A warm welcome at Lostock Lodge

At Country Court friendship and companionship are at the heart of our homes. Our Hospitality Teams play a key role in ensuring our residents and visitors receive a warm welcome every day. Our Hospitality Leads manage standards for hygiene and cleanliness and are responsible for making sure housekeeping is carried out to the highest standard. They assist in creating a caring, homely environment for our residents.

We interviewed Samantha Petcher, Hospitality Lead at Lostock Lodge Care Home and asked her to tell us more about her role and what it involves.

What made you want to be a Hospitality Lead?

I was previously a dual-registered care manager before joining Country Court, I ran two care schemes which received an ‘Excellent’ in CQC rating.

I felt it was time for a new challenge in a new role. I initially applied for a ‘deputy housekeeper’ role, and really enjoyed it. Then a role in Hospitality came up and I decided to apply. I had previously been an infection control specialist, so it was a similar role that I had experience in. I felt there were opportunities to improve the home with my knowledge of infection control. I liked that there would be lots of variety in the role, with different things to do each day.

Have you worked in similar roles previously?

I have previous experience with infection control, this included teaching correct handwashing techniques, how to use PPE, training new starters and carrying out inductions. I’ve now been at Country Court for around three years.

What is a typical day for a Hospitality Lead?

Firstly, I make sure staff are clocked in and where they need to be. I then arrange to cover shifts if anyone is absent. I liaise with the Home Manager and Care Teams to get up to speed on everything in the home since my last shift. I do a full inspection of the building three times a day to make sure everything is clean and organised. I make sure furniture is in place, reception areas are tidy and welcoming, and the home is looking at its best overall. I also ensure that my colleagues are neatly presented in the correct uniform and are wearing the required PPE.

What are the key attributes for your role?

You have to very committed and caring towards to the residents. It is our responsibility to ensure that our resident’s home is clean and in good repair. Communication is key for this role as everyone needs to know what’s expected of them each day. You must be a team player and to be willing to support others and get involved. Its important to have good attention to detail but also to be friendly with the residents, have a chat with them when you can, it can make their day to have a nice chat with us.

What do you like the most about your job?

I love working with people, it can be hard work but it’s very rewarding. I even enjoy the paperwork side of the job and solving problems. I also like to organise uniforms for new starters, especially with infection control being more important since Covid, showing them how to put PPE on. I love the variety of the role. 

Your role involves managing the laundry for all the residents in the care home, how do you manage to keep track for everything?

We have implemented a labelling system so when a resident is newly admitted to the home all their clothes are marked with their own specific room number using a plastic button that is attached with a gun meaning that the old style of marking items of clothing with a pen that gets washed off after a period of time is no longer an issue and residents won’t have clothing lost. We  oversees the smooth running of the laundry ensuring standards are maintained from linen and clothing being returned to residents in a timely manor and also that clothing/linen is returned ironed and fresh.

You also are involved in the catering that our residents enjoy, what are your responsibilities?

Along with our restaurant style meal service, grazing station are available for residents throughout the day with fresh pastries, fruit and other snacks. This is maintained and overseen by the Hospitality Lead. To provide the above services we recruit and train staff to the country court 5-star standard.

How have you found working through Covid-19?

Sometimes it can get stressful because we have to be so careful with infection control, it can be really challenging but overall, but I love what I do. It has been sad to see that families haven’t been able to visit, but we just have to keep motivated and know that we’re going to get through this. We’re exited to get visitors back to the home for the residents.

Our Hospitality Leads contribute to the pleasant environment of our Homes with a particular remit for managing and helping to maintain the cleanliness of the resident’s rooms and the home in general.

To find out more about working in a Country Court Home click here.

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