High five!

CHEERS: Co-founder of the Colten Group, John Colwell (front) joins Amberwood House in Ferndown to celebrate its Outstanding rating by the Care Quality Commission.

“I get involved in so many experiences and activities I wouldn’t have the chance to do otherwise”.

These are the words of resident Jim Smith, reflecting on life at Amberwood House during a party to celebrate its Outstanding rating from care sector regulator the Care Quality Commission.

Jim, 93, said: “I am as happy now as I was on the day I moved in more than a year ago. I have no complaints but 100,000 thank-yous. The staff here respect you and each other. If you’ve got care, food and friendship then you are in business – and here we have it all.”

Jim’s thoughts were echoed by fellow resident Florrie Hughes, who added: “This is a lovely home with a devoted team. Colten Care is very lucky to have such loyal staff.”

Amberwood House in Ferndown, Dorset, is the fifth Colten Care home to be declared Outstanding, the CQC’s highest grade possible. Across the country, only 3.5 per cent of the tens of thousands of care homes inspected have achieved this top rating.

In their report on Amberwood House, CQC inspectors identified a range of strengths, particularly in the home’s leadership and effectiveness.

They wrote: “Some people who come in for respite care decide to come and live at the home as their experience is so good. They could go home but choose to stay because they like it so much.”

Jim, who comes into that category as a former respite resident himself, said: “The manager is tremendous. Her door is always open if you want to discuss anything, and she takes time to sit and talk. That means so much to me. It’s so nice to be happy.”

PASSION FOR WHAT WE DO: Previous Home Manager Gill Irish, left, with resident Jim Smith and current Home Manager Heather Lawrence.

Inspectors also praised the home’s quality monitoring and audit procedures, admissions process, support for nurses’ career progression and induction programme for new staff.

Amberwood House’s success means that a quarter of our 20 inspected homes are in the elite of homes nationally. It’s an especially remarkable achievement if, like Colten Care, homes are registered for nursing.

The inspection took place before former Home Manager Gill Irish left to take the reins of our Chichester home Wellington Grange.

Returning to join Jim, Florrie, fellow residents and staff at the celebration party, Gill said: “I have always been very proud of Amberwood House and still am. Staff are at the heart of what makes it such a special place. They are incredibly friendly and caring.”

New Home Manager Heather Lawrence said: “I am privileged to have taken over the running of an Outstanding home.”

Our four other Outstanding homes are Linden House in Lymington, Woodpeckers in Brockenhurst, Canford Chase in Poole and Kingfishers in New Milton.

Our other 15 inspected homes are all rated Good. Our new home, Bourne View, which opened in Poole, has yet to be inspected by the CQC, but it has already achieved the top rating of 10/10 on the  independent Carehome.co.uk review website.

PARTY: Smiles all round – plus cake!

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