LETTER: Residents and staff are happy

Your letters
Your letters

Having read your article on 26th May (South Downs edition and website) reporting the recent CQC findings, I feel compelled to write to voice my support for Upper Mead care home in Henfield and express publicly my gratitude for the level of care that my 92 year old mother has received since she moved to Upper Mead in 2014.

We know that it is too easy to read newspaper articles on care homes which focus on the negatives and be left with a picture of an establishment in chaos with a lifeless atmosphere and a group of frightened, miserable residents as well as demotivated staff. In my experience, which includes talking to relatives of other residents at Upper Mead, the reality couldn’t be more different.

For example, whenever I visit my mother, (1) there is invariably a smiling face to greet me - be it a resident, nurse or carer, (2) the manager’s door is “always open” (3) answers to any questions I might have are always provided knowledgeably and promptly and (4) most importantly, my mother is happy.

Moreover, whenever my mother has had a significant health issue, I have been notified immediately and kept informed of any changes to her condition. I have no concerns that she is at risk.

I must, however, single out Lynn Lovett, the manager, for special praise. Against what are obvious pressures regarding staff recruitment and retention and, I am guessing, the need (as with the rest of the care industry) to meet challenging budgetary targets, she does an amazing job.

It is plain for all to see that the principle reason for this is that she is dedicated to her job, and a devoted person who cares greatly about her residents and staff.

In turn, the reason her residents and staff are happy (something the CQC report acknowledges) must have a huge amount to do with her.

However, logic dictates that in the light of the CQC report, the manager will be under increasing pressure to address its findings which in turn has given me some concern that she will have less time to do what she does so well and instead get bogged down with the detail (how sad for example that the inspectors had made reference to the fact that the previous inspection rating hadn’t been displayed properly).

I am pleased, therefore to have received an assurance from senior management at Sussex Health Care, that the manager of Upper Mead will receive support in a form that will allow her to continue to do what she does so well.

Michael Jennings

Hammerpond Road, Horsham

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