A national care watchdog has given Ambleside the seal of approval, with relatives and residents praising its caring and attentive team members.
The Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) report gave Ambleside an overall ‘good’ rating, following an unannounced inspection.
The home received ‘good’ ratings in all five categories for safety, effectiveness, responsiveness, caring and having a well-led service.
Ambleside’s team members were praised for the level of care each of them showed to residents in their care, with a special attention to details and to the residents’ personal preferences. One resident said: “they (team) bring me a cappuccino and latte coffee as they know I like them”.
The report found knowing the residents well also allows Ambleside’s team members to be more responsive to their behaviour. One team member explained: “the more you know, the better you can look after them.” For example, after finding out that the reason why a resident kept swinging their walking frame was because they used to play golf and were practicing their swing, the team decided to set up a mini golf course in the garden area.
The report showed that everything was done to keep the residents’ families involved at every level, by keeping them informed of every decision made, but also by encouraging relatives to get involved in life at Ambleside. For example, a resident’s relative at Ambleside runs a popular garden club at the home. The team at Ambleside is also providing support to families who have a loved one living with dementia, by giving them advice and regularly hosting informational events.
The report highlighted that respecting the residents’ privacy and dignity was essential at Ambleside, with several members of the team recently celebrating Dignity Action Day by signing up to be Dignity Champions. One relative said: “I liked that everyone addressed my husband nicely, by his actual name, and always treated him with dignity.”
The report also found that the level of care was tailored to the needs of every resident, promoting independence wherever possible. For example, one resident was given a double handled mug to enable them to drink independently. Some areas of the home were adapted and made more accessible with larger corridors, to allow residents with mobility equipment to travel more easily without limiting access to other residents. One relative said their relation “loves the open spaces here, the wide corridors and big bedrooms. He feels like he is on holidays.”
Residents had memory boxes containing meaningful personal items outside their rooms to find their way around more independently, but also to reminisce and prompt conversations with other residents, visitors or team members.
The report also found that choice was embedded in Ambleside’s care ethos. Residents were always called by their preferred name and had their say in everything. For example, residents had regular meetings with the home’s head chef to discuss the food options; when they asked for “more interesting meals to eat”, the home made sure to add pizza, Mexican and Chinese meals to the menu. Residents can also choose when they wish to eat, and the team at Ambleside care home always ensured they meet the residents’ specific dietary requirements, whether medical or ethical.
The inspector noted that a weekly timetable of activity was provided by Ambleside’s activity team to every resident, giving them the opportunity to choose which activities they would like to do and to plan their week accordingly. The home offered a wide range of activities, including pet therapy visits, arts and crafts, baking club, flower arranging and seated exercise classes.
The report highlighted that the staff enjoyed working at Ambleside and caring for the residents, with one team member saying: “I love it here. I come in and they (residents) give me so much enjoyment. It is helping them and being here for them. Every day is different.”
Clare Mudge, home manager at Ambleside, said: “Creating a welcoming home from home feel, and making sure every resident receives the best possible care is our absolute priority. Everyone here at Ambleside works incredibly hard to provide our residents with compassionate, person-centred care and I’m delighted that our efforts have been recognised by the CQC’s inspectors.
“I’m extremely proud of our team and I would like to say thank you for their hard work and dedication, which I know is also greatly appreciated by residents and their families.”