Investing in Our Nurses - A Message from Our CEO Hayden Knight

05 July 2022 News

Throughout my 25-year career in the care sector, I have been blessed to have worked with some inspirational people who have mentored me from Care Assistant through to senior management positions to where I am today, the Chief Executive Officer of Orchard Care Homes.  However, my mission remains the same today as it did the day I started in the care sector; to make a difference to the lives of residents and to those who love and care for them every day. 

Whilst working within the sector is highly rewarding, the last couple of years have been stressful and emotionally draining for all and I do not underestimate the impact that this has had on all members of the Orchard family but particularly on our Nurses.  They were central to our response to COVID-19, going above and beyond to look after those in our care and I cannot thank them enough for their efforts.  In response they, like all Nurses, deserve the assurance that they will be offered all the support that they need, mentally, physically, emotionally and financially.

We are therefore making wellbeing a priority at Orchard, helping our Nurses to thrive both inside and outside of work.  We promote courageous conversations around wellbeing for all members of the Orchard family, including our Nurses, by ensuring access to valuable resources and specialist mental health support.

The pandemic also shone a light on the remuneration of Nurses and asked the question as to whether their terms and conditions reflected the contribution that they make day in and day out to those most vulnerable within our society.  In response, and taking into account the rising costs of living, we have developed a consistent set of pay principles ensuring a fair and equitable approach to pay and, for our Nurses, we have made a 5% pay award in comparison to the 3% expected to be offered to NHS staff.

Not only am I keen to ensure that we recognise the invaluable contribution that our Nurses make to those we care for and to reward them accordingly, I am also keen to ensure that they receive the support they require to develop professionally.  I have therefore been working hard with my team to develop our career pathways.  These are designed to bridge the gap between where our Nurses are in their careers and where they would like to be.  We are therefore offering every new member of nursing staff access to the Nurse Practice Supervisor training which is endorsed by the RCN as well as access to the Level 5 Leader in Adult Care Diploma qualification.

Whether you are a Nurse, feeling tired, exhausted, undervalued or underpaid or a Newly Qualified Nurse inspired by the pandemic here’s our promise to you.  We promise to listen to your concerns and to act on them, to prioritise your health and wellbeing, to celebrate the good times and support you through the bad and to continue to recognise the contribution that you make day in and day out to the lives of our residents.

If you are interested in joining the Orchard family we would love to speak to you and to answer any questions that you might have.

We have nursing vacancies at:

Green Park & Three Bridges, Warrington

Archers Court, Sunderland

Middleton Park Lodge, Leeds

Castleford Lodge, Castleford

Millfield, Bolsover