Monthly Archives: February 2018

Resident says ‘Mum’ for the first time in 24 years


A care home in Essex, which helped a resident with complex behavioural needs learn to talk after 24 years, has been rated ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Beacon House, a five-bedroom home, was awarded the highest possible rating in December, with inspectors praising the committed staff who ‘always go the extra mile’.

In the report they wrote: “Staff were exceptional at helping people to express their views, so they could understand things from their point of view.

“For example, one resident had been unable to speak when they first moved into the service and used a specialist piece of equipment to communicate. Staff worked closely with the individual, who is now verbalising their needs and does not have to use the specialist equipment at all times.”

According to the relative of the resident, “they have done an amazing job.” They said: “I have waited twenty-four years to hear the word ‘Mum’ and now they are able to say it clearly. When people are able to achieve things in their lives, you can see how important it is to them and how they react in a positive way.”

The care home was also praised for instilling a culture of independence. Residents, who are at the ‘heart of the service’, are involved in every day decisions such as menu setting, deciding who to invite to social events and in larger decisions, including staff recruitment.

A healthcare professional told the CQC inspectors: “I have seen where their actions and support have turned people’s lives around. Some other services would have placed people in secure units but at Beacon House they are committed to care for people in their own environment. Due to the complex needs of some people this is extremely challenging, but they never give up and these people have now settled and their behaviours have changed.”

Ray Rigby, unit manager at Beacon House, said he was proud of his staff and residents at the home. “The Beacon House Support Team have worked exceptionally hard over the years with the residents who live there.

“Each and everyone progressed with the team’s caring nature and dedication. The residents’ best interests are at the core of the support and I am proud of everyone who lives at Beacon House for their accomplishments.

“The home works closely with the residents’ families and maintains a family atmosphere to ensure a high quality of living for everyone.”

Our thoughts are with those effected by the Fire At Woodlands View Care Home In Stevenage


One man has died, and another resident is critically injured following a fire and explosion at a Hertfordshire care home.

Emergency crews were called to the blaze at Woodlands View care home in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, at 16:30 GMT on Saturday February 3.

Hertfordshire County Council said there had been a “minor explosion” caused by an oxygen cylinder.

A resident believed to be 80s who was in the room where the fire started died in hospital.

Another resident is in a critical condition and five others are being assessed in hospital.

The home in Magpie Crescent is owned by HC-One. A spokesman said: “Our deepest sympathies are with their family and we are doing everything we can to support them.

Darryl Keen, chief fire officer and director of community protection at Hertfordshire County Council, said: “Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service was called to reports of a fire in one area of Woodlands View Care Home in Stevenage at 4.30pm yesterday (Saturday, February 3) afternoon.

“Eight fire engines were sent to the scene.

“There were 41 people in the premises at the time of the fire, many of these self-evacuated but firefighters completed five rescues and assisted another 10 from the property.

“All 41 residents, staff and visitors, were assessed by the ambulance service. The fire was out by 5pm.

“Seven people were taken to hospital and sadly one man in his 80s has died. One person remains in a critical condition in hospital.”

A Hertfordshire County Council spokeswoman said there appears to have been a “minor explosion caused by an oxygen cylinder”, but stressed a full investigation needs to be completed.

A spokesperson for HC-One, which owns the home in Magpie Crescent, said it is doing everything it can to support residents’ families, with additional staff from across the organisation arriving quickly to help the effort.

“At this stage we do not know why yesterday afternoon’s incident took place and in due course, there will be a full and proper investigation,” they added.

“Our immediate priority remains providing all support possible to everybody connected to the home and affected by yesterday’s events.”