A national care watchdog has awarded Appleby House ‘outstanding’, with relatives and residents praising its exceptionally attentive and friendly team members.
The Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) report awarded Appleby House ‘outstanding’ in its level of care in four out of five categories, which included effectiveness, caring, and responsiveness – making it the first care home in Surrey to receive the honour of four outstanding categories.
The report noted that the love and warmth towards residents was felt the minute the home is entered. One relative said, "This is the best care home you'll ever find. They love him. They give people hugs all the time which is lovely." Likewise, another relative commented, "This place really is something special, it's one in a million".
At Appleby House, going above and beyond is embedded into the ethos of all team members at the home. Team members wear ‘Butterfly Model’ embellishments, these are items such as Minnie Mouse ears and colourful things in their hair. The ‘Butterfly Model’ is about creating a vibrant environment, and means wearing items which help to engage and spark conversation with residents living with dementia.
Residents and their family members told the CQC inspectors that they felt well looked after at Appleby House. One relative commented, "I can now relax…. She is really looked after here…she is safe." While the team members also noted how important safety in the home is, saying "You get to know the residents so you can anticipate their care needs. It's like being with your family member and keeping them safe."
The home was found to have been adapted to fit the residents needs, for example the cinema room, which was not being used as much, has been adapted into an art studio. This now the hub of the home and regularly has people from the local community visiting.
The chefs were also commended for innovating soft diets in a way that looked attractive and appetising, with one family member saying; "They make such an effort; when mum came in from hospital, she needed a soft diet and they piped all her food into the shape of the item."
Appleby House is well-known within the community and regularly opens its doors to friends and neighbours, last summer the home put on an open-air concert in the garden. One relative told us, "It was brilliant. The carers were dancing with residents…. It was the best Sunday afternoon I have ever had."
The home also works with a local primary school, and hosts weekly inter-generational projects between residents and pupils. Through this relationship residents and pupils have joined together for art projects, singing, gardening and charity fundraising. Relatives said that the benefit of residents spending time with the children had been incredible. One resident had moved to Appleby House with limited verbal communication and had come to life after working with the children and even setting them homework.
Team members were applauded for their exceptional response to people's emotional needs. Team members in all roles were highly motivated and provided support in a kind and compassionate way that exceeded expectations. One relative told the inspectors
, "There's not one team member here that I don't think truly cares or sees this as just as job."
Everyone who was spoken to applauded the leadership of the service. One person said, "The manager is very innovative. She has got a very active presence and she is very visible." Since the last inspection, the home manager had been externally recognised as 'Registered Manager of the Year' by the Surrey Care Association Excellence Awards. Team members echoed this view, one team member said, “The registered manager is wonderful. She is devoted to care and to this service.”
Shona Bradbury, home manager at Appleby House, said: “We are over the moon to have been given our Outstanding result. Everyone has put in a lot of hard work to ensure we offer a home-from-home to all the residents and their families, and the whole team are really proud of their achievements. It’s a wonderful achievement to be the only care home in Surrey to have received recognition of this standard.
“Everything we do is for the residents and my only aim is to make their home a wonderful place to live, and for the team to enjoy working here. We can’t wait to properly celebrate the result with all the residents and their friends and family.”