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Staff: Sharon Clarke's story

Sharon Clarke, Care Practitioner at The Manor Care Home 

Sharon was the first staff member at The Manor Care Home in Taunton to train to become a Care Practitioner, which is a new role within Barchester homes for talented care staff who want to do more to support the nurses they work alongside.

Sharon has always been a carer and has worked at The Manor Care Home for over 25 years. She’s very much ‘part of the family’, married to the home’s Maintenance Manager and viewed as a mother figure by newer staff members.

She loves learning and jumps at every opportunity to improve her skills and progress so when she heard about the new Care Practitioner role, she was first in line.

Sharon explains: “I was chatting to my manager one day and said that I felt like I couldn’t go anywhere else in my role. I wanted more clinical training. Also, I was working nights most of the time and there seemed to be no possibility for me to move to day shifts.

“So I was put forward for the Care Practitioner training programme, which took about 7-8 months. The training was very useful and I have learned a lot of new skills. I can do the medication, find symptoms. I love taking bloods.

“This has changed my view of work and care – in a positive way.”

At first Sharon’s colleagues weren’t sure what to make of her new position but now she does such an amazing job helping the home run more efficiently that everyone agrees it has been beneficial for the home.

Sharon said: “At first the reaction was ‘who does she think she is’ but now it’s ‘my god, what a good help she is’.  The nurses find it really useful having a Care Practitioner around. There are things you can do which they can’t ask carers to do. It helps them save time.”

Rebecca Archer, General Manager at The Manor said: “Sharon was the first Care Practitioner at The Manor and she has been fantastic.

“In her new role, she helps make things more efficient in the home. She leads the team well and staff have respect for her as she is seen as ‘one of them’. She does things properly. I think she takes her work so seriously as she has worked so hard to get there.”