Key Facts

Key Facts

There are many things to consider when choosing a care home and you may feel overwhelmed at the decisions you are facing. That’s why we encourage all prospective residents and their families to visit The Dower House and even join us for lunch. It gives you a valuable insight into life here as well as giving you the opportunity to meet staff and residents.

Of course, it is also important to understand the practical aspects of choosing to live at The Dower House, such as; what the fees are, what extras you may have to pay and how you can fund your care.

This page provides all the important KEY FACTS you need about The Dower House.

About our care

You receive a personalised care package designed to meet your needs. This can range from support to maintain independent living right the way through to full nursing care and palliative care. The Dower House is unable to meet the needs of people who live with dementia.

Care plans are regularly reviewed to ensure they fully meet your needs at all times.

With a high ratio of staff to residents, you can be confident that you will be well cared for any time of the day or night. You can usually expect there to be three registered nurses and Matron on duty during the day and one registered nurse plus four carers at night.

About our fees

It is important that you are not worried about hidden costs you weren’t expecting. That is why our fees are all-inclusive allowing you to relax in the secure knowledge that your full needs are covered by the fees you pay. The Dower House operates a transparent fee structure with no additional fee tier for higher dependency needs. This means that, if your needs change during your time at The Dower House you won’t be moved to a different tier.

Paying your fees

Your fees are due in line with a four-weekly charging period. Before you first move in you will be charged in advance to the end of the current charging period. Subsequently your payments will be due by standing order for four-week periods.

Any additional services, such as hair or beauty treatments, are billed at the end of each four-week period.

Fee increases

Fees are reviewed each year in March and fees generally increase in line with the rate of inflation according to the CPIH (Consumer Prices Index including Housing costs) unless major changes in legislation or sector regulations significantly increase our costs in providing your service. For example, where the fee rate is £1,000 per week and the CPIH 12-month inflation rate for March is 2%, the new fee rate will become £1,020 per week.

Residents and their representatives are consulted before fee increases are implemented and receive two months’ notice in writing of the amount of any increase. On receipt of the increase notice residents may either;

  • Do nothing, in which the case the fees will increase in line with the notification, or
  • Give written notice that they wish to leave. In this case, we allow 28 days from the date of their notice, for them to move out before the fee increase will apply.

Long Stay fees

Offering 39 long stay rooms, The Dower House provides a home from home experience.

All residents are required to pay a deposit of £7,000. The deposit will be held by us in a separate bank account. The purpose of this security deposit is to protect us against the risk of your non-payment of fees or any damage which may be caused to our property by you. Therefore it is only in these circumstances that we will seek to deduct any sums from this security deposit, and any deductions which we propose to make from the security deposit will be clearly set out in an invoice or final statement of account and supported by evidence. The resulting balance will be returned to you within 28days of the end of the agreement.

Room fees for a standard room are £1,525 per week and for the larger rooms are £1,555 per week.

You can choose from a range of additional services which are charged separately, including;

  • newspapers
  • personal phone line
  • hairdresser
  • physio
  • chiropody
  • guest meals
  • massage
  • manicure
  • alcoholic beverages
  • particular soaps and toiletries
  • dry cleaning
  • installation of private Sky TV facilities.

Short Stay fees

Short stays are available if you are recovering from an illness or operation, require general convalescence or simply wish to take a short holiday with the additional benefit of personal care and support.

Short stays are available for a minimum of one week and can usually be booked at short notice.

Short stays require a deposit of £700. The room fee is £1,525 per week.

How your fees are affected by hospital stays

If you are admitted to hospital, your fees remain unchanged for two weeks. If you remain in hospital after that time, your fees will reduce by 15%. After six weeks in hospital we will review arrangements with you, your family or next of kin.

About trial periods

We do not offer formal trial periods. However, your first four weeks at The Dower House is a trial period during which time, you may decide that you do not wish to become a permanent resident.

Similarly, if, during the first four weeks, it is clear that The Dower House cannot meet your care needs, we may decide to end your contract.

Funding your care

How you will fund your care is likely to play a major factor when choosing residential care. It is a complex area and when funding your own care, money will probably come from various sources.

We recommend all prospective residents consult with a suitably qualified Independent Financial Adviser, such as those registered with the Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA).

Other sources of information you might find useful are:

NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) and NHS funded Nursing Care (FNC)

The NHS may fund a package of ongoing care for a small number of residents who have a ‘primary health need’. This is based on the level of health and associated social are needs that have resulted from a disability, accident or illness and is called ‘Continuing Healthcare’ (CHC).

The following links provide useful information about what CHC and FNC, who is eligible and how to find out more about making a claim.

As a resident of The Dower House, if you need nursing care from a registered nurse, but you are not eligible for CHC, we are able to apply for FNC on your behalf.

Eligibility for both CHC and FNC can change and the NHS will reassess you on a regular basis.

You and your care plan

Getting to know you is a vital part of ensuring you receive the best possible care when you come to live at The Dower House. It is about much more than just knowing your medical needs. That is why we take the time to compile a biography that forms part of your care plan records.

Your biography includes information about your life and career history, hobbies and any other interesting details about you that you would like to share with us. This helps us get to know you better and in turn means we can support you in the pursuit of your personal interests as well as your health and personal care.

Insuring your belongings

As a resident you benefit from our insurance policy which provides cover for your personal possessions up to a maximum value of £2,000 at any time (excluding cash). If your personal belongings such as furniture, jewellery, cash, credit cards, deeds, documents or other personal effects exceed this value, you are advised to take out your own insurance policy.

Ending your contract with The Dower House

It is sometimes necessary for either the resident, or The Dower House, to end the contract. Reasons for this vary and may include:

  • The Dower House is no longer able to provide the appropriate level of care required for a resident.
  • A resident has and continues to exhibit abusive behaviour towards residents or staff, including physical attack or threatening assault of residents, staff or visitors.
  • The resident (or appointed representative) gives notice to leave.

In the case of a resident giving notice to leave, we require 28 days’ notice to end the contract. The resident may move out at any time although payment will be due until the end of the notice period. Full details of the notice period are contained within our long-stay agreement. (Copy of agreement to be provided by TDH)

What to do if you need to make a complaint

We hope that you never feel that need to make a complaint about the services provided by The Dower House. However, we understand that this may happen and have a formal complaints procedure in place to help you through the process.

The complaints procedure

Stage one: local resolution

The Dower House firmly believe that, wherever possible, complaints are best dealt with directly with the residents by its staff and management. When a formal complaint is received, management will arrange for the appropriate enquiries to be made in line with the nature of the complaint. This can involve using an independent investigator as appropriate or if the complaint raises a safeguarding matter, a referral to the local safeguarding adults’ authority may be necessary.

Stage two: complaints review

In line with national guidance, The Dower House then recognises that if your complaint is still not resolved, you may take your complaint to the body responsible for the commissioning of the service, e.g. local authority and/or health service (depending on the nature of the complaint and type of service involved).

If you are a self-funding resident whose care and support has no local authority involvement, you are entitled to go directly to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO)for resolution.

Stage three: independent external adjudication

If you remain dissatisfied with the management and outcome of your complaint, you can refer the matter to the LGSCO/Health Service Ombudsman in respect of some private healthcare providers through the Independent Healthcare Advisory Services (IHAS) for external independent adjudication.

The role of the Care Quality Commission (CQC)

Whilst the CQC does not directly investigate complaints, it welcomes hearing about concerns that you may have. You can find full details about how to contact the CQC in this leaflet.

The Dower House also sends the CQC any information about complaints as required by the CQC’s compliance reviewing policy.

Regulatory Information

The Dower House is regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) who can be contacted online at www.cqc.org.uk. Our registered care manager is Heather Fortnum who can be contacted on 01962 882848 or by email to matron@thedowerhousewinchester.co.uk

The most recent CQC Inspection took place in November 2019 and achieved a GOOD rating. The full report is available here, or you may request a copy from us.

In the most recent Food Standards Agency Inspection in July 2019, The Dower House achieved the highest rating of 5 (Very Good). Click here to view the inspection report.

Request more details

You may find it useful to request a brochure pack of key information, or to show to friends or relatives as part of your decision-making process.
Simply click the button to request a full information pack including:

  • Our brochure
  • A sample menu
  • A sample of the regular activities timetable
  • High level information about state benefits and where you can find more details
  • Sample copies of the long and short stay agreements

If you have any further questions about choosing The Dower House for your residential care, or to arrange a visit, please call 01962 882848 where one of the team will be delighted to help you.

Enjoy a taste of life at The Dower House

Join us for lunch and a tour of the house to experience the welcoming, homely atmosphere. Book a visit now, we’d be delighted to welcome you.