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Eden House care home is rated Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission

18 August 2015

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has rated the quality of care provided by Helen McArdle Care at Eden House care home as Outstanding.

The care home in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, provides accommodation and personal care for up to 53 people. It is one of the first social care services in the North East to be judged as Outstanding under CQC’s new approach to inspection.

Inspectors found people were cared for by a motivated and well trained team of staff who showed a clear commitment to providing individualised and personalised care.

A full report of the inspection has been published today at

Under CQC’s new programme of inspections, all adult social care services are being given a rating according to whether they are safe, effective, caring, responsive and well led. Since October 2014, CQC has published ratings on more than 6,500 adult social care services.

During the unannounced inspection in June 2015, CQC found the atmosphere in the home was friendly and supportive. People living at the home were able to choose how they spend their time during the day, with a wide range of activities and initiatives being taken forward to promote people’s health and wellbeing. The homes ‘three wishes campaign 2015’ encouraged people living at the home to make three wishes that were important and unique to them which staff then supported them to fulfil.

The home was also a member of County Durham’s ‘Making Memories Project’ aiming to encourage creativity as a key contributor to good mental health. The project included an art exhibition that was to be held in the home later that month by several local artists, and would also include art work by the home’s residents.

Staff worked very hard to ensure people were supported to maintain their independence and remain involved in community life. The home was working in cooperation with the local council and the Alzheimer’s Society in a project to make Bishop Auckland a dementia friendly town.

People living at the home told inspectors that staff understood their individual needs and that staff treated them with dignity and respect, and relatives were overwhelmingly positive about the standards of care.

Particular thought had been given to the environment and layout of the home. Many bedrooms on the ground floor had direct access to the home’s landscaped gardens and all rooms were fitted with an integrated music system.

There was strong leadership with an open culture amongst the staff team which put people at the heart of the service, and a clear focus on continuous improvement.

Management promoted the importance of implementing innovative ideas and followed best practice, using research based evidence to improve the lives of people living there. The companies catering director had been instrumental in rolling out a new technique for pureed meals based on an approach that was being used successfully across Europe. In addition innovative methods were used to encourage those who were reluctant to eat or had difficulty in eating to ensure their nutritional needs were fully met.

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

“We found that Eden House was providing an outstanding service to the people it supported and to their families, and the team there should be extremely proud of the work they do.

"It is particularly pleasing to note the many positive comments from people using the service and the focus on providing person centered care at all times.

“It is very clear that Eden House has adopted some innovative initiatives. Staff act with utmost professionalism and management are dedicated to providing a safe, compassionate and high quality service. It is for this and many other reasons why the service has received the highest rating we can give.”


For further information please contact Kirstin Hannaford on 0191 233 3629. For media enquiries about the Care Quality Commission, please call the press office on 020 7448 9401 during office hours. Journalists wishing to speak to the press office outside of office hours can find out how to contact the team here. (Please note: the duty press officer 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


CQC has published a full report detailing the findings of their inspection at:


In October 2014, CQC began to roll out its new inspection regime for adult social care services across England, using specialist teams who will inspect and rate services against what matters to the people who use them. For further information, please visit:


Since 1 April, providers have been 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. For further information on the display of CQC ratings, please visit:


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.