Adopted dog helps care home get CQC Outstanding

Mildenhall resident Phyllis Page with Sinbad and manager Katy Hughes

A Care UK home whose adopted dog has the job title canine relations manager has been rated Outstanding by the CQC.

Mildenhall Lodge in Suffolk also boasts a pub, café and twilight club for residents living with dementia.

Home manager Katy Hughes, who was recognised by the CQC for her outstanding leadership, said: “We strive to create a welcoming home from home feel at Mildenhall Lodge, and I’m so pleased our continued efforts have been recognised by the CQC’s inspectors.

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“Everyone here works incredibly hard to provide residents with compassionate, person-centred care, and to be rated ‘outstanding’ shows just how committed the team is to making a positive difference to resident’s lives each and every day.

“I’m extremely proud of our team and I would like to say thank you for their hard work and dedication, which I know is also greatly appreciated by residents and their families.”

Sinbad, the home’s adopted dog, was appointed to his canine relations role by a residents’ vote.

A team member said: “It’s astonishing how he [Sinbad] makes people light up. One resident who doesn’t like to leave their room very much will come downstairs specifically to have a cuddle with Sinbad.”

Katy has also introduced a ‘Twilight Club’ to support residents living with dementia who do not have regular sleeping patterns. The club offers the chance to have a ‘cuppa’, a conversation and some meaningful activity.

Other innovations adopted by the service include life story books, featuring the life history of residents, important memories and hobbies, which are used to engage with people and act as a conversation starter.

Mildenhall is Care UK’s second Outstanding home following Broadwater Lodge in Surrey.

Almost 80% (78%) of the provider’s services are rated Good or Outstanding by the CQC.

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