An outstanding achievement for The Old Vicarage

Care-home staff Ewelina Woznica and Samantha Hardy, Coun Veronica Jones, and Simon and Sarah Fitton.
Care-home staff Ewelina Woznica and Samantha Hardy, Coun Veronica Jones, and Simon and Sarah Fitton.

The Old Vicarage, in Wooler, has become the first care home for older people in Northumberland to be rated outstanding by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The facility, on Cottage Road, is owned by Simon and Sarah Fitton, and it has received a glowing report following an unannounced inspection in March.

The recently-published report said that staff were exceptionally caring and ‘we observed kind and thoughtful interactions between staff and people’.

The inspector also praised staff for being highly motivated and committed.

The report said that the responsiveness of staff was outstanding and they found inclusive ways to meet people’s needs and enable them to live as full a life as possible.

The inspector praised the creative activities programme which was in place to help meet people’s social needs.

The report says that people felt safe and medicines were managed safely.

The CQC says that action had been taken following the last inspection in 2015 with regards to monitoring the quality and safety of the service.

The report adds: ‘The provider now had an effective quality monitoring system in place.

“Staff were very positive about working at the home. We observed that this positivity was reflected in the care and support which staff provided.’

The Old Vicarage accommodates 18 people over two floors. Some of the people living at the home have a dementia-related condition.

Simon said: “We are very proud to have achieved this outstanding rating, making it the only gold-standard home in the county. The grading is a testament to the team’s hard work, dedication and commitment.

“In particular, we would like to thank the manager, Cat Wood, and our area manager Julie Stephenson, who have worked immensely hard to make the Old Vicarage a happy, welcoming and friendly environment.”

Simon and Sarah also own The Grange, at Rennington. Their company, People First Care Ltd, are now looking to develop The Old Vicarage site further with an extension as well as offering plots for sale in an assisted living scheme on site.