UK award recognition for NI’s “true heroes”

UK award recognition for NI’s “true heroes”

UK award recognition for NI’s “true heroes” in frontline care

Two Connected Health homecare workers who moved in with a vulnerable client after she tested positive for Covid-19 have been shortlisted to win one of the UK care sector’s top awards.

Sisters Lauren and Chloe Kelly from Aghanloo, Limavady have been recognised by the Home Care Insight and Care Home Professional ‘Leaders in Care Awards’ 2021 with a nomination for the prestigious ‘Frontline Carer of the Year’ accolade.

The big-hearted Connected Health carers hit the national headlines during last year’s lockdown when they were hailed as “true heroes” for making the decision to temporarily move in with Laura Magee (27) after she tested positive for Covid-19 in October. Laura, who is from Derry/Londonderry’s Waterside, requires 24-hour assistance and only started receiving home care in August, having spent long periods in hospital.

The ‘Frontline Carer of the Year’ award is dedicated to recognising unsung heroes who have gone above and beyond to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their clients, thinking of innovative ways to boost morale, and always showing kindness, empathy and dedication.

And for Connected Health Director of People, Julie Cordner, the nomination in the UK-wide awards, is no less than Lauren and Chloe deserve for “going well above and beyond the call of duty”.

She said: “It was when Laura was in hospital awaiting a package of care that she first met Lauren and Chloe, who were providing care services to help relieve hospital staffing pressures caused by Covid-19.

“The nursing staff in the hospital were so impressed with the relationship that Laura built with the Connected Health team that they approached us to take on her care package in the community.

“The two sisters are true heroes for their selfless attitudes and caring actions. As an employer, we at Connected Health would love them to be recognised for their leadership, resilience and kindness,” Ms Cordner added.

Lauren had also tested positive for Covid-19 but, rather than isolating alone, she made the selfless decision to move in with Laura, explaining that it made “perfect sense” to do so. Initially, Chloe did not test positive for Covid-19 but after making the brave decision to join her sister, she also started displaying symptoms within a few days

At the height of her illness, Laura suffered a seizure brought on by a high temperature and needed emergency medical assistance. Lauren and Chloe both administered first aid while waiting for the ambulance and rapid response vehicle. Thankfully, Laura was treated at home and was able to remain there. All three fully recovered from Covid-19.

“It was so kind for them to come live with me…I was terrified about maybe having to go back to hospital,” Laura Magee said.

Ms Cordner added: “The 24/7 care delivered to Laura has been exceptional and has resulted in her remaining at home as well as significant improvements in her mental and physical health. Connected Health carers have enabled Laura to reintegrate into the community and build relationships with her friends, as well as providing peace of mind to her family and next of kin.”

The winners of the 2021 ‘Leaders in Care Awards’ will be announced at a ceremony in the Hilton Birmingham Metropole on Wednesday, October 13.