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Care home goes from ‘inadequate’ to award nominee in 12 months

Director Antonia Hillier, care manager Rachel Lark and Dawn Bunter, Regional Manager, at  Stradbroke Court Care Home in Lowestoft Picture: APS CARE LTD

Director Antonia Hillier, care manager Rachel Lark and Dawn Bunter, Regional Manager, at Stradbroke Court Care Home in Lowestoft Picture: APS CARE LTD

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A Suffolk care home is celebrating a dramatic turnaround - having gone from an inadequate CQC rating to an award nominated dementia centre in the space of a year.

The village shop Stradbroke Court Picture: APS CARE LTDThe village shop Stradbroke Court Picture: APS CARE LTD

Stradbroke Court Care Home in Lowestoft has been nominated for a Suffolk Care Award for Innovative Approaches to Dementia Care having transformed much of the home to specialise in dementia care.

Since being rated inadequate by the CQC in July last year, staff have worked tirelessly to work on areas identified in the report. It took the team less than six months to regain their good rating, while new rooms designed to inspire reminiscence in those living with dementia were developed.

Dawn Bunter, who managed the care home through its most recent CQC inspection, said: “It has been a massive team effort.

“Everyone who works at Stradbroke Court loves Stradbroke Court.

A tea room was created to help residents with dementia Picture: APS CARE LTDA tea room was created to help residents with dementia Picture: APS CARE LTD

“We feel the home has moved forward.

“Originally the home was for residential clients but we decided to take the dementia residential approach. It is now a tailor made home for dementia care.”

The home has developed special areas designed to spark lost memories, including a tea shop, a village shop and a train carriage.

“A number of our residents were shop workers so requested we create a village shop and tea room,” said Mrs Bunter.

The home created a railway carriage area as two residents at the home had worked as train drivers Picture: APS CARE LTDThe home created a railway carriage area as two residents at the home had worked as train drivers Picture: APS CARE LTD

“We actually named out tea shop after a resident who sadly passed away.

“We have a train carriage too because two of our previous residents were train drivers.

“It is hugely important for reminiscence.

“Some of our residents live in their own reality so it is good to bring back some memories.”

But even with the home’s recent success, staff are not resting on their laurels.

“We are about to open a butterfly area at the home with plants and tropical butterflies,” she said.

“That is looking to open in a couple of months.

“We are also about to open our own doctor’s surgery and are hoping to create a memorial garden by the side of the building.

“We are also looking to create a beach area with an old fashioned Punch and Judy show and beach huts. As we’ve created more areas we have noticed a lot of positivity from our residents.

“It really makes a difference.”

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