An exceptional nurse who has developed innovative dementia practice at Balhousie Care Group has been awarded a national care award.

Yvonne Manson, a dementia nurse consultant with the leading care home group, “blew the judges away” to win the Care Leadership award at the 20th National Care Awards on Friday November 30 in London which celebrates the very best individuals and teams working in the care industry.

This follows Yvonne’s triumphant win at the Royal College of Nursing’s RCNI awards in July where she was also awarded for her outstanding leadership work.

This continued recognition follows Yvonne’s exceptional work in developing a host of dementia initiatives throughout the care group’s 25 care homes in Scotland. With a focus on collaboration between staff and residents, these have included memory boxes, themed interior décor, multi-sensory therapy and virtual reality headsets, all to encourage reminiscence as well as family time and personal space.

Yvonne also leads Balhousie Care’s Dementia Ambassador programme in which at least two staff members in every care home are active ambassadors for dementia practices, meeting regularly to share ideas and learn new techniques.

The judging said Yvonne stood out because she “blew the judges away with her positive attitude which was able to influence and embed a totally new dementia working practice across the entire organisation.”

Yvonne was presented with her National Care Award by host John Culshaw at the glittering event which was held at the Hilton Metropole with over 700 guests in attendance. Yvonne was there with two other outstanding members of the Balhousie team who were also finalists for the prestigious event.

As the Operations Manager at Balhousie’s Advanced Specialist Care Unit, Heather Smith, Operations Manager at Balhousie’s Advanced Specialist Care Unit, was a finalist for the Learning Disability Services Manager award for the second year running. Also, Ross Balmer, a carer at Balhousie Dalnaglar care home and recent winner of the Emerging Talent award at the Scottish Care Awards, was recognised as a finalist in the Apprentice category.

Yvonne said:

“I am very proud to have been recognised at the National Care Awards for the hard work of so many people at Balhousie Care Group to the dementia program. Since joining the Group, the staff have inspired me with their commitment to making a difference to people living with dementia.”

Claire Docherty, Head of Operations at Balhousie Care Group, said:

“The entire team at Balhousie Care Group is delighted to see Yvonne recognised at the National Care Awards. Yvonne’s exceptional work to develop an innovative and inclusive dementia program has had an impact across all of our 25 care homes, inspired our teams and helped many of our residents and loved ones who are affected by dementia every day. Congratulations Yvonne!”