Elvis lives... and works in a residential home in Budleigh Salterton

Dave Gearing

Dave Gearing from The Firs Residential Home in Budleigh Salterton with his award - Credit: Buckland Care

Dave Gearing from The Firs Residential Home in Budleigh Salterton has wowed Devon County Council with his commitment and dedication to looking after the elderly.

The maintenance man won an award for giving outstanding person-centred care as part of Devon County Council’s new Framework for Enhanced Health project. Dave made one of the residents’ wishes come true by dressing up as Elvis Presley and dancing to “I can’t help falling in love” on her birthday. 

Dora, a resident at The Firs who was on palliative care due to cancer, told staff that she always wished she could have seen Elvis live as she loved his music and thought he was very handsome. The Firs has a ‘Wishing Tree’ where residents can hang their wishes and so Dora’s wish was hung on the Wishing Tree. On the 7th May it was Dora’s birthday and Dave suggested he would dress up as Mr Presley himself to deliver her birthday gifts. Dave walked into the lounge dancing to “I can’t help falling in love with you” dressed in a fantastic Elvis outfit.  

Nikki Shayler, manager of The Firs remembers, “Dora’s reaction was priceless, it brought tears to her eyes and she could not thank him enough! If you look on our Facebook page it is all captured on camera! My maintenance man went above and beyond - he may not be a care assistant, but he played a part in making someone’s wish come true in a person-centred way.” 

In the Woodbury Exmouth and Budleigh area, the Primary Care Network, Devon County Council and RD&E are working together to lead the implementation of the Framework for Enhanced Health in Care Homes.  The framework was published by NHS Improvement/NHS England in March 2020. It outlines how all teams can work together to provide healthcare that is personalised and proactive and focussed on what matters to individual residents.  

In this area, the team is re-thinking how they help care home residents to stay healthy, to nurture their well-being, to be engaged with their communities, to be active and fulfilled, and to be able to access specialist healthcare when it is needed in a way that fits with their individual needs.  

As part of the project, they launched a recognition award scheme for care workers who give outstanding person-centred care. Care workers are nominated by other members of their team or healthcare workers, residents, relatives. The winner selects a fabulous prize donated by generous local businesses who have been happy to support the project as a way of saying thank-you to the workers who take care of our most vulnerable residents. On this occasion, the winner was Dave Gearing from The Firs Residential Home in Budleigh Salterton.  

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Dave has chosen a £50 voucher for Redwing Bar and Dining in Lympstone. Runners up were Kat Irwin, Tracey Whittaker and Tony Clark from Linksway Nursing Home and Zoe Spencer from Halsdown Residential Home who all received a framed certificate. A new winner will be chosen for the autumn newsletter.  

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