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Amherst Court has been rated outstanding for the second time

By Nicola Jordan

A care home for people with dementia has been rated “outstanding” for the second time.

Amherst Court in Chatham has been highly praised by the national regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Inspectors spoke to residents, relatives, employees and health and social care professionals at the home in Palmerston Road.

Staff’s innovative ways of caring and supporting the 62 residents, many of whom suffer from the debilitating memory loss illness.

Staff celebrating at Amerherst Court care home in Palmerstom Rad, Chatham which has received and outstanding CQC report. Picture: Chris Davey. (3911874)
Staff celebrating at Amerherst Court care home in Palmerstom Rad, Chatham which has received and outstanding CQC report. Picture: Chris Davey. (3911874)

Among the incentives is an interactive light game called a “magic table” which provides sensation, relaxation and reminiscence. It transposes images onto a surface and people are encouraged to move and interact with them.

The night team said it also had a calming effect and help with residents’ sleep programme.

The report said: “The management team and staff were exploring new ways of working with people living with dementia to provide better experiences for them. For example, good quality menus had been introduced so that people were more able to choose their food from the pictures. This has resulted in people not being as confused or misunderstanding the choices about what’s on the menu.”

Nostalgic links with the past are promoted with memorabilia, possessions and trips down memory lane for many of them.

A strong emphasis is placed on community involvement. The ground floor cafe is open to the public and schoolchildren from the nearby primary school pay regular visits.

Health and well-being is consistently monitored and reviewed and activities are based on the Energise-Dance-Nourish-Arts model.

The report described how there was a person-centred culture at the service, with care planned around each individual.

Staff knew about people’s backgrounds, their preferences, likes and dislikes and hopes and goals.

Stuart Cross, managing director, Avante Care and Support, which runs the home, said: “Amherst Court was the first care home in Medway to receive an “oustanding” rating from CQC in April 2015 and I am absolutely delighted the home continues to be rated as outstanding. Only 2% of homes across the country have this accolade and it is testimony to the hard work and commitment of our dedicated staff.”


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