Introducing an inspiring Devon Bluebird

Published: 12/01/2018

This month, we introduce inspiring Devon Bluebird Tony McNamara from our Exeter Hub.

This month, we introduce inspiring Devon Bluebird Tony McNamara from our Exeter Hub.

When Tony joined the Bluebird Care team two years ago as a Care Assistant, he was completely new to care work. Since then, Tony has worked hard, taking various training and building his skills. All this work paid off. In 2017, he won the Exeter Care Assistant of the Year award for his "commitment to exemplifying outstanding service, and acting with patience, care and professionalism." He has been promoted from Care Assistant and Assistant Coordinator, to his current role as Care Coordinator, a role in which he is now excelling. 


1)    Please could you tell us your name, age, job title and how long you have worked for Bluebird Care?
Tony McNamara, age 45, Care Coordinator. I have worked with Bluebird Care for just over 14 months. 
2) What hours do you work, and is it on a shift/rota pattern? 
I work Monday to Friday, 7am - 4pm, and then every other weekend. However, I am very flexible and am able to work hours that are needed and to provide cover to our On Call service. 

3) What qualifications have you got within the care industry?
I have my Care Certificate, which I received when I passed all the initial training with  Bluebird Tony McNamara as a Care Assistant at Bluebird CareCare. This is a rigorous training process which involves shadow shifts and a three-month probation period in which we are monitored and assessed. During my time as a Care Assistant, I also received ongoing e-learning training in key areas such as dementia, infection control and customer care policies which go above and beyond the regulatory standards and requirements.  

4) Are you studying for other qualifications?
I am currently working towards my Level 2 Health & Social Care NVQ. The course builds upon and further strengthens my existing knowledge and skills in the sector, including safeguarding, equality and inclusion, effective communication, and the delivery of customer-centred support.  
5)    What does your current role consist of?

As Care Coordinator, I am responsible for ensuring optimal Customer Continuity is maintained, which means that our customers receive care from the same small group of Care Assistants each week. This involves organising the rotas for each Care Worker and communicating with various local care organisations. I also assist with work in the office as and when my help is needed.
6)    Can you describe a typical day in your job?
My day begins with a check of the care team's Daily Rounds, to make sure everything is set to run smoothly. I then begin allocating work for the following week to each Care Worker and updating the Care Work Board with upcoming rotas. I also have to fit new customer's care packages into the new rotas whilst maintaining continuity with exisiting customers. Throughout the day, I remain in close contact with Care Workers and Supervisors. I also provide back-up care should I be needed to go out into the community to provide care and support to our customers.
7)    Have you always worked in the care industry? If not, what were you doing before?
No. Before Bluebird Care I worked for eight years in the Hotel and Tourism sector, and prior to that I worked for nineteen years in Transport/Logistics. 
8)    Were you nervous about entering the care industry - it can be quite an intimate job?
To begin with, I was a little nervous because it was so new and yes, it is quite an intimate job. However, my previous roles involved a high level of customer service which definitely helped me adjust quickly. I also received a lot of support and guidance from my colleagues in the Bluebird team, which was a huge help. I quickly realised I really enjoy working closely with customers and I soon settled into the position. 

9)    What are the rewards of the job?
Definitely knowing that I am helping others who need that little bit of extra support and care to live happily and independently at home. This gives me complete job happiness and satisfaction. 

10) Last year, you were awarded Bluebird Care's Care Worker of the Year award. What does this title mean exactly, and what do you think helped you win it?
To me, it's an award that recognises how well you are delivering consistently, high-quality care to your customers, and that you are well thought of by your peers in your team. I ask myself all the time why I won the award, but I think it's because I have settled well into the job I do and I provide a good service of care to those I visit. I am a happy person and I believe this helps in the job I do. 

11) Have you experienced any difficult moments while being a care worker? If so, what were they?

When I began working with Bluebird Care, I worked as a Live-In Carer. During this time, a customer I had been caring for passed away quite suddenly. I found this very difficult as I have built a really great relationship with him in the short time I had been caring for him, and his 
sudden passing was a shock to me. It is very sad, but I feel positive that I was able to provide support and friendship to him in what turned out to be his last weeks. 

12)    Would you recommend that other people consider entering the care profession? If so, why? 

Absolutely. The job roles in care are very rewarding. I go to work smiling each day, and even after a challenging day, I still return home with a smile because I know I have been able to help those who need the care. 

13)    Is there anything else you would like to add? 

I used to think that I wouldn't be very good as a carer. But I have proven myself wrong and I am very happy in my job. I get complete job satisfaction. And working for a respected company like Bluebird Care really helps. I work with such a great team, and as a company they are always seeking ways to improve their services for their customers. For me, it's the best company I have worked for in the past decade. 

To join your local #DevonBluebird team, take a look at our latest vacancies here or get in touch directly on 01392 426 006 for an informal chat.