Hornsbury Hill, Chard, Somerset TA20 3DB

Tel: 01460 64735 E:

Summer Yew TreeNew Terrace PatioYew Tree Cottage in WinterYew Tree Cottage Winter Viewxmas decs 2011


To Yew Tree Cottage

Yew Tree Cottage is a well established Care Home with a proven track record for consistently providing an excellent standard of care for it's residents.

We remember that Yew Tree Cottage is the 'Residents home' where they are always treated with the utmost dignity and respect.

Service User Guide

(Incorporating the Statement of Purpose)

“Bringing Quality to life”

This guide is written so that prospective Residents, their relatives, friends and representatives may have a good understanding of what Yew Tree Cottage has to offer in all respects. The topics are listed below in alphabetical order.

The Home is working towards Beacon Status with the Gold Standard Framework for Care Homes for End of Life Care to enhance the right thing to happen at the right time in the right way for the person, every time.



All our rooms have two bells, usually one by the bed and one in the lavatory. Residents also have individual necklace pendant call bells. Residents may ring for help any time day or night.


All Residents will receive care plan pre-admission paperwork. This is required to be completed and returned at least 7 days before the admission date (Respite guests need to return the documents along with their deposit cheque). This enables us to make important assessments to ensure that we can meet the Resident's care needs and to ensure the Resident settles in as quickly and comfortably as possible.

We also carry out pre-admission assessments with a visit to the prospective Resident in his/her own home and we make a judgement based on what we see and the information we obtain. Admission can only take place following assessment and we have confirmed in writing that we are able to fully meet those needs. We may like to contact your Doctor to ask if there is anything that he/she thinks we need to be aware of before your stay. Unfortunately we may not be able to meet everyone's care needs.

All permanent Residents or person(s) acting on behalf of the Resident are expected to sign a care home agreement prior to admission and to arrange an advanced monthly (calendar month) standing order mandate for the room fees. A copy of the 'care home agreement' is available upon request and we recommend that it be read thoroughly well before admission to our home.

Respite Residents have a similar agreement to sign prior to admission and a 30% deposit is requested to book the room. A letter is then sent confirming the dates and that we are able to meet the care needs of the Respite Resident. A final invoice will be issued at the end of the stay. Please refer to the 'Fees' section for more detail. Please note that the deposit is non-refundable unless notice is received in writing 14 days or more, prior to the first day of occupancy.

We have a policy detailing the process for admission of a new Resident. We do not actively encourage emergency admissions, however in the event of an emergency admission becoming necessary; it is paramount that initial enquiry forms are completed. All other information generally required, will be obtained as soon as possible.



Yew Tree Cottage aims to meet Residents’ needs by means of an in-depth care plan as devised by the Manager agreed by the Resident and implemented by all staff.

The care plan will:

  1. Be made available to the Resident.
  2. Be reviewed monthly, unless there is a sudden change in care needs.
  3. Be discussed and agreed with the Resident and alterations will be recorded.

Each Resident is allocated their own Support Worker to care for the Residents physical, psychological, emotional and social well being. Keyworkers are recognised as the next in line to the management and take overall responsibility of the home in the absence of the management.

Our Aim Is:

  • To respond to the developing requirements of the elderly by providing care to the highest standards.
  • To preserve dignity. We respect those who support them and acknowledge that they are all entitled to a life of self-determination and individuality.
  • For there to be no discrimination on the ground of age, sex, religion or ethnic origin.
  • To enable Residents to achieve recognition and nurture any potential and understand that ability may change over a period of time.
  • To ensure privacy is paramount, and respect the Residents' right to an opinion. 'Do not disturb' door notices are available upon request.
  • To adjust to the individuals routine rather than expect them to adjust to ours.
  • To allow Residents the opportunity for normal patterns of grief and emotion.
  • To allow Residents the right to take risks.
  • To employ people who are committed to our standards, training and development.
  • To provide daily activities, various monthly events, encourage hobbies and promote leisure interests to all our Residents. Residents' involvements in activities are recorded to monitor his/her interest levels.



Alcohol, provided by the resident, can be served between 12-2pm and 6-9pm. The Home provides wine and a selection of other drinks for special occasions


Residents are encouraged to have a bath/shower at least once a week but many people prefer to have more. You may bathe at any time during the day, provided there is somebody free to assist you.


We routinely give all Residents a birthday cake and card from all the staff. We are also happy to accommodate birthday parties or similar gatherings.


If you are unhappy with the care provided to you then you should contact the service itself. This first stage of a complaint is known as the local resolution stage. At this stage the service providing the care should try to sort out your complaint themselves and put things right.

If following the local resolution stage you remain unhappy with the outcome of your complaint or the way it has been handled there are two options you can consider depending on who pays for your care.

If your care has been paid for by Social Services then you have the right to use their complaints procedures. By law, Social Services Departments must have an efficient procedure for dealing with complaints. You should contact the Complaints Manager at Social Services and ask them to deal with your complaint.

If you are unhappy with the way they manage your complaint then you can contact the Local Government Ombudsman Their contact details are at the end of this letter. If you tell them you are complaining about Social Services Department then they will provide advice and guidance about what you need to do next.

If you pay for the care yourself and you are unhappy with the way the provider has managed your complaint then you can contact the Local Government Ombudsman directly.

Since 1st October 2010 the Local Government Ombudsman has been the second stage of the complaints procedure for people who pay for their own social care. They have a dedicated team for dealing with these issues and they will provide you with advice and guidance.

The Local Government Ombudsman has the power to investigate individual complaints where the Care Quality Commission has not.

You can contact the Local Government Ombudsman at:

The Local Government Ombudsman
P.O Box 4771

Telephone: 0300 061 0614 or 0845 602 1983


Residents have daily time with the Manager (unless on leave) and they have the opportunity to discuss any issues with her. Residents also have the opportunity to discuss issues about the Home privately amongst each other Residents are kept informed of home arrangements and plans. A 'visitors/comments book' is available in the main entrance for any comments from Residents and visitors about the home's operations. We encourage feedback at all times, good or bad. Also a yearly 'customer survey' monitors service levels and aims to continually raise standards to the things that matter most to our Residents.


Our Residents are encouraged to retain their existing dentist if they are within reasonable travelling distance (ie. Chard, Ilminister). Those who do not wish to travel can ask for the Community Dentist who visits the home from Taunton.


When requested, GPs will visit residents from Chard surgeries. If you are arriving from the local area, we would advise you to stay with your own GP otherwise we will help you decide which surgery to join. If you intend to change Doctors, please organise well in advance of your stay. We use the Community Nursing Service if needed for any dressings, etc…


Yew Tree Cottage is fully fitted with a fire alarm and equipment. Fire drills take place involving the residents, fire equipment is routinely checked. All staff have fire training every six months.

In the event of the fire alarm sounding all staff should immediately report to main entrance. Residents shall be assisted by staff if they are in any danger, where it is safe to do so, and taken to a safe fire zone.

We have a partial evacuation procedure to follow; however should it be necessary to evacuate the entire building. Visitors are expected to stay with the person they are visiting, unless otherwise instructed. Please ensure that you are familiar with the location and routine, a full procedure is displayed in the entrance hall.


We have an on-going programme of activities and some for trips out. We aim to have a meal out once a month which includes all the staff, residents, friends or partners. Country drives and walks are a regular feature as are trips to the coast. Some events require advance booking; these events are free except theatre tickets that are charged at cost.


FEES (1st APRIL 2020 subject to needs)

(Reviewed annually in January, though the Proprietor has the right to review more frequently if required)

(Permanent) £920 to £970 per week

(Annex) POA dependent on single or double occupancy, subect to level of care required.
(Respite) £140 per day

A sum of £200 will be requested upon admission for future refurbishment needed other than general deterioration for permanent residents only. The proprietors have the right to fully retain this payment or refund partly or wholly upon termination of the contract at the discretion of the Proprietor.

Our fees include:


Private en-suite bedrooms which include a television and furniture, call-bell service, use of the telephone for national calls after 6pm (specialised crockery and cutlery) specific to the Resident’s needs. We provide ample seating and communal areas both indoors and outdoors including our ‘dining room’ which overlooks the picturesque gardens.


24-hour care as required, housekeeping and laundry services. All meals with unlimited soft drinks . We also provide hygiene products, entertainment and activities, weekly shopping trips etc and an administration/ordering service for medication.

We may be able to accept a number of publicly funded Residents, providing the full fees are met with a top-up arrangement. You will not be eligible for funding unless your capital falls below £23,250 (April 2015 figure). Please feel free to discuss finance on visiting. Whatever your financial situation is, we strongly recommend that you seek free financial advice:

  • Age Concern Somerset: Tel: 01823 423496
  • Care Aware: Tel: 08705 134 925
  • Chard Social Services: Tel: 01935 463548
  • www.carehomes.co.uk
  • www.info4care.org.uk

Temporarily un-occupied rooms are charged at the full rate, minus 20% after 6 weeks of absence. i.e. hospital stays and holidays etc… (Not available for respite Residents).

NB. Another useful number is our local Health Care Authority:
Somerset & Dorset Strategic Authority Tel: 01935 38400


From May 25th 2018, organisations processing personal data must comply with new EU rules known as General Data Protction Regulation. These rules strengthen the security of personal information and reinforces the obligations of those who hold it. GDPR covers the way we collect, record, store and dispose of information held about customers and other people we deal with. We collect information that is necessary for the provision and services we provide.for our business processes, communication and for legal and regulartory purposes. We will always keep your data safe and secure. We will never sell your data and will remove your data from our records as soon as practically possible.


We have a visiting qualified self-employed hairdresser weekly, who is happy to discuss your requirements. Fees will be added to the monthly expense sheet or they may be settled directly with the hairdresser. Alternatively, if the Resident prefers to use their own hairdresser we are quite happy for them to do so. The staff will do day to day washing, setting, clipping, blow drying. The use of heated hairdressing equipment are not permitted in the bedrooms for fire safety reasons.


Yew Tree Cottage is insured for Residents room contents up to £500 personal affects per claim. If you have any valuables, jewellery and furniture worth more than the above figure, we would advise you to have your own personal insurance arranged. However, Residents are discouraged from keeping large sums of money, jewellery or other valuables at the home.


IMPORTANT - please ensure all items of clothing are labelled BEFORE you arrive. This enables us to monitor clothing and also return them to you promptly. We provide bed linen and towels. You may wish to bring your own sheets, if you prefer. Any dry cleaning costs shall be added to your monthly expense sheet.


We encourage Residents to visit local library. In addition, we have our own small library, with some large print books that are freely available for all to use.


Home-cooked meals are especially created to include the necessary proteins and nutrients that benefit the elderly with special dietary needs catered for. Our aim is to provide wholesome meals in the proportion and style that you like. Friends and relatives are welcome to join us for meals, especially Sunday lunches. Please ask Sarah, the Manager, who holds a diploma for health and nutrition, for details. Residents who wish to, may prepare their own meals or assist in the preparation of other meals. We aim to use home grown produce when available otherwise we endeavour to source local produce.

Morning tea/coffee is encouraged in the dining room/conservatory and this is a good opportunity for a chat with fellow Residents.

Afternoon tea/coffee is accompanied by homemade cakes and biscuits.

Residents are regularly asked for their meal and drink preferences. We have a 5 star Food Hygiene rating (2012).

Residents are always welcome to request to eat in their rooms if they prefer. Meal times vary according to personal choice; however these are the usual times:

Early morning tea/coffee 6am-8.30am
Breakfast (in bed if requested) 8am-10.30am
Morning tea/coffee 11am
Lunch 1pm
Afternoon tea/coffee and cake 4pm-4.30pm
Supper 6pm-8pm
Bedtime drinks on request



We promote independence for Residents to take responsibility to retain, administer and control their own medication if they wish, within a risk management framework. Records are kept for all medicines received, administered and leaving the home or disposed of to ensure there is no mis-handling. However, if a Resident is unable to administer their own medication, we are happy to discuss the system. We comply with the Commission for Social Care Inspection standards for staff to adhere to for the receipt, recording, storage, handling, administration and disposable of medicines.


Our mission statement is “We are committed to provide excellence in care through continual training and development of our staff”.


Our aim is to encourage Residents to control their own money and remain financially independent. However, if you prefer not to or lack capacity, safeguards are in place to protect the interests of the Residents concerned.

Residents are advised not to keep large sums of money in their rooms.


We are happy to order newspapers and magazines of your choice which will be delivered to the door by the postman usually around 11am. The bills will be added to the monthly expense sheet. OBJECTIVES

Our Objectives Are:

  • To provide individual care through the use of and continued development of care planning for Residents.

'The Individual Care Plan' includes: -

Identification of needs, plans on how they can be met and which may remain unmet, any changes in condition of activity and periodic reviews. Medical interventions by visiting health professionals, medication prescribed and administered. Relevant information regarding relatives and friends, social needs and activities included.

  • To assist Residents in securing the appropriate medical care and counsel them on choices open to them.
  • To promote useful social contact with members of the local community to provide meaningful activities.
  • To ensure effective management, staff and Resident communication, through regular meetings. We believe this is crucial to the development of the organisation.
  • To ensure good staff practice through individual supervision and appraisals and personal and career development opportunities.
  • To monitor the quality of care we provide by periodic systematic and externally validated surveying of views of Residents and their relatives.

We will be pleased to arrange an appointment for you or if preferred, arrange for an optician to come to the house.


Pensions are mostly automatically credited to recipient’s bank accounts these days and this may be the most convenient practice, if you have any problems we will do our best to help.


Pets are sympathetically considered and welcomed if at all possible. We are registered with the Cinnamon Trust which is a national charity for the elderly and the terminal ill and their pets. Sarah is a registered volunteer with the Trust and currently fosters two Budgies which reside in the office. The Home does have one resident Patterdale Terrier. Visiting dogs are welcome with prior notice.


The philosophy of Yew Tree Cottage is to create a secure relaxed homely atmosphere for the Residents and the staff, whilst providing a high standard of holistic care as required, always treating people as individuals. We remember that Yew Tree Cottage is the 'Residents' home' where they are always treated with the utmost dignity and respect.


Policies, procedures and codes of practice which reflect the Regulations and Standards laid down by the Health and Social Care Act 2008, are available for service users to read.


Our ‘Record Keeping’ policy includes an audit of all documents at Yew Tree Cottage and who is authorised access. All documents can be made available in large print, in accordance with this policy. Please make your request known and we will endeavour to meet you needs as soon as possible.


A monthly communion service (first Wednesday in each month) takes place within the home and all Residents are welcome to attend. This is also a social event and allows you to meet more of the local people. The morning is completed with tea/ coffee. It is recognised the Residents may pursue various religions and therefore the support worker will be pleased to make arrangements to accommodate these.


A weekly shopping trip is available to Chard. If any shopping is done outside our own arrangements the Residents pay for their own transport.


Yew Tree Cottage has been awarded its certificate of recognition for “Investors in People”

The Home is owned and managed by Sarah Ambridge who is a qualified nurse with many years experience. She has achieved her Registered Manager Award and was a finalist in the National Social Care Awards 2007 for ‘Outstanding Manager of the Year Award’ she also has many additional qualifications within the field of elderly care, pharmacology and dementia. Sarah is supported by the rest of the care and ancillary team.
Care staffing levels are approximately 1 support worker to 2 Residents with additional staffing for Managerial / Administrative, Catering, and Housekeeping. We are an establishment committed to the training and development of our staff. We continually strive to exceed the National Standards using recognised qualifications.

Each year a training plan is designed in conjunction with the Business plan, with a focus on continual learning and development, reflected in the mission statement. All care staff are trained in moving and handling, dementia care, safeguarding adults, basic first aid, Health & Safety, basic Food Hygiene and Fire Prevention. Training is discussed on an individual basis, mainly through the use of the appraisal system and two monthly supervision periods. The home is an ‘Equal Opportunities' employer. All Staff are offered in-house training

We work with a Support worker system where members of staff work most days in a particular section of the home. This means that you get to know your Support worker very well and that she will always be up-to-date with your ongoing care, health, physical and emotional well-being and is responsible for designing and implementing the care plans that all other staff adhere to.

Night staff

There is a senior member of staff awake throughout the night with another member of staff on call if required to provide additional care and support.

We value our staff tremendously and we ask that you treat them with the respect and courtesy that you, in turn, would expect from them. We operate a no tolerence policy. Our staff are here to maintain our high standards of care, they must work in an environment that is free from abusive language, violence, harrassment and aggressive behaviour.


All Residents are welcome to have their own telephone system or a BT line installed and will be charged on a monthly basis for the calls they make plus line rental. Our own system enables residents to make national calls only after 6pm. We also provide facsimile, email facilities, Wi-Fi and Skype free of charge.


Resident’s wishes concerning terminal care and death are discussed and carried out including observations of religious and cultural customs.

The policy of the home is to attempt resuscitation on a client. The only time when resuscitation would not be attempted would be if a client had completed an advance directive (‘Living Will’). Medical professionals entering the home however may take it upon themselves to resuscitate a client if they believe it is appropriate to do so. If in the event of an emergency, you wish not to be resuscitated by a doctor or paramedic you must make this clear in a ‘Living Will’ and communicate to the Registered Manager if you have a ‘Living Will’ in place. The purpose of the document is to set out the person’s preferences about the future medical treatment they would like to have or wish to refuse if they are in a condition which prevents them from making their own views known.


A qualified aromatherapy masseur and reflexologist can be booked privately via the manager / deputy. A copy of a practice certificate is available. A qualified chiropodist visits on request and can be booked privately via the manager. A copy of a practice certificate is available. All therapeutic practices are regularly monitored by the Resident’s Care Manager and team. Both of these services will be added to the monthly expense sheet or paid by the Resident at the time of service. Care staff are able to do finger nail manicures for Residents.


Residents do not require their own licence if they are 70 years of age plus. Younger Residents will be asked to find the licensing fee. We provide a communal television for residents to use freely which is situated in the lounge.


If you have a car you are welcome to keep it at the home at your own risk.

We are happy to take residents to any appointments or trips at no extra charge other than parking costs.

We have an account with a very reliable taxi firm who are available if required.


Relatives, friends and representatives are always encouraged to visit the home and may stay for as long as the Resident wishes. If desired and agreed by the Resident they are welcome to take part with the caring. They may also transport the Resident to appointments or perhaps organise a day trip for the Resident, plan and deal with the growing of age, terminal illness and death. They are also very welcome to telephone, email or fax Residents at any time, unless otherwise specified by the Resident.

The home’s success is based on involving staff, Residents and their families in the planning and implementation of care, leading to greater client and staff satisfaction.

All visitors to the home MUST sign in and out when visiting. A visitor book is available in the main entrance Visiting times are 9am-9pm Monday to Sunday. You may visit outside those hours in agreement with staff and the Resident concerned.

Visitors will be offered tea and coffee at the same time as the Residents, though services are freely available in the kitchen for those who would like to help themselves.




If you arrive with a wheelchair or frame provided by the Social Services, we would arrange any servicing or repairs needed. We will provide raised toilet seats, commodes and more, if required. There are also many special adaptations for people with eating difficulties, for example, special crockery and cutlery. Please tell us if you have any specific requirements.

Proprietors Graham and Sarah Ambridge
Registered Manager Sarah Ambridge   Email: sarahjane.ambridge@gmail.com
Deputy Manager  
Senior Support Workers


Support Worker




All others.

Pickles and Phoebe (security hounds and lovers of all)

All our staff are fully trained to undertake all aspects of the care, catering and support needs of our residents. This enables us to provide a service that is flexible and adaptable to meet our residents needs.

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