A CARER who was one of three workers to volunteer to stay locked inside a Latchford care home and care for patients during the pandemic, has reached a career milestone.

Deborah Sorton, from Orford, will soon celebrate 30 years of work at Westy Hall Care Home.

The devoted carer is described by her colleagues as ‘kind-hearted’ and ‘always willing to help’.

Deborah first joined the Marsden Avenue care home on March 7, 1994, initially working as a domestic cleaner.

She went on to work in various roles across the home including domestic supervisor, care assistant, senior care assistant, before taking on her long-standing role as care team leader for 20 years.

The 56-year-old took a step down recently from the role and is now working as a domestic cleaner once again – something she described as a full circle moment.

Warrington Guardian: Deborah SortonDeborah Sorton (Image: Supplied)

Speaking on what has kept her at the Latchford home for all those years, she said: “We are just like a family, both the staff and the residents.

“There are a few staff that have been here 25 years plus.”

Highlighting the importance of the job of a carer, she added: “I think working in the care sector is a vocation.

“You can either do it or you can’t. It is a skilled profession."

A mum of three, Deborah touched on the proudest achievement of her career being when she chose to stay within the confinements of the home and provide vital care for residents during one of the Covid lockdowns.

“In the first lockdown there were three of us that lived in the home for three weeks. We did not see any family.

“We had four confirmed cases within the home. Nobody had a job at that point, everyone just mucked in. We were sent free Dominos and afternoon tea to enjoy on a few occasions.”

The 56-year-old will welcome the incredible milestone on March 7.

Summarising, Deborah added: “Westy Hall is a great place to work and everybody supports everyone.”

Care home manager at Westy Hall, Katya Iyon, said: “Deb is helpful and very kind-hearted.

“She is a long-standing member of staff, I have worked alongside her for 14 years.

“It takes a special person to work in this environment. She was one of the three who has moved in during covid to help.

“Staying at the same place for 30 years is a massive achievement and privilege for us at the care home.

“We would like to thank her for her dedication and service to Westy Hall.”

A Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust spokesman said: “We are aware of the findings of the inquest into the death of a service user who was cared for in one of our mental health inpatient units. Our thoughts go out to the family, friends and loved ones of the deceased at this distressing time.

“The jury at the inquest believed the deceased “received an appropriate level of care and attention,” on the ward, and although there was learning identified around the risk assessment of the garden space and staffing levels in the garden from which the deceased absconded, they did not consider this to be a direct contributing factor in his death.

“As an organisation that prides itself on learning, we have reviewed the circumstances leading up to this tragic incident, and the findings have been shared with the coroner.

“Since this incident, a robust risk assessment of the garden area has taken place and is reviewed regularly, there have also been adjustments made to the environment to make it safer and prevent future incidents. Additional risk assessment training for staff has also been introduced.

“Mersey Care acquired the former North West Boroughs NHS Foundation Trust after this tragic incident in 2021, and has since reviewed staffing levels and processes to ensure critical services can continue to deliver their core interventions and care.”