It is the second of our three Westward Care facilities to achieve the status, putting Westward Care in the top 4 per cent of social care providers in the UK.

The CQC report praised the entire team of 75 staff working at Headingley Hall, noting: “People and relatives were unanimous in their praise of the staff and the exceptionally high standards of care and support provided. The whole staff team were exceptionally thoughtful and kind with people, putting people's needs first and continuously looking at ways in which they could improve people's quality of life.”

Headingley Hall's General Manager Sharon Earnshaw has worked in care homes since the age of 17 and joined the company in 2003 as Deputy Manager. She was promoted to Care Manager in 2011, taking on full responsibility for the care delivered to the residents, and in 2012 she became the home’s General Manager. It is under Sharon’s leadership that the home has been awarded ‘outstanding’ by the CQC.

Sharon has commented on the rating: “I’m incredibly proud of this whole team achievement. It’s hugely important that our residents receive the best service possible and that they are not just comfortable, but happy in our care and able to enjoy the level of independence that they’d like. It can be a challenging time for people when they’re facing  decisions about their own care in later life, or the care of loved ones, so I’m delighted that so many relatives were unanimous in their praise of our professionalism, love and support.” 

Managing Director of Westward Care Peter Hodkinson is leading figure in the care profession and an advocate for positive change in the sector, Peter has been chair of Leeds Care Association since 1999 and went on to be a trustee of Skills for Care, a national workforce organisation, for 12 years; he remains a fellow of the organisation.

In partnership with the University of Leeds and the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands, Peter jointly launched NICHE Leeds (Nurturing Innovation in Care Home Excellence in Leeds) in 2018 - a platform that provides the leadership, expertise, and interdisciplinary collaboration to help care homes innovate efficiently, effectively and sustainably to improve the quality of care, life and work. 

Peter highlights the importance of teamwork in this acheivement, “From our care assistants to deputy managers, kitchen assistants to chefs and housekeepers and management staff, the entire team at Headingley Hall work tirelessly to ensure that residents have the best level of care. Care work is an incredibly undervalued profession; it is a technical and physically and mentally demanding job, and I am delighted that the team’s hard work, skills and competence under Sharon’s leadership has been rewarded with this ‘outstanding’ status.”

Peter is an advocate of a positive workplace culture within the care industry, noting that there is a skills and training gap within the profession. He continues, “At Westward Care we put philosophies of continuous improvement at the heart of the organisation. Health and social care is a sector of opportunity and it’s up to employers like us to create the environment for those opportunities for our staff.”

The CQC report was also highly praiseworthy of Headingley Hall’s “huge range of activities and extensive community links which had resulted in mutually beneficial friendships with different groups”.

Just last year, residents enjoyed a trip to Blackpool for a ‘Strictly’ ballroom dancing performance; a visit to Harlow Carr Gardens in Harrogate and a birds of prey display from the ethical and engaging Joe’s Owl Encounters to mention a few. Visits and short performances from Opera North are a regular feature too. The residents themselves are involved in the local community, regularly running fundraising activities for local charities, including Leeds-based Homeless Street Angels and Macmillan Cancer Support. In autumn last year, in a bid to tackle the myths about care homes, Westward Care sponsored a trilogy of plays by award-winning playwright Brian Daniels which explored the difficult subjects of caring for elderly relatives, grief and growing older. Donations from the performances were passed on to Holbeck Elderly Aid, St Gemma's Hospice and Leeds Irish Health and Homes.

In October 2018, Pennington Court in Beeston was the first of the group’s care homes to be awarded ‘outstanding’ status. 

Read the full CQC report
"Headingley Hall is like a five star hotel, it's beautifully presented, clean and comfortable. The service is second to none. The staff are warm and welcoming which makes dad feel special. The rooms are spacious with coordinated furniture and furnishings with a spacious en suite. The menu is ideal for the service users and the food is of a high standard. Dad always enjoys his stay."
Headingley Hall, Daughter of respite visitor