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Eden House is Outstanding

Eden House
  • Organisations we regulate,
  • Care homes with nursing

Eden House in Bishop Auckland, County Durham is operated by Helen McArdle Care.

The home provides care for up to 53 older people including those with dementia. 

There is a residential unit on the ground floor for 27 people and a dementia care unit on the first floor for 26 people.

On first inspection…

We first inspected the service – under our new approach - on 1 June 2015.  This was the first comprehensive inspection carried out at Eden House since the home was registered by CQC in October 2013.

On the day we visited we spoke with 16 people who were using the service, 9 relatives and 8 members of care staff. We also spoke withs the operations manager, registered manager, managing director, head of housekeeping and catering director.

What people told us…

We received a lot of positive feedback from residents. They told us: 

“I feel very safe living here; I have confidence in all the staff”, and

“I never really wanted to come into a care home, but my fears were soon abated. All the staff are good at what they do and I feel secure and safe.”

When speaking about the staff, another person said:

“Oh, they are so very good. They really do know what they are doing. I never have to ask them about what I want – they just know.”

We were also told:

“We are extremely well looked after. No one could possibly complain about this place, I cannot fault it. The staff are excellent, they all deserve a medal. I have been here since the home opened, it is a super place to live.”

What we found…

  • We saw staff supporting and helping to maintain people’s independence.
  • They treated people with dignity, compassion and respect, and people were encouraged to remain as independent as possible.
  • The service was very well led; there were clear values that included involvement, compassion, dignity, respect, equality and independence.
  • There was a well-defined emphasis on fairness, support and transparency and an open culture.
  • The management team had very robust and effective systems in place to assess and monitor the quality of the service. The quality assurance system operated to help to develop and drive improvement.

Looking after staff…

It was evident that the company considered training for staff to be an important aspect of their personal development programmes. In addition, the provider opened its own training academy in January 2015. The academy is based in Gateshead with training rooms for internal and external courses; it also has a training kitchen and a bedroom for practical training, and had multimedia facilities for staff to use. 

We met with the cook - she knew every person’s dietary preference. She kept a list of everyone who required a special diet, and she also kept an up-dated list of people’s weight. She said this was important so she could monitor those people who required fortified drinks and meals that she prepared daily. She had received training in a new technique used for preparing pureed meals. The cook also was very familiar about the food information regulations that came into force in December 2014. 

Memories and meaningful recollection…

The registered manager told us they also used a loan service from the Beamish Museum, borrowing items such as:

  • tin baths
  • memory boxes, and
  • flat irons

She told us how these sessions helped stimulate people’s memories and attributed to meaningful recollection and communication for people living with dementia.

She said:

"My life story books had also helped us to get to know people and understand each person better. Knowing about their previous lives provide us with prompts in terms of conversations about key areas of people’s lives, their likes, dislikes, interests, hobbies and things that are and were important to them. This enables us to have effective conversations with people with short-term memories."

This meant people living with dementia had a better mood and quality of life because they were supported by staff that communicated well.

“We find it is a creative way of communicating with people living with dementia”, she told us.

In conclusion…

It was apparent that this service offered some fantastic bespoke care packages, and has shown how they are willing to go that extra mile to give the end user the best possible experience.

Helen McArdle Care take pride in ensuring they have the best possible staff working for them by sending staff to a hands on extensive training course.

It was clear that the registered manager was very proactive and always had the residents’ hearts at the centre of everything they did.

Jim Lamb – the CQC inspector who lead the inspection – said:

“We saw many examples of inspiring and imaginative practice. The registered manager promoted and encouraged continuous improvement”

Melanie Burnett Operations Manager from Helen McArdle Care said:

“The Inspector (Jim Lamb) made it a positive experience for everyone; he welcomed feedback from, residents, relatives, staff and visiting professionals.” 

She continued: “Jim was happy to listen and to all innovative practices the home had in place, and his team put staff at ease. He explained the process fully, his team had an approachable demeanour encouraged residents to give feedback on the service”.

“Overall”, Melanie told us, “there was a relaxed atmosphere throughout the two day inspection.”

Jim concluded:

“This inspection report demonstrated how people who used the service, their friends, family, other health and social care professionals and staff could share their experiences of the high standard of care being provided and sustained at Eden House”.

You can read the full report from this inspection here

For further information, please contact

Last updated:
29 September 2015


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