We need to start this week’s blog with the BIGGEST thank you to our incredible team as we have passed the Care Inspectorate Wales application and are now regulated by the CIW!

As Case Managers, we thrive in challenging times and have truly been put to task during the pandemic to remain ingenious, positive and continue to support existing – and new – clients.

Our CIW interview took place as lockdown started – when we were all under immense pressure to focus on our clients – and each other. However, our level-headed management and outstanding operations team took it in their stride. We are delighted to announce that we are now officially regulated and will continue to be inspected by the CIW, the body that registers, inspects and takes action to improve the quality and safety of services in Wales.

Thank you to our inspiring team – we are very grateful for their continued support. Also, we’d like to highlight the relentless and fantastic work of our Operations Manager / Registered Manager, Joanna Ali, who will get a huge hug (at least) when we’re allowed to!

We are currently undergoing registration with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) that regulates the care profession in England and hope to have more news on our application very soon.

Our work this week

Three weeks into lockdown and we have never been prouder of our team for their continued positivity, ingenuity and overwhelming support for our clients – and each other.

Even though we’re isolated from one another physically, the Stokes team continues to catch up with each other on a daily basis to stay updated, share ideas, keep ourselves motivated and have a bit of down time with colleagues.

We also like to update each other on some of the things our clients are up to during lockdown, and have a couple to share now:

Client A

One of our Case Managers and Case Manager Assistants (CMA) reported some concerns regarding a client in South Wales. They presented a proposal to visit the client, that was quickly but qualitatively risk assessed by our team and the client’s deputy.

We were concerned about the client’s well-being in this difficult time.

The client’s Stokes Case Manager and CMA normally visit the client four to five days a week (between them) for a period of two hours per day.

We effectively risk-assessed and balanced the need to visit the client but it was decided that a CM really did need to see how the client was fairing and popped in – adhering to all government guidelines.

The client’s CMA ensured the client had enough provisions and did some shopping for the client – braving the queues without fuss. Both the CM and CMA used PPE equipment, including gloves and hand sanitisers – and remained at a safe distance away from the client during the visit. They even used their own camping chairs so they could all sit outside, at the regulated distance, and have a chat with the client.

The client and their partner were pleased to see us and could not wait to have a natter about everything.

It just goes to show how important these visits can be to help with a client’s mental health and wellbeing during these times – as well as offer family members a short break.

Client B

Melanie Loveluck-Evans, one of our Case Managers, had started the process of a virtual OT session for one of our clients, as we reported in our blog last week.

The client has been in self-isolation since the 12th March but we were keen to avoid closing down his therapy – for many reasons but obviously, we knew it would affect his mental health and that we’d lose any gains made.

All his therapies are going ahead online – and he’s loving it!

Melanie’s client is predominantly non-verbal, apart from the occasional laugh, but (as we reported last week), he said ‘abracadabra’ in his online drama therapy session. He’s really benefitting from the continued sessions, albeit delivered in a new way.

We have permission from our client, his Dad and the OT to share the pic below (you can see the OT in the bottom of screen) and a GREAT BIG shout out to the brilliant Chris Peak at the Apogee Project, for helping us create these valuable virtual sessions.

Online training

We also joined the recent online CMSUK Webinar on Case Management with Children event which worked very well and had excellent speakers. We’re really enjoying attending a variety of technical and business events online!

We find we can fit an online event or two into our weekly calendars now we don’t have to drive to attend them! It’s also a great way to stay informed in world that changes by the hour.

Back on the wards!

You may have noticed on Twitter that our Clinical Director Rhiannon Stokes has been approved to support the NHS as an OT. She’s working with the Cardiff & Vale Health Board when she can and said, despite the unimaginable pressures during the Covid-19 pandemic, spirits are lifted by all the support.

Getting crafty

Meanwhile, Karen Pearce, a Case Manager & CMA, handmade some beautiful, bright and useful creations for care workers and NHS staff. The button bands can be attached to key workers’ face-masks to save them putting the elastic bands directly onto their ears – which can be very painful after a long shift.

She’s also sewn some scrub bags and donating them to NHS staff. They’re so beautiful; we’re taking commissions!


For our approach to working with clients during the Covid-19 outbreak, please click here.

Stay safe & well everyone!