Year of the Nurse and Midwife feature: Martyn Davies

It is the Year of the Nurse and Midwife – and in Trafford we’re putting the spotlight on our incredible nurses, asking them what motivates them to do the job. This feature is on Martyn Davies, a registered nurse who is owner of Urmston Manor Residential Home.

“It’s the most rewarding job in the world.”

 Martyn Davies

Martyn Davies – who moved to Manchester at age 16 with no qualifications – worked his way up through the ranks to own and manage Urmston Manor Residential Home, transforming its “inadequate” CQC rating to “outstanding” in just 12 months.

Despite this obvious and most recent success, the now 36-year-old pinpoints particular moments earlier in his nursing career for why he decided this was the job for him.

Martyn, who along with his team, moved into Urmston Manor at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in order to shield the residents, recalls the first moment where it all clicked for him.

He says: “About 15 years ago I remember a lady called Miriam. She had arthritis and swollen legs, and I noticed her struggling to put her shoes and socks on. I went over to see if there was anything I could do and she accepted my help. Seeing the emotion in her face and how grateful she was for the help is when I knew this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Seeing how much of a difference you can make by even the smallest things really hit home for me.

“A defining moment for me as a student nurse was being able to help a lady who had had a stroke and had also lost an arm. She would not come out of her room – she was a very proud woman who stayed in her room.

“After some encouragement and giving her a fork-knife, she was able to sit at the dining table and eat a full meal. But what really made it so emotional was when she turned to me, sobbing, and said ‘I’m doing it, I’m doing it’.

“You can’t underestimate how scary it is for people to know they need round-the-clock care so it really is beautiful to watch them come out of their shell and become more social.”

That selfless approach continues to be central to Martyn’s philosophy today – and as we face the biggest health crisis in a generation, current residents at Urmston Manor are in safe hands.

He explains: “Myself and a number of the team moved into the home in order to shield the residents and to give us time to figure out our longer-term strategy. We now have a system which allows staff to take days off at home but that they are following stringent guidelines in order to make sure our residents are safe and that the relevant supplies are reaching us. For example, in an effort to reduce the risk of us bringing COVID-19 into the home, the staff book online delivery slots and offer out anything that anyone might need to put on their shopping.

“In an extremely unprecedented and difficult situation for everybody, my team have been amazing in keeping residents completely safe and maintaining a level of normality by following the rules. We adhere to social distancing but have made it so residents are not isolated to their bedrooms.”

Just this week, visitors can now come and sit with a resident behind a perspex glass structure which has already allowed the son and partner of one resident to go along and watch as she blew a candle out for her 87th birthday.

It’s astonishing what can be achieved with the right level of commitment shown to his residents, especially for Martyn, who arrived in Manchester with no GCSEs. His story is proof that anyone seriously considering nursing as a career can get there.

He says: “I moved here with nothing. I moved in with my partner and was working at a restaurant in the Trafford Centre, washing dishes. I then went to a nursing home as kitchen assistant and then care assistant and realised how much I enjoyed the working in this environment.

“But with no GCSEs to go to university, I did an access course and was accepted in to Salford University. It was tough as I was juggling a full-time job as a care assistant with that course. But it meant that I became a registered nurse which allowed me to do the role I have today.

“I don’t regret any of it and to anyone thinking about becoming a nurse, whatever position you are in, it can be done – and I’m proof of that. And for all its hardships, it is the most rewarding job in the world.”

Cllr Jo Harding, Executive Member for Adult Social Care at Trafford Council, says: “Martyn is a great example of community nursing in action. He lives and breathes his job and we love to work with him and Urmston Manor – as we do all residential homes in the borough – to ensure residents enjoy active and varied lives.

“Our Trafford nursing community spans hospitals, GP practices, mental health and care homes, as well as in the community and beyond and the NHS and Council work closely with partners to support their vital work.”

Anyone who wants to understand more about becoming a nurse should visit: https://www.rcn.org.uk/professional-development/become-a-nurse
Posted on Monday 15th June 2020