Debbie Inkersole, our Operations Manager, has triumphed over many other entrants to win the Care Operations/Area Manager Award at the 2021 National Care Awards recently.

Organised by Caring Times Magazine, the awards celebrate excellence across the sector, promoting best practice within the care home industry and lauding the contribution of outstanding individuals.

Debbie is responsible for overseeing the management of four of our residential and nursing homes, with a total of 400 staff and over 300 residents. She is a fully qualified and experienced  registered general nurse (and children’s nurse) who has worked in various hospital departments including A&E, Outpatients and Orthopaedics. After her children were born, she moved over to elderly residential care, initially as a night nurse and quickly progressing through the roles from Training and Development Manager to Home Manager, Support Manager and finally reaching Operations Manager. She performed this role successfully for two large care providers before joining Canford Healthcare in January 2016.  

In making their decision, the judges took on board the breadth of Debbie’s responsibilities and the strength of her leadership skills. During the pandemic, she regularly visited her homes (according to Government regulations) to ensure that each followed infection control procedures. She provided unwavering and selfless support to her managers and staff, helping them to reassure concerned relatives who were could not visit their loved ones. All her homes have good CQC ratings, while Mayflower Care Home, in Gravesend, recently achieved an outstanding in the well-led category.

Over and above her duties towards her specific homes, Debbie is also responsible for Canford Healthcare’s Training and Development Programme, ensuring the continued professional development of over 1000 staff. With a special interest in nutrition, she has also introduced personalised food plans. These are extremely popular with residents and staff and help to ensure that the homes continue to improve in all aspects of care. She regularly launches new initiatives including a ‘Deaf Awareness’ scheme (that is in progress with a resident and senior carer) to ensure that everyone in our homes understands how deaf individuals communicate, listen and see what action needs to be taken to help them to participate fully in life at the home.

Debbie is delighted with her award. “I feel honoured and privileged to have won this award and I am very grateful to the judging panel and to my incredibly supportive colleagues!” she says.