Marisa Brancaccio, our Deputy Clinical Manager, joins the Florence Nightingale Foundation Green Healthcare Leadership Programme

We are delighted to announce that Marisa Brancaccio, our Deputy Clinical Manager has been accepted onto the Florence Nightingale Foundation Green Healthcare Leadership Programme.

The Florence Nightingale Foundation Green Healthcare Leadership Programme is available to 20 Registered Nurses working in the Independent Healthcare Sector.

The programme aims to empower nurses to be leadership role models and sustainability advocates. It looks at how nurses can lead and implement sustainable healthcare in their practice.

We spoke to Marisa about her healthcare background, why she wanted to join the Florence Nightingale Programme, and what she is most looking forward to about the programme.

Can you tell us a bit about your career background in healthcare?

“I have been in healthcare for 7 years. I was working in the East Surrey hospital in an Acute Respiratory Unit and after that I was given the opportunity to complete a three-month secondment as Pulmonary Hypertension Specialist and Research Nurse at St Thomas Hospital.

“I then moved to Remeo for progression where I completed the High Dependency Respiratory Course. During the course I realised that I really enjoyed the management side of nursing, so I applied for my role now which is Deputy Clinical Manager which I started in December 2022.

“Since then, I have undertaken a few other roles including being the Practice Assessor for the students at Remeo. Then the Florence Nightingale Leadership Programme came up.”

How do you feel about getting a place on the programme?

“It’s exciting. I’m feeling privileged because over 100 people were interviewed for a place on the programme and I’m very happy that I was chosen.

“I’ve now completed my first 2 days on the programme which took place in Cornwall. I’m inspired because over the 2 days I met so many people who were passionate about sustainability. It was nice to meet people all over England with the same passion – it was quite beautiful. It felt like a family.”

Why did you want to join the programme?

“I’ve always been interested in sustainability. Recycling in particular is a huge passion of mine, and I really value the importance of it.

“I come from Italy and recycling is a big thing in the city where I’m from. You can get fined quite a lot if you don’t recycle. When I came to England I had the same mindset as in Italy, and I made sure I continued to recycle.

“I think that recycling is such a simple gesture that makes such a huge difference; it’s easy and it doesn’t cost us anything.

“I’d like to implement the things I learn on the programme into my role at Remeo, for example, making sure we have more recycling bins on the unit.

“At Remeo we now have a sustainability team, so they are making some changes as well. The whole unit is moving in the right direction when it comes to sustainability.

“Also, throughout my career I’d never done a leadership or management programme. The Florence Nightingale Programme is a leadership programme, as well as a sustainability programme, so I thought this could be a good improvement for me; to gain real skills that I can then use and implement.”

What are you most looking forward to about the programme?

“I’m looking forward to learning more, to implementing the skills I learn into my role, and to improving my career even further. I’m curious about the new approach that I will bring because the programme is about sustainability, leadership and management together. I’m expecting to learn a lot of things and I’m looking forward to what’s next.”

What do you hope to gain out of the programme?

“I want to progress in my career and to learn about how I can become a better leader. The first 2 days of the programme were focused on knowing our staff more, and knowing the people we are leading better. Having skilled teachers to guide you, and being surrounded by other people with the same pathway as yourself, is very important.

“I believe the programme will teach me the next steps in my career.”

For more information on the Florence Nightingale Foundation Green Healthcare Leadership Programme follow the link below:

National Nutrition and Hydration Awareness Week

This week its ‘National Nutrition and Hydration Awareness Week’

There are many elements relating to nutrition and hydration on which we focus on within the Lane Fox Remeo Respiratory Centre at Redhill Surrey. Here’s a taster of what we do:

Mouthcare Matters

Optimum Mouth Care is important to help prevent and improve outcomes of pneumonia.

Oral assessment, correct oral hygiene, staff training and audit are all key to achieving this. Consultant dental specialist Milli Doshi and her team regularly review our patients at Lane Fox Remeo. Dr Milli Doshi is a lead on Mouthcare matters for HEE and their website is full of resources from assessment forms to training material –

Milli Doshi and her team and have supported Remeo to ensure staff have the right skills to deliver mouthcare to respiratory complex care patients.

Access to dental services for people has been limited over the last 2 years so its essential that we do everything we can to continue to support the dental care of those who come into our services. We do this through:

  • Training our staff to have the right knowledge and skills
  • Liaisng with Milli Doshi and her team when dental referrals are required
  • Mouthcare promotion events
  • Provision of specialised mouthcare product choices
  • Audit and monitoring of staff mouthcare documentation, observations and care provision

Further information on mouthcare can be found at NICE

Hydration and Wellbeing

Keeping clinical staff hydrated at work is vital to their wellbeing and concentration in the workplace

Nurses have been found to walk an average of 3 to 6 miles in a 12-hour shift (RCN 2018)

At Remeo we have:

It all helps maintains a healthy workplace!


Nutrition is a complex area for those with long term respiratory conditions. Nutritional assessment, audit of care and dietetic input are key components in achieving quality nutritional care. One of the simplest ways to encourage oral intake is how you present the food to your patient. At Remeo we pride ourselves on our 5 star food hygiene rating and our food presentation.

Pride Month Interview

Please follow the link below to read Pride Month Interview

Pride Month is a month dedicated to celebrating the LGBTQ+ communities all around the world. It’s in June as it was the month of the Stonewall riots, the protests in America that changed gay rights for many people worldwide.

At Active Care Group, we pride ourselves on being inclusive with a diverse workforce. To conclude Pride Month 2021, we spoke to Sam Busby-Newman, Therapy Tech at Remeo our Respiratory Nursing centre. Sam goes by she/her pronouns and is openly Lesbian.

What does Pride mean to you?

“I see it as a time to celebrate all kinds of love. Time to promote equality and diversity. That it is ok to be who you are and that we should all respect each other’s way of life and that it is my life choice – even if it is different to your life choice. As long as no one is being harmed, why would you stop a person from being who they feel they are and love who they want to love? My slogan is to celebrate all kinds of love!”

Do you feel the LGBTQ+ community are well represented at Remeo?

“Yes, I do. I have been openly Lesbian since I joined Remeo back in December 2018 and not once have I felt that I’m being treated differently just because of my life choice to love and marry another woman.”

Tell us about your career progression from a Carer to a Therapy Tech. 

“I joined the Remeo team back in December 2018 as a community Health Care Assistant (HCA) looking after critical care patients that had come from hospital and are cared for in their own home. In July of 2019 I had the opportunity to join the Remeo team on the ward as a HCA, I had never worked in a hospital environment and I wanted to see what it took to get the patient well enough to go home.

It was a very different way of working as I was used to working on my own, but I was now working as part of a team which was great. I loved it and was learning so much more. Then another opportunity came up for a new position that they wanted to offer any of the HCA’s to become a Therapy Tech on the unit and I went for it.

It has been a big learning curve for me as I’m working with all 3 therapies; the Physiotherapists, Occupational therapist and Speech and Language therapist.”

What are your day-to-day responsibilities as a Therapy Tech?

“My daily activities are working with patients on a one-to-one basis. The patients have programs that either the physio, occupational therapist and speech and langue have given me to do.  Sometimes I’m doing something for each therapist with the same patient.

I also assist the different therapist on “double up’s”. I keep all the equipment in working order and I do all the paperwork, stock checks, and make sure signs above patient’s bed are up to date as to the progress in their recovery.

I like to think of myself as the oil in the big machine that keeps everything moving smoothly for everyone by doing all the little niggly jobs.”

What events do you have planned at Remeo for Pride week in September?

“For Pride week, starting Monday 6th September, I have organised some fun activities:

  • We will be holding a rainbow themed sweet-stuff bake off
  • “Design a top” competition where we will give staff old work uniforms that can no longer be used, to design and create a top for the gay pride march.  This helps recycle old clothing as well as showing support
  • I will be doing a short history about how Pride came to be; influential people, lots of fact about the LGBTQ+ community etc. and then have a quiz
  • I’m going to highlight “What are pronouns and why are they important” throughout the week
  • The other thing I want to highlight is the NHS Rainbow badges. It is an initiative that gives staff a way to show that they offer open, non-judgemental and inclusive care for patients and their families who identify as LGBTQ+. The Rainbow Badge initiative originated at Evelina London Children’s Hospital to make a positive difference by promoting a message of inclusion.”

Happy Pride Month from everyone at Active Care Group! For information and resources on Pride Month and the LGBTQ+ community please visit Stonewall.

Remeo shortlisted for Nursing Times Award

“Remeo has been shortlisted for the Nursing Times Awards in the Respiratory Nursing category. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Nursing Times Awards.

The Nursing Times Awards recognise those making nursing an innovative, patient-focused and inclusive profession. This year’s award ceremony will be extra special and another opportunity to promote the hard work and dedication of the nursing profession everywhere. Remeo was shortlisted for creating its advanced high dependency respiratory nursing course. Looking to equip its staff with intensive care but also rehab skills and not finding any suitable courses, Remeo set up its own curriculum and had it accredited by the University of Surrey.

Now in its 5th year, the course has seen candidates from various organisations – acute care, rehab services, neuro rehab services – and allows them to progress to senior nursing roles.

Stella Shailer, Remeo’s Training and Quality Manager, who runs the course commented: “This course has proved to be very popular amongst our staff and enabled career progression and helped improve patient outcomes.

We are delighted to receive this recognition!” See link for shortlisted finalists here:

The Awards ceremony will take place on Wednesday 14 October 2020 at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.”

Special Thank you to Remeo

A patient at the Lane Fox Remeo Respiratory Centre expressed their thanks with a gift of a beautiful cake. This was no ordinary cake, as the maker had decorated the cake with a figure of a patient on a ventilator.

The Remeo team were delighted by this kind gesture. Whereas a normal cake is usually gone within a minutes, this one is still placed on reception to be admired and appreciated.

Generous gift from our patient

Remeo – improving life for people with complex respiratory needs

Remeo is all about improving life for people with complex respiratory ventilation requirements. The end result is to enable people to return home after prolonged critical illness.

When they say thank you to me, that’s everything, states Kristian, Deputy Clinical Manager. A sentiment echoed by many of the clinical team, recently interviewed, who explained what they do and why they enjoy their work. Please listen to their thoughts here.

Deputy Clinical Manager

Summed up by Jana, Managing Director of Remeo, who said: “Once you starting working for Remeo, you are very likely to enjoy it and to stay. As it is very rewarding to see what we can do for our patients.”

If you are interested in joining our passionate and dedicated team, apply here.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

From Wednesday 25 March we will no longer be allowing visitors for inpatients

To reduce the spread of infection we are not allowing visitors to our Centre. This will help minimise the number of people in the Centre and reduce the risk of spreading infection to protect our patients and staff.

There may be exceptional circumstances to this which we will discuss with you on an individual basis.

Staff Awards at Remeo

Jana Schulte Remeo Director, presented Jenny one of the Remeo Respiratory Care Assistants with a ‘Star of the month’ recognition award for being Caring and Effective. Jenny effectively delivered patient care, whilst managing other unexpected service needs.

Andrea Kinkade, CEO of Active Care Group, presented Christine a Remeo Ward Clerk with a ‘Star of the month’ recognition award for being Safe and Caring. Christine went above and beyond her normal duties to support patients and staff.

RCN highlight Lane Fox Remeo workplace adjustment to support a member of staff

The Royal College of Nursing published some videos on their website in their “member stories” section, showing a good example of how workplace adjustments were achieved by Lane Fox Remeo in collaboration with their employee, following diagnosis of a chronic illness.

Michelle head of nursing
Lucy at Lane Fox Remeo Centre

Video clips include the perspective of Ana, the member of staff, Michelle (Head of Nursing) and Lucy (Clinical Centre Manager) at Lane Fox Remeo and Catherine Garner, the local regional RCN Officer. Take a moment to listen to their story here: