Here at Willows we were delighted to welcome two members of the Care England team recently.

George Appleton, the organisation’s Head of Policy, and Charlotte Lezard, Policy and Public Affairs Officer, spent a day shadowing the care and activities teams. Suitably kitted out in carers’ uniforms and personalised name badges (which they kept as souvenirs), the pair really looked the part!

They started off by helping to serve breakfast to residents and then attended a clinical meeting with staff. There they discussed the complexities of the Mental Capacity Act and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) with the Willows team, also providing a useful update on the introduction of the long-awaited Liberty Protection Safeguards.

After helping with the residents’ mid-morning tea round, Charlotte and George participated in the morning’s activities in the lounge and spent time talking to residents. Afterwards it was back to the dining room to help with lunch.

“When they put on their care uniforms they were completely transformed from policy professionals to carers,” said home manager, Claudia Ramsamy. “I was excited to show them what we do each day, how we provide good care and take pride in what we do. Everything ran very smoothly, and the team was struck by how well George and Charlotte interacted with the residents.”

While Charlotte shadowed care assistant Liliana Graban and played hangman with residents, George worked alongside Emma Charleston, also a care assistant. He was comfortable and relaxed, too, as he chatted with residents and, to everyone’s amusement and delight, found a ‘girlfriend’!

George described the experience as “incredibly insightful, helpful and immersive”, praising Willows’ “phenomenal hospitality”, and paying tribute to the “brilliant” team.

He said: “Working alongside some of your fantastic colleagues will certainly help underpin and inform our continued efforts to achieve a sustainable future for the adult social care sector.”

This was Charlotte’s second ‘day in the life’ experience at a care home. She commented: “It was a pleasure to spend the day with a team who really demonstrated what person-centred care means. The team were attentive to the residents while ensuring they maintained independence wherever possible. You could really tell how much the Willows team cared about their work and the people they were providing care for.”

Willows’ clinical manager Gail St-Juste Alcide added: “We wanted our visitors to relax and be completely themselves while at Willows, although we do understand that there were a huge number of new people for them to interact with! It was a really positive learning experience for all of us.”