Enter and View Report: Devonshire House

Our report looks at the findings from when our authorised representatives visited Devonshire House care home in Bishop Auckland.

At this Care Home two of our authorised representatives spoke to 12 individual residents, carers, family members and staff, using a set of appreciative questions to prompt people to describe good practice they had experienced or seen- 3 observation sheets were completed by authorised reps during the visit, and 4 surveys were completed prior to the visit.

Representatives observed activity and spoke to people during our two hour visit, to collect their own independent impressions of the home and its services, which they recorded during and after the visit. A private space was available if residents felt the need to talk in confidence to us.


  • One of the most conveyed messages from the people we spoke to on the day, was how good they feel that the staff are. Residents clearly very much appreciated the good relationships and service they either received themselves, or acknowledge happens, at the home
  • Staff themselves remarked about the family feel and that the home is very enjoyable to work in. Residents talked about how staff were very responsive, yet created a relaxed and caring atmosphere. Clearly residents have confidence in the staff. This way of working, staff behaviours and culture is to be celebrated and retained here for the future
  • People felt that they were free to do what they wanted at the home, including watching TV at their will. Parties and celebrations seem to be a big part of the social aspect at the home and lots of the residents mentioned that this was nice
  •  Several residents suggested that they would like to have more opportunity to go out and for the home to organise more outings. Some mentioned that it could be a little quiet through the day so something more upbeat might be well received. Some people told us that they themselves had tried to encourage reps from Avon (for example) to come into the home but had not succeeded
  • Residents said that they really enjoyed services coming in to the home (Ringtons Tea- for example) especially at Christmas time so they could buy things that they couldn’t manage because they could not go out shopping.
  • It seems that residents really enjoy the social parties and celebrations organised but would very much like more activities/services brought into the home, as well as residents being taken out to activities/shopping. Maybe the home could explore these suggestions, in order to further the scope of activities already on offer. This clearly demonstrated that residents feel they have free choice in the home and really enjoy the activities but it seems they would really appreciate where this could be developed especially around outings
  • Within the home, residents told us of the “homely feel” being important to them and that they really enjoyed, and especially appreciated where dogs were allowed in and around the home, and were allowed to visit. This is clearly adding to the importance of residents having what they like, and are used to, around them in their own space- which cannot be underestimated in creating a happy and familiar atmosphere. This policy should be encouraged and developed, if possible
  • People we spoke to suggested that the home makes an effort with the food and refreshments served. The food is deemed as good by the residents on site, with two cooks. People told us there was always a choice of a hot cooked meal as well as something lighter, if preferred. The home clearly offers refreshments as part of its celebrations and marks special birthdays for residents with a party and sometimes a personalised cake, which residents very much appreciated
  •  Maybe as an improvement, it was mentioned that if food was served in a residents own room- it might not be as hot as it could be. However, clearly where individual residents made specific requests around food and refreshments, we observed the home meet those requests
  •  Encouraging that the dining area is considering how best to communicate with residents and had displayed menus that included pictures and images. This should be monitored so that this standard can continue to develop and can pick up where improvements can be made, especially so this reflects when there are new residents to cater for

It’s a really enjoyable place to work, it’s like a big family


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