Home / Resources & Guidance / Care Home Open Week: Care England Visits

Care Home Open Week 2024, which took place from June 24th to June 30th, aimed to highlight and celebrate the invaluable work done by the care sector. This annual event is an opportunity to shine a positive light on care homes, their dedicated staff, and the residents they support. In celebration of this week, colleagues from Care England travelled across the country to visit various care services, fostering connections, sharing best practices, and showcasing the heart-warming stories within the care community. You can read about their experiences below:


Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England

It has been a very successful Care Home Open Week, and I was fortunate to visit some brilliant care homes.


My week started with a visit to Leeds and Orchard Care. I went to 2 of their wonderful care homes. Paisley Lodge and Middleton Lodge.


At both homes, I saw firsthand the fantastic work that Orchard Care is doing with its reconnection approach to dementia care.


Care Home Open weekAt Paisley Lodge, I saw people engaging in a range of activities that were both purposeful and enjoyable and activities that really connected to the skills of the people who were living there. 


I saw some of the men who are residents there working on woodwork with real tools and enhancing and developing the skills that they had used for a lifetime.


The Orchard Care approach to dementia support is quite different, and they do not believe in one-to-one provision because they feel that good quality lives are not built on only one relationship, and one-to-one care can often be very restricting.


They adopt a community-based approach and enable people to live well within a community. Their success is measured in the reduction of antipsychotic prescribing and in the obvious joy people have living within their services.


As I arrived at Middleton Lodge, I had the joy of meeting a resident who was washing cars. This man had spent a life in the motor industry and was obviously enjoying what he did. He was happy to tell me about it.


I then saw a lady baking biscuits for the entire community. There was a real buzz in the room as she and her friends talked and engaged in a really purposeful activity.


Later that week, I enjoyed visiting my friends at Priscilla Wakefield House in North London. I first met two of the residents at Priscilla Wakefield House when I was at a conference in Central London, and they invited me to visit them during Care Home Open Week.


When I arrived, the atmosphere in the care home was fantastic. There were lots of people (including the Mayor), and we all enjoyed great food, good entertainment, and a very jolly atmosphere. Priscilla Wakefield House prides itself on its links to its local community, which was evident in the Care Home Open Week activities.


What has been great about this week, and what has been fantastic for me, is seeing care homes connect with their local communities and ensure that people are living good lives, whatever their challenges.



Toby Leake, Policy Intern at Care England.

On July 29th I had the pleasure of visiting a National Care Group residential service in Weston-super-Mare, as part of the Care Home Open Week 2024. From entering the service, I was greeted by welcoming and warm colleagues who took me to the garden to meet other colleagues and some of the individuals being supported at this service and their family members.


The garden itself was in amazing condition, with balloons and flags up celebrating England’s current run on the Euros 2024. In the garden were some of the people being supported, sitting with family members and colleagues enjoying the selection of food and drinks in the sunny and warm weather.



As I talked to these people and their families, it became apparent what kind of service this was. I did not hear a single bad word from anyone there, the family members with whom I spoke to were very supportive of the care their relatives were receiving, reviews that reflected the hard-working colleagues that treated the individuals they supported with respect and kindness.


Multiple different families explained to me how the Walliscote Road service had been a very positive environment for their loved ones to have moved to, as the colleagues there provided a compassionate, quality, and personal level of care.


Speaking to some of the people being supported, they mirrored this appreciation of the colleagues that were there to support them to live independent and fulfilled lives, with some of them enjoying visits to the beach and other places in the local community.


I was walked around the service by the manager Kate Harvey, who won Manager of the Year at the National Care Group awards in 2023. There were many different rooms for both residents and staff to use, with some intended for communal activities and others for a more personal and quieter atmosphere. All the rooms were kept very tidy and clean, including the bedrooms of the residents I was invited to look at.


I have included a picture of a board that the team names ‘Walliscote Road Community Map, Places to Visit’. I found this board a fantastic idea, pairing pictures of activities that were available in the local community for people to choose from, making it easier to understand and decide what options are available.



It was clear that the colleagues also felt supported in their work environment and happy to come to work. Recognition of which was demonstrated in the Walliscote Road team winnings NCG’s Operations Team of the Year 2024.


There was a very homely atmosphere from the second you entered the home, which is vital for the people being supported to feel comfortable and happy, and this comes from the level of care being delivered by colleagues, but also the way in which that care is being delivered.



Do you have a story to tell from Care Home Open Week?

Share how you celebrated Care Home Open Week 2024 by emailing the Care England team on info@careengland.org.uk

Be sure to include your social media account names, and any photos, so that we can tag you in our posts!