CARL Richmond was named Brookvale’s new chief executive at the Simister care home’s annual meeting on Sunday.
Mr Richmond — one of Brookvale’s trustees — takes over the reins from Maurice Walters, who has just celebrated his 90th birthday.
“Maurice decided that the time was right to hand over the baton to someone a little younger who can continue to develop his investment strategies and continue to implement and carry forward our future- proofing plans,” Brookvale chairman Danny Savage told guests.
Mr Walters, who will become a trustee, first became involved with Brookvale in the 1950s.
He took over responsibility for the financial side full-time in 1981.
Mr Savage said: “Maurice turned a home that ran on food handouts and donations and carried a massive financial deficit for many years into a home that is financially stable.
“It allowed us to invest in the renewable energy schemes and other areas that have enabled Brookvale to be fitted out to the highest standard of everything.
“When I say ‘everything’, I feel that we lead in the amount and quality of facilities and services we offer, along with the best accommodation seen in a care home across the country.”
Mr Walters was unable to attend the meeting due to illness.
Solicitor Mr Richmond, who will step down as a trustee, is the son of long-serving Brookvale director Lynne Richmond.
Mr Savage added: “For more than 40 years, we have been fortunate to have had the guidance and direction of Lynne and Maurice.
“Together, they have ensured that Brookvale became one of the best-run and financially-stable care homes in the country.
“They have delivered a stable environment that has allowed us to give constant care that has only got better each year
“Under their guidance, Lynne has set an exemplary standard of care and ensured that it has been maintained since she started working at Brookvale.
“Lynne has taken Brookvale from a day centre to a care of home of excellence, initially starting as a matron but with her ideas on care and determination to provide a facility where those who, for no fault of their own, cannot live at home can live in a home that is just that — a home.
“She, too, has served her apprenticeship and decided to step back to allow the next generation to continue and to develop in how we help to better other people’s lives.”
Mrs Richmond will stay on as Brookvale’s registered care manager, but has reduced her days to three a week.
Mr Richmond has left his post at a Manchester law firm to take up the position.
“Having worked with Carl on the recruitment campaign, it became obvious to me that the only person who had all the qualities we needed was, in fact, Carl,” Mr Savage recalled.
“He was born and brought up in the Brookvale environment, having worked here as a student and as a care assistant.
“We have used his legal expertise so much recently in his role as legal counsel.
“I am confident that Brookvale now has what our other candidates could not give us — a leader that understands the care industry.
“He has a legal bent to deal with the day-to-day issues that involve the legal rights of our clients and our duties of care to them.
“But, most importantly, he feels passionately about keeping and developing the legacy that Maurice and Lynne have given us.”
Mr Savage said that Brookvale would continue its future-proofing programme of ensuring the best possible care — for now and in the future.
He also explained that Brookvale has 72 residents in full-time care and six who attend the home daily to be cared for and make use of its activities. Twelve of the residents are over 65.
“Some are now infirm and less able to move around as they could in the past, so it has been decided to upgrade the facilities in East View to make it more suitable for our elder residents,” Mr Savage continued.
“It will provide a calm and dignified environment for our elderly clients, which will be more care- specific for their needs.
“In the coming months, we will move them there to make their day-to-day living even more comfortable.
“Our new four-bed wing in the Atrium, which provides care for the more bed-bound client, is proving a success and showing once again that we are able to offer care at all levels in the same environment as all our residents.”
During its last unannounced inspection from the Care Quality Commission, Brookvale was highly praised on its facilities and given a “high/good” recommendation.
And its ongoing staff training is busier than ever to ensure all staff are up to date with ever-changing laws and requirements.
“I always say good staff enables us to give continued and better care,” Mr Savage added. “Our staff retention is still running at almost 100 per cent.
“Some staff are retiring and we are trying to ensure our new recruits fit in well and understand the ethos of care and have to deal with paperwork and practices that were unheard of years ago as part of their daily tasks.
“Our ongoing training may well be expensive, but we see it as part of our daily routine.
“It is a new era for Brookvale and a big challenge to continue the legacy we have here, which we never take for granted.
“As always, we will continue to strive for better care and support for those who need us.”