From Care Assistant to Group Assistant Accountant

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This is Sarah’s work story in her own words…

“I started working for Care Circle in 2001 as a Care Assistant in Kingsway Private Nursing Home. In 2004 Care Circle acquired Braefield Private Nursing Home and I was offered a post in the office with Maureen Carabine. Paula Kennedy (now our Glenalina Lodge Home Manager) recommended me to Martin Doran, Operations Director, for the position. At the time I was considering my career options and had been offered a nursing position at Musgrave Park Hospital but decided to stay with Care Circle. Upon my move into the office I found my duties were very different to that of a Care Assistant as I supported Maureen with the administration, HR function and accounts assistance. Throughout my time with Care Circle Group the company have supported me in my career allowing me to complete various courses such as SAGE and I.A.T.I.”

“Through time I worked between our two homes in Kingsway, Dunmurry and Braefield, Ballymena which certainly added variety to the job as well as having the opportunity to meet lots of different people. The company has expanded so much in the last number of years and has enabled me to finally settle at our Head Office based at 238a Kingsway, Dunmurry.”

I am happy to say that I found my niche and am now employed as Assistant Accountant for both Larchwood Care (NI) and Care Circle.”

“Care Circle / Larchwood Care (NI) are a very good company to work for. They have always been very supportive and encouraging throughout my time here…it’s the only job I’ve ever had and the only place I ever want to work!”

Paula Kennedy, Home Manager of Glenalina Lodge Care Centre commented “I could see Sarah’s potential right from the very start. A fantastic team worker!”

Sarah recently got married and has two lovely little girls. Thank you Sarah for sharing your story with us.



Larchwood Care (NI) Limited
First Floor

Unit 16 Crescent Industrial Estate
Ballinderry Road

BT28 2GN

Tel: 028 92 669 360

9 June 2021

Following guidance from the Department of Health received 8 June 2021, the visiting arrangements outlined previously 10 May 2020 remain in place for a further 3 weeks, with a proposed review 22 June 2021.  As such the following arrangements remain the policy for visits to any Larchwood Care Ni Home.

Virtual, Window, End of Life Visiting and Care Partners

There have not been any changes in the arrangements for the above visiting opportunities. All continue to be available within the Homes and can be booked, where necessary, through the Home Administrator.

General Visiting

In line with the Regional guidelines referenced above Larchwood Care NI is also facilitating General and Room Visits. The difference between a General Visit and a Room Visit is the location in which they take place within the Home. A General Visit will take place within the designated visiting area of the Home and a Room Visit, for those residents unable to come to the visiting area, will take place in the Resident’s room.

All General and Room visits must be pre-booked and you will be asked a series of risk assessment questions as part of this booking process. Booking can take place Monday – Friday 1000 – 1100 hours or 1400-1500 hours, by phoning the Care Home. The following guidelines will help you to understand the process and arrangements for both types of visits

- Book in advance.
- Undertake risk assessment over the phone.
- 2 visitors may visit twice per week per week for maximum 60 minutes.
- Visitors may include children. Children are included within the maximum 2 persons per visit.
- Arrive to the Home wearing a face mask 20 minutes prior to your visiting slot.
- All visitors will be swabbed using a rapid antigen COVID-19 test.
- You will be asked to wait until the result of your test is confirmed as negative
- You will be provided with an apron, but do not have to wear gloves.
- You may touch and hold hands with the resident. At this stage hugging is discouraged.

In facilitating this wide range of visiting activities and care partner arrangements you will understand the burden placed on staff time to undertake the administration and facilitation of these. Each Home will therefore have a maximum number of general and virtual visits available per week and we would ask that all relatives, family and friends are understanding of this.

In addition to visiting, independently mobile residents may avail of meeting with relatives in the grounds and gardens of the Homes. At this stage non-staff facilitated trips away from the Home are not accommodated.

The plans phases 2 and 3 are outlined below, however dates for implementation are now on hold until further reviews are conducted.  The next review date is 22 June 2021 and the Department of Health will release advice at this time.

Phase 2 – date to be agreed (subject to change)

All the above risk management protocols will be in place with the following changes.

- Maximum of 4 people from 2 households may visit twice per week
- Introduction of “brief hugging”
- Risk assessed trips outside of the Home.
- Hairdressers may return

Phase 3 – date to be agreed (subject to change)

The following easements are encouraged from this date.

- No restriction on number of people but limited to two households twice a week.
- Overnight stays away from the Home may be facilitated.