On the sunny afternoon of 23rd September 2015, Chinese Welfare Trust had the pleasure to pay a visit to one of the few elderly care homes on the outskirt of Greater London that has a sizeable proportion of Chinese residents.
Littledene House is situated about six miles north of Stanmore at the end of the Jubilee Line. The proprietor and manager, Margaret Ang, is a registered nurse who came to the UK in the early 1990s. Margaret has a wealth of managerial experience in the care sector before taking on Littledene House, first starting in Barnet where she helped her brother manage a 40-bed residential care home for the elderly.
Littledene House is today a much extended property with 14 residents living in modern facilities with a high standard of care. It provides specialist care for elderly residents living with dementia. We were impressed by the level of cleanliness and the bright and airy feel of the place. The residents looked relaxed and happy. In the latest audit by the Care Quality Commission in July, Littledene House was rated as good against all assessment criteria.
As Margaret related to us, it involves a lot of hard work and dedication in order to maintain consistently high standards in the provision of care. Since the national scandals of Winterbourne View and Southern Cross several years back, the care sector has been regulated tighter than ever before. Various statutory regulatory bodies impose stringent assessment regimes that make the management of institutional care a demanding task which at times feel like a burden. However, as Margaret pointed out, high standards of care can only be delivered if there are enough well-trained staff to provide the service in the first place. The restriction imposed by UK Border Agency on the number of non-EU workers means that many care providers are chronically understaffed, thereby negatively impacting on the quality of care service.
Despite these challenging conditions of operation, Margaret remains unswerving in her determination to run an impecable care home for the elderly. She sees her business as more than an enterprise; to her, it is a vocation. As there is to date no dedicated extra care home for older Chinese people in the UK, Littledene House continues to play a vital role in providing culturally sensitive care services to the Chinese community.
For more information on Littledene House, please visit their website: