Nominated a record of 8 times for Care Hero of the Year in our Radar’s Hero Awards was winner Adam Purnell!
“This has been a dark year for Care Homes but Adam has stood out as a light in that national darkness.”
We caught up with Adam and were blown away by the impact he’s making in the world of care. Over to our winner…
I started in healthcare at 18 years of age and have been a manager since 2010 when I joined Kepplegate. I began my career as healthcare assistant, working in the kitchens and other areas which enabled me to gain insight into how it all works. By 21, I was a manager in a community care service and now I’m Care Quality Lead in Kepplegate.
Always being ambitious, I wanted to bring something different to the care sector and drive improvements. I started out thinking that I might as well join care and ended up thinking I might as well change care!
Life at Kepplegate Care Services
Before the pandemic, we were working closer with relatives to bring about positive changes. We wanted to show the world that care homes can have a warm, comforting family aspect by integrating care home communities into the wider community. Unfortunately, our plans to continue involving our residents in the community have been hampered due to risks from COVID. For example, we were working with schools to show students what working in care is really like and enabling the different generations to mix – but this has been put on hold.
When the pandemic hit, we had to quickly re-think how to keep residents connected to life beyond Kepplegate and so set up a virtual visiting lounge. This is a big screen for video calls so residents could sit back in an armchair with a cuppa and catch up with their families.
Campaigning for change
As a campaign ambassador of the Social Care Disruptors network, I drive change in the world of care. The network consists of relatives, training providers and care managers. We create action plans to move forwards in social care and show that together we can make fantastic things happen. Our aim is to use the best practices of the group to apply positive changes to the wider sector.
I’m also part of John’s Campaign as an ambassador where we fight for the rights of family carers. We ensure that they are involved in their loved one’s care no matter where they live so whether in a care home or hospital, family carers can help provide the care.
Reaching the media
By campaigning through a Daily Mail article, Susanna Reid from Good Morning Britain contacted me through Twitter which resulted in a phone call. She asked me to come on the show where I was excited to reach a wider audience and express the importance of enabling visits back in care homes.
Following this, I also spoke to and featured in the New York Times, Sky News, BBC breakfast and BBC North West.
I set up a YouTube channel called Covid Care Stories which shows the public what we’re doing through real stories. We use the hashtags #Celebratingcare and #Careforcarehomes to enable audiences to follow us easier. The purpose is to inspire managers and providers of social care – not just care homes but also supported living, domiciliary care and more – and show the public it’s amazing stuff they’re doing. We want to flood social media with these positive stories.
90% of our team at Kepplegate has had the COVID vaccine already and all our residents received it too so we hope that by the end of the year visits to care homes can be back to normal. I don’t believe in calling it the ‘new normal’ as it sounds like admitting defeat. I prefer to call it the old normal but where we have the opportunity to mould it into something better.