Local MP celebrates National Care Home Open Day in North Devon

20 June 2016

MP Peter Heaton-Jones meeting staff and residents at Westmead HouseLeonard Cheshire Disability’s Westmead House in North Devon opened its doors to the public — including local MP Peter Heaton-Jones — allowing the local community to get a taste of life in their local care home to celebrate National Care Home Open Day.

The national event on Friday 17 June saw hundreds of care homes across the country welcome people into their homes for the day.

Visitors to the service were able to take part in a range of activities including mug painting and other arts and crafts activities.

Visitors also got a chance to try out the new assistive technology for residents, including nonverbal ‘Eyegaze’ technology which allows the user to communicate through eye movement.

Westmead House also opened up their sensory room which allowed visitors to use the ‘Magic Carpet’ — a map with built in sensory technology allowing the user to interact and engage with different images and videos.

Peter Heaton-Jones said:

‘I was delighted to visit Westmead as part of National Care Home Open Day. It was great to meet residents, staff and volunteers, and find out about the service’s work and history.

‘Service manager Sarah Hyde and all her team do an excellent job.

‘This visit coincided with National Care Home Day, but I have visited other premises at other times so that I get a full picture of care home provision in North Devon.

‘It was a pleasure to visit Westmead and I am very grateful for their hospitality.’

One Westmead resident, Alex Guard, 35, showed people around the service on Friday, talking to them about his experiences.

He said:

‘Friday was a good social event, it was chilled out but nice to meet new people, it was good to show what it’s really like here, I felt very proud of Westmead.’

Service manager Sarah Hyde said:

‘We wanted to open our service, so the public could see the result of the recent changes that have taken place including the opening of a new café area and quiet room.

‘We were also eager to welcome the CQC, Peter Heaton-Jones and other professionals that work in North Devon.

‘We want them to see how good Westmead is and the quality service we offer.’

National Care Home Open Day aims to reinforce the connections care homes have across their local communities, as well as challenging misconceptions about residential care and showcasing the excellent services that are at the heart of communities across the UK.

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