Nursing home chef short listed for national care award

The Village Nursing Care Centre in Craughwell was last week announced as a finalist for the second annual NHI Care Awards.

Head chef at the care centre, Sarah McDonagh from Clarinbridge, is one of three finalists chosen from the hundreds of applicants for the Nursing Home Catering and Nutrition award. The award, which will be presented by Dr James Reilly Minister for Health on November 10 at the City West Hotel, was established to celebrate the work that individuals and teams do in ensuring that residents and others important to them enjoy excellent catering and nutritional support services.

This is the second time the Village Nursing Care Centre has been short listed for an NHI Care Award. Last year the nursing home was chosen as the winner of the Nursing Home Community Initiative award which was presented by President Mary Mc Aleese. The centre was also awarded a special commendation at the Astellas Changing Tomorrow Awards, held at the Royal College of Physicians in Dublin earlier this year for its work with the community.

Speaking about the awards, owner Dr Bhatti congratulated Mrs McDonagh and all of the staff at the Village Nursing Care Centre: “I am absolutely delighted that Sarah has been recognised for all her hard work. She is an integral part of our care centre team, and is always a visible presence in the dining room and day room during mealtimes, bringing a real air of fun and enjoyment to these important social activities. As outlined by NHI, food and drink play an important part in all our lives and for nursing home residents it is a key part of their daily living experience. Sarah never forgets a birthday, always baking a cake and singing a chorus of Happy Birthday to mark the occasion.”

Successful candidates were required to demonstrate how their work achieves excellence in catering and nutrition, and how the work has a demonstrable benefit in contributing to a culture of person-centred care in the nursing home. As well as contributing to the social environment, Sarah McDonagh has implemented a number of innovations to ensure the ongoing health and well-being of residents.

Commenting on her role in the nursing home, Mrs McDonagh said: “I work closely with the care team in order to identify any nutritional issues which residents may have. We have implemented a plate check system which helps the nursing staff with the early identification of any physical, social, or emotional issues. I have also learned a lot about the nutritional value of food from the owner of the nursing home, Dr Bhatti. This includes the benefits of certain herbs, spices, fruit and vegetables. Where possible I try to include as many nutrient rich, home-grown, and organic ingredients as possible.”

The Village Nursing Care Centre is a modern purpose built care facility situated near the towns of Craughwell, Clarinbridge and Oranmore. The village offers long term residential care, post op care, high dependency care, home care, and day care. For more information on the Village Nursing Care Centre go to www.thevillagecare.ie or call 091-777700.

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