The Briars care home in Sandown on the Isle of Wight has been praised as outstanding by inspectors for its exceptionally personalised care. Staff at The Briars were noted by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) as being highly caring and compassionate and working tirelessly to meet people’s holistic needs.

The Briars is one of only two homes on the island, and among just one per cent of more than 20,000 care and nursing homes in the UK, that have an ‘outstanding’ rating from the industry’s regulatory body. The 38-bed home, one of 22 run by the charity, Greensleeves Care, specialises in care for people with complex needs as a result of dementia, as well as providing residential, respite and day care.

The CQC report found that staff went the extra mile by going out of their way to do things for people in their own time. They knew people well and used this knowledge to communicate effectively and build meaningful, caring relationships which people value. The CQC inspectors visited the home unannounced on May 8 this year and found that residents were treated with the utmost respect at all times and were supported to live their lives to the full.

The report highlighted the staff’s ability to be spontaneous to people’s requests such as going out for a walk, talking or just spending time together, and family members had told inspectors about ‘huge improvements in their loved ones’ physical, emotional and psychological well-being since living at The Briars.’ The home is ‘Eden Alternative’ accredited, a way of providing care that puts people at the centre of decision-making about the way they want to live their lives. Greensleeves Care has is introducing this philosophy across all its homes.

Home Manager, Nicky Shepherd, said: “We’re delighted with this report. It’s a fantastic reflection of how hard the team works and how dedicated the staff are. Our approach is focused on how people want to live their lives and how best we can support them to do that. Giving them control gives them a sense of comfort and self-worth, both of which are essential to their wellbeing. Not every home can meet the needs of people with complex needs and behaviours so it’s testament to the team here that we’ve achieved an ‘outstanding’ rating.”

Care Quality Commission inspectors rated The Briars on five key areas with an overall rating of ‘outstanding’.

Ray Fleming’s wife, Mavis, has dementia. She moved into The Briars three months ago after it became too difficult for him to care for her at home. “I couldn’t rate them more highly; from the manager to the carers, all the staff are brilliant,” said the 86 year-old. Mavis started off spending three days a week at The Briars to give me some respite and she moved in full-time in April. I can visit whenever I like and we spend all day Sunday together, having lunch just like we used to at home. After 64 years of marriage I don’t like to be apart from her for long.”

“Mavis used to be a florist so the staff let her put together the displays for the home. They saw how much pleasure she got from arranging the flowers so they got her some silk ones so that she can do it whenever she likes. They look after her so well but they look after me too – they can see how I’m feeling and what sort of a day I’m having. They’re amazing.”

CQC inspectors also noted that staff at The Briars were highly skilled and had received an award from Healthwatch in recognition of a team who have worked to ensure that the people they support have maximum control over their lives and who value ‘outcomes’ rather than ‘outputs’. ‘People were cared for by staff who were motivated and committed to providing a safe, high quality service for people’, noted the inspectors.

“We put a great deal of effort into preparing a resident’s care before they even arrive,” added Nicky. “This is one of the reasons we can offer care to those whose dementia is more complex. We work very closely with families to fully understand who the person is, what may make them anxious and what they enjoy. We are all passionate about care and we put people first.”

The Briars is the second care home managed by Greensleeves Care which received Outstanding CQC rating, along with Broadlands care home in Suffolk.

To read the CQC report on The Briars visit