Married couple join Healthwatch Stockton as Community Champions

Ben and Nikki Brown from The White House Care Home in Stockton are our latest Community Champions, who have shown outstanding effort in their roles and gone the extra mile for residents and their families throughout the pandemic.
Image of Nikki and Ben from the White House care home

Their achievements have also been awarded with an excellent rating (the highest rating awarded) from the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the independent regulator of health and social care in England.

Their story…

For different reasons, both have always had a caring nature and a passion for putting others before themselves.

Nikki, who is now The White House’s Registered Manager, joined in a work placement role in 1999. Since then, she has performed almost every role. She said: “It’s a badge of honour for me to have experienced such a wide array of roles within the same setting. I feel it has kept me very grounded and has helped to shape my approach to leading a successful care team.”

Deputy Manager and husband Ben began life in the care home as a day-to-day housekeeper in 2007, but quickly progressed through different roles as a health care assistant, senior health care assistant, then as an activities co-ordinator.

He attributes his love of care to one of his two sisters, who has a disability known as Angelman Syndrome. Ben helped to care for her in his youth, so says he has a natural instinct to look after others.

He said: “My upbringing was amazingly unique. It gave me a unique sense of humour and a very personal approach to person centred care – both of which help our care home and the residents.”

Their passion, commitment and experience make them stand out from many others in the sector, and the good practice they deliver for residents has a lasting effect on colleagues who work within the care home.

Outstanding ratings are hard to come by too, but their positive approach to lockdown, alternative ideas (which allowed family members to see their loved ones throughout the pandemic), and meticulous approach to ensuring the White House is always in top condition, is what gave them the edge upon inspection.

The future…

Ben and Nikki now say that they plan to continue in the same vein and provide the care and support they say their residents deserve.

I am very passionate about highlighting the positive sides of healthcare as I feel they are quite often overshadowed by the difficulties of the job or by the devastating effects of dementia. So, I’ll continue to do that.
— Ben Brown, Deputy Manager, White House care home

“We’ve had some great opportunities provided by Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council recently as well. This has helped us improve and implement new systems and services, which have showcased the improvements for all to see. We’ll continue to work closely with them, so I can only see the future being even brighter for our residents.

“Even if there are more challenges ahead, we’ll face them and tackle them as best we can.”

Nikki echoed her husband’s words:

I hope we can become a good example to other care homes in the area. Despite the hardships of the pandemic, it’s made people realise that health care assistants are professionals, and that they deserve huge recognition for what they have done recently… and what they continue to do.
— Nikki Brown, Registered Manager, White House care home

“We’re the managers but we’d be nowhere without them. We all work together as one big team, and nobody is any less significant than the other. They are a credit to themselves and the area.”

Healthwatch Stockton would like to thank Ben and Nikki for accepting their roles as Community Champions. We’ll be checking in with them throughout 2022 and beyond and involving them in our work priorities in the coming months, showcasing how outstanding care is provided.

Healthwatch Stockton-on-Tees are looking for volunteer Healthwatch Champions to engage with local community groups, services and individuals to identify issues faced when accessing health or care services in Stockton.

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