They don’t build ‘em like they used to – thank goodness

Posted on May 5th, by geoff in CT blog. 1 Comment

By Caring Times editor Geoff Hodgson

A few weeks’ ago I visited a care home near Poole in Dorset. This one – the Potteries – is operated by Care UK but it is fairly typical of most new build that have gone up in the last two years or so.

Gone is the institutional reception area, graced only with a reception desk, a dusty aspidistra and a sofa so low that no one uses it for fear of not being able to get up again. The Potteries had a lobby that would rival any bijou upmarket hotel. To the left, a cinema with sophisticated signage, and then the doors into the care home proper, then yes, a bright, welcoming reception desk, then a hair and beauty salon, indistinguishable from any of the better ones you might see in the high street. Then, at the far right, a café area with tables and serving counter.

The message is clear – this is a public area where people can converse and be at their ease. The atmosphere is sustained throughout the care home’s wide corridors, abundant lounges and spacious, well-appointed rooms.

In another decade this will surely be the norm and we can fairly hope that the care home sector’s tarnished image will begin to shine in the public mind. In the meantime, care homes such as The Potteries can do the sector a real service by actively participating in National Care Home Open Day, being held on Friday, 19th June this year.

To learn more about the day, visit

  • The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.

One response to “They don’t build ‘em like they used to – thank goodness”

  1. John Burton says:

    Hmm! At risk of being accused – again – of being a curmudgeon, some of the brand new, all-singing and dancing care homes of today will be the dull institutions of ten years’ time. It all depends how they are run.
    As you well know, it’s the people that count not the buildings, and this one, as you say, looks like several of the other new ones. The building may well suit many of the residents who choose to go there, and the staff may well be great, but if I was choosing a home just on looks, I wouldn’t choose this sort of hotel style place. I’d prefer somewhere with a bit more individuality and character.
    And, at risk of being a double curmudgeon, surely homes should be “open” all year round. Why would you visit a home when they are putting on a show for the national open day?

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