Queen’s Birthday Honours: Islandmagee woman receives MBE for family liaison role during pandemic
An Islandmagee woman has been recognised for her services to care home residents throughout East Antrim during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Angela Reid, a social worker with the Northern Health and Social Care Trust, received a MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours last week.
As community area manager for care homes in East Antrim, Angela was instrumental in developing the Family Liaison service, which provided a crucial link between residents and their loved ones while care homes were closed to outside visitors. "Some people in care homes were becoming so unwell and their families were not able to come in and see them. Myself and a few others went in and between us we set up Family Liaison," she said.
“We would get calls and messages from family and we would relay those to their relatives; in cases where someone had passed away, there were families who said it meant a lot to them that someone was with their loved ones before they died.
“For others it was just getting that reassurance that their relative was ok.
“It was a very sad, and a very emotional time but to provide that crucial role was really rewarding.”
Angela, who qualified as a social worker 23 years ago, has been working for the NHSCT for 20 years.
“This has been a challenging time for everyone but for me it’s the best social work I have ever done,” she added. “So many professionals in the Trust have gone beyond their duty in this past year. For me, it was about leading by example and not asking staff to do anything I wouldn’t do myself.”
Learning she was to receive a MBE for her work during the pandemic, meanwhile, was a “surreal” moment. “It’s a real honour and a privilege, but I do feel I’m taking this one for the team,” Angela added.
“My family are just delighted for me, especially my grandad, who’s 92.”
In a statement, the Northern Health and Social Care Trust congratulated Angela and fellow Trust staff members Thomas Haighton, Eileen McEneaney and David Jeffrey.
Jennifer Welsh, Chief Executive of the Trust said, “The Senior Management Team and I are delighted that Angela, Thomas, David and Eileen have been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for the work they do which makes a huge difference to the lives of patients, services users, their families and to the community.
“They are a great example of the amazing people we have working for us in the Northern Trust who are committed and determined to provide better care for everyone. Congratulations to you all.”