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Determined couple take Hill Farm Care Home, Sittingbourne, from 'inadequate' to 'good'


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A couple who took over an ailing care home the day after it was put into special measures have transformed it.

Hill Farm in Keycol Hill, Bobbing, near Sittingbourne was rated ‘inadequate’ by the Care Quality Commission back in July 2018 just before husband and wife Hiren and Chetna Satra took it over.

Hill Farm care home in Keycol Hill, Bobbing, is now 'good'
Hill Farm care home in Keycol Hill, Bobbing, is now 'good'

Since then, despite battling the Covid-19 pandemic, the pair of former pharmacists who met at university have turned it around and recently celebrated its new rating of ‘good’.

The report stated: “People were supported to have maximum choice and control of their lives and staff supported them in the least restrictive way possible and in their best interests.”

Mr Satra, 53, of Optimal Living, admitted: “It is quite a feat. It was last rated good almost 10 years ago.”

Inspectors had originally branded the home, formerly run by Forward Care (Residential), as unsafe and not well run.

They said it required improvement in effectiveness, caring and responsiveness and gave its new owners six months to act otherwise it faced closure.

Hill Farm care home in Keycol Hill, Bobbing, is now 'good'
Hill Farm care home in Keycol Hill, Bobbing, is now 'good'

It is now ‘good’ for being safe, effective, caring and well led.

Mr Satra, from Watford, said: “When we took over, the home was in a desperate place.

“It was in special measures which is pretty much the last chance saloon.

“It has needed dogged determination. Not many people do what we do. Some simply close homes because it is easier.

“We suffered doubly because Covid has also been hell. We were faced with an almost impossible task to keep it open but it kept us going. We like a challenge. It was like a red rag to a bull.”

Hill Farm care home in Keycol Hill, Bobbing, is now 'good'
Hill Farm care home in Keycol Hill, Bobbing, is now 'good'

His wife spent three or four days a week at the home and is now the registered manager.

Mr Satra said: “She is fearless. There was an embedded culture which we had to break. Now we have a very good team. They have worked very hard.”

The pair have invested £75,000 upgrading bathrooms, plumbing and wiring and adding a hydrotherapy bath, disabled-friendly porch and mini bus.

Hill Farm provides personal care to six people with learning disabilities including people living with autism. It can support up to nine people.

The couple also have homes in Luton, Swindon, Dunstable and on the Isle of Sheppey.

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