ROYAL RECOGNITION A clinical service manager from a West Midlands care home has been awarded an honorary British Empire Medal by Her Majesty The Queen, recognising his services to residents, families and colleagues during the pandemic.

Aby Joseph has worked at Bupa for nine years, joining as a newly qualified nurse. For the past two years he has been with Bupa’s Alveston Leys care home in Stratford-Upon-Avon, where he is Clinical Services Manager. He also stepped up to manage the home, while the Home Manager was on maternity leave.

Aby was nominated for the award for going above and beyond to provide care and selfless support to residents and colleagues.

Aby has a young family, though voluntarily moved into the home to provide round-the-clock support for residents and his peers. He also helped residents stay connected with their families, reassuring them that their loved one was safe and well in the home.

The award makes Aby the seventh Bupa colleague to receive recognition in the Queen’s honours, due to their efforts during the pandemic – more than any other provider. In October 2020, four colleagues received British Empire Medals, with a further two announced in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list on 1st January 2021.


CARE PROVIDERS The Access Group has announced it is making £250,000 available for care providers to invest in apprenticeships and training.

With Skills for Care warning that the adult social care sector needs to fill around 112,000 job vacancies on any given day, The Access Group has partnered with apprenticeship and vocational training provider Impact Futures to offer ring- fenced funding to its clients which includes over 10,000 registered UK care providers.

Operators can use this funding with Impact Futures, who will deliver the training to upskill existing staff or introduce new employees through its free apprenticeship recruitment service.

The funds, generated from unspent contributions from The Access Group to the apprenticeship levy, will be available on a first come, first served basis so any applicants are encouraged to act fast. To spread the benefits as widely as possible, care organisations can apply for funding for a maximum of two employees each.

Steve Sawyer, Managing Director of The Access Group’s health and social care division, said: “The announcement of additional funding for the health and social care sector is a welcome development but it is no secret that employers in the health and social care sector have a huge challenge in recruiting, retaining and upskilling staff to deliver the highest possible standards of care.

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Congratulating Aby on his achievement Rebecca Pearson, General Manager for Bupa Care Services, said: “Aby is a fantastic colleague and we’re all incredibly proud of him for receiving this honour. It’s well deserved and testament to his efforts everyday to make the people around him smile, even in the most challenging of times.”

Nicola French, Home Manager at Bupa’s Alveston Leys, added: “At only 35, Aby shows skill, compassion and empathy that would take people a lifetime to learn. He is a shining example of someone who genuinely has others’ best interests at heart. The past year has been exceptionally challenging, and I can’t imagine where we’d be without him.”

“It is because of this that we wanted to give something back to the sector and support operators up and down the country with further resources to attract and retain a new generation of care workers and to upskill their existing workforce in partnership with Impact Futures.”

Guy Helman, CEO of Impact Futures, said: “Working with employer partners such as The Access Group, we’re able to provide amazing opportunities to health and social care businesses that need to recruit and upskill their workforce like never before. The ability to transfer apprenticeship levy funds to these employers will be vital in the UK’s economic recovery from both the Coronavirus pandemic and Brexit – both of which have hit staffing and retention in the healthcare sector hard.”

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