Care home manager in line for top award praises team for pioneering work with patients with complex needs 

A passionate nurse who leads a committed team providing care and rehabilitation for patients with complex needs has been shortlisted for a prestigious award.

Lynn Hamilton Shaw, general manager at Awel y Mor Care Home in Gorseinon, Swansea has been recognised for “going the extra mile” and making a huge difference to the lives of residents, along with her dedicated staff, many of whom have been in the sector for 20 to 30 years.

It is Lynn’s passion for her caring role that has landed her a place in the final of the major national competition, the 2022 Wales Care Awards.

The glittering presentation ceremony will be held at City Hall in Cardiff on Friday October 21, hosted by tenor and radio presenter Wynne Evans, better known as Gio Compario from the Go Compare TV ads.

Lynn, who lives in Sketty and has worked for the home, run by Barchester Healthcare since 2013 is shortlisted for the Independent Sector Nurse of the Year Award.

The evening, which is sponsored by Ontex UK, will be streamed live on the night.

The staff at Awel y Mor provide specialised care for people with significant head or brain injuries, Motor Neurone disease, cerebral palsy and other neurological illnesses.

Their recent successes include the physio team’s work with a patient left impaired by a ruptured aneurysm and how they instilled the drive and motivation she needed to progress by helping her learn to stand rather than relying on a hoist.

Another patient deemed in a “persistent vegetative state” and unsuitable for neuro rehabilitation by a previous hospital was found to have subtle behaviours that indicated they had some awareness.

Thanks to the hard work of nursing staff, she went from no communication to fully communicating verbally and began an oral diet after being declared nil by mouth.

With a better quality of life, she is now able to feed herself and can also engage with her family.

Another patient who was immobile went from being fully dependent on staff for washing and dressing to being able to pick out his own clothes resulting in improvements to his mood, wellbeing and interaction with his family.

Putting the mum-of-three forward for the award, Barchester’s senior regional director Angela Bradford said: “Lynn is fully committed and dedicated to Awel Y Mor.

“On a recent Care Inspectorate Wales inspection, staff and residents spoke very highly of Lynn’s leadership and drive at the home and the difference that she makes which enables the team to deliver outstanding care for the residents as highlighted in the case studies.”

About being shortlisted, Lynn, 58 said: “Although it’s my name on the nomination form, I do feel that it’s very much a team approach here and every department all pulls together, especially during the pandemic.

“We are very much like a big family where everyone supports each other with work things as well as personal matters.

“I am only as good as the team I’ve got and they are excellent.”

Lynn, who has been in the nursing sector since she left school 40 years ago added: “I am so proud of all of the team here.

“We are a different service, we’re not elderly care, we look after people over the age of 18 from all over Wales and parts of England with quite complex needs but it’s very rewarding.

“We all love what we do and it’s very much a team effort.”

Mario Kreft MBE, Chair of Care Forum Wales, said the aim of the Wales Care Awards was to recognise the unstinting and remarkable dedication of unsung heroes and heroines across Wales.

He said: “The social care sector is full of wonderful people because it’s not just a job, it’s a vocation – these are people who go the extra mile for others.

“During the Covid crisis, this fantastic workforce rose magnificently to the challenge, putting their own lives on the line to do everything they possibly could to safeguard the people for whom they provide care.

“Unfortunately, it has taken a global pandemic for many other people to realise how important and how significant our social care workforce is.

“Their incredible contribution was summed up best in the powerful and emotive words of the song, Heroes of our Heart, written by the acclaimed poet Mererid Hopwood and sung by Sir Bryn Terfel, which was set to the famous tune of Men of Harlech. The message that the diolch should last forever is one that we should never forget.

“If you don’t recognise the people who do the caring you will never provide the standards people need and never recognise the value of people who need care in society.

“All the nominees deserve to be lauded and applauded and it’s a real pleasure to honour the contribution of all the finalists.

“I congratulate all the individuals who have shown outstanding dedication and professionalism. Every one of them should be proud of their achievement.

“They are Wales’s finest.”

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