Care workers recognised in Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to COVID-19

The Queen’s Birthday Honours list 2020 has recognised the exceptional measures and services taken by care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, with several being awarded an MBE or British Empire Medal (BEM).

This year, 14 per cent of those receiving honours were health and social care workers.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “I am humbled by the dedication, ingenuity and passion shown by these NHS and social care staff and volunteers. Throughout this terrible pandemic they have helped to save and improve the lives of patients, care home residents and their fellow NHS staff across the UK.

“Each and every one of those honoured today shows the very best of us – and I thank them all, alongside the rest of our wonderful health and care staff, for their service.”

Clare Thomas, home manager at the MOD Veterans UK Ilford Park Polish Home is one of those awarded an MBE for her services to residential Social Care for Veterans during Covid-19.

Clare Thomas MBE

With person-centred care and “making moments matter” at the forefront of her work, Clare ensured Ilford Park Polish Home was well prepared for COVID-19.

“I asked my dedicated team to prepare early to ensure we had a good stock of PPE.  In January, before the pandemic status was announced, we took every possible step to ensure the right levels were in place, as I anticipated supply issues. 

“Little did I know of what was to come but at least this early action put us in a good position at the start.  I made the recommendation to close our care home early, before the national lockdown, and tightened our admissions process and minimised staff movement.”

Clare attributes her award to her team who she describes as having given “110 per cent to meet the challenges of the past six months”.

The usual Investiture ceremony which takes place at either the Ballroom at Buckingham Palace, or in the Waterloo Chamber at Windsor Castle, has been postponed. However, Clare is hopeful it will be rescheduled for next year.

For now, she will proudly display her medal at home.

“I will frame the medal and display it somewhere near my front door so every time I leave the house it will re-energise my effort to make a difference every day.”

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