Enter and View Report: Howlish Hall

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

At this Care Home three 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 7 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 about the staff. Residents, carers, family members and staff themselves clearly very much appreciated the good relationships, talked about staff being ‘amazing’-always happy to help. Staff themselves remarked about the family feel and that the home is very enjoyable to work in. Clearly there is great confidence in the staff. This way of working, staff behaviours and culture is to be celebrated and retained here, for the future
  • People told us that the position of the home made it easy for their family to visit, others told us that it would be good to have a nearer bus route to get here more easily. Several residents shared with us how much they loved the setting, good 14 for the walking paths (old railway line) and that they see pheasants in the grounds
  • Within the home, residents told us that their bedrooms were nice and they had what they needed, one person suggested it could be noisy first thing in the morning but there had never been any unpleasant smells
  • One resident told us she had gone back to her room one day to find that someone had mistakenly got into her bed. With this in mind we picked up that the home might benefit from some simple ‘Dementia friendly’ tips with regard to décor around colour, texture, shape etc. and would be happy to assist with this
  • The setting, surroundings and environment adds to the “Howlish Family” feeling. 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. The surroundings and environment should continue to be used and developed, in line with the above points, if possible
  • People we spoke to suggested that the home has a high standard of, and genuine, care, stating that the staff and management made them (residents, carers, family, visitors and other staff), feel very welcome. ‘They took care of all the little details’. We were told that knowing that a loved one is ‘safe’ and that there are people on hand during the night, was very ‘reassuring’ in that relatives were in good hands. ‘Staff, manager and deputy made me feel very welcome-I felt like I’d worked here for years’ (new staff member)
  • The service and care 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. This will further improve the confidence and reputation in the home

In my loved ones last days, they let us stay over


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