A WINCHESTER-based expert on care home safety scooped a national accolade for his service.

The Best Practice Award was given to Richard Price, Care UK’s head of health and safety, by the National Association of Safety and Health in Care Services (NASHiC).

It recognises the commitment, work and investment that has gone into further boosting fire safety in Care UK’s 120 homes across England and Scotland.

The 46-year-old said: "We have 10,000 residents, many of whom are frail and unable to evacuate by themselves in an emergency. We also have a chief executive who is passionately committed to health and safety and who wanted to raise profile and understanding within the wider business.

"As a result, we had everything we needed to take us to the highest possible level of compliance."

As well as appointing a new fire risk assessor to achieve high level reviews in all homes, Richard and his team spent time devising and implementing training for colleagues in home fire drills.

He added: " We did everything possible to ensure residents and colleagues are given exceptional protection, including creating an enhanced five-tier approach to risk rating that better enables our property services team to prioritise actions and manage risk.

"I am very proud of the hard work the wider team within the business have put into improving fire safety compliance and I am also very proud that Care UK understood and was prepared to take on the investment and enormous commitment, seeing the importance of leading from the front."