Please contact us if your question isn’t included below or you need more information. 

Our staffing levels are reflective of the number of residents, and their needs. During the core hours of 7am to 7pm we would generally have seven care assistants, plus a senior carer, an acting senior, the care manager and the registered manager. Additionally, we have a full-time receptionist/administrator, a full time activities co-ordinator, two chefs and three domestic staff. This means that on an average week day you will find around 19 staff in the home. At night we have three carers and one senior working 19:00 to 07:00, and one twilight working between 16:30 and 20:00. We are proud of our staffing ratios, and they are higher than you will find in many other residential homes.

Yes. We will always try to ensure we are able to meet new residents’ needs through assessment and conversation with other professionals that they might be working with. This is so that we can be as sure as possible that we can provide the care that is needed and that they will enjoy living at Read House. A respite stay for a week or so can be extremely useful in helping you make an informed decision about whether you would like to come permanently.

Several of our residents, or their relatives, are happy to speak with prospective residents as they remember how difficult it was when they had to make such an important decision. Out of respect for their time, all we ask is that you first have an assessment to ensure we can cater for your needs. We will then give you some names and phone numbers for you to call them in confidence.

We have open visiting hours and encourage friends and relatives to visit whenever is convenient to our residents. If you are visiting at mealtimes, you are welcome to join them. If you are visiting when other residents may be resting, we ask that noise be kept to a minimum. Friends and families are always welcome to join in social occasions and activities. Please note that this is subject to change to ensure that we comply with any legal requirements regarding infection control.

All residents have their own room with en-suite toilet and washbasin facilities, although we do have one or two rooms large enough for couples to share.

Residents are welcome to come and go as they wish where appropriate. In certain circumstances we may carry out a ‘Risk Assessment’ if we have concerns about the resident’s safety. We ask that residents and/or their family let us know if they are leaving the building, to comply with our fire regulations.

We carry out a full assessment prior to new residents moving in, to ensure we are the right home for them. However, should a resident ever decide we are not the right home we do ask for one month’s notice. All residents have four weeks from moving in to ensure that it is the right place for them to be. If we feel that this is not the right environment, then we reserve the right to give notice during this period.

We have a varied activities programme with activities morning and afternoon seven days a week. Our in-house activities co-ordinator devises a schedule each week. Some activities are provided by outside entertainers or those with specialist skills. Our Wellbeing team spend most of their time with our residents, either one to one or in small groups.

All special diets are catered for in an imaginative way to ensure meals remain something to look forward to. Our chef meets all new residents to find out their likes and dislikes and joins the residents’ meeting on a regular basis to discuss the menu.

As a specialist care home managed by Essex Blind Charity everything, we do is centred on the fact that our residents may have poor sight. The home is designed with lots of colour contrasting – handrails, door handles, dining room table settings etc. - to encourage people to find their way around and be as independent as possible. We can provide specialist equipment to aid residents in their rooms e.g., easy to see or talking clocks, additional lighting. Our staff will be happy to advise on suitable aids.

Whilst most residents enjoy being looked after, we encourage and welcome residents to help with any tasks they would like to engage in.

Exercise forms a regular part of our activities programme, and we seek to encourage residents to remain as fit as possible. The Wellbeing team will always help with exercises daily and provide support for people to walk safely round the garden, or over to the greensward and beach.

Having their own possessions around helps residents to settle into their new home, and we therefore positively encourage them to bring as many items with them as they would like. The rooms are fully furnished but residents are welcome to bring their own furniture if they prefer. We are happy to put up shelves, hang pictures etc. to make the room as homely as possible. We do ask that we are kept informed of any items that are brought in or removed from the home for which we keep an inventory. Valuable items should be independently insured, and we recommend that items of value are left with us for safe keeping when not being used by the resident. Each room has a safe installed for the resident to store money, jewellery etc.

Every resident has a care plan which is initially created from discussions with the resident, family and other professionals that may be involved in their care. We use an electronic care planning system called Nourish and notes are made by all staff in real time.

Care plans are reviewed in full at least monthly on their Resident of the Day. Each resident is allocated a Resident of the Day which reoccurs on the same date each month. At this time the care plan is reviewed, medication audited and everything in the room checked by the care team, the housekeeping team, and the maintenance team. These reviews are then audited by the Registered Manager. The next of kin, where appropriate, will then receive a telephone call to discuss any issues, or to just let you know that all is well.

Yes, we can give you access, with the permission of the resident, to view the daily logs and main care plans, this is done via the Nourish app which we will help you to set up on your electronic device.

We ask that residents who choose to leave the home give one month’s notice.

A copy of our latest report is available by clicking on the CQC logo at the foot of the page. If you would prefer, we would be happy to provide you with a paper copy on request.

We ask that families ensure there are sufficient funds to meet the resident’s fees for a minimum of two years. Fees are reviewed on the 1st of September of each year. If funding does become an issue, we undertake to work with the family to ensure a move is not necessary. We keep a small number of places which are funded by Essex County Council for this purpose.

It is not unusual for our residents' conditions to progress, and we continually tailor our service to meet their changing needs. Where their needs progress beyond our capabilities we are supported by doctors, district and specialist nurses which means most residents can stay with us for life. In the rare event where it is in the resident's best interests to move, we work with the families to help them find a suitable alternative and give them the time to ensure they have made the right decision.

We have never formally given notice, but we may rarely recommend that we are no longer the right home for a resident. This would be because we are no longer able to meet their needs, considering the various support services available to us, or they are no longer compatible with our other residents. Whilst we expect a general progression in our residents' needs, we are unable to cope with those who become and remain physically or verbally aggressive. We never make this recommendation lightly and would only ever do so after trying to resolve any underlying issues with the help of relevant healthcare professionals and the family.

You will be billed in advance for all care fees. Care fees are made up of ‘hotel’ costs and care needed, some of our larger rooms also attract a premium charge, a full discussion of fees will be conducted prior to admission. We also ask for a petty cash float of around £100 to cover individual costs for hairdressing, chiropody, and any other small items such as toiletries.