Hi, I’m Deanna, although everyone knows me as Dee. I am the Regional Clinical Lead for the South West Region. I started working with Helping hands in July 2020. I have worked as a nurse for thirty-five years; my motivation is to help others. I enjoy working with people and using my nursing skills to ensure great care is given. I chose to work with Helping Hands as I researched their ethos of giving personalised and safe care to those living in their own homes and found that they have an excellent track record and I wanted to be part of that. I am passionate about great care and ensuring this gets recognised. I have published articles on improving care in care homes. I have also promoted great care in radio interviews and made a film for Social Care Institute of Excellence (SCIE) on dementia and end-of-life care. I am passionate about promoting great care and I have numerous references online regarding the care I have delivered.
I trained at Southmead Hospital in Bristol between 1983 to 1986. During training, I spent time on the intensive care unit and gained experience in tracheostomy and ventilator care. When I qualified as a registered general nurse, I worked on a surgical ward which specialised in vascular and bowel surgery. I gained experience in post-surgical care and stoma care. I then trained as a midwife and practised for seven years before returning to nursing, working in a care home.
The care home had a young disabled persons unit and I learned to care for those with spinal injuries receiving intensive physiotherapy to rehabilitate. I also worked with customers with tracheostomies, stomas, PEG feeding tubes and bowel and bladder management.
I became a nursing home trainer in 2003 and enjoyed progressing others in their career pathway, as well as enabling improved care through training. I undertook mandatory training such as moving and handling, health and safety, safeguarding adults, first aid, infection control, fire training and governance, to name a few.
I became a registered nursing home manager in 2008 until 2020. During these twelve years, I worked for various large corporate organisations. The homes were large – the biggest a 90 bedded home – and I line managed 160 staff in one of the homes. My most recent roles were as a turnaround manager, where I inherited issues to be resolved. I really enjoyed fixing the issues to get these homes back on track to deliver excellent care to the residents living in the homes and to be able to meet Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulations and improve staff morale. I took pride in being known as the best care home in the locality and built excellent reputations within the communities I worked and with the regulatory bodies such as CQC, social services and the local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). For a while, I was the training lead for the Gloucestershire Care Home Support team which gave me a county-wide forum of information and ability to cascade training initiatives.
I believe in recognising the excellent care that our teams provide and nominated some of my teams for awards, which they then went on to win. I myself won Care Home Manager of the Year in 2012 at the Great South West Care Awards, nominated by the team I then managed. The home I managed also won Corporate Care Home of the Year Award in 2009. We also won a National Activity Providers Association (NAPA) final in 2010.
Qualifications and Professional Development
I have a Masters degree in Management. I also have qualifications in moving and handling, training and National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH) in health and safety.
Over the years, I have undertaken many professional courses such as Mental Capacity Act (MCA), Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) and practical nursing skills. I am registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.