Big thank you from

Jenny Munro talks to Angela Bryans

Angela BryansANGELA Bryans, 38, is a Director of Advanced Community Care - a Dunmurry based agency that provides domiciliary care to people in their own homes in the greater Dunmurry and Lisburn area. She lives in Seymour Hill with her partner Gary and has three children and one grandchild.

Angela worked in community development for seven years and noticed that there was a gap for community care in the area. After careful planning and extensive training she decided to go into business with Michelle Watson earlier this year.

The local woman also works part time for a funded development project for the Seymour Hill and Conway Community Network and is heavily involved in community projects.

I wake up at 7am, have breakfast and get the kids ready for school. After I drop them off / head to the office.

Michelle and I have a short briefing and check the diary. We co-ordinate staff and match them to the people in need of care. As well as private clients bodies like the South Eastern Trust use our services too.

We recruit and select the carers on our team. After a background search, relevant training and an induction period the new member of staff is added to our books.

Sometimes people who have been in hospital need help while they recover from surgery or from an illness and our services are required in the short-term to help them convalesce. The people we care for range from children with mental and health problems to elderly people who need long term help.

As well as manning the office Michelle and I do the administration, take phone calls and sort out the files. We now have an office assistant and this is a great help.

I might take calls from the health board or from a private client who phones us with information on a patient who needs to be cared for. I take down all the relevant information and find out particular requirements. Once I have established the person's needs I fill in a care plan and check the members of staff available to care for the new patient and then I'll slot the care package into the weekly timetable.

Generally the patient will be visited by carers in their own home four times a day for personal care in the morning, lunch, dinner and then bed time preparation.

The staff work flexible hours and this means myself and Michelle are on call 24 hours a day. If there is an emergency and one of the carers can't make it to their job I try to arrange cover and if this is not possible Michelle or myself will go out ourselves.

When we take on somebody new to be cared for, the carers attending to them will be fully briefed on the care package, which has been tailored to the person's needs.

They will take a file with them to the person's home where it will remain for the duration of care. Each carer who tends to the patient must complete their task and then record their duties in the file. When our services are no longer needed the file is archived and kept with us for seven years.

I regularly carry out spot checks just to maintain the high level of care we expect from the team. This helps ensure that the staff have the appropriate uniform and are meeting our code of practice.

I normally leave the office at 4pm and head home to make dinner for the family When I've made sure the children have sat down to do their homework I'll chill out in front of the television for a while.

In the evening I might be out at a course relating to the business or I am usually involved in something that is going on in the area. I like to keep up to date with local events and activates and help out as much as I can. I am also treasurer of the Mosside Women's group.

I really get a lot of satisfaction from my job as it is very rewarding knowing that people are being provided with first class care.

Ulster Star