News at Cumnor Hill House in Oxfordshire


Tours and admissions during the summer months
Choosing a care and nursing home can sometimes be unexpected or a worrying time even more so during the current situation we have now learned to live with.

During the past few months, I have been able to show relatives and loved ones our beautiful home with an external tour and a show suite situated on the ground floor of our home.

As the Customer Relations Manager here at Cumnor Hill House I’m able to, at a safe social distance chat through options for your loved one, answer your questions and give you the reassurance that our home has the most robust infection control measures in place to keep our ladies and gentleman as safe as possible during this time.

What happens next?

We will need to carry out a Pre Admission Assessment, this will give us all the information about our new resident joining us for either a permanent move or a respite stay at Cumnor Hill House.

We do carry out a COVID 19 test either before the move in or in the first couple of days at Cumnor Hill House. If you have been self-isolating at home, we will barrier nurse for a period of time until the test results are in.

Moving in day…

Relatives can see you to the door, for the safety of everyone we ask that you don’t enter our home and we thank you for your understanding during what can be an emotional time. The team and I will settle your relative in, unpack and spend time getting to know our new resident.

I will update you daily on what your loved one is enjoying and we have iPads and phones for that all-important family and friends contact. We have online calendars (post barrier care) to book a visit. With infection control paramount at this time, temperature checks are made and PPE will be provided and we will ask to track and trace during this time.

Over the next couple of days’ team members will introduce themselves, one to one activities will take place and once barrier care has ended you are free to join residents in the restaurant and enjoy the all-inclusive benefits living at Cumnor Hill House has to offer.

Giving back
It’s very important to us all here that we care for the community around us as well as the community within our care. Our amazing team helped support the vulnerable in our community by sourcing, packing and delivering bags of essentials to their doorsteps. Many of those staff members come to work on public transport and wanted to show their support of the key work bus drivers do on a daily basis. Bus drivers Andy and Wellington were delighted to receive gift bags as tokens of our appreciation.

Staying safe and stimulated
It can be difficult to find enough to keep us entertained while we stay safe inside for a rather unusual period of time, but we have had a helping hand from BWH Events to keep everyone in high spirits during self-isolation.

BWH is one of the best recognised Event Hire & Event Production businesses in the south of England, and with many events cancelled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, this incredibly generous business has allowed Cumnor Hill House - and our sister care home in Reading - to hire a lot of equipment at a heavily discounted rate.

We have air hockey, basketball, giant Operation, retro Pacman and Space Invaders, and Beat the Beep! Everyone is having so much fun and there are smiles on everyone's faces, so we are really grateful for what BWH has done for us.

With all sorts of other indoor and outdoor games available, we'll be replacing what we currently have with some new games very soon. Keep an eye on our Facebook page to find out what we get up to next!

Staying fit in self-isolation
Dot, our resident Personal Trainer at Cumnor Hill House, has been continuing her keep-fit classes here in our home throughout the period of self-isolation.

We have stepped things up a gear now though, as Dot is going to live stream fitness classes at our sister care home in Reading, allowing their residents to take part in the classes too!

To find out more, please give us a call. And be sure to follow us on Facebook to stay in the loop and see how our classes turn out!

You can find out more about Dot and her role here in our home on our Wellbeing page.

COVID-19 Latest Update
The health, safety and wellbeing of our residents and colleagues are always our top priorities. We have therefore taken comprehensive action to prepare for, and respond to, the growing coronavirus outbreak in the UK.

This page will continuously update with the latest advice from Berkley Care Group about the steps we are taking at our homes. This information is intended for Berkley Care Group residents, colleagues and any visitors to our homes only.

For comprehensive information about coronavirus itself, please visit either the or NHS websites, or if you are concerned you or someone you are in contact with has coronavirus, call 111.

Visiting Cumnor Hill House

For Cumnor Hill House, the health and safety of our residents and colleagues is our top priority. As such, we have made the decision to stop all non-essential visitors to our home until further notice.

We have not taken this decision lightly, but we know our visitors, including relatives and loved ones, would want us to do everything possible to keep the residents in our care safe and well.

Non-essential visits include routine visits from relatives and loved ones, visits from individuals such as hairdressers and entertainers, and from professionals and contractors carrying out non-essential services.

If you can delay your visit or achieve its purpose via another method (i.e. through a phone call or video call), please do so. We are in the process of setting up a Skype video calling facility for our residents and we will update you as soon as this is in place with details of how to contact your loved ones.

Requests for essential visits where exceptional circumstances arise will be considered. Please contact the General Manager directly on 01865 415185 to discuss and arrange this.

If an essential visit is granted, we ask that a number of steps are taken to limit any potential risk - these are outlined in the next section.

Please do not attempt to arrange a visit to Cumnor Hill House for any reason if you currently feel unwell, particularly if you have a cough, a fever or high temperature, or have shortness of breath, or if you have been in contact with someone who may have coronavirus.

How to safely visit Cumnor Hill House

If an essential visit to Cumnor Hill House has been agreed, it is important that you do so safely and in a way that minimises the risk of infection to our residents and colleagues. Therefore, before visiting and whilst on site, please consider the following:

- Handwashing. It is important that you wash your hands thoroughly before you visit Cumnor Hill House and regularly whilst you are at the home. Please make sure you wash your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds, using either hot water and soap or 60% alcohol sanitiser gel that we have provided throughout the home. The NHS has a video guide to effective handwashing here.

- Coughs and sneezes. We understand there are many reasons why someone may cough or sneeze, however, if on an essential visit, please make sure you have a tissue on you at all times so that you can catch a cough or sneeze. Please then immediately dispose of the tissue in the bin and wash your hands.

Protecting our residents and colleagues

Please be assured that Berkley Care Group is treating this matter with the utmost seriousness and comprehensive contingency plans are in place in the event of a coronavirus outbreak at a home. We will, of course, update you should this be the case and outline what additional measures we will be taking.

In response to the growing UK coronavirus outbreak, we have created a dedicated steering group. Led by Jenny Fuller, our Operations Director, this group comprises our senior leaders from across the business who are now meeting regularly via conference call to review and further develop our plans, reflecting the evolving situation. The group is monitoring and reacting to the latest guidance issued by the UK Government, the NHS and public health bodies.

The steering group has already taken action, including working to secure the medical supplies we may need in the event of an outbreak in a home, and developing and implementing the policies and protocols needed to make sure Berkley Care Group can continue to provide high-quality care during this time.

All home General Managers and colleagues have been informed of the steps we are taking and how they can help prevent the spread of infection. This includes establishing handwashing stations in the reception areas of all homes, installing additional prominent signage about handwashing, and completing the infection control training modules through our digital learning platform.

The homepage on our website will have a link that will be updated regularly to reflect the latest information and advice regarding any additional steps we are taking to safeguard the health of our residents and colleagues. Please continue to refer to this for all further communication on the COVID-19 outbreak.

For anyone connected to Cumnor Hill House who has further questions about our response to the coronavirus, please call the General Manager on 01865 415185.

Making a wish come true – an inspiring Italian adventure
We always like to make our residents’ wishes come true whenever and wherever we can, and one lady had a very special request – to go back to Venice for the first time since childhood. So, we made it happen.

Irma, who lives at Cumnor Hill House, grew up in this Italian archipelago of 118 islands. But even so, going back as a tourist was even more magical, as Irma got to see her home city with new eyes after so many years.

Irma’s niece, Zuleika, wanted to take her aunt to Venice while she could still travel, but felt she would be best supported if there were two people to assist. As Irma had a great relationship with her senior carer at Cumnor Hill House, she seemed like the ideal person to join the three-day trip and was invited along as part and parcel of Irma’s all-inclusive care!

They had a truly wonderful time, exploring and seeing the sights, enjoying gelato and having fun being typical tourists, buying Murano glass gifts and recognising cultural things that brought back happy memories for Irma. They took lots of photos of St. Mark’s Square and the gondolas, as well as several silly selfies in the mask shops! They explored the canals, stopping in iconic places such as Rialto Bridge, they went to the Lido to revisit a beach Irma used to visit as a child and walked up and down the maze of streets, with Irma quite often remembering where to turn when they lost their place on the map! They indulged in lots of Italian food, treats and sweets to Irma’s delight. The icing on the cake had to be seeing Mocenigo Palace-Museum, where Irma was brought up.

Irma’s grandmother was a Mocenigo, an aristocratic family who had seven doges in their history, including the last one – her Great-Uncle Alvise Mocenigo. His brother, Irma’s Great-Uncle Nicholai, used to live in the Mocenigo Palace with her Aunt Constanza, and Irma lived with them in the Mocenigo Palace from the age of seven as her mother passed away and her father travelled a lot.

Upon Aunt Constanza’s death, the palace was given to the State, hence its current status as a museum. The grand hall still features all the family ancestral portraits round the room and the polished marble floor that Irma and her sister, Zuleika’s mother, used to skid across in their socks, much to the consternation of the butler. Irma particularly enjoyed showing Zuleika the window she jumped out of into the canal to escape as a teenager, clutching spare clothes for a party! The trip also noticeably revitalised Irma’s Italian and her general speech ability for a few weeks after.

Zuleika said: “It gave me such joy to see Irma so happy, she walked for miles and although supporting her up and down all those steps and bridges in and out of Vaporetto boats was exhausting, I couldn’t have been prouder to revisit Venice and see it through her eyes, and to witness the wonderful warm relationship she had developed with her senior carer. We could not have done it without her and the support of Cumnor Hill House who seem so sensitively aware of the needs of their residents.”

Irma said: "I enjoyed introducing my carer to Venice with my niece. Venice hasn't really changed, I liked going on the Vaparetto and eating Venetian food."

I wonder what the next wish will be that comes true here in our CQC-rated ‘Outstanding’ Oxfordshire care home? We’ll have to wait and see…

Call us, email us or pop in if you’d like to find out more about the expert care provided at Cumnor Hill House, and how we make our residents’ wishes come true.

01865 415 195 | | Breeches End, Cumnor Hill, Oxford OX2 9FW

March Events at Cumnor Hill House 2020
We’re starting things off with a St. David’s Day celebration! Join us on Thursday 5th March as we embrace all things Welsh. There will even be a Tom Jones tribute act joining us!

A week later, Kavel will be here with us to put on a steel pan performance, and we really can’t wait. It’s all in honour of Mauritius’ independence, so join us on Thursday 12th March as we celebrate this small island nation in the Indian Ocean.

On Thursday 19th March, we’re putting on a Ceilidh Night with My Kindred Spirit to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day! You’ll definitely need your dancing shoes for this one.

Rounding off the month with a bang, we’re playing host to Rebetiko Carnival Musicians on Thursday 26th March here at Cumnor Hill House. Dance to amazing Greek music as we celebrate Greece’s Independence Day!

Please RSVP to or 01865 415185 to let us know you’re coming. As always, our events are completely free of charge and include complimentary refreshments! Food options are subject to change.

February Events at Cumnor Hill House 2020
Can you believe January is almost over already? We're really looking forward to February, as we have four great events lined up for you all to enjoy right here at Cumnor Hill House.

We're starting things off with a visit from Pippa & Buddy, firm favourites here in our home. You'd be barking mad to miss it!

Next up is our very own Valentine's Night on Thursday 13th February - join us for Champagne, canapes and music from Mary Young, a wonderfully talented violinist.

Paul Dumas will be here on Thursday 20th February - Paul's a brilliant ventriloquist and we really can't wait to watch him perform.

Last but not least is Jean Claude, who's back with us once again for a reggae night to celebrate the Dominican Republic's Independence Day!

All events start with refreshments at 6.30pm, followed by the main event at 7pm. Food options are subject to change. Please RSVP to or 01865 415 185.


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