Cathy Bailey has held the position of chairperson five times now.
Each year a new person is elected and there is a general understanding of carers in the association that they help one another and all take their turn at the top.
Taking over from the matron of St John’s residential home, Sue Flemming, Mrs Bailey spoke to the Guernsey Press about her ambitions for the year ahead.
‘This will be very much a transition year, I think, the first half of the year will not be vastly different to last year, until everybody has been vaccinated,’ she said.
‘We are very lucky in Guernsey to be in the position we are in and have already started rolling out the vaccine to the most vulnerable people in our community.
‘We all have a duty to protect each other.’
At Summerland House nursing home, where Mrs Bailey is the nursing director, the uptake for vaccines has been 100%.
‘It is up to the individual whether they have the vaccine, but I hope everyone with the opportunity does take it up – it’s going to make a huge difference in enabling Guernsey to get back to normal.’
When the association gets together soon there will be a better understanding of what the uptake is like across the 20 care homes in the island, 18 of which are represented in the association – totalling 643 beds.
Mrs Bailey has been at Summerland House for 30 years and for much of her time there served at the matron. Before that, she trained locally and worked in the community before working at the old King Edward Hospital.
‘What I love about this role is the flexibility of being able to care for people in the way you want to and to be able to make decisions as a team – which the association is great for,’ she said.
‘Of course, we have to follow legislation like every organisation, but we are more flexible in that we do not have a health authority.’
Giving individual care is incredibly rewarding for Mrs Bailey.
‘You get to know people as people at their home, not as patients,’ she said.
Her aim is to provide a forum for care managers and owners to have a collective voice for if any issues come up.