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Middleton Hall Retirement Village, Darlington rated Outstanding by Care Quality Commission

9 March 2017
Middleton Hall Retirement Village
  • Media,
  • Care homes with nursing,
  • Care in your home and supported living

The CQC has found the quality of care provided by Middleton Hall Retirement Village in Darlington, to be among the best in the country.

The service was rated Outstanding by the CQC following an inspection in January this year.

CQC asks five questions when it inspects. Are services safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led? Middleton Hall Retirement Village is one of only three services in the North of England to be found Outstanding in all five of these areas.

The service is made up of a range of accommodation and care options for older people. Within the grounds are bungalows and apartments for fully independent people who have access to all facilities on site. There is Middleton Court providing nursing care and the Family Living service providing care and support for people with dementia. Middleton Gardens provides residential care and Middleton Grove has self-contained apartments for those people who wish to continue living independently but may have some care and support needs provided by staff. At the time of this inspection the service was providing support to 74 older people.

A full report of the inspection has been published.

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

“We found the quality of care provided at Middleton Retirement Village in Darlington to be outstanding.

“The service is one of only three in the North of England that has received an outstanding rating for all five questions that we ask on inspection.

“We saw a caring service that encouraged people to remain as independent as possible. It was impressive to the lengths they went to, to make this happen such as harnessing new technology to enable people to explore the extensive grounds in a safe way using GPS.

“Without exception, people using the service and their families, told us they were extremely happy with the level of care received and we saw highly motivated staff that were very satisfied with the work that they were doing.

“The culture at Middleton Hall was also very impressive. It was caring, open and transparent. Staff worked closely and effectively with other healthcare partners and really took people’s views on board and acted on feedback.

“This unique service, which catered to people’s changing needs is truly setting an example, and I hope other care providers look to them to see what outstanding care looks like.

“The whole team should be very proud of the service they are providing.”

The report highlights a number of impressive areas at Middleton Hall Retirement Village.

The service excelled at promoting choice and providing hotel quality standard food whilst ensuring people’s nutritional needs were met. The chef and catering team showed they listened to people’s views and provided a service that enabled people to enjoy a wide variety of food in settings such as the Orangery café, the restaurant and quieter dining rooms which meant people could enjoy meals, drinks and snacks with family and visitors.

For those people at risk in relation to nutrition, the service had attained accreditation with the national Focus on Undernutrition (FoU) programme and the records the service developed in relation to supporting nutrition had been highlighted by the FoU programme as an example of best practice to share with other care services.

People were actively encouraged to maintain as much independence as possible with a positive approach to risk taking in day to day life gaining positive results in people’s mental and physical health. Staff had also been responsible for encouraging and supporting people to explore new interests which they enjoyed.

The service used state of the art GPS (global positioning system) technology to support people to independently explore the extensive grounds at Middleton Hall Retirement Village in a safe way.

All staff across the service including the estates and administration departments brought added value to the service by bringing their individual personal skills to the service. These included bird watching, technology, exercise and fitness. The service utilised these skills so their job satisfaction and motivation were visible to see.


For further information please contact CQC Regional Communications Officer Kerri James by email or by phone 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

Providers must display their ratings on their premises and on their websites so that the public can see their rating quickly and easily.

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.