Category Archives: News

Outstanding Recognition from the CQC

Middleton Hall is proud to announce that we have been rated as outstanding following an unannounced 3 day inspection by the CQC in January this year. Under CQC’s programme of inspections, all adult social care services are assessed and given a rating according to whether they are safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led. Middleton Hall was not only rated outstanding overall but the CQC found us to be outstanding in all five domains. This is a rare achievement as only three other organisations inspected in the whole of the North have demonstrated this level of service, an achievement Debby Lamont, Registered Manager and Head of Care and Quality is extremely proud of.

“I am delighted that the dedication and commitment by all our staff across the whole retirement village has been recognised. Everybody has a major part to play in the person centred service we provide. We continually strive for excellence and continuous improvement at Middleton Hall. This is embedded into our culture and value system. I am so pleased the CQC inspectors could see how we work with residents so that they really live life to the full. Without exception, every single member of staff genuinely cares about residents, each other and our wider community.

Debbie Westhead, CQC’s Deputy Chief Inspector for Adult Social Care in the North joined Jeremy, Lesley, Pam, Debby and all the staff and residents on the day the report was published to celebrate this high accolade.

Debbie commented “We found the quality of care provided at Middleton Hall Retirement Village in Darlington to be outstanding. The service is one of only three in the North of England that has received an outstanding rating for all five questions that we ask on inspection. We saw a caring service that encouraged people to remain as independent as possible.”

“Without exception, people using the service and their families, told us they were extremely happy with the level of care received and we saw highly motivated staff that were very satisfied with the work that they were doing. The culture at Middleton Hall was also very impressive. It was caring, open and transparent. Staff worked closely and effectively with other healthcare partners and really took people’s views on board and acted on feedback”.

“This unique service, which catered to people’s changing needs is truly setting an example, and I hope other care providers look to them to see what outstanding care looks like. The whole team should be very proud of the service they are providing.

Jeremy Walford, Managing Director of Middleton Hall commented, “The CQC inspects almost 25,000 services including hospitals, GP Practices, dental services as well as care homes and I believe only one other care home in the North has achieved outstanding in all five domains. Middleton Hall has always strived for improvement – our vision has always been about being the best. I am obviously delighted that the CQC agrees that we are outstanding. What is particularly significant is that the report covers every part of Middleton Hall – all our team contributes to our achievement of being an “Outstanding” and indeed we are fortunate to have such an outstanding team working at the retirement village.

One of the main factors in gaining such a high rating is our continual commitment to improvement. So, in case anyone thought we might rest on our laurels at this point – no chance.  There is still much to do on our journey of excellence and we will keep moving forward to make sure that we remain outstanding in everything we do.”  Middleton Hall facilities

Please click here to view the report.

Exciting Finds at Metal Detecting Workshop

A resident struck …. not gold, but copper at the recent Estates workshop. The group was using a metal detector to explore the Middleton Hall grounds in an entirely new way.

The find was a ‘Cartwheel Coin’ – a two pence coin, unusually made from solid copper and presenting the head of George III. Quick research shows these coins to have been minted only in the year 1797.

The coin may be a link to New South Wales in Australia, to where 18,000 of these coins were exported, and/or to the military. The year pre-dates the first known history of Middleton Hall being built on the land in 1820.

Other ‘treasure’ included small aluminium parts thought to have possibly come from an aeroplane which crashed onto the Middleton Hall site in WW2.

All in all, it was a very interesting morning.

A Flipping Good Pancake Race


Residents and staff were up for a bit of fun on Shrove Tuesday this year. A Pancake Race! And why not?

Various heats were held, with a certificate and voucher for the overall prize winner. It was the taking part that was such fun. There are no obstacles in our Pancake Race and as usual we do things the Middleton Hall way.

This is proof that a competitive spirit never leaves you!



















Venice Comes to Middleton Hall

We were in Carnival spirits for a Venetian inspired coffee morning.

Creativity knew no bounds as, before the date, residents in each corner of Middleton Hall decorated masks with true flair. The results were worn and displayed to great effect. Middleton Grove, Middleton Gardens, Middleton Court and Family Living also designed and decorated a very special full face mask of their own for a competition. As ever, the idea of a competition raised the bar even further. The winning entry, by Family Living, was stunning.

Thank you to the kitchen team, who graced the tables with an array of traditional British and Italian cakes and biscuits. All in all, it was a spectacle to brighten a February morning.





















Oh what a night!

2016 was a fantastic year at Middleton Hall, with lots to celebrate and we certainly did our best to do just that. With a break in tradition, our annual celebrating success evening was held off site at the Hall Garth Hotel.  The evening celebrated the highlights and achievements in 2016 and also recognised our long serving staff.

Over 140 years of long service were celebrated this year, with Verna Pritchard, carer being recognised for 30 years long service. It was also 20 years since directors Jeremy, Lesley and Adrian came to Middleton Hall when the village began its real journey to making Middleton Hall the special place it is today. Other awards on the night went to Debbie Sanderson for 10 years service and Hannah Craggs 5 years. 







Others who were unfortunately not able to attend but who also were recognised for long service include Sue Hoggarth – 15 years, Jo Saddington – 10 years, and Gail Jones and Sue Gray – 5 years. It was a pleasure to give thanks to all the above members of staff for their contribution throughout a significant number of years.

We watched and remembered events and special moments from 2016 illustrating the efforts made from all staff.  The event is one of the ways we thank our staff for all their effort and the fantastic contribution they put in to making it the characterful and friendly place it is. The pictures say it all, capturing what was a great night enjoyed by everyone. Well done to Kirsty for her outstanding efforts of hand free After Eight eating.








A great night was had by all as we celebrated just as we work – with great humour, with exuberance and with each other.



Enjoy the Benefits of Middleton Spa Membership


Do you like the idea of being fitter and healthier in 2017?

If you are 50 or over, you may be interested to know that Middleton Hall Retirement Village is offering a limited number of monthly Spa and gym Memberships to non-residents.

Membership is £38.00 per month* and the benefits of membership include:-

  • 10m swimming pool
  • jacuzzi
  • well equipped, air conditioned gym and studio
  • the Atrium – an attractive, relaxing seating area
  • beauty therapist offering wide range of treatments
  • hairdressing salon
  • The Orangery, serving a range of drinks, nutritious snacks and light bites, with WiFi access
  • monthly newsletter and What’s On leaflets
  • a Rewards and Benefits scheme

The Spa is open 7 days a week. You will also be able to take part in Pilates and Tai Chi classes (both for an extra small charge) and enjoy the Middleton Hall grounds including Woodland Walk and bird hide.

If you would like further information or to arrange a no obligation show round of the Spa facilities, please contact a member of the Spa team on 01325 332207. They will be very happy to help.

*Subject to terms and conditions

Very Blue Monday!

Smurfs & smilesStaff and residents took it upon themselves to ensure they were not party to the overwhelming gloominess that is normally associated with the third Monday in January, known to many as Blue Monday. Notoriously known as the most depressing day of the year, staff decided to banish the blues in their own unique way.

With staff dressing up, residents were welcomed to the coffee morning by blue faced Smurfs and any thoughts of sadness were removed immediately to be replaced with a little disbelief, huge grins and loud laughter.

Moira Taylorson, Front of House Supervisor said “We may look blue but we definitely don’t feel it. Today is all about having a laugh, whether it’s dressing up, listening to resident’s favourite happy songs or hearing some of the limericks that staff and residents have composed for the day.”

All the staff had been asked prior to the coffee morning to compose their own little funny ditties or limericks with the aim to put a smile on everyone’s faces.
The pastry chefs and bakers paid their own special tribute to Blue Monday by baking and decorating some Smurf cakes.

The best laugh of the morning after the dance performance by the Smurfettes was when the limericks and poems composed by staff and residents were shared. This definitely made the chuckle–o –meter register. There were many but one of the limericks composed by staff member Gail Jones, got a big applause from the residents.

‘Middleton Hall is a fab place to be, especially when you are over 50
Lots to do and lots to see, nice food for lunch, great snacks for tea
So friendly and caring reassuring to all, Life is just wonderful here at Middleton Hall!!!’

It was NOT BLUE MONDAY at Middleton Hall.


Boxing Day Bravery


David Richardson, Alan Grainge and Carolyn Howe did Middleton Hall proud in a show of solidarity with Brian Jones, Mayor of Darlington.

All three members of staff braved the icy winds of the North Sea coast and ran into the waters at Hartlepool for the annual fundraising dip. Hard to believe for some, they all said how much they enjoyed the experience! There was lots of laughter and a great atmosphere as the Mayor and other fearless dippers sported various different costumes.

David Richardson deserves special mention. He raised £230 for the Mayor’s charities by completing his own personal challenge. During 2016 he set himself the target of running a very impressive 1,000 miles. The final, thousandth mile was completed as he ran into the sea. A fantastic achievement.

The goal of Living Well is always encouraged at Middleton Hall and David, Alan and Carolyn have gone to extremes to prove it!


A Very Merry Christmas


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

The festive season was much enjoyed, with many and varied events and activities for residents in all areas of the community. Middleton Grove, Middleton Court, Middleton Gardens and Family Living each had their own Christmas parties with a Restaurant lunch and entertainment. There were coffee mornings for all, a wreath making workshop, a Christmas concert and Christmas Fair.

Visitors were, as always, welcome to celebrate with relatives and friends. This year more guests than ever were in attendance for festive afternoon teas, special restaurant festive menus, and of course traditional Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve menus. 

It was a very cheerful season. Best wishes for 2017.  











brenda busy-group











Breaking News New temporary site for GP Surgery


Over the last few months Middleton Hall has been in discussion with the partners at Felix House Surgery about the future of the Middleton St George practice.  As you will be aware, the current surgery is due to close at some point. Although outline planning permission had been granted in the village for a new surgery, no progress has been made about moving to that site. Consequently, it was becoming increasingly likely that Middleton St George would be left without a surgery at all.

Following a series of meetings with the CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) and NHS Property, we have offered to provide a site at Middleton Hall for a temporary surgery and work on a plan for a new permanent surgery in the longer term.  The temporary surgery would be provided in portacabins alongside a new car park in the field on the east side of the trade entrance drive (right hand side on the way out of Middleton Hall), opposite the Virginia Estate for a period of up to two years. 

This has now been agreed in principle by all parties, subject to a temporary planning application, and the NHS are working with us potentially to have this in place as early as April 2017.   The temporary site will be accessed from the trade entrance. In order to facilitate this, we will be widening the entrance and creating a two lane drive into the site.

At the same time, we have also agreed with the NHS, CCG and the partners of the practice that Middleton Hall would be the best location for a permanent surgery, built in the same field. As Middleton St George grows over the next ten years, Middleton Hall is increasingly central geographically to what is now a small town.

This provides the opportunity to develop an innovative GP practice to meet the future needs of the local community resulting in an improved medical service for our own residents as well as interesting possibilities for working collaboratively with the surgery in the future.

With the support of the various stakeholders, we will be applying for planning permission for a permanent surgery for Middleton St George in the same location during 2017.

We will be sharing more information about this in the New Year but wanted to let everyone know the good news before Christmas.