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Care home where staff dressed up as Santa and elves rated as outstanding by inspectors

Mariana Condruz, registered manager at Chiswick House in Norwich and Tom Lyons, Black Swan managing director with the staff at Chiswick House. Photo: Black Swan

Mariana Condruz, registered manager at Chiswick House in Norwich and Tom Lyons, Black Swan managing director with the staff at Chiswick House. Photo: Black Swan

Black Swan

A Norwich care home where Father Christmas answered a call bell at 4am on Christmas Eve has been rated as outstanding.

Sylvia Ames, registered manager at Heathcote care home in Norwich, celebrates with her team and residents Robin Tungate, Diane Hurrell, and Phyllis Wallace. Photo: Black SwanSylvia Ames, registered manager at Heathcote care home in Norwich, celebrates with her team and residents Robin Tungate, Diane Hurrell, and Phyllis Wallace. Photo: Black Swan

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) visited Chiswick House, in Christchurch Road, on October 30.

Inspectors found “staff demonstrated a genuine desire to ensure people were comfortable, stimulated and content” and examples were given of staff answering call bells quickly - including once on Christmas Eve when a care assistant had been dressed at Santa. One resident said: “At Christmas I rang the bell at four in the morning and Father Christmas came to help me.“

The CQC found staff treated residents with “utmost respect” and any issues were dealt with quickly.

One relative told inspectors: “The home exudes a warmth, compassion and you immediately feel welcome.”

This was demonstrated by staff dressing up as elves and Father Christmas to hand out presents, residents reported.

Mariana Condruz, manager at Chiswick House, said: “This is fantastic news, all we try and do is our best for our residents. They are like family to me.”

Tom Lyons, managing director of Black Swan, which runs Chiswick House, added: “I am so proud of the work that our staff do every day. Our residents are the heart of our business and every decision we make we consider the impact on them. We wouldn’t have achieved what we have without the dedication of so many wonderful caring staff. I would personally like to thank each and every one of them.”

Mr Lyons had told inspectors Chiswick House was home for residnets, and staff were just guests working in their living space.

Chiswick House joins another Black Swan home, The Beeches in East Harling, as being rated outstanding. And another Black Swan care home, Heathcote on Unthank Road, Norwich, also had their report published this month and was also rated outstanding in the caring category and good overall.

The ratings come as a swath of homes in Norfolk and Waveney have recently been branded as inadequate by the CQC. In July head of adult social care at Norfolk County Council, James Bullion, said inadequate care homes which fail to get better will not be tolerated in the county as a drive was launched to improve their quality.

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