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Care home group ‘thrilled’ at ‘good’ rating for home which required improvement

PUBLISHED: 10:55 06 August 2018 | UPDATED: 10:56 06 August 2018

Roger Catchpole, Catherine Catchpole, and Ruth French, of Stowlangtoft Healthcare Picture: HOLLY RIGGS

Roger Catchpole, Catherine Catchpole, and Ruth French, of Stowlangtoft Healthcare Picture: HOLLY RIGGS


A Suffolk-based care home group said it was “thrilled” after a inspectors lifted the overall rating of one of its newer acquisitions from ‘requires improvement’ to ‘good’.

Melford Court Nursing Home in Long Melford Picture: STOW HEALTHCAREMelford Court Nursing Home in Long Melford Picture: STOW HEALTHCARE

Melford Court Care Home at Long Melford was deemed ‘inadequate’ for care when family-run Stow Healthcare, based at Stowlangtoft, near Bury St Edmunds, took it over 16 months ago.

Now Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors, who carried out an unannounced visit in May, have rated the home good overall and also good in all five categories they inspected. They praised the “welcoming, open and uplifting culture” at the home, and said the manager worked effectively with other health and social care organisations to achieve better outcomes for people and to enhance quality of care.

“We also saw that the entire staff team worked cohesively together,” inspectors said.

Sister homes, Brandon Park and Ford Place, achieved CQC Outstanding ratings in September 2017 and February 2018 respectively following unannounced inspections.

The home, run by registered manager Fiona Smith, has around 45 residents and more than 60 staff.

“This fantastic report is a huge achievement for the dedicated team we have here at Melford Court,” said Miss Smith. “Our residents and the local community are of the upmost importance and we are delighted that the inspectors from CQC were able to see that during their visit. To have been able to engage the community so positively in the last year and build relationships with other healthcare professionals has made a huge difference to residents at Melford Court and we want to keep building on all the good work.”

Operations director Ruth French said it was “an excellent achievement”. “Home manager, Fiona Smith and her deputy Angie Stark are a fantastic team who work tirelessly with their staff to improve care standards at the home and to bring pleasure to their residents’ lives.”

Managing director Roger Catchpole said staff and management had made dramatic improvements since the acquisition. “We have now had two of our homes rated as ‘outstanding’ and one as “good’ in the last 12 months, which confirms that we are making a big difference to residents in our care.”

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