AN ANDOVER care home has been lavished with praise after it was lauded as one of the best when inspectors rated it as ‘outstanding’ recently.

Andover Nursing Home was rated ‘outstanding’ in three out of five areas, including whether the service was effective, well-led and caring.

It was rated ‘good’ on whether it was safe and responsive.

The care home explored innovative and creative ways to train and develop its staff, according to inspectors.

One example included the use of a Virtual Dementia Tour where staff used a simulator that demonstrated what it is like to have dementia.

Inspectors also saw there was a strong emphasis on the importance of eating and drinking well.

The report said: “The whole process was an exact science; the head chef explained how it took months to refine different food types and the textures required to suit individual needs of people, in addition to not compromising on taste.

"The whole team were passionate about maintaining dignity and respect and that presentation of textured modified food would promote this.”

One example included one resident who had to have her food pureed but moulds were used so each could be identified as whether it was meat, vegetables and potatoes.

Another resident said: “On a Friday we have a ‘happy hour’ at lunchtime. I like to have a sherry.”

The service was deemed to “exceptionally caring”.

Inspectors said: “We received endless heartfelt comments from people and their relatives throughout the inspection.

“People told us, ‘The staff are very good and very respectful. I couldn’t choose a better place’.”

MP for North West Hampshire, Kit Malthouse, praised the provider through social media, saying: “Congratulations to Andover Nursing Home on being accredited ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission.

“Well done for providing such a lovely home that’s trusted by so many families.”

Matron Louise Bulloch said: “The endorsement of Andover Nursing Home as outstanding by inspectors at the highest level rewards an unwavering commitment to continuous improvement by each and every person in the team. We are over the moon.”