Key information for potential residents and relatives such as fees and funding

Frequently Asked Questions:

When can I come to look round the home?

We operate 24/7 and have nothing to hide so you are welcome at any time with or without an appointment. However, we would request that you try to come between the hours of 10am and 5pm when there are more staff in the building who can facilitate your visit. If you can only come outside these hours then we would ask that you make an appointment so that we can ensure there is someone available to help you. If you wish to discuss fees and funding then staff will arrange for the manager to contact you

What time can we visit a resident?

Anytime. We operate 24/7 but we do ask that if you want to visit after 8pm, you call ahead so that we know to expect you. This is for the security of our residents and staff

How do you know if you are able to look after me properly?

Once you have contacted Tudor Cottage and think that you would like to stay with us, we need to assess your care needs to ensure that we can meet your needs, either the manager or her deputy will need to undertake an assessment of care needs. Our assessors are very experienced in undertaking pre-admission assessments. An assessment involves meeting you, talking to you or your representative about your needs and providing answers to any questions you may have. We can do this at your home, in hospital, in another care home or even at Tudor Cottage if you choose to visit us for the assessment. If you are in hospital, we also look at your medical and nursing notes and speak to then staff. We always ask for a copy of your notes from the GP too. Once we have all the information that we need, we make a decision whether or not we can meet your needs and whether Tudor Cottage would be an appropriate placement for you

Can you meet my dietary preferences / needs?

We have always managed to meet all dietary needs / requests in the past. We have been awarded 5 stars by East Devon District Council for our quality of food and food hygiene. This is their highest star rating. Every Friday is Foodie Friday when we have a theme day when the staff often dress up, we have displays and events and food is available which follows the theme. Great fun!

How long can I stay?

We welcome people for day care, respite or permanent stays. Some people like to try us before they make a decision and so come in for respite before going home again to make the necessary arrangements before coming to live with us on a permanent basis. We limit the number of people who come for day care to ensure everyone requiring care receives it to a high standard.

Do you insist on a trial period?

Our terms and conditions explain that your first 28 days acts as a trial period. If you wish to leave during the trial period 1 week’s notice. Similarly, if we do not think that the placement is right for you we can give you 1 week’s notice. If neither party has provided notice at the end of the first 28 days, the placement becomes permanent and 28 days’ notice is required to leave. Full fees will be charged for those 28 days unless we are able to re-allocate your room. In this instance, we will charge until the day before the room is re-allocated

Can I cancel the contract if I change my mind?

You have 14 days to cancel the Contract of Care at no cost to you if you have signed the contract in your own home or hospital during or immediately after we visited you and have not yet been admitted to Tudor Cottage. However, if you ask to be admitted before the 14 days have ended, we will ask that you sign a statement in the contract which identifies that you have asked us to do so. You can still cancel the contract within the 14 days but you will be charged for the care that you have received.

What notice do I have to give if I want to leave?

If neither you nor we have provided notice during the initial trial period (ie the first 28 days), the placement becomes permanent and 28 days’ notice is required to leave. Full fees will be charged for those 28 days unless we are able to re-allocate your room. In this instance, we will charge until the day before the room is re-allocated

What do you charge if I am not physically in the home for a while ie I go home overnight or am admitted into hospital?

There is no reduction in the fees if you go home for an overnight stay. If you are admitted to hospital we charge full fees for the first 4 weeks of absence. This is because we are unable to re-allocate your room while you are in hospital. The charging reduces after 4 weeks and the details are to be found in our Contract of Care.

What is a Contract of Care?

We believe in being fair in our dealings with our residents but to protect both you and us, and to save any misunderstandings, we insist that a Contract of Care is signed by all parties involved in the decision for someone to come and stay with us. Our contract has been drawn up by lawyers who specialise in the care industry and they understand both the legislation and guidance in place and the worries and concerns of people coming into care. It is updated whenever additional guidance or legislation is published. We aim to send you a contract before admission but on many occasions, this is not possible due to the short period of time between pre-admission assessment and admission or because the person being admitted is not in a position to read and sign the contract and therefore it needs to be posted or emailed to someone else. The pressures on hospitals to discharge patients means that we are expected to assess someone and admit them very quickly. Should these FAQ not answer all your questions about what the contract might contain, please contact us and we can discuss it with you.

How is my care funded?

The funding of social care is very confusing, can be complicated and depends on various factors eg whether you have to self fund your stay (ie pay all the fees yourself) because you are deemed to have assets over a certain amount, whether the NHS decides to fund you if your health needs fulfil certain criteria, whether the local authority pays a proportion of your fees if you have assets of less than a nationally stated threshold. (Click here to see our explanation of the financial maze of care home fees)

Why do you ask to see evidence that I can fund my own stay for at least two years?

This is a requirement of the local authorities. They expect us to check that you can afford to self-fund your stay for at least two years before becoming funded by them. We may ask for a Guarantor to guarantee payment of fees.

How do I pay if I self fund my stay or if I owe the home for any extra charges?

We accept payment by cheque or BACS (internet) transfers. We do not accept payment by cash unless in exceptional circumstances

Can I still claim Attendance Allowance when I move into the home?

If you self fund your stay ie you pay all your fees, you can continue to claim Attendance Allowance.

Do I receive any financial help if I am self funding my stay?

You may receive financial help if you are eligible for Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance (care component) or Personal independent Payment (daily living component).

What happens if I fund my own stay for a while and then run out of money?

If you reach the financial threshold of assets whereby the local authority starts to contribute towards your fees you will be expected to continue to pay our full fees. Unfortunately, the local authority fees do not cover our running costs and so you may need to ask a third party eg family members or a charity, to pay the difference. Sometimes there is an opportunity to move to a smaller room without an en-suite. Fees may be at the discretion of the manager in discussion with the owner. Alternatively, if an agreed way forward is not found you may be asked to vacate your room. (Click here to read our guide on the financial maze of care home fees)

Do you accept people who are funded solely by the local authority?

We have entered into contracts with Devon, Dorset and Somerset County Councils to accept residents funded by their Adult Social Care deprtments. There are occasions when we are able to accept people who are funded solely in this way. Unfortunately, the fees that a local authority can afford to pay are insufficient to cover our costs and so we have to limit the number of people that we accept on this basis. It is always worth asking us if we are able to accommodate someone funded by the local authority especially if a third party is able to pay the difference between what the local authority pays and our fees.

Do you accept people who are funded by the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) ie if Continuing Healthcare (CHC) Funding has been agreed?

We have entered into contracts with both Somerset and Devon CCGs. We allocate one room for people who are funded in this way. It is one of our smaller rooms because the fees that the CCGs are prepared to pay are insufficient to cover our costs and so we have to limit the number of people that we accept on this basis. It is always worth asking us if we are able to accommodate someone funded by a CCG. If you choose any room other than our allocated room or our allocated room is not available then there will be an amenity fee to pay to ensure that our full fees are met

Are the additional costs over and above the fees?

There may be extra costs if you chose to take advantage of our visiting hairdresser, chiropodist, etc. You will receive a list of such optional extras with your contract. Some trips out in our minibus or with staff within the locality will incur a charge, others are complimentary. You will be informed if there is to be a charge for a trip or activity before it happens. If a friend or relative cannot take a resident to a medical appointment we may be able to do so. There will be a charge to cover the cost to us of providing a member of staff and transport

Do you charge upfront fees?

No, we do not. We issue invoices every 4 weeks and do not charge you anything before you are admitted to the home. However, we charge fees in advance from the next invoicing date. This means that if you arrive the day after we have issued invoices you will see a charge of 7 weeks and 6 days on your first invoice. We do not ask for a deposit.

How often do you increase the fees?

Fees will be reviewed on an annual basis every April. Any increase necessary will be calculated in line with the average of (i) the percentage increase in the Consumer Prices Index including housing costs (CPIH) over the previous year and (ii) the percentage increase in the National Living Wage rate over the previous year. In exceptional circumstances, for example where there is a major change in legislation or government policy which significantly increases our costs of providing the service we may increase our fees to reflect the increase in our costs

What fees are charged after someone no longer needs the room ie following death?

We charge full fees for a minimum period of 3 days from the date of death. We do not rush relatives to clear the room at such a difficult time but they must be mindful of the fact that if belongings remain in the room after the 3 days, full fees will be charged for a further 7 days or until belongings have been removed. If clearing the room is not possible in that timescale we may accept a request in writing to extend the period. However, full fees will be charged as we cannot re-allocate the room. We do not usually offer to clear a room but we may offer to do so in exceptional circumstances. A small charge will be made to cover our costs, including time

Do you accept people who are living with Dementia?

Yes, we do, in fact we have staff with extensive experience of doing so. We are members and keen supporters of the local Dementia Alliance and regularly attend their organised events. All our staff receive training on how to care for people living with dementia as part of their ongoing training schedule. We are constantly seeking new ways to improve the experience of people living with dementia, from allowing staff to wear their own clothes instead of a uniform to introducing memory boxes, from decorating and furnishing every room in different colours to buying appropriate coloured / adapted crockery. Unfortunately, we cannot accept people who have behaviour that might challenge our other residents

Do you accept people with all sorts of health issues?

We are not a nursing home and so while we can meet the health needs of most people with the support of the district nurses, we are aware of our limitations and assess every resident’s needs on an individual basis before we decide whether it is safe for the person to accept them into the home

What type of bed should I expect in my room?

There will be a either a divan bed or a profiling bed in your room. Where possible we like to make your room look as homely as possible and so offer you a divan but if your needs indicate a profiling bed then we will provide one. A profiling bed is one which can be raised and lowered and which bends in several places to ensure you are always comfortable! It has the option of bed rails should you need them but these are only used with your permission (where you are able to make a decision) or if a best interest assessment has been undertaken

Can I bring in my own furniture and electrical items?

Yes, you are very welcome to do so. We provide a bed, chair (or 2), table, chest of drawers, wardrobe, nurse call system and television as a minimum. You can use all of our furniture, some of it or none of it although we may insist on using a profiling bed if your needs are such that it would put you or our staff at risk to use a bed of your own. If you choose to bring in any electrical items from home, our maintenance team will need to PAT test them before use. If the item is brand new, PAT testing is not necessary.

How many residents can you have staying with you?

Tudor Cottage is registered by the Care Quality Commission to provide care to up to 19 people. We usually have 17 residents at any one time because we have some rooms designated as companion rooms where two people can share. Whilst popular with people who are used to living with each other (eg a married couple), sharing is not something that everyone wants to do so often these designated rooms become premium rooms as they are very large.

Can I have a television and a telephone in my room?

Yes! All our rooms have televisions already (which can be removed if you do not want one). Some of our rooms have telephone points but the contract for a phone must be arranged by you, rather than us. You would be responsible for all charges.

Am I able to bring in my pet?

We have provided a home for many pets over the years but we have to consider at each request individually.

How can I help my loved one settle in?

We encourage visiting at any time but are conscious that this is not always easy for the relatives or friends of our residents and understand that it is a personal journey for all concerned. So we welcome those visitors who can only visit once a month as much as we do those who visit every day. Visitors are welcome to bring well behaved pet dogs with them but we ask that you obtain the permission of the manager before doing so for the first time as there may be residents staying with us with an allergy or fear of dogs.

We acknowledge that every one of our residents is an individual, but we have found that most find it easier to settle into their new home if there are items which remind them of home and family. Photographs not only seem to bring family and friends closer but also help trigger conversations with others. Several families create collages of photographs of their families to hang in a resident’s room. Residents can hang pictures and bring in their own furniture – anything to make their bedroom look like home. Memory boxes (a small box filled with items which are meaningful to the individual) help those with memory loss, bring comfort and help start conversations. Favourite CDs or books are also a good idea as are favourite soaps and other bathroom items whose perfume is familiar to the resident. We ask that a Life Line is completed so that while a Life Story (a document which details many important events in one’s life) is being created, at least staff know some information about a resident, for example where they were born, lived and what activities they enjoyed when they were younger. This enables staff to start conversations with residents which are meaningful.

What can I do during the day?

Tudor Cottage is located in the heart of the market town of Axminster, right next to the Library. By being so close to the amenities that Axminster has to offer, it means that we can easily take residents out for short walks, to have coffee, to church, to various events organised within the town. Axminster has a thriving voluntary sector and has many groups where our residents are made very welcome. The coffee shop just 5 doors down the road is very popular!

We encourage all residents to leave their rooms during the day although they have complete freedom not to do so, of course. Our activities co-ordinator always spends time with new residents to find out how they would like to spend their days and what interests them most. She then arranges group activities as well as individual ones, ensuring that all residents can do the things that they enjoy, be it stringing runner beans or going to the Library or playing dominoes or taking part in a quiz, baking or a music session. Each resident’s keyworker has the freedom to spend time with them, arranging trips to the shops or local coffee shops or eateries. One keyworker arranged a motorbike and sidecar to take out a resident for a drive after he had shared his memories of his time with her about his own motorbike and sidecar. Some residents like invite friends to join them in activities such as whist drives, others prefer to go out with their friends or just sit and chat.

Many residents like to sit in our lounges where they can listen to music, watch television, join in an activity, church service or just people watch! We offer trips out to places as diverse as the Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary and the pub – and in the summer to our sister home’s summer fete in Wellington, Somerset. We are very fortunate to welcome children from a local nursery who visit us during term time and get involved with the residents. We have Pop-up events eg cinema, pub and afternoon tea parties as well as regular church services. We adapt what is available to do to the likes and skills of our residents. So we may run “knit and natter” events when we have residents who like to do both and we may run “engineering” events when we have residents who enjoy fiddling with bits of machinery!

We run theme days/weeks when the kitchen and the activity staff get together to plan events and food around a theme. For those who prefer more solitary pastimes, we can provide radios, books, CDs, DVD players and visits by the numerous dogs who either come to work at Tudor Cottage or who visit on a regular basis. Our enthusiasm to ensure residents can access and do what they want to do, knows no boundaries. If you suggest something, we will endeavour to make it happen. We love a challenge! We have access to a minibus and a car which are used to take residents out and about and which are both accessible for wheelchairs. There is always something to do at Tudor Cottage – even if it helping to prepare vegetables or wipe the dining room table mats!

How do I call for help if I need it?

Every bedroom and communal area has a call system unit. This enables you to call for assistance by either pressing the hardwired call bell or an infra red pendant. If you have a tendency to fall, we can, with your permission or following a best interest decision, provide a pressure mat which alerts staff to the fact that you have stepped on the mat and may need assistance.

Will I have access to wi-fi?

Yes! We have wi-fi coverage to the whole home. There is a resident’s computer on the ground floor, which is for use by the residents. However, some residents now have their own iPads or tablets

Do you have Sky?

No, we don’t but you can arrange directly with Sky to have a dish installed for most rooms. Axminster is a designated conservation area and Sky receivers are only permitted at the back of the house

Do you expect all belongings, including clothes, to be named on admission?

Yes, we do. As you can imagine our laundry staff cannot be expected to know which item of clothing belongs to whom and so all clothes must be clearly marked, either with a nametape or with a laundry marker. Laundry markers are not really permanent and so we expect an effort to be made to sew / press on nametapes to all clothes after admission. Any items of financial or sentimental value should also be named and, where possible, a photograph of the item provided to the manager

May I bring in my valuables?

Yes, of course but we cannot be responsible for their safekeeping. If you wish, you can have a small safe in your room. Our insurance policy covers up to £500.00 of a resident’s clothing and personal effects. Your property will be logged on admission and photographs taken of any valuable items for future reference.

How do you staff the home?

We are fortunate that we have a low staff turnover in our team. Most of our staff have been here for at least 2 years and some for many more than that! The manager is Mandy Larcombe who has been in post since 2010. Mandy has extensive experience in working with people living with dementia and is very keen on sharing her knowledge with others. She is trained to deliver a variety of mandatory training to staff and is always looking for the next new challenge. She is supported by care assistants, housekeeping, kitchen, activity and maintenance staff. The home is owned by Sandra Joyce, who is a registered nurse and has owned Tudor Cottage since August 2008. She is involved in the running of the home on a daily basis.

Do you launder clothes in-house?

Yes, we have a fully functioning in laundry. Each resident is allocated a box which is filled with laundered clothes belonging to that particular resident. When clean washing is ready to be returned to residents’ rooms, the relevant box is delivered to each resident’s room and the clothes put away. We ask that every item of clothing is clearly marked. We know how frustrating it can be if an item of clothing goes “missing” and it helps us to locate it if it is named. Despite staff taking as much care as possible, due to the volume of washing which flows through the Laundry we cannot be held responsible for any damage to delicate fabrics or wool items.

Who owns Tudor Cottage?

Tudor Cottage has been owned by Sandra Joyce since August 2008. She is a registered nurse who has also worked in the financial sector. She is very involved in the day to day running of the home. She also owns a nursing home in Somerset. She trades under the name of Mrs S Joyce T/A Tudor Cottage Residential Home

How do I complain if I am unhappy about any aspect of my stay at Tudor Cottage?

We hope most sincerely that you will not have cause to complain during your stay at Tudor Cottage but we are aware that we may not get everything right for you and are very keen to investigate your concerns and make amends. You are welcome to speak to any member of staff about your concern/complaint but you are encouraged to speak to Mandy Larcombe (registered manager) or Sandra Joyce (owner) as they will identify who can best help you. (Click here for our Complaints Policy)

Who regulates Tudor Cottage?

We are regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). This is the national independent body which regulates health and social care in England. CQC inspectors have the right to enter the home at any time and they undertake unannounced inspections every 1 – 3 years of each regulated premises. We are obliged to display the rating that we achieve at each inspection. We are currently rated GOOD overall