Orchard Care Homes has created the new role of director of nursing for staff working across its 100 plus residential elderly and specialist care homes.
Lorraine Lee, a registered nurse for nearly 40 years, joins the company to “drive nursing initiatives forward and look at recruitment and retention of nursing staff”.
“We want to drive standards forward, particularly focusing on the skills and development of our nurses”
The company said her “first job” was to “focus on supporting Orchard nursing staff” with revalidation, ahead of the introduction of the new set of competency checks in April.
She will then be looking at ways to “develop and build” on its care practitioner role and how it will relate to the new nurse associate role that is being introduced by the government as a bridge between registered nurses and senior healthcare assistants.
Ms Lee has previously held senior roles in the independent sector, including as regional operations director for Barchester. Prior to that, she worked in the NHS as a ward sister and staff nurse.
Speaking on her appointment, she said: “My passion is about developing nurses and I’m excited to be joining such a forward thinking care group as Orchard.
Care home operator appoints first nursing director
“I’ve worked across many care sectors, including children, forensic services, mental health, high dependency units, as well as the elderly care sectors, picking up skills and experience along the way. It’s here, in this challenging care home environment, that I really feel that I can make a difference,” she said.
Orchard Care Homes operates 113 homes and employs around 7,000 staff.
The company’s chief executive Paul Mancey said: “We are really pleased that Lorraine has agreed to join us, as she brings such a wealth of knowledge of the sector with her.
“We want to drive standards forward, particularly focusing on the skills and development of our nurses, and in making this a rewarding environment in which to attract and retain the best talent,” he added.