2020 has given the Bernhard Baron Cottage Homes at Polegate two reasons to celebrate; in January they received a Care Quality Commission report which rated them ‘Good’ on Safe, Effective, Caring and Well-led and ‘Outstanding’ on Responsiveness.
In July they reach their 75th anniversary.
Statements from the CQC report
‘People received an exceptionally personalised service that met their specific needs, preferences and wishes. The service was led by people who lived at the home. They had forums which they led to consistently improve their day to day lives and other people's lives. They developed, promoted and engaged in a wide range of activities that were meaningful to them and that they enjoyed. The activities ensured people continued to live useful and productive lives when they moved into the home. They also ensured people were able to develop new friendships, interests and hobbies. Staff were kind and caring. They embraced the home's Quaker ethos of treating everyone as an individual and fully respecting their choices and wishes. People praised the staff for their kindness and support.’
‘The home was maintained to a very high standard of cleanliness, with attention to detail throughout.’
All food was freshly prepared in the kitchen, and one resident commented, ‘"The food is out of this world. The soups are better than in any hotel I've been in.’
There was a wide range of activities, including frequent outings in the Home’s car and minibus. A redundant staff cottage is soon to be converted to an Activity Centre which will make even more activities available.
Members of staff were well trained and encouraged to become ‘leads’ in their areas of interest. They reported that this was the ‘Best place’ that they had ever worked, and that there were enough staff working each shift to ensure people's needs were met in a timely way.
The philosophy might be summed up as adapting the Homes to suit the residents, rather than expecting the residents to adapt to the Homes.
About Bernhard Baron Cottage Homes
The Homes were founded in 1945 by London Quakers to provide for people who had lost their own homes during the blitz. Money was given by the Bernhard Baron Trust to buy 12 almshouses built by the Caleb Diplock Trust which had to sell them after losing a legal dispute. The cottages provide accommodation for 24 people who are quite independent, and the main building provides accommodation for 36 Residents, whose care needs are greater. As a charity which has no rents or mortgage to pay, and with no one taking any profit, they can offer a high standard of care at comparatively low fees. They are now managed by local Quakers, however, the residents may be of any religion or none.