Thank you for your kindness, Ferney Lee staff

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I am writing an open letter to you to express my deepest thanks and gratitude for the skills, warmth and downright hard work carried out by the management, staff and medical team at Ferney Lee Residential Care Home, Todmorden. I was born and raised in Todmorden and speaking as an out of town Parish Councillor (Kidlington, North Oxford) I am all too familiar with the burden placed upon residential care home staff by the seemingly never ending wave of cuts in public services.

From the moment my mother, Evelyn Claxton moved into the home some years ago until her passing on September 24 this year, she was supported and cared for in a loving, respectful, warm and appreciative environment. Appreciative that is; of what it means to grow old, what it means to lose your hearing and sight and with the on-set of dementia; to lose even your sense of identity and self awareness. Such kindness and warmth extends to visitors, friends and family too. During the most difficult of times staff were unwavering in their emotional and physical support. Nothing was too much to ask. From ‘on the ball’ interventions to keep mother comfortable and stress free; to kindly words of advice delivered alongside mugs of black coffee, piping hot tea and food to sustain us in the dark small hours of another day.

The home runs like one big extended family. No one is ignored, no one is left out, no one is shunned for being outspoken or difficult to nurse. On the contrary, the dwindling light of self-awareness and self-respect is forever fed by the dignified love, kindness and self-less,unstinting hard work, good humour and expert care of the management and staff.

I would like, through the medium of this letter to hold up Ferney Lee Residential Care Home as a shining model of what care homes are all about, a model of best practice that should be adopted across the whole of the United Kingdom. Long may it continue!

Coun Brendan Claxton

Kidlington, Oxford