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Supported housing manager wins Sanctuary staff award

12 July 2021

Sanctuary Supported Living staff are celebrating after one of their colleagues has been named as the annual winner of the Sanctuary Group Staff Award, thanks to her dedication and support for residents during the Covid-19 pandemic.

A photo of NikkiNikki Oakley, a Local Service Manager at Skelton Court

Nikki Oakley, a Local Service Manager at Sanctuary Supported Living’s Skelton Court in Leicester, a residential home which provides specialist care and support for people with learning disabilities and complex needs, beat nine other worthy nominees from across Sanctuary to be chosen by Craig Moule, Sanctuary’s Group Chief Executive, as the overall winner for 2020-21.

Nikki was presented with her award at a virtual awards ceremony, where she and the other nominees, along with their managers and directors, joined together online to celebrate their fantastic achievements. Nikki was commended for her tireless work during the Covid-19 pandemic, in particular for the way she advocated for her residents when they were not able to do so themselves.

One key example of Nikki’s unwavering support for residents came when a Skelton Court resident, who had a learning disability and autism, was admitted to hospital with Covid-19 last year. Prior to hospitalisation, the resident had been physically well with no health concerns, but when Nikki contacted the hospital’s Learning Disability Liaison Nurse for an update, she was informed that the doctor wanted to place a DNACPR - because she had a learning disability, he felt she had no quality of life.

This was a huge concern for Nikki and her team. She raised concerns that there had been no Mental Capacity Act assessment, that the resident’s family and carers had not been consulted and that she had a good quality of life at Skelton Court, achieving many positive outcomes. She hadn’t even tested positive or received a confirmed Covid-19 diagnosis yet.

Nikki raised awareness amongst colleagues and escalated the issue to senior managers. Her quick response enabled them to make NHS England aware that people with learning disabilities or autism were being placed on DNACPR, without use of the frailty scale.

As a result, Sanctuary Supported Living developed guidance for managers to follow when a resident with learning or physical disabilities is admitted to hospital alone. Thanks to Nikki’s persistence in advocating for the resident during her illness, her treatment plan was changed, and she fully recovered.

Nikki is a very deserving winner for her incredible work, speaking up on behalf of residents and being there to support them when they’re at their most vulnerable.

Sara Keetley, Operations Director

Sara Keetley, Sanctuary Supported Living’s Operations Director, said: “I’m delighted that a member of the Sanctuary Supported Living team has won the overall Sanctuary Staff Award this year. Nikki is a very deserving winner for her incredible work, speaking up on behalf of residents and being there to support them when they’re at their most vulnerable. I couldn’t be more proud.”

Find out more about our disability services, or if you would like to join our team and make a difference to the lives of vulnerable people, view our careers page and find a role near you.

Download a PDF version (269KB) of this story.

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