In May 2020, ECL launched a new temporary residential reablement style service named ‘Step to Home’ to help alleviate pressures on Essex’s health and social care systems during the Covid-19 pandemic. Jean Pierre, who works as a Team Leader at ECL Hesten in Benfleet, put himself forward to be redeployed to the service to help care for both Covid positive and negative patients who require a period of additional support before returning home from hospital.
As Jean Pierre explains: “When I heard about the Step 2 Home service, I was keen to be involved as I have lots of previous experience in working in residential-style care settings. The Hesten day centre that I usually work for was temporarily closed due to Government guidelines, so it felt like a good opportunity to use my skills during this time.
“A week after Step 2 Home opening, I joined as a Shift Leader. I, along with all of the team, were provided with any necessary refresher training, as well as clear guidelines on our health and safety and infection control procedures. Some of my colleagues from Hesten, including my manager, Abbygail, were also redeployed, so it was nice to be working alongside both new and familiar faces.
“The team have all gelled together really quickly and it’s amazing to work in such a positive environment. Everyone here is dedicated to ensuring our customers receive the best quality of care, as well as to look out for our fellow colleagues. We have also been very well supported from other departments within ECL, there’s a real team spirit.
“No two shifts are the same, but generally my role involves shift planning, giving guidance to our CCAs, administrating medication, resolving any queries and having my eyes on the floor.
“I am really enjoying this opportunity and am so proud to be part of such a fantastic service. When a customer is well enough to return home and leaves with tears in their eyes, you know that you have played a part in making a big difference to their life. One customer even told me that she was going to sell her house to move into the service permanently. I had to explain to her that this is just a temporary service, but even still, I don’t think you can get a better compliment than that!
“We also had a visit from the ambulance service who commented that they have never witnessed such a friendly and welcoming residential service before. These compliments are testament to the entire team here, including our fantastic domiciliary workers and cooks – we have so many compliments on the food.
“For me, the best thing about working in care is being able to provide support to our customers, it’s so rewarding, and I genuinely look forward to every shift.”