Care home achieves five-star score thanks to help from.....hens!

The privately-owned Clipstone Hall and Lodge home, which cares for up to 90 elderly residents.
The privately-owned Clipstone Hall and Lodge home, which cares for up to 90 elderly residents.

A respected care home in Clipstone is basking in five-star acclaim thanks to a helping hand from.....a brood of hens!

Clipstone Hall and Lodge has been awarded the highest rating that can be achieved on the quality scale used by Nottinghamshire County Council, and has also been richly praised for its dementia care.

One of the pioneering initiatives the privately-owned home owes its success to is the HenPower project. It rears the hens, which the elderly residents help to feed, look after, clean out and collect eggs from. This, in turn, enables them to counter loneliness and social isolation.

For the assessment by the county council, independent inspectors made an unannounced visit to the Mansfield Road home in December to ensure that care standards for all residents, including those with dementia, were being met. And the result was Clipstone Hall’s rating going up from Band Four to Band Five. Additionally, it was awarded a Dementia Quality Mark.

Manager Claire Kirman, said: “We are so pleased to have achieved such a high band, and delighted that we have improved since our last assessment.

“The staff at the home work tirelessly to ensure the residents feel included and respected, and receive personalised care. We have a lovely, positive environment in our home.”

Sherwood MP Mr Spencer was also delighted, adding: “I know the home well and feel it deserves Band Five. Obtaining such a high quality mark is a great achievement and clearly showcases the home’s dedication to care.”

Clipstone Hall, which is run by Orchard Care Homes, cares for up to 90 residents, many of whom have dementia. The council’s criteria for Band Five include a positive attitude towards dementia, allowing residents emotional and physical freedom, ensuring daily routines are carried out and providing meaningful activities and stimulation.

Inspectors reported that staff at Clipstone Hall “acted in a professional, respectful and dignified manner” and that the home was “a clean and hygienic environment to live in with access to all necessary support”. Residents were “encouraged and supported in making their own decisions”.

Among its facilities, Clipstone Hall has reminiscence rooms, a dementia cafe, a bright and engaging activity room and enclosed gardens. When relatives and friends visit, there is the choice of a quiet lounge or a family room.

In the past, it has also adorned its walls with therapeutic artwork, which helped in inspiring, calming and motivating residents of the home who had Alzheimer’s disease. However, distressed staff were controversially ordered to remove it by fire service inspectors, leading to claims that the home felt “more like a prison”. The inspectors insisted the colourful artwork was a fire hazard and stuck to their guns despite the intervention of Mr Spencer.