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Richard
Clinical Advisor for NCL Care Homes

Richard Villar has had a varied career.  He started out as an orthopaedic surgeon, spending many years as a consultant at Addenbrooke’s Hospital and more recently used his skills in humanitarian work in Lebanon and Gaza.  With the advent of the pandemic, he found himself back in the UK, and returned to the health and care sector to offer his skills and experience. 

As a medical advisor to care homes in north central London, Richard not only offered medical advice, he also became a mentor, a coordinator and part ‘mission-control’ for care homes across the five boroughs.  Bringing the skills and problem-solving expertise developed in the battlefields of the Middle East, he was able to offer care home managers a calm ear as well as ensuring that good practice was shared and crucial information on guidelines, regulations and PPE made it to the people who needed it most. 

Most care homes operate independently, which means that historically, they may have made decisions in isolation or not had the opportunity to learn from each other.  Richard’s work helped to remedy this, where a network of support was developed at a really difficult time for care home managers; something that everyone valued and hopes will continue.

“Whilst I had lots of experience of providing medical care,” says Richard, “I didn’t have a history of working in care homes – but I could draw on my experience and knowledge from colleagues and even relatives who had used their services.  The care homes are already a community of dedicated, compassionate people and working with them, we helped to strengthen the network and bring people together at a really challenging time.”

 

As told by Richard in an interview by North London Partners in health and care

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