regularly post stories from our homes as well as updates from the company about topics such as recruitment, training, innovation and awards.