Meet our clinical manager, Gail St Juste-Alcide
Gail joined Willows earlier this year and has spent a very happy few months adapting to life at the home and getting to know residents and staff.
She grew up in a large family in Guyana, South America, as the eldest of five children. Her parents realised that Gail had a natural talent for nursing and encouraged her to start a career in the industry. So, in 1988 she began training as a licenced practical nurse, determined to succeed despite being the youngest trainee in her class.
After qualifying, Gail moved to St Lucia to live and work, and where her first son was born in 1997. She returned to Guyana a year later to complete her three-year registered nurse training, then went back to St Lucia. In 2005 she came to the UK to work at a nursing home for elderly people with dementia in Norfolk.
In 2012 Gail joined The Royal Chelsea Hospital as a nurse and was later promoted to deputy manager. Due to unforeseen circumstances and managerial changes, Gail did much of the running of the facility herself, facing the challenges of lockdown alone as a manager – a very difficult and demanding situation. The family had also moved out to Essex and so Gail faced a longer daily commute.
Having successfully steered the home safely through the pandemic, Gail decided on a new direction and so came to Willows as clinical manager. Here, her priorities are to oversee, the nursing staff in providing person-centred care in line with CQC standards, mentor new staff and support Claudia Ramsamy, the home manager.
Since joining the home in April, Gail feels that Willows has lived up to her first impressions of it – extremely clean and tidy as well as friendly and genuinely welcoming. “Claudia is such a happy and open manager who has good relationships with people, and that radiates to staff, who work incredibly hard to support residents,” she says.
Away from the home, Gail has a husband and two sons. Her husband, Marius has his own removal company and, in her spare time, Gail enjoys spending time cooking, shopping, sightseeing and travelling.