Author Archives: Jan

Jeremy’s Blog – Middleton Gardens and the ‘3 Cs’

This year we have introduced the ‘3Cs’ at Middleton Hall.

Communication, Challenge, Change

The idea is that everyone is responsible for the ‘3Cs’. We all have a part in Communication – not just leaders (“If you didn’t know, did you ask?”); Everyone can and should Challenge what we do (“Might there be a different way of doing that?” … Managers are not always right); and we all need to embrace Change (the only way we will keep improving is continuous change).

This month, we are updating one of our care services. Lots of the ‘3Cs’ involved all the way through.

In truth I have never quite understood what “residential care” really is. We aim for all our services to be distinctive as well as excellent and we felt that 2017 was the time to re-think what we offer in Middleton Gardens (historically “residential care”) to make it more distinctive.

When Middleton Oaks opened this summer, it left us with eight empty rooms next to Middleton Gardens. The obvious short-term way forward would have been a quick bit of redecorating and fill the rooms as we had plenty of people on the waiting list for “residential care”. But…Challenge…was that really the best thing for the longer term? Could we make a Change and do something innovative that might enhance residents’ lives further? And then, how would we Communicate all that?

Out of the Challenging, Changing and Communicating that we have done since January, has arrived not just a bit of re-branding but two smaller and more distinct services:

Supported Living with Care (“Designed for residents willing and able to plan their days independently”) – a more homely, informal atmosphere for just twelve residents who will be supported to undertake a more active and independent lifestyle (cooking, gardening, looking after hens and other interests).

Hotel Living with Care (“Flexible hotel style care service to suit individual requirements with restaurant meals”) – a highly bespoke care service for 16 residents with generous communal facilities.

A team has worked on planning the new services (our building team has virtually re-built the eight rooms so they all have patio doors and some bay windows, brand new shower rooms and a new communal space) and Supported Living with Care will open at the end of this month.

A good example of our ‘3Cs’ in action.

Of course, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and certainly our new clients in our Supported Living care service will be eating well.

Channel 4 Discussions …


You may have seen the recent documentary ‘Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds’. Broadcast on Channel 4 in July 2017, the two-part series followed a group of nursery school children as they spent regular time with some older residents of a retirement village – St Monica’s Trust in Bristol. The results were engaging and positive.

The production company CPL Productions has approached Middleton Hall as a potential site for a further series. Producers are to visit on Wednesday 15th November to continue discussions and meet some residents.

The series is available to view on catch up via the following link click here to watch

We are keen to hear people’s thoughts about the prospect of filming here. Please let us know! Speak to reception!

St George’s Medical Practice Opens its Doors in Middleton Hall Grounds

On Monday 18th September, St George’s Medical Practice opened for the first time in its new home in the Middleton Hall estate.

The general practice, formerly Felix House Surgery, found itself in a difficult situation when Dr Adrian Marshall recently retired. The working space was integral to his family property and the surgery was to be left homeless when the space was reclaimed.

With no realistic options elsewhere, Middleton Hall stepped in and offered to provide an area for a replacement surgery to be built. Initially, this will be a temporary construction. In due course, it is intended that a permanent build will provide wonderful premises for the long term, giving wide ranging benefits for local residents.

Watch this space – literally!

Celebrating with an Anniversary Luncheon

It was clear that with the 10 year anniversary of Middleton Woods and the recent completion of The Waterside, there really was something to celebrate!

More than 80 residents attended the anniversary luncheon and a good time was had by all. The sense of occasion was heightened by the wonderful 3-course lunch, served in a marquee.

MD Jeremy opened the event with a speech that thanked residents for their courage in initially making the decision to move to Middleton Hall, at the time a concept with properties still unbuilt, tried or tested!

Middleton Woods and Waterside residents Jean Barr and Marion Pickersgill (respectively) each stood to say a few words. They praised the retirement village and the precious sense of community that has developed during the last 10 years. Marion said

It’s the best decision I have made in later life

The photographs speak for themselves. This was a joyful and memorable occasion.

Northumbria in Bloom GOLD Award for the 7th Year Running!

Our fabulous estates team is celebrating after winning a Northumbria in Bloom GOLD Award for the seventh year in a row.

Middleton Hall achieved a gold medal in the Best Kept Grounds of a Care, Residential or Convalescent Home, Day Care Centre or Hospice category in the competition, and were the overall winners for this category for the sixth time in seven years.

The judges cited the landscaped grounds of Middleton Oaks, the new ‘small group living’ centre as an example of a management style that is both proactive and reactive in its provision for the residents. They said, “This is a highly impressive retirement facility in every sense of the word and the staff are to be congratulated on its high standards”

David Richardson, the retirement village’s Head of Facilities added

“I am delighted for all those that have been involved in accomplishing the projects, including our residents. They have been involved at every step of the way, planting and even weeding as well as helping shape the designs and plans.”

Following the Yellow Brick Road on Fun Day

 ‘Welcome to the Emerald City’ was the dramatic theme for this year’s Fun Day.

Residents and staff spent many happy hours together making the extravagant decorations and costumes for the eye-catching event, inspired by the Wizard of Oz. All who attended the event smiled at the spectacle of familiar areas of the village revamped into Kansas, Munchkinland, the Witch’s Castle and the Emerald City. Staff members Gail, Erica and Amy Jones led guests along the Yellow Brick Road, singing highlights from the film.

Ruby slippers were not compulsory, but various characters including Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, winged monkeys and witches made an appearance and lead a large crowd in following the Yellow Brick Road in search of the Land of Oz.

To deserving applause, the Best Scarecrow competition was won by the Tin Man, and created by the Reception team and who definitely had a heart. Their entry was constructed mostly from re-cycled materials, in line with the retirement village’s sustainability aims. The Best Fancy Dress winner was Jak Patterson aged 5, who coincidentally was also the Tin Man!

The sun shone as families enjoyed themed refreshments with other guests in the grounds. Local band The Seasonal Singers then gave an Oz-worthy performance on an outdoor stage, set in the gardens.

Pam Mooney, Middleton Hall’s Operations Director, said:
“As always, this year’s Fun Day was fantastic entertainment and a chance for residents, staff and guests to relax and have a good time together “.

After a truly ‘fun day’, guests clicked their heels and it was time to go home.