Samantha Houdmont, Clinical Director at Willowstone, explains why it's so important to her that they offer the best level of care at home.
At three years old, I was shown outstanding passion and dedication for care. Nurses, every day, would show infinite compassion and patience for myself and my family when I received treatment for cancer. They inspired me to do the same.
Following my recovery and remission, there wasn’t a member of my family that I didn’t practice my 'nursing skills' on. I remember my very first uniform that my Nan bought me, aged four, with bandages and special creams guaranteed to make anyone feel better, even family pets were 'nursed' back to health! Our old dog patiently sighing as her paws were bandaged for the fourth time in a day!
I started my nursing career in early 2003, and after qualifying to practice as a nurse, I started a job in a nursing home, moved to A&E for a year and then spent eight years in the community, nursing people in their own homes, which I loved.
Following my community role, I specialised in palliative care, and worked for a national charity in the community out-of-hours team. It is during my time here that my own Nan became ill and I spent my time working and travelling back to nurse her. My Nan was the strongest, most beautiful person in the world, and I was privileged to be with her, not only in the decline of her health, but also when she died - at home, where she wanted to be and surrounded by the people that loved her.
Following this I took some time out and worked back in A&E and on a few general wards in the hospital. I was struck by how many people in hospital didn’t need to be there - they just didn’t have the right support at home. It was here that I decided to open my own care company.
I want to spread the word that with careful planning and support people can stay safely in their homes and live independently. They can be supported in their decisions with staff that have a passion to work collaboratively with families, friends and anyone involved in that person’s care.
At Willowstone we ask how clients like things done. We encourage people to do what they can, with us ready to assist when needed. Our assessments of needs are carried out by qualified nurses and reviewed regularly. We involve the people that are important to the client, so they can make joint decisions. This particularly benefits people with dementia, and at Willowstone, our staff are all trained Dementia Friends, a campaign by the Alzheimers Society.
We are part of the Care Quality Campaign and write guest blogs. We support John’s Campaign, where families are encouraged to accompany their loved one into hospital should they need it, so that they can have an advocate when they are feeling vulnerable.
When we visit someone, we offer a minimum of one-hour calls, building our relationship and understanding clients’ needs.
At Willowstone we want to be known for our high standards of care. We don’t want to be the biggest company out there - but we want to be the best.
What sets us apart from the competition?
We are a nurse led service and we want to promote independence at home and reduce hospital admissions for social reasons.
Our care plans and assessments are carried out by a nurse.
We promote empowerment through education, communication, choice and candour.
We listen and collaborate with clients and their families, for true person-centred care.
Your loved one will be assigned a small team of carers (no more than four) so you have continuity of care.
All staff are highly trained and paid a fair wage, with travel time, training and mileage included. We recognise that our staff are our biggest asset, and well looked after staff provide better care.
Call us today if you would like more information or check out our website www.willowstonecare.co.uk to read our recent blogs.