Dr Robert Ross, chairman of the Trustees of Donisthorpe Hall reaches out to the community, imploring us to be there for Donisthorpe just as Donisthorpe will be there for us.
Three years ago, Donisthorpe Hall was fighting a closure notice from the CQC and was losing nearing £1.5 million a year. The chances of keeping our doors open seemed impossible, but with the generosity of a few benefactors we did. Donisthorpe Hall has come a long way since then.
A new board of trustees was appointed and the senior management was replaced by a new energised team headed by Jane Stone, who has galvanised everyone to work in a resident-centred way. Training, record-keeping and clinical care have been dramatically improved along with better, safer systems. Our residents are demonstrably better looked after.
A new open and honest culture has been instilled in the staff where we accept that mistakes can happen, but we learn from them and improve.
In 2016, the CQC rated us ‘inadequate’ in all five domains. Since that time, we have improved at every inspection. The latest inspection, published in November 2019, shows further sustained improvement. We were rated ‘good’ in the ‘caring’, ‘safe’ and ‘responsive categories. We need just one more ‘good’ in the ‘effective’ or ‘well-led’ categories to be rated ‘good’ overall.
Improvements like these have to be built on firm foundations – that has been the key to our success. New and better systems are in place and audits are done on everything we do so that we can spot changes and react appropriately.
We are lucky to have dedicated staff that care passionately about our residents. They also care that the new systems of safe working underpin all we do and that we can demonstrate this to the CQC.
Donisthorpe Hall is part of what makes the Jewish people of Leeds a caring community. Looking after those in need is part of our DNA. But we can’t take this for granted. We should be proud that Donisthorpe Hall has survived such challenging times, and our community shows what caring really means.
New fundraising committees have started raising money for the residents to make their lives richer and more fulfilling, and we’re now working with Leeds Jewish Welfare Board to share services and work more effectively. The future for Jewish caring in Leeds is encouraging, but everyone needs to show their support and get involved.
To support Donisthorpe financially or volunteer your time, call 0113 268 4248.