A Dorset care home celebrated its official Outstanding rating from regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC) with a glittering ‘Tea at the Ritz’-style party.

The successful inspection at Abbey View in Sherborne puts the Colten Care home into the top four per cent of care homes nationally.

It means that seven out of the 21 homes owned and run by operator Colten Care are Outstanding with the other 14 rated as Good.

Residents, families, friends and team members celebrated the report with an afternoon Tea at the Ritz-themed party.

Guests wore bowler hats with golden headbands or feathers, enjoying glasses of fizz and tasty treats such as sponge cakes, scones, strawberry panna cotta and finger sandwiches.

Dorset Echo: Abbey View home manager Elena Barna and clinical lead Becco Joff Thomas | By Deep South MediaAbbey View home manager Elena Barna and clinical lead Becco Joff Thomas | By Deep South Media (Image: Deep South Media)

In her welcome speech to guests, home manager, Elena Barna, spoke of her team’s ‘immense pride and joy’ at the Outstanding rating.

“It is testament to a great deal of work and the tireless pursuit of excellence,” she said.

“We put everything into the care of our residents and respond to their wishes. It’s not just about physical improvements but their overall quality of life.

“We take pride in what we offer but with this CQC recognition comes the responsibility to continue to improve and make the home even better.”

Abbey View was assessed across four criteria – being safe, effective, responsive and well led – during an intensive three-day unannounced inspection in June 2023.

A 19-page report highlights ‘exceptional and distinctive’ service leadership and staff with ‘outstanding skills’ and ‘an excellent understanding of people’s individual needs’.

Inspectors wrote: “We saw a team co-operating with each other and working together to provide people with support.

“People had been provided with outstanding care and support leading to an outstanding quality of life.”

The CQC team praise many aspects of life at ‘comfortable and homely’ care home, from team’s approach to call bell handling and falls prevention, to the opportunities afforded to residents to be active and maintain community links.   

Abbey View resident, Roy Carne, said: “The whole team deserve sincere thanks for everything they do to make our quality of life so rich.”

Fellow resident John Firmin said: “I came into care unwillingly but now I feel no regrets. It is the best choice I could have made as this is my home now.”

Mark Aitchison, Colten Care’s Chief Executive, added: “What Abbey View has achieved typifies the Colten standard across our 21 homes.

“The rating is further proof that the journey of continual improvement and the vision to be Outstanding runs right through our culture, it is part of our DNA.

For more information and to read the report in full, visit https://www.cqc.org.uk/