Hitchin care home shortlisted for prestigious care awards

Foxholes Care Home, in Hitchin, has been nominated for an 'Innovator Award' at the Great British Care Awards. Picture...

Foxholes Care Home, in Hitchin, has been nominated for an 'Innovator Award' at the Great British Care Awards. Picture: Supplied - Credit: Archant

A Hitchin care home is celebrating having been shortlisted in the prestigious Great British Care Awards 2020 – an annual celebration of excellence across the care sector.

Foxholes Care Home, a residential care home in Pirton Road, is in the running to receive the East Midlands Care Innovator Award for its use of technology during lockdown.

The care home was one of the first in the UK to implement technology to ensure residents could stay connected with friends and family during the coronavirus outbreak.

Installing a Facebook Portal within days of lockdown commencing in March, staff at Foxholes used the video calling technology to help residents stay personally connected with their loved ones, who were able to continue seeing, hearing and responding to friends and family in real time and on a regular basis.

The team at Foxholes were swift to train and assist residents, who range in age from 50 to 103, in using the technology independently, ensuring emotional contact with the outside world remained intact throughout lockdown.

The award shortlisting recognises the seamless roll-out of the technology and residents’ immediate engagement with it, while the home’s commitment to protecting resident wellbeing by mitigating the effects of lockdown was applauded by the media and other care providers at the time.

The NHS even contacted the home to find out how the implementation was done, as they looked to trial a similar process themselves.

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Speaking of the shortlisting, Neil Gandecha, estate manager at Foxholes, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have been shortlisted, especially given how difficult this year has been for the care sector.

“When lockdown was announced, we knew that providing the means for our residents to maintain contact with their loved ones would be essential to their wellbeing and morale, so we were quick to implement the technologies that would facilitate this. To receive such recognition for our efforts is incredible though and it has proven to be a boost for our staff, all of whom have been doing a fantastic job.”

Winners will be announced during the East Midlands Great British Care Awards Gala Evening, scheduled to take place on Thursday 29 April 2021.