Shrewsbury based Morris Care has created a revolutionary new support role to enhance support for its residents, their families and its 500-plus workforce.
Pete Martin has joined the company as Pastoral Support Co-Ordinator and will deliver psychological and emotional assistance to people at its six Nursing Homes across Shropshire and Cheshire.
Working alongside Home Managers, Pete will offer staff advice, support and guidance on work-related or personal matters that may be causing them stress or anxiety.
He will also give pastoral support to residents and their families, especially at key times such as moving into a nursing home, coping with changes in health conditions and at the end of life. Loved ones’ needs and views will also receive due consideration in the residents’ care plans.
The company’s Chief Operating Officer, Sue Austin, was inspired to create the roll following her own experience when preparing for her nursing career at the age of 16.
Sue said, “I volunteered on the geriatric ward at the local hospital but with no welcome and little guidance, it wasn’t a pleasant experience and I didn’t continue beyond a few visits. If only someone had taken the time to welcome me and explain what I could expect, I may have stayed longer.
“Looking now at our own workforce I felt there was a need for someone to be that first point of contact; for support and guidance, not just for members of staff, but residents and their loved ones too.”
Pete has many years of experience in providing pastoral support in healthcare settings. He was a Dementia Support Worker for Alzheimer’s Society in Shropshire and spent 15 years in East London and Lancashire hospitals where he was Head of Spiritual and Pastoral Care.
He said, “I have always felt most comfortable working in a care setting, delivering pastoral care to support the emotional, psychological and spiritual needs of those who go through illness and have long term conditions.
“I believe passionately that pastoral care can significantly improve the sense of wellbeing that someone has, even when lack of medical advances means we cannot provide a cure for their condition. Central to this is those who are the carers, whether they are loved ones or healthcare staff, they need caring for too.
“I was both excited and encouraged when Morris Care created this role that shared the same vision I have had for a long time.”
Sue Austin added, “Over recent years the needs of those who stay in nursing homes has become more complex and the environment has become busier. Pete is a caring professional well suited to this position and the new role will bring pastoral care and support into the heart of the organisation, benefiting all who live and work with us.”
Pete added, “I want people to get to know me as a person and not as a role, so they feel supported and comfortable enough to air their concerns. I am a listening ear, giving residents time to share and to open up about how they feel. I am excited and privileged to have joined Morris Care and look forward to working alongside the excellent workforce.”