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Care Quality Commission rates Shadon House Dementia Resource Centre, Chester-le-Street, as Outstanding

20 June 2016
Shadon House Dementia Resource Centre
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The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has found the quality of care provided by Shadon House Dementia Resource Centre, a care home run by Gateshead Council in Birtley, Chester-le-Street to be outstanding following an inspection in January 2016.

Shadon House is registered to provide residential care to 23 older people, some of whom live with mental health or dementia-related conditions.CQC inspectors inspected the service unannounced on 26 and 27 January.

The service has been rated outstanding for being caring, responsive and well led, and was rated good for being safe and effective. Shadon House was rated ‘Outstanding’ overall. A full report of the inspection is available.

People spoke highly of the genuinely caring attitude of the staff team, they told us they were very well looked after and commented on the family-type homeliness of the service. People's relatives told us they were very impressed with the quality of care provided, and spoke of the positive impact that a stay at Shadon House had on their loved ones. They told us the care was very person-centred and that people were treated as individuals by the staff.

There was a good rapport between staff and people in the home, and the atmosphere was relaxed, friendly and affectionate. Staff had time to sit and talk with people, expressing genuine interest in each person as an individual. People and staff smiled at each other, and we heard lots of laughter. Interactions were highly person-centred, were unrushed and went at the person's pace. Professionals also commented on the patience and gentleness of the staff team.

People enjoyed a very stimulating environment and were able to engage in meaningful activity and express their creativity on a daily basis. The service worked closely with the local charity Equal Arts, which delivers stimulating creative projects to older people with communication difficulties. Musicians, story tellers, poets, writers, drama and guided reminiscence sessions featured prominently in the activities programme. The therapeutic benefits of caring for animals were recognised and the service had pioneered the involvement of people in keeping hens.

The staff team was experienced, knowledgeable and well trained. They showed a real commitment to their roles and told us of the enjoyment and pride they took from their daily work.

Staff were committed to upholding people's human rights and treated everyone with the greatest respect and dignity. Every effort was made to help people communicate their needs and wishes, including the use of communication technology, so that care could be tailored to the individual person. Where a person was unable to express their needs and preferences or give informed consent to their care, their rights under the Mental Capacity Act were respected and decisions were made in their best interests.

People were encouraged and supported to be as independent as possible, and staff worked to help people regain lost skills and abilities. Relatives told us this approach was very effective and said their relatives were more able, confident and engaged when they left the service. A befriending service was offered to support people after discharge, and staff liaised with other agencies to ensure people were supported when back in the community.

Debbie Westhead, Deputy Chief Inspector for Adult Social Care in the North, said:

“This is a fantastic residential care service and there are many examples of outstanding practice that are clearly helping in delivering an excellent person-centred service.

“We found a good rapport between staff and people in the home, and the atmosphere was relaxed, friendly and affectionate. Residents and staff smiled at each other, and we heard lots of laughter which helped to foster a real sense of community.

People were treated as individuals and the registered manager ensured that person centred care was at the heart of everything they did. They also encouraged continuous improvement, innovation and creativity in caring for their residents.

“The management are to be applauded for being visible, and really living the vision of the home, helping people to stay connected to their community. It is for this and many other reasons why the service has received the highest rating we can give and I congratulate them.”


For further information please contact CQC Regional Engagement Officer Kerri James on 07464 92 9966.

Journalists wishing to speak to the press office outside of office hours can find out how to contact the team here. Please note: the press office is unable to advise members of the public on health or social care matters. For general enquiries, please call 03000 61 61 61.

Last updated:
29 May 2017

Notes to editors

Since launching its new programme of inspections using specialist inspection teams, CQC has published ratings on more than 12,000 adults social care services. Of those, less than 1% have been rated Outstanding.

Providers are required by law to display their ratings on their premises and on their websites so that the public can see their rating quickly and easily. This should be done within 21 days of publication of their inspection report. Further information on the display of CQC ratings.

About the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England.

We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.

We monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and we publish what we find to help people choose care.