Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

Family atmosphere at council care home rated one of the best

Friday, 23 August 2019

Biggleswade’s Abbotsbury Residential Home, run by Central Bedfordshire Council, is rated as one of the best in the country by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for its family atmosphere.

In a glowing report the CQC said: “People told us staff were, ‘Amazing and treated them very well’ and were ‘Very kind, caring and funny.’ Staff interacted with people at their pace, unrushed, and joked and laughed.

“Staff in all roles were empowered to sit and chat to people and developed relationships that helped people feel confident. Many people, relatives and staff used the word ‘family’ when describing the service.”

The home, to 32 residents, is also praised for its ‘positive and inclusive approach to care’, that ‘people were truly respected and valued as individuals…in an exceptional service’ and that it offers care that was ‘high-quality and person-centred’.

The CQC, which regulates health and care services, inspected the care home in July and rated it as outstanding, up from its rating of good in 2017. 

Its report highlights the staff and includes an example of relatives who said they had ‘their family member back’ thanks to Abbotsbury. The unnamed resident used to spend a lot of time in bed and had stopped speaking, but thanks to the dedicated staff, they are now speaking and again taking part in things they used to enjoy. 

Also praised is how the staff encourage people to become more mobile to increase independence. For one, who was staying as part of a recovery programme, the staff were able to support them to develop enough mobility to return to their own home.

An online reporting system is singled out for its positive impact on the relatives of those in the home. Staff at Abbotsbury – from the manager to the housekeeper - can update information about a resident in real time on an online system, which both residents and their families can access.

Relatives benefit by being able to check how their family member is, if unable to visit in person. While residents felt reassured relatives could pick up things they forgot to mention during a visit. The report noted this as ‘another great example of collaborative and open service delivery’. 

Councillor Carole Hegley, our Executive Member for Adult Social Care, Housing Operations and Customer Services, said:

The CQC sets a very high bar to achieve an outstanding rating. It takes a lot of effort and determination by staff and strong and committed leadership. This is a fabulous achievement. The examples of good practice that the CQC highlight in their report really show what an exemplary care home Abbotsbury is.

We talk a lot about how person-centred care is the right and best way to deliver care, but this is a real life example of that. The fact that so many of the residents and their relatives describe Abbotsbury as family is not only heart-warming; it is testament to the fact that our staff – everyone from the manager to the housekeeper – go the extra mile to care for the residents as if they were family.

Abbotsbury is a residential care home providing personal care for 32 residents in Biggleswade. 

CQC asks five questions when it inspects. Are services safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led? Abbotsbury care home is rated as outstanding for caring, responsive and well-led, and good for being safe and effective which gives and overall rating of outstanding.