Magnificent seven

Seven of our 21 nursing homes have now been officially rated Outstanding by sector regulator the Care Quality Commission.

It follows an inspection at Newstone House in Sturminster Newton, Dorset, which was found to be ‘exceptionally well-led and effective’.

Praising the home for being ‘safe, caring and responsive’, CQC inspector Amanda Stride said: “Staff are passionate about making a real difference in people’s lives. They are knowledgeable and have the skills to care for people with varying needs. They have created a home away from home, with each area of the service thoughtfully designed and adapted to suit people’s needs and interests.”

Home Manager April King said: “You need a really strong team delivering exceptional care day in, day out to achieve Outstanding. We’re immensely proud that everyone’s input has been recognised in this way.”

The CQC’s findings echo positive reviews on from residents and families. One resident, Norma, wrote: “There is a feeling of happiness that is very special.”

Community links were highlighted in our approach to providing companionship for residents.

The 20-page report, which was issued just before the Covid-19 lockdown, states: “For example, one person had a passion for classic cars, so the staff arranged for the local classic car club to visit the home with their cars. This was an event which everyone at the home and their relatives could also enjoy.”

The success at Newstone House came just weeks after the retention of an Outstanding rating for Kingfishers in New Milton, Hampshire.

It means that a third of our homes, including two offering dedicated dementia care, now have the top CQC grade.

In another third-party endorsement, we have become the UK’s highest rated ‘Large Care Home Group’ on This rating, awarded in March 2020, followed two successive years of being a ‘Top 20 Care Home Group’ on the national public review site.


To read the CQC’s inspection report on Newstone House, visit

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