Social care manager wins Healthcare Hero award

Danielle Bullant holding hair straighteners behind a happy looking resident

Danielle Bullent at Laurel Lodge - Credit: The Tonic Comms

A local key worker has won the Healthcare Hero award for her hard work throughout the pandemic.

Danielle Bullent, from Gorleston-on-Sea has been called a Healthcare Hero by Quinyx's inaugural Workforce Heroes Awards.

Mrs Bullent, 35, has been managing Laurel Lodge residential home in Norwich since October 2019.

Shortly after beginning the new position the pandemic occurred and new challenges emerged throughout the entire healthcare sector.

Mrs Bullent said, "because of the virus outbreak, there were many different protocols to implement around infection control. It was a lot to get my head around at the start!"

Working in an environment where residents and staff had little to no access to loved ones, Mrs Bullent emphasised a positive and supportive working environment.

To keep spirits high for staff, Mrs Bullent introduced a group chat on WhatsApp to allow all staff members to voice their thoughts and feelings.

Danielle Bullant with other staff members of Laurel Lodge dressed as elves celebrating Christmas

Danielle Bullent and staff members of Laurel Lodge - Credit: The Tonic Comms

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For the residents, Mrs Bullent organised daily Zoom calls for family members and friends, as well as prioritising a weekly schedule of activities - including cooking and dancing.

She also introduced a community wishing tree to keep spirits high.

One palliative resident shared that he had always wanted a signed Wolves shirt, and through the efforts of Mrs Bullent and her staff, his wish was granted.

Another initiative was a surprise wedding anniversary for two 90-year-old residents who were unable to celebrate outside due to the lockdown restrictions.

Danielle Bullant wearing PPE while with a resident of Laurel Lodge

Danielle Bullent with a resident of Laurel Lodge - Credit: The Tonic Comms

Voluntarily putting in 60-plus hour work weeks, Mrs Bullent also found time to ensure her two sons and her husband were looked after.

Realising that she wasn't taking the best care of herself however, Mrs Bullent commented, "I started to feel sluggish and it was making me feel a bit low, so I began making healthy food with the family and now run about five miles, three times a week.

"I feel great for it."

Daniel Holmberg, Country Manager for workforce management solution Quinyx UK was one of the judges for the Workforce Heroes Awards.

Of Mrs Bullent, Mr Holmberg said, "she’d been nominated several times by her team and she is so passionate about making sure everyone is happy and healthy – both physically and mentally.

"She faced the pandemic head on – leading by example, making her a very deserved winner.”