Improving care for older people

Nursing home manager Arleen Testa’s leadership and dedication to improving care for older people has been recognised by the RCN Older People’s Commissioner for Wales Award

Nursing home manager Arleen Testa’s leadership and dedication to improving care for older people has been recognised by the RCN Older People’s Commissioner for Wales Award.  She speaks to Stephanie Jones-Berry about the challenges and rewards of the role.

Abstract

‘I have found my niche,’ says Arleen Testa, manager of Glan-yr-Afon nursing home in Blackwood, Caerphilly.

‘My role allows me to be a nurse, advocate, carer, leader, friend, part of the family, older people’s champion and celebrant of good care homes,’ she says.

A tireless campaigner in raising the profile of older people’s care, Ms Testa is also fearless in challenging poor practice, and it was this that led to the former surgical nurse scooping the RCN Older People’s Commissioner for Wales Award 2015.

Her passion and energy are evident at Glan-yr-Afon, which has a staff of 45 caring for 39 residents over the age of 60.

When Ms Testa took up post at the home in 2010, it was in 28-day closure by the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales and one third of the residents had been moved because of safeguarding concerns.

Under her leadership, the home’s culture and practice have been transformed, along with residents’ lives.

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This article was first published in print under the original title 'Change for good' in Nursing Older People: volume 28, issue 1

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