Third CQC Outstanding

Mark Aitchison, Chief Executive, Colten Care
Mark Aitchison, Chief Executive, Colten Care

Welcome to our spring 2018 edition, the first since we heard the great news of our third Outstanding rating from the CQC.

I congratulate the entire Woodpeckers team on this superb achievement, which includes becoming the first Colten home to be rated Outstanding across three key lines of enquiry: effective, responsive and well-led.

Woodpeckers was the first care home we opened more than 30 years ago and this latest success further illustrates a consistency of quality care across all our homes.

Having three homes rated Outstanding in successive inspections really does put us among the country’s very top providers registered for nursing care. It means that 15% of our homes are Outstanding against an industry average of less than two per cent.

It’s particularly gratifying as we are achieving this independent recognition while investing in nursing at a time when others are turning away from it, due to recruitment challenges and higher costs.

I would also like to congratulate our Operations Director Elaine Farrer for winning the Care Leadership gong at the National Care Awards. Well done on a thoroughly deserved win, Elaine!

Turning to our own awards, Colten Champions, we’re delighted to have had almost 800 nominations. Roll on awards night when we can celebrate the winners and finalists.

We are also highlighting our connections with local schools. There has been media coverage recently about intergenerational activities in UK care homes, but this is nothing new to us – we have always put great store on building strong community links and welcoming young visitors into our homes. Everyone enjoys this, as the smiles in our photographs show.

I hope you enjoy the Chronicle. You can receive more information on individual homes by joining the mailing list for our quarterly community newsletters. Please speak with your Home Manager, or send an email to and we will add you to the list. If you have any feedback on the Chronicle, please tell us at

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