Interview with the 2021 Health & Social Care Bursary Winner - Kelly Marquis

Next month we are looking forward to judging the shortlisted entries for this year’s Insurance Corporation Health & Social Care Bursary. Supporting projects that enhance health and social provision, the bursary provides additional financial support to those committed and dedicated professionals who are working within the Bailiwick. We caught up with Kelly Marquis, winner of the 2021 Bursary to see how her Cake and Consultation Scheme had evolved over the past year.

What is the Cake & Consultation programme about?

Cake and Consultation is a health review scheme, which sends a birthday card to selected people on milestones birthdays from the age of 80. Within the card is an invitation for a free health and social assessment, during which the person receives a review of their physical health with a set of baseline observations (including blood pressure, blood sugar levels and an ECG), alongside an assessment of their home and lifestyle requirements. The idea being to address problems with physical health and support independence and safety at home, addressing any concerns while they are in their infancy, before they escalate. They are also given a free birthday cake, making them smile and feel special on their birthday, and a free water bottle to encourage hydration.

How did winning the Bursary help get this programme into action?

The Bursary has funded the design and printing of the cards, along with the provision of the cakes. The beauty of the project is that it is cost effective to run, meaning many people can, and have benefited from it.

What impact has winning the Bursary had on you?

Winning the bursary was an incredible boost to me, having recently commenced in a new role working in partnership between St John and HSC, it was great to be able to hit the ground running and see my idea come to life and become so successful.

How has the Cake & Consultation helped patients?

Patients have benefitted from a variety of interventions following their assessment, from equipment suggestion and provision, to finding medical issues that required GP follow up, to receiving advice to make things easier within the home environment. It really is an individualised assessment, and the people I have seen have been very positive about their experience.

What impact has the Cake & Consultation had on the community?

With nearly half of the people assessed receiving an intervention it has really benefited our community, as problems and issues that people face have been improved upon, or solved. People have provided feedback saying how valued they felt, how they were delighted with the service, how their morale and wellbeing levels were boosted, and how people in the UK would fall over themselves for this opportunity. It really has been received well by the people I have met along with their families and carers.

What is the plan for the future? Where do you see this programme going?

I'm really hoping the project continues as it has been so successful. It would be possible to expand the project, offering more assessments, and subsequently more interventions, which not only benefits the person themselves, but also helps to reduce the need for hospital admissions and a future reliance on community services.

We interviewed you after your win in 2021, you said the next self-funded research project is on which cakes are the best to take to patients - what were your findings/which cake was the most favourite?

The cakes have been very gratefully received, and our wonderful baker has kept things interesting with different flavours and themes. Mini gache melee around Liberation day, lemon drizzle and Eton mess during the summer, and plans for mini Christmas cakes as we head towards the festive season too. It's the most difficult thing about the project - giving away cakes without getting to enjoy them myself!

What tips would you give other staff working in health & social care thinking of entering our annual Bursary competition?

Give it a go! Not only has it really benefited the people I have seen as a result, but it was fabulous to hear about all the other wonderful ideas that colleagues have. It's inspiring to learn what projects people are working on, and is a great way to network with likeminded people.

Anything else you wish to say?

Thank you to Insurance Corporation for making Cake and Consultation happen!