Bursar Louise reflects: “It’s teamwork that makes the care sector special.”
Bursar Louise Springett at Chilterns Court Care Centre in Henley-on-Thames reflects on working in care over the last five years.
Joining OSJCT after working in marketing opened Louise’s eyes to the special atmosphere and joy of working in care. Team members have supported each other through the difficult months of the pandemic, and Louise can say that it’s still a job that she loves.
Louise said: “The experience has brought an already close team even closer. There were times when we were isolated, having shut the doors to regular visitors and other professionals. But we pulled together, and I have a new found respect for our housekeeping teams who took on many new protocols and procedures and worked so hard to reduce the risk of the virus spreading.”
Louise joined OSJCT in 2016 after being made redundant from her job in marketing. She worked for around a year as an administrator at The Meadows before moving to Chilterns Court to become the home’s bursar.
She said: “At first I was just looking for an office job, but once I’d joined the care home, I realised that it was completely different from an office. I love this job; it has such a homely feel. We are more than just a team; we feel like family.”
The pandemic was a very difficult time for everyone working in care, including at Chilterns Court which experienced outbreaks in the early weeks of the pandemic before testing was introduced.
Louise explained: “Because a number of colleagues were off work isolating or on furlough it meant that many of us were working very long shifts. And the workload increased: we had more protocols, more training, more cleaning to do. We all got stuck in doing extra cleaning and helping where we could.”
Losing residents was very sad for the team at Chilterns Court. Louise continued: “Some residents had been with us for many years and the grieving and reflective time that we would normally take was limited. Before the pandemic we would be able to attend resident’s funerals, and sit and talk with their relatives, to share fond memories. But with COVID-19 restrictions this wasn’t possible. It was really hard on everyone.”
Louise had her first vaccine in December 2020, followed by a second in January 2021. The home continues to follow careful infection control protocols whilst two activities co-ordinators enable residents to continue engaging in things they enjoy, with singalongs, board game afternoons and food tasting events. Residents are also starting to mix again, especially in the home’s gardens now that the weather allows.