Hastings Court Gary’s “outstanding” dementia care recognised with national award

Our Dementia Care Manager at Hastings Court Care Home, Gary Haynes, has been named the best in the UK in the prestigious national care awards 2020.

Gary has worked at Hastings Court Care Home since 2016 and was crowned the winner in the National Care Awards, the longest established annual awards for the care sector which celebrate the very best people and highlight those who work tirelessly to provide consistently outstanding care.

The judges recognised Gary’s ability to “see the person, not the diagnosis” and how he inspires his team to understand the lifetime of experiences behind each resident, and use this knowledge to support them in the way they wish to live.

He and his team have transformed the home’s ‘Memory Household’, known as Sunflower, with a range of areas residents can explore and enjoy reliving memories in.

‘The Old Curiosity Shoppe’ is a space full of bric-a-brac for them to have a rummage through while the ‘shed’ gives many of the male residents (and some of the ladies) a feeling of being back at the bottom of the garden.

There is a nursery where residents can dress and care for therapy dolls and the Sunflower Café gives them a chance to sit and chat over coffee.

Resident, Brian Drew, spent his entire working life in the construction industry. Giving him a tool belt so he could measure up door frames and walls made him feel truly at home. Gary also learnt that part of Brian’s working life was a visit to the pub on a Friday.

Gary and resident Brian in 'the shed'

Because of the knowledge he and his team have shared with colleagues throughout the home, prior to the pandemic, Hastings court’s maintenance staff offered to take Brian to the pub with them at the end of the working week, which was a highlight for him.

Care Home Manager Georgina Gamble said, “Gary doesn’t believe people should be limited because of the diagnosis of dementia. He is always looking for new and innovative ways of ensuring their lives are inclusive and full of joy.

“He has a very calm attitude which not only helps a resident who may be experiencing anxiety or distress, but also the staff. He’s created a real ‘family’ atmosphere on Sunflower.”

Gary and Brian enjoy a game of table football in 'the shed'

Gary was also praised for his relationship with residents’ families. Judges were impressed by his proactive approach to contacting relatives and keeping them informed, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic.

David Middleton, whose sister-in-law, Betty, lives on Sunflower said, “Gary has been so reassuring over these last few months. He’s been very understanding of both our needs as a family, and Betty’s, and has kept us in regular contact. We are all so delighted that Betty is being cared for at Hastings Court Care Home with such wonderful and professional carers.”

Resident Betty enjoys time in the indoor garden accompanied by Gary at Hastings Court

Georgina continued, “Dementia care can be an emotional but rewarding field to work in and Gary steers his ship with calm and confidence. His team find him a great source of inspiration and support, our families too, and he’s always striving to create the best quality of life for his residents.

“This award is very well deserved.”

Dementia Care Manger Gary Haynes


Find out more about Hastings Court Care Home.