A national care watchdog has given Bowes House the seal of approval, with relatives and residents praising its caring and attentive team members.
The Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) report gave Bowes House an overall ‘good’ rating, following an unannounced inspection.
Bowes House’s team members were praised for the level of care each of them showed to residents at the home. A family member said: “The team is kind and caring, very good with privacy and [relative] dignity”. Residents commended the team members’ approachability, who allow plenty of time for conversations without feeling rushed.
The report highlighted that the level of care was tailored to the needs of every resident, promoting independence and control over their lives. For example, more seating had been added to the corridors to encourage residents to walk independently, while giving them the opportunity to rest if needed. Residents also have access to assistive technology, including voice control, to operate music and Skype.
Choice is embedded in Bowes House’s ethos at all times, including mealtimes. The inspectors praised the food on offer, with residents feeling ‘spoilt for choice’. Meals are also tailored to residents’ needs, with adapted cutlery provided if needed. At the time of the inspection, the chef was also seeking feedback for a new dish he’d created for the residents, making them feel valued as their opinions count.
This person-centred approach is carried through all aspects of the residents’ lives, through continuous needs assessments. In the event of a resident needing to move within the service, the report noted that the Bowes House team would try to replicate the person’s old room as much as possible, from the general layout to the colour scheme and decorations, to reduce the impact of moving.
The report also found that residents living with dementia were encouraged to create a life story book with their families and friends, including photos and information about their life and hobbies. This allowed team members to get to know them better, giving them all the tools necessary to further tailor their care.
Inspectors were impressed with the range of activities available, from pony visits, which a resident said was ‘fabulous’, to a ‘mods and rockers’ themed party. All of these were organised using residents’ feedback and their life story books. In addition, the home has a wishing tree, which allows residents to submit their wishes. For example, a resident and keen sailor was taken on a boat trip after he expressed the wish to be at sea again. For residents who preferred to stay in their rooms, one-on-one activities were also on offer, including knitting and relaxation therapy.
The report also noted that ‘the service was well led by management team, who were skilled and knowledgeable’, demonstrating compassion and commitment to the residents. As well as having good relationships with local GPs and pharmacies, they also work closely with external agencies, ensuring a transparent and open approach.
Helena Barrow, home manager at Bowes House, 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 Bowes House works incredibly hard to provide 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.”