We always encourage feedback from our residents and their families as their input helps us to further improve the quality of the care we provide. It is also very reassuring to learn that we have been able to make a real difference to the lives of the people we care for.
The following are just a few of the kind letters we receive from the people we care for...
Our Mother was 97, living at home alone and still driving, when she had a UTI and went off the Richter scale! Despite hospital intervention, three daughters night and day and nursing help within a month not only were we exhausted but she was a danger to us as well as to herself. The nursing home next to where I lived did not have a space so my sister tried a nursing home near her who sent someone out to assess Mummy. Taking one look at what was going on they said they could not help . . . but knew someone who could! Enter Winton. Within three days they took Mummy on. Within six months they had her eating and talking almost normally and in a state that we could take her out in the car. It was not long after that on returning to Winton Mummy was heard to shout “yoo hoooo we’re home!” and that is what it had become - a true home where the lovely nurses were happy to be called whatever name she thought suited them. A home where the chef would pop in to her room in the morning to see if she wanted scrambled egg or porridge. A home where her pink gin was served (if not quite to her strength) religiously before lunch. A home where she was given free rein to have all her friends and family to celebrate her 100th birthday in the walled garden. And . . . a home where, when she left peacefully with the undertaker, all the staff lined up to wave her goodbye.
Is Winton expensive? I ask what price that comfort which her family were incapable of giving? Also the exceptional emotional support given to the family was thrown in for free!
Would we recommend Winton? We have to two ladies who are there now, and we would again.
Winton does what it says on the label . . . it’s a home.
We as the family of our beloved mother Barbara Poole would like to pass on our heartfelt thanks to absolutely everybody at The Abbey. Our Mother has received the most wonderful care over the last 8 years, firstly at The Mews and since June 2013 in the Abbey. Finding the Abbey for our parents Bob and Barbara has been amazing and ensured that they lived out their lives in the most comfortable and dignified way. For us as a family we always felt as if we were 'coming home' when we visited them.
The staff conduct themselves professionally always showing dignity and respect both to the residents and their families. They have shown such kindness and compassion towards Mum and it was clear to see how much affection our Mother was held in by everyone. We are so grateful for the wonderful End of Life Care Mum received.
We would be grateful if you could circulate this communication to all departments.
Following the sad death of my Mother, Delphine Foulkes, on Thursday 23rd November 2017, I wanted to write to you on behalf of our family to say thank you for taking care of her for so long and looking after her so well…
Dear Rosemary, Naomi and David,
This is a belated note to express our most grateful thanks on behalf of the entire Blamey family for the wonderful care that all the staff at Amesbury Abbey gave to our father over the last three and a half years of his life. After David’s fall in March 2014 his prospects were not at all good, but thanks to everybodys’ efforts he lived on to fight another day! We could not have asked for better care and attention from the nursing staff, the wonderful carers and not to forget all the support staff behind the scenes. It is in no way adequate but please find enclosed a cheque for this year’s Staff Christmas Fund and we hope very much that every one of the team at Amesbury has a very happy and peaceful Christmas and New Year. We will be thinking of you all at Amesbury over the holiday period, especially the extraordinary team of nurses, carers, kitchen and housekeeping staff who, with a smile provide wonderful service and care 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.
With grateful thanks again
My brother, Andrew, and I would like to thank you for all you kindly did for our mother during the twenty-two years she lived at the Manor. She spent seventeen years in 4, Garden Court, where she was very independent, and then for the final five years of her life in the nursing home. She was always very content at the Manor, and had many friends among her fellow residents and indeed among the staff too.
We were so pleased that she was able to pass away in her own room in a peaceful, familiar environment, and that she didn’t have to go to hospital.
We’d particularly like to thank Kamala and the medical team for the love, care and professionalism they gave to our mother especially in her final days, and I will send Kamala a copy of this letter. Similarly, we thank Bernie and her domestic and catering team for all that they did to make our mother comfortable and happy, and I shall also send her a copy too.
Thank you for providing a home for our mother for so many years.
Dear David, Naomi and Rosemary
We are so grateful that our dear mother was able to spend her last years at Amesbury Abbey.
The loving environment that your family creates at the Abbey and for its residents has touched all of our lives and most importantly, the daily life of our mother and her husband. This love comes through you, as you have so warmly welcomed and accommodated us during our frequent visits. It is transmitted via the guidance you provide to the many staff members that operate the Abbey on daily basis; providing nursing care, housekeeping services and preparing the delicious food that is offered to your residents. Some aspects of care can be taught and trained, other aspects are more ethereal, coming from a place of spirit, love and warm intentions. These elements, so evident at the Abbey, come from your presence and leadership. For this, we are all very grateful.
We have instructed our mother's estate management to send a check your way for £1000.00 to be included in your staff Christmas fund at the Abbey. Please accept this gift as a small token of our gratitude for the excellent care our mother received from the staff at Amesbury Abbey.
With Love and Appreciation,
Christina, Cindy, David and Richard
Penny Blamey's four children.
Kind regards, Bruce Shilstone
Dear Rosemary, Naomi and David,
First, please forgive me for sending this via email – not at all PC, I know!
However in the interests of speed and practicality we wanted to drop you a brief note to thank you and ALL the team at the Abbey so much for your hard work planning and putting on this year's Abbey Christmas lunch.
This must be my third or fourth Christmas lunch at either the Mews or the Abbey and I can promise you that I have not had better Christmas lunches anywhere on my travels.
On behalf of David, Penny and my sister Sarah, please pass on our grateful thanks to all the team – those behind the scenes and those helping and serving 'out front’.
This also seems an appropriate time to pass on our heartfelt thanks to the medical team, the carers, the kitchen, housekeeping and laundry teams, not to mention maintenance and the gardeners who have all done so much this year to make David and Penny’s stay at the Abbey as happy and comfortable as it has been.
We would very much like to recognise everybody individually - and of course that is not practical - but we will be making a contribution to the Staff Christmas fund and just as important, we do hope that each and every one of the team is able to have some well-deserved time off with their families over the Christmas and New Year holidays.
With our grateful thanks again and every best wish for 2016 from the Blameys.
Please accept a big thank you for the care I received from your nursing home during my fortnight’s respite.
It was singularly significant that over the years your family has created a unique culture and environment. The result is that residents feel that they are living in a caring stately home rather than a medical centre. Staff went out of their way to make residents feel safe and stimulated. Your whole staffing team ensured that residents were treated as individuals requiring respect, dignity and friendship. Above all, you do all this at an affordable charge.
It was a privilege experiencing the Abbey’s hospitality and making friendships with the many other satisfied residents. I hope to move in the near future.
Kind regards, Bruce Shilstone
Dear Vicky, Kamala & all the Staff,
We can’t thank you enough for taking such good care of our Mum in the last few weeks of her life. You treated her with dignity and compassion and she couldn’t have ended her days in a better place.
You were so kind & thoughtful on Thursday night - words can’t express how grateful we are.
It is a cliche, but Mum’s pain is over and she will know how much she was loved and cared for.
With best wishes to you all.
Michael & I are writing to you on behalf of the younger members of the Smith family to say how much we appreciated the outstanding care, compassion and sensitivity shown to Barbara recently at Sutton Manor. The same kindness was also shown to Pa, while he sat by Ma’s bedside for so many hours.
We were very impressed by the attention to detail shown by your staff: from the tempting snacks and meals for Pa to the quality of the end-of-life nursing care given to Mad. Every detail was beyond our hopes when they arrived at Sutton Manor in 2014.
Please pass on our heartfelt thanks to all the staff who, as a whole, make a wonderful team.
Jayne & Michael Smith
I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to write this, but I just have to put on record that Ann & I, and the other guests on Tuesday were completely blown away by the fabulous lunch you laid on for us. Having that lovely round table and a private area to ourselves in that small drawing room was wonderful, and we were all looked after absolutely beautifully, with a really delicious meal. I’m sorry it got so late and that we must have made some have to stay on longer than normal - that was really kind, and we really appreciated being allowed to take our time over my father's birthday lunch.
And then there was the arrival of the cake, with everyone singing to him!! It was fantastic, thank you SO much, and also for the very generous present for my father of that huge chocolate bottle, which was half gone by the time he left the table - so it was clearly a big hit!
Could you pass on our big thanks to everyone involved, Nicky, even those who weren’t there on the day? I know that something like that takes a lot more preparation than you’d think, and it showed. It was great to see my father so engaged, and all spruced up in his tie too, and really following what was going on round the table. There’s a card on its way to you for all the staff at Sutton Manor, and a couple of prints of the best group photograph (below) that Ann took which I thought you might want to put up in the staff room, or wherever, but I wanted to send this first in case you thought we’d forgotten!
Do also pass this on to Naomi and David if you feel that’s appropriate - Sutton Manor "played a blinder”, and we were absolutely thrilled with everything, particularly the kindness you all show, all day, every day to everyone. Very special.
Thank you again.
Very best wishes
When I was a child my mother had a friend who had business connections with Arthur Rank. I understood this man to make Hovis bread, something I ate everyday.
Now, in my second childhood, I am still eating Hovis bread but best of all, I live in retirement housing at Sutton Manor, once the home of Lord Rank.
The Manor, set in 60 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds, is now a nursing home but one would not think so. Instead, one had the impression of a country house hotel.
Those of us in retirement housing (there are 25 properties) use the dining room in the Manor. We have a four course lunch every day served by young waitresses wearing a uniform of black dress, white frilly apron and cap. The tables are for four persons and the seating arrangement is changed daily. So it is not just a mealtime but a social occasion; one has the opportunity to converse with all the different residents, many now dear friends. All very civilized.
In living here all the essentials ingredients for my happiness are provided. Not only do I have material comforts but the staff ensure my safety and this brings a feeling of security.
Then, the knowledge that one is cared for brings a sense of community – of family.
In reflecting on life in Amesbury Abbey Mews, after almost ten years in residence here, 3 dominant impressions remain:-
Our situation in the beautiful setting of a small country estate, bisected and enhanced by Wiltshire’s River Avon and its attendant wildlife, yet adjoining and within easy walking distance of Old Amesbury’s shops banks etc.
The brilliant concept of attractive flats (with domestic help twice weekly) sited close by Amesbury Abbey nursing home, with access in emergency, to immediate nursing expertise, and a life – sustaining daily communal lunch with its helpful ‘bonding’ influence in our community.
The very welcome support of a cheerful and very helpful staff, both domestic and external, which sustains a dearly happy community.
Our move here in approaching old age has proved one of the soundest that we have ever made!
I'd just like to say a very big "thank you" to everyone at the Abbey for taking such good care of mum and dad over the years they were with you. I know they went there so that we wouldn't have to worry about them as they got older, and that definitely proved to be the case. Your staff are very caring people, with some really lovely personalities amongst them, and I am eternally grateful that the end for both of them was so peaceful, and dad in particular was among friends, because that's how he felt about the staff who looked after him.
I am writing to you from Winton Nursing Home in the village of Nether Wallop in Hampshire. I was born in the village many years ago and have seen many things happen here. This home is rather special and I would like to tell you about it. Our rooms have furniture from our old homes, pictures on the walls as reminders of past memories.
The care is excellent and we are all encouraged to keep a certain amount of independence over personal matters. Every morning a waitress from the kitchen comes around with the menu board which is very interesting. One thing I find is that there are always plenty of vegetables, meat and fish. There is also a selection of sweets, especially for the residents on special diets.
We have weekly visits from the hairdresser and the manicurist, as well as a chiropodist.
We have a church service in the drawing room once a week and we also receive Holy Communion.
My first impression of Monte da Palhagueira Village was that it was Portmeirion in a much warmer climate, a beautiful village nestling on the south west slopes of gently rising hills, in the sunny Algarve.
Casa Rosella, our home, has stunning views over the countryside with glimpses of the sea in the distance. The interior is equally attractive with a rather nice flavour of Portugal.
At a practical level, our two bedrooms are both en-suite, and all essential facilities are provided. The bedrooms and reception areas are air-conditioned, all windows and doors to the outside have fly screens, and the generous balcony has a large awning to shelter from the hot mid-day sun. So comfort is well provided for.
The installed electrical equipment is maintained (air-conditioning, fridge-freezer, cooker, washing machine), as is the external building within the agreement, which is a source of comfort. The maid who comes in for two hours twice a week is the icing on the cake.
For someone who does not enjoy the best of health, the fact that there is a nursing home in the village is the best news yet. In our first eighteen months of residence we have twice had to call for help out of hours, in addition to seeking advice on a number of occasions. Such peace of mind – especially when, on one occasion, the doctor came out at 9.30pm, before he went on holiday early next morning!
The staff provide discreet, very friendly support – when we are unloading the car with the shopping, the gardeners seem to emerge from nowhere and insist on carrying the bags indoors. This epitomises the atmosphere here at the Village, friendly and unobtrusive assistance from all the staff.
In short Monte da Palhagueira is a very attractive retirement Village, in a pleasant warm climate with lots of sunshine. The staff are supportive, the facilities excellent, and there is a comforting feeling of security. It is my Shangri-La.
My husband and I retired to Portugal in 1986. We built a villa in the foothills near Loule and had an idyllic 15 years there. When he died suddenly I was let alone to make a decision as to the rest of my life. We had been to Monte da Palhagueira with a view to going there when our large house, garden and swimming pool became too much for us; I followed our plan. We had loved Portugal since moving here and it really felt like home. Although our family all offered me a home, one son in Germany, one in the U.S.A. and a daughter in England, I felt I wanted to stay in Portugal, keeping my independence while I was physically fit.
I wanted to live surrounded by a lovely garden, but no gardening to do; have the use of a swimming pool without having to clean it and have reasonably secluded apartment but with help on hand if I wanted it. Monte da Palhagueira provided all of this. After living her for years I know that I made the right decision. All of the staff, without exception are so friendly and helpful. Debbie and Clive, the administrators, are always cheerful and nothing is too much trouble for them. Although I am reasonably fit for my age of 76 years, it is always reassuring to know the nursing sisters are always on hand and I have my emergency buzzer I case I need to get hold of them in a hurry.
When asked if I'm happy here I always say, I am as happy here as I would be anywhere now that I am alone. What the future holds no one knows, but I do know that Mrs Cornelius-Reid has provided a much needed haven for us; thank-you Mary.
To the staff
A very heart-felt thank you to all who have cared for my Aunt, Mrs. Manning, so lovingly over the last few years - and for seeing me through her last days. With God's blessing I hope that you all continue to thrive at Amesbury Abbey.
Amesbury Abbey has given my mother ten years of real quality of life that she would never otherwise have had. She is part of a society made up of fellow residents and staff from which she has derived immense enjoyment and to which she has given her own special self.
I had not had the pleasure of meeting you but had been told of your excellent nursing homes. After stupidly falling down the stairs at our little holiday home in Cornwall I was airlifted to Truro hospital and then transferred to the Hampshire Clinic to be near my wife. It was ghastly and you cannot imagine my releif when Kamala agreed to have me at Sutton Manor among kindred spirits, some of whom I know.
From the moment I entered in my wheelchair the atmosphere was such a happy and welcoming one. ALL the staff, without exception, contribute so much to making it such a pleasure to be looked after by them.
Today for the first time I dressed for lunch downstairs. Everything was so splendidly organised to make it a real pleasure to be there. The waitresses are delightful and make it seem to be a special occasion. I am sure that you must receive so many letters praising your marvellous 'homes from home' but I felt that I simply had to thank you and say how much your great reputation is so well justified and at such a reasonable cost. Again very many thanks