5th October 2014


The performance of our staff is key to the delivery of good care and a “happy home”. We have therefore decided to make an Award of Excellence at the beginning of November. All members of staff are able to try for the award and if the initiative is successful we intend to repeat it in the future.

We identified three components of the Award by thinking about what makes an excellent staff member in a Care Home.


We will be looking at all members of staff attendance and time keeping records over the three months prior to the award. As the award will be made at the end of October the relevant records will be August-October


Staff will only qualify for the Award if they are completely up to date with their mandatory training AND have completed an additional two training activities this year. To assist staff who may wish to do further training we are making more money available for training on the computer.

A high level of skill; together with a caring and compassionate attitude
This is where we are asking for your help! We will measure this by asking residents, relatives, visiting professionals and the Home Manager to feedback to us any observations of day to day kindness, caring and skill. Treating the residents with respect and regarding their dignity will be a key element of this assessment. Please make comments on the paper provided and let us know what you think.

What will the award consist of?

There will be public recognition by us of the individual’s achievements. Announcements will be made within the home and to the relatives personally.A certificate will be awarded
A financial payment will be the final part of the award
There is no limit on how many staff can get this award, but as it is an award of excellence winners will have scored well and consistently in all sections.

Please help us to encourage and recognise the staff that show exceptional skills and commitment.

Lynette and Tony Hollick
Service Providers and Owners, Clayfield Care Home


My Mum Mrs RP lived in your home for 6 years, and the care was outstanding. In her final days your staff would come see her on there day off, and would not leave when there shift was over . Everyone was so fond of her. You could not have done anymore for her or us. If you have a loved one who needs this care you could not find a better home. Thank you all for taking care of Mum.

Gina Rosner (Daughter of Resident/Service User) on Monday 16 February 2015. Review relates to February 2015.

My Aunt has been a resident at Clayfield for 6 years, having been unable to care for herself. Despite being resistant to admission, she settled quickly and regained the weight she had lost through neglect. Her mental clarity has improved, her confusion resolved. Very marked is the trusting relationship that is sustained with her carers, and the empathic concern she shows towards other residents. She conveys contentment. I am always kept informed of my Aunt's progress, and am aware that medical help is sought if needed. The environment in which she is cared for is well lit, appropriately stimulating, clean and safe. The staff care for the residents with calm efficiency.

Elizabeth Davidson (Niece of Resident/Service User) on Wednesday 11 February 2015.

As a retired nurse midwife I had to go to respite care in Clayfield for two weeks. I was very pleased and happy with my care treatment, from the cleaner handyman, senior junior nursing staff and care assistants. I observed all the residents were treated with kindness and dignity and a credit to the care industry. If I have to go back in the future I would be happy to do so, under the care of Lisa and staff.

The staff at Clayfield are fantastic! They are kind, respectful and very informative. I would recommend this care home to anyone looking for a safe caring environment for a family member or loved one.

Carly Mcginley (Grandchild of resident) on Saturday 19 April 2014

My grandmother was a resident for a short time at Clayfield. The management were wonderful in arranging a transfer for her when she became terminally ill. The care she was given was exceptional the whole time she was there. She was treated as an individual, with dignity, respect and love and she was able to spend her final weeks as comfortable as possible. I will always be grateful to everyone involved with her care, who made her feel safe, valued and as pain free as possible. My gratitude also goes to all at Clayfield for the welcome they gave my family, nothing was too much trouble and we were kept informed of any changes at all times.

Mrs S. Herbert (Grandmother was resident, carer) on Sunday 13 April 2014.

Clayfield care home provides outstanding care and support for my Nan. They have a dedicated team of staff who treat her as an individual and meet all her needs. They ensure she still regularly attends her local church and liaise with other organisations to provide the best care possible. The manager of the home keeps all the family informed of any issues or changes concerning my Nan. This home provides excellent value for money and I would highly recommend it.

Robin Taylor-Fuente (Grandchild of resident) on Wednesday 5 February 2014.

This letter was first published in the North Devon Journal on 23rd December 2008

IN the small but rapidly expanding market town of Barnstaple, where I grew up, there is a hidden, well kept secret.

This secret is not of the type where babies are often abused and sometimes murdered by their carers nor that of further afield, of tribal brutality arbitrated through casual torture, rape, bullets and bombs.

This secret is full of goodness, the kindness of strangers, compassion, and above all, love. Not love of self through the fripperies of fashion, alternative 'therapies' and the 'because you're worth it' mentality which encapsulates and elucidates how we have reached the situation that we now find ourselves in, as a nation and around the globe.

This secret does not shout its name and the people who carry it with them day after day ask for no awards nor accolades yet are all heroes in their own quiet self effacing way. I have been privileged over the last 15 months to have gained access to the secret as too was my mother, who sadly died just recently at the age of 85.

Her death was not quick and merciful, but bit by painful bit across many diseases and several years. Those in the public sector charged with helping us to help her were less than responsive, mired in political correctness, bureaucracy and incompetence. Our story is ordinary, nothing special, with our mum like most mums, loved, cherished and at the centre of the family, even with seriously declining health and the need for care far greater than we could provide.

Walking through the door of CLAYFIELD care home rather than the back of a wardrobe, was our family's 'Narnia' moment. Not the grubby and depressing world of elderly care, as often depicted by the media, but a place of laughter, happiness and hope. All of the residents treated with dignity and respect, all remaining individuals even, but especially, to the end. CLAYFIELD's bricks and mortar are handsome enough, with lovely sitting/dining areas and cosy individual rooms for the residents. But it is the smell of the place which is overpowering; not that of unappetising cooking, all melded with chemical cleaners mixed with an overwhelming and unmistakable odour of despair. The home, for that is what it is and all the word 'home' implies, smells of cleanliness, not of the antiseptic kind, but of fresh beds, clean clothes, bathed bodies, warmth, fresh flowers, mouth watering meals, fresh air, sunshine, family, and goodness.

To have been part of the 'secret' which I have now revealed, will remain with me always as will my mum's passing.

To know that Mum could and did tell the carers at CLAYFIELD, as she did her own children, that she loved them and for the wider family to feel the embrace of these strong and remarkable women after Mum's death has brought grace, quietude and solace. The wishes of the family were sought and accommodated, while Mum's well being remained paramount and hospital was never contemplated for those final days and hours. Neither was it over until it was over, with staff trying to help her by consulting with medical professionals to the last whilst also administering medication, food, drink, bathing and changing her with love and yet more love. They wouldn't give up, always believing there was more that they could do.

We all appear to believe these days that we are genetically linked to Peter Pan and that we will not age or die. This, I can confirm, is not the case after watching the body from which I took my first breath take its last. We will not discover Neverland via expensive potions and lotions.

Time and tide waits for no (wo)man as the residents of CLAYFIELD and all other care and nursing homes can surely attest to. They too dream of restoration of vitality, youth and beauty and their 'value' reinstated rather than how in today's world they are perceived as 'old' and a 'drain' on society's resources. CLAYFIELD 'secret' is that those in its care are first and foremost people, and will remain people with dreams, memories, hopes and fears.

At this, the darkest time of the year, there is always the promise of light. When I confront the darkness and what will become of me, CLAYFIELD is my beacon. My thanks and gratitude will be with the staff always.


daughter of Gwen (1923 - 2008).

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