We recently chatted with Beth Wilkinson, our Deputy Manager based at neurological rehab service The Laurel’s, all about her career with Active Care Group. We are proud to say that we have recently nominated Beth in the Lincoln Care Awards for the Frontline Leader Award title following her excellent work recently as she stepped up to a Senior Manager level to cover for compassionate leave. Keep reading to hear what Beth has to say about her career background, newfound leadership skills and passion for helping others.
Tell us a bit about yourself!
I am originally from the Philippines, and I was a singer by profession prior to coming to England. I spent my time travelling and singing around Japan, Singapore, and Malaysia. It was in Malaysia where I eventually met my now husband, and subsequently we both settled in England to begin the next part of our lives. I since developed an interest in the care sector, which led me to train to become a nurse at Nottingham University and I completed my degree in 2012. I still miss singing but these days I only sing in the shower or when we have family gatherings at home! Travelling is also one of my passions, I’m happy to have learnt a lot about cultures and met different people with different backgrounds all over the world.
When did you start your career at The Laurels?
I started my career at The Laurels in 2019. It was by complete coincidence that I found this Lincoln-based service whilst working through an agency. I was sent to The Laurels for a couple of shifts, and by chance they were looking for a nurse to work with the team. The job was offered to me, and I didn’t realise they actually needed me as the deputy manager – the rest is history! My day-to-day role is to make sure the unit is running smoothly and overseeing that everyone is working to a high standard. I also train staff for medication administration and cover the floor whilst administering medicines when needed.
How did you find covering as a Senior Manager?
I did cover for the Senior Manager whilst she was on compassionate leave. In all honesty, it was quite daunting as a Senior Manager role is quite new to me. However, I was happy to step in and take on a different challenge. I was responsible for managing the entire unit and day-to-day operations within the care setting, including caring for twelve residents, managing staff, budgets, and ensuring that the quality of the services provided meets national care standards, and all other concerns and issues around The Laurels. Fortunately help is at hand if I needed it, as well as support from the rest of my team. Whilst it was a challenging time, I did enjoy it and I have definitely learnt a lot and gained more experience and skills.
What has been your biggest achievement and challenge so far?
Completing my nursing degree was my biggest achievement so far, and at the same time my biggest challenge particularly is balancing between family time and work. I work 9-5 (sometimes longer) Monday-Friday, and the weekend is mostly spent on house duties. It can be tough at times, but I find any role in the care sector so gratifying, and my hard work is always appreciated by those who need it. It is very rewarding to see a service user walking out of the unit independently knowing we’ve done our bit for that person to be able to walk and go home.
You work closely with the Neuro-Rehab Therapists in your role, how do you assist them?
In the absence of the Senior Manager, we continue to get together for updates and catch ups to discuss issues or concerns service users may have or any additional support they may need. We discuss therapy sessions, and how we can help to maximise their potential to rehabilitate. We also talk about putting the necessary nursing care plans required in place. I always make sure I am available to attend every service user’s reviews alongside the therapy team to ensure I am up to date with everyone’s individual needs and progress.
After doing so well as the Senior Manager, have you since taken on any more roles?
I have been allocated to be the Infection Control Champion, and as part of my role I do the COVID-19 tests for all staff, service users and visitors. As well as monthly and quarterly audits for medication, training staff in conducting COVID-19 tests, and infection prevention control audits. I make sure all staff are following the policies and procedures put in place by the government. So far, we have been fortunate that only a few of our staff and service users had been tested positive for COVID-19 – acquired from somewhere else and not from The Laurels.
How do you feel about being nominated for the Frontline Leader Award?
I’m so grateful that my work has been appreciated enough to be nominated for this award. I am lucky to work in such a great team that have offered me support throughout the last two years. I love my job and I enjoy working at The Laurels!
If you are interested in a career with Active Care Group, please view our current vacancies here.