Sir David Behan CBE, Chief Executive of the Care Quality Commission, chose Arthur House for a visit on National Care Home Open Day - and praised the quality of care delivered there.
He had lunch with residents, met staff, and said the home had done an excellent job to meet the tough criteria set by the CQC, the health and social care watchdog, to qualify as ‘outstanding’.
On the day he visited, residents had taken part in a dance and music therapy session, led by Linda Fountain, of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, who has been visiting the home for 23 years. Female residents were having their hands massaged and nails painted.
The new mayor of Merton, Marsie Skeete, was visiting, and there were readings in the afternoon by staff members as well as a performance by a harpist. Lunch was accompanied by a celebratory glass of wine.
Sir David said: “I chose to come here so we could celebrate the great care that is given at Arthur House.
“Nicholas Kee Mew (the home manager) and his staff have secured an ‘outstanding’ rating following our inspection, and I know just how outstanding the care has got to be to get such a rating.
“So I thought I could make my contribution to Care Home Open Day by celebrating what the staff here have achieved for the residents, and I am very pleased to be able to spend some time here and raise the profile of care homes.
“The media covers care homes when things go wrong and they get too little attention when things go right.”
National Care Home Open Day is a UK-wide initiative. Thousands of care homes across the UK take part, welcoming the public and arranging events and activities designed to create a lasting link between the care home residents and their local communities.
Arthur House, a care home for older people with dementia, was rated ‘outstanding’ by the CQC in May. It singled out how responsive and well-led the home is. The outstanding result places the home in the top 1% across the country.
The home has a full activity programme and the CQC said its Activities Co-ordinator sought ‘creative ways to stimulate and engage people’. A resident told inspectors that the home was “lovely and clean, and has a friendly atmosphere” and that staff were “very kind to people”.
Members of staff use plants and herbs from the home’s own garden to stimulate residents’ senses and to encourage positive memories.
It has been a busy year for Arthur House which has already won Carehome.co.uk’s Top 20 recommended care homes in London Award 2017 and has been nominated for Merton’s Best Business Awards.
Miss Fountain, the dance and music teacher, said: “This is one of the best homes I go to because they are concerned for the individual. When it comes to elderly care, especially for those with dementia, one size does not fit all. The staff here are good and the manager is on the ball.”
James Willis, CEO of Priory Adult Care, said: “I am delighted Sir David chose to visit Arthur House which is an outstanding care home. I am proud of the care offered there, and of everyone associated with the home.”