A dementia nurse consultant from Perth-based care home company, Balhousie Care Group, has celebrated winning an award for leadership with the Mother of Dragons herself, Games of Thrones star Emilia Clarke.
Yvonne Manson scooped a national nursing award for her innovative work in dementia practices at the prestigious RCNi Awards in London last night which celebrate excellence in nursing care throughout the UK.
Emilia was there in her new role as an ambassador for the Royal College of Nursing where she met the winners and finalists and made a special speech. She spoke of her admiration for nurses and her own experiences of the care her father received in his final days. In true Game of Thrones style, Emilia said we should all "bend the knee" to these "truly remarkable" nurses.
"I have tweeted Emilia and invited her to come to one of our homes when she is next in Scotland. She was so lovely and very much an ambassador for nursing."
Yvonne, standing out among almost 800 entries, has worked in care homes for 23 years and is a fierce advocate for innovation in the sector. She regularly shares her ideas on dementia nursing at national events and conferences.
"I've been fortunate to have worked in this sector for more than two decades and to have learned from some of the best. I'm very proud to have been recognised for all Balhousie Care Group's hard work with the dementia program. The staff here inspire me every day with their dedication, and to see others gaining confidence and progressing our ideas is so gratifying."
Yvonne has headed up a host of dementia initiatives throughout Balhousie Care Group's 25 care homes in Scotland. With a focus on collaboration between staff and residents, these have included memory boxes, themed interior décor, multi-sensory therapy and virtual reality headsets, all to encourage reminiscence as well as family time and personal space.
Yvonne also leads Balhousie Care's Dementia Ambassador programme in which at least two staff members in every care home are active ambassadors for dementia practices, meeting regularly to share ideas and learn new techniques.