Caring Tracey steps into the limelight as Nurse of the Year finalist

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Wales Care Awards nominee Tracey Frowen from The Hollies, Pontypridd with resident Lewis Potter.

A nurse who cares for elderly people ‘like her own family’ and is by their side in their final hours is in the running for a social care Oscar.

Cilfynydd mum Tracey Frowen is shortlisted in the prestigious Wales Care Awards after impressing colleagues and families of residents at SilverCrest Group’s Hollies Care Home in Pontypridd with her compassion and dedication beyond the call of duty.

As Clinical Nurse Manager at the home since August 2015, Tracey, 44, has demonstrated skills in all areas of general nursing and palliative care, often putting in extra hours when a resident is at the end of their life to ensure they are pain free and comfortable.

In May, her work ethic saw her promoted to manager of the Merthyr Road home where she leads a team of 58 carers and ancillary staff.

Wales Care Awards nominee Tracey Frowen from The Hollies, Pontypridd with resident Lewis Potter.

It has also earned her a place in the finals of the Welsh social care Oscars in the Nurse of the Year category.

In nominating Tracey, her predecessor as manager, Lisa Jones, paid tribute to her expertise and selfless attitude towards other members of the team.

She said: “Tracey will work at short notice when staff are sick without a grumble, even working a night shift when she has worked during the day

“She has come to the home during the early hours when a resident is at the end of their life to ensure that the resident is comfortable and that the nurse on duty is aided in the processes after death.

“Tracey will sit with the resident, comforting and caring for until they pass away. She ensures that the resident looks their best before families come to the home to pay their last respects.

“She will also spend time with the family explaining the end of life procedures and reassuring them that their loved one will have a peaceful and pain free death.”

The home is currently caring for 37 residents with complex nursing needs and varying degrees of dementia.

Although her new role as manager has its own demands, Tracey still puts in shifts as a nurse and is passing on her 20 years of experience to a deputy to ensure clinical standards are not only met but delivered with her same level of compassion.

Staff say she is an asset to the home but selflessly she says: “I see the residents as an extension of my own family and can understand the heartbreak of relatives when their loved one passes away.

“The nomination as Nurse of the Year is touching and it is good to know my team think highly of me but really I do nothing more than a good nurse would do. Always I would want to know my loved one was receiving the best of care.”

Mario Kreft MBE, the Chair of Care Forum Wales, said the Wales Care Awards had gone from strength to strength.

He said: “The event is now firmly established as one of the highlights in the Welsh social care calendar.

“The aim is to recognise the unstinting and often remarkable dedication of our unsung heroes and heroines across Wales.

“The care sector is full of wonderful people because it’s not just a job it’s a vocation – these are the people who really do have the X Factor.

“If you don’t recognise the people who do the caring you will never provide the standards that people need and never recognise the value of the people who need the care in society.

“We need to do all we can to raise the profile of the care sector workforce – they deserve to be lauded and applauded.

“It is a pleasure to honour the contribution of all the finalists. Each and every one of them should be very proud of their achievement.”

When she does manage some down-time Tracey enjoys time with her husband, two daughters and dog. She likes to shop and has a weakness for shoes.

No doubt a new pair will be in order when Tracey attends the Wales Care Awards at Cardiff City Hall on November 17.

Always a swish event, this year it will be hosted by tenor and radio presenter Wynne Evans, better known as Gio Compario from the Go Compare TV ads.