A Blackpool care home has been ranked top in the country on a website dubbed the Trip Advisor of care homes.
The Willows care home, on Midgeland Road, Marton, is head of the top 20 recommended care homes in the UK, and unsurprisingly also tops the leader board in the North West.
And it’s the latest in a string of awards the home has received in the last four weeks.
Owner Paul Swithenbank described the turn of events as “bizarre”.
“We’ve gone viral,” he said.
“We took over the home five years ago and I think our good leadership in the directors and myself has carried through to the staff, who really deliver the service and quality of care. That’s probably why we’re getting these good recommendations.”
The website carehome.co.uk asks friends and family members of residents in care homes to give feedback on the services. Most reviewers rate The Willows – a 16-bedroomed care home – as excellent across the board.It comes as staff celebrate winning a beacon – the highest standard possible – from the Gold Standards Framework for its end of life care, and being presented an award from TVs Esther Rantzen for its work in dementia care.
Paul, 48, said: “When I got the email from carehome.co.uk I skipped straight past the national results to see where we ranked in the North West. It was only afterwards that I realised we’d topped the UK poll as well.
“It’s brilliant to have that much support from the community who make their comments based purely on the thoughts of our residents, families and visitors. We’re really pleased.
“This really boosts morale in staff, and it’s them who do an excellent job – they are our biggest asset. I think the level of care we provide sets us against other care homes. That is our focus and that is what we are committed to providing.”
Carehome.co.uk asked reviewers to rate the home, as well as the services it provides including facilities, dignity and management.
Claire Birnie is the granddaughter of a resident at The Willows.
She said: “They really do go above and beyond there to help the residents feel like it is a home and that they actually want to be there and don’t just have to be there. They play games with the residents and they keep them entertained.”
Davina Ludlow, director of carehome.co.uk, said: “The standard of care in the vast majority of care homes is really good. This is shown by the recommendations we receive every day – we already have over 25,000.
“For older people, or their families considering residential care, finding the best option can seem like a daunting task. The most important thing is how a person using a service feels about it. Their thoughts in turn can be a valuable resource for others looking for care for themselves or their loved ones. At carehome.co.uk we believe that the best people to rate care homes are those who really know its ins and outs – the residents and their families.
“We seek recommendations from them on this basis, making sure the most important voices are heard.”