Conference on Aging well

Ann was asked to speak about the philosophy at Coombe House, during a conference on Aging well in Newquay  this Autumn.

At the same event, Ann met Ali Wills, (Strategic Relationships Manager for Active Cornwall) and shared her thoughts on Human Learning Systems in action. Read the Ali’s blog here.

We are in the News!

The important ways we are trying to engage with our community and offer whatever help we can :

BBC Radio Cornwall

Click To Listen to Coombe House on BBC Radio Cornwall

BBC Spotlight

Coombe House was also featured on BBC Spotlight, talking about Dementia care.

Coombe House on BBC October 2022
To enlarge video, please click on either of these symbols.

Dementia Champions 2022

For the third year running we have been given an award. 

The team at Coombe House were crowned Dementia Champions for 2022. Run by CAHSC – the Cornwall Adult Health & Social Care Learning Partnership – the awards recognise excellence across all those who look after adults with health and care needs in the County.   Our award was for outstanding work during the time of Covid, continuing to give those who live with us as good a quality of life as possible throughout the pandemic.

Last year’s awards recognised Keith Haley who works at Coombe as an “unsung hero”, and in 2019 (there were no awards in 2020) Ann herself was recognised for her Lifetime Achievement in Care.

Coombe House Makes Channel 5 News

We were delighted to welcome young people to visit now that our restrictions have been lifted. Channel 5 made a lovely film for their 5 o’clock news.

Please enjoy the video of the morning below, or by clicking on this here

Keith Haley

Cornwall’s unsung care hero, 2021.

Keith winning unsung hero


“We are enjoying Christmas visits whilst we stay snug indoors

We had wonderful twinkly dancers on the lawn and a joyful Christmas Carol Concert from Braddock Church of England Primary School “


Care and Support Awards 2019

2019 FINALISTS !!! What a night !!!

The staff of Coombe House attending the awards

As a team we were finalists for the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly outstanding care team of 2019 and Ann was chosen to receive an outstanding contribution to care and support award, to reflect her 35 years of caring for people at Coombe.

A delicious meal, good company and a recognition for the work we do. Congratulations to the team ! Every one !

Ann Gray accepting the award for Coombe House

Eden Visit

On the 25th March 2019 we had a day out at the Eden Project.

All the spring flowers were out so we thought that we would go and have a look at them ourselves.

The Eden project did everything they could to make our visit easy. Penny and Wendy were treated as guests the week before to discuss any difficulties we might have. Volunteer Cornwall provided both a mini bus and a wheel chair taxi and their drivers were wonderful.

We found a very pleasant place to have our picnic lunch in amongst some brightly coloured tulips and under some palm trees in the Mediterranean Biome.

When exploring the Rainforest Biome we came across waterfalls and orchids growing in amongst the trees. As we wandered around there were so many different plants, trees and flowers and a tropical bird.

We rode back to the top on the land train.

Many of us enjoyed ice creams in the beautiful weather.

A Night At The Theatre Thanks to Sterts

Consider Yourself Welcome – Sterts’ ‘Oliver’ Performance Open to All

Sterts Theatre’s new production of ‘Oliver’ was staged in a special ‘Access’ performance on Sunday afternoon, for everyone who lives at Coombe House and members of Liskeard Memory Café.

The Upton Cross based Arts Centre has recently had a serious refurb, making disabled access to the open-air theatre much easier.

The idea was conceived by the show’s director Mark Sidey and Coombe House’s Ann Gray. A fabulous cast of children and adults presented a specially slimmed down version of the classic musical take on Charles Dickens’ novel, with so many memorable numbers written by composer Lionel Bart. These included ‘Consider Yourself’, ‘Who Will Buy’ and of course Fagin’s tour de force ‘You’ve Gotta Pick a Pocket or Two’!

Half a dozen people in wheel-chairs had a birds-eye view at the very front of the stage as everyone, their families and many staff from Coombe, sang and clapped along. After the show, wheelchair vehicles were able to drive right up to the backstage entrance to collect everyone.

Director Mark said “This was a memorable occasion for us – everyone loved doing it!”. Ann Gray said “This was so special. Very moving to see our residents and their families able to enjoy a great show with such ease.”

As well as better access, the improvements include excellent disabled lavatories and new washrooms. Ann added “We are so grateful to Sterts. Huge thanks also to Peter Woodward who collected some of us in the Upton Cross mini-bus! We all hope that this will become an annual event now.”

Welcome to the Coombe Family, Nettie, August 2018

Nettie joined the family in August!

Goodbye to Ruby and Connie

Sadly we have had to say goodbye to Ruby and last month Connie too at the grand age of 14. Everyone will miss them both at Coombe. Thank you to Penny Stephens of Kerewas Goldens for beautiful dogs and to Albert Cottage Vets in Saltash for their excellent and compassionate care.

Outstanding From The Care Quality Commission

Hot on the heels of inclusion in the current Parliamentary Review, as reported in last week’s Cornish Times, we have received another accolade. We have been rated ‘Outstanding’ in our latest statutory inspection by The Care Quality Commission. Very few homes in the UK receive an ‘outstanding’ rating, and Coombe House is possibly the only home in Cornwall specialising in Dementia Care to be rated as such.

The whole team are absolutely delighted with this news. We believe people with dementia deserve the best quality of care, and we have been working hard to achieve this for a long time. It is also important that people who come to live in a Care Home are still able to be a part of their local community. We strive to make this possible, and it is one of the reasons CQC found our care to be Outstanding. They saw we work closely with a range of local professionals and voluntary groups to achieve this. We attend and enjoy the Memory Café, we enjoyed the Pantomime, we saw My Fair lady at Sterts, we had a wonderful Jo Cox day and Macmillan coffee morning at Trewidland. We also work very closely with our local primary school, Hillfort, where both teachers and children are brilliant. A group of children travel down every week to read to us, and they came at Christmas to sing carols. We travel to Looe on the train to eat fish and chips by the sea and we love outings to Siblyback Lake and to Bodmin Moor at Pensilva, to admire the view and eat cake!

It is part of our ambition going forward for Coombe to be at the centre of a ‘dementia friendly’ Liskeard.

Read Full Story: here

Coombe House shares best practice in The Parliamentary Review

Liskeard-based Care Home Coombe House appears in The Parliamentary Review 2018. The Review is a series of documents published by Westminster Publications Ltd with the aim of sharing knowledge and raising standards.

Established by former minister The Rt Hon David Curry in 2010, The Parliamentary Review’s release is now a key fixture in the political calendar.

Coombe House is one of a small number of outstanding organisations featured in a document that looks back on the year in the residential care sector and Westminster. The main aim of the Review is to showcase best practice as a learning tool to the public and private sector.

Coombe has been run by Ann Gray since it opened in 1985, and has been specialising in Dementia Care for over ten years. It is a “Butterfly Home” kitemarked to a specially created Level One Star for Person Centred Care by Dementia Care Matters.

Across all policy areas, The Parliamentary Review is sent to over half a million leading policy makers, stakeholders in industry and other relevant individuals. The articles in the Review act as both a blueprint for success and a template for reform.

Ann said “It is a great honour for Coombe to have been invited to be part of The Review. It is an acknowledgement of the high level of care we provide, and a testament to the skill and hard work of all our staff”.

Sir Eric Pickles, Chairman of the Review, said “it has never been more important for government to hear the views of business and the public sector in a constructive forum. It is also a vital time to share best practice and progress.”

The Parliamentary Review’s executive director Daniel Yossman concurred, saying “Coombe House and other hardworking organisations from across the country have come together to make the Review possible.

Sharing knowledge and insight with both peers and government is essential work and I am delighted that this year’s Review will reach every corner of the British economy.

It’s always a real joy to hear from policy makers who tell me that something they have read in the Review has had an effect on their thinking.

It is my belief that innovation is contagious, if only it is given the platform to spread. It is the Review’s purpose to provide this platform and I am confident we are fulfilling it.”


Coombe House has again received a Level One Star kite-mark award from Dementia Care Matters at the audit this March.
Homes registered with Dementia Care Matters are kite-marked under the ‘Butterfly’ scheme, which closely examines all aspects of the Home, emphasizing the quality of ‘person centered’ care being given.
There are “Butterfly Homes” all over the UK and also now in Canada and Australia. A small percentage of homes achieve a Level One rating, but Coombe House is the only one to be awarded a ‘ Star’, an award created for them, to reflect the exceptional level of care.
It is a testament to the quality and hard work of the staff team, their training and their dedication to this emotional work, and the leadership of Ann Gray.
In their Official Report, Dementia Care Matters said “overall the Home is in a League of its own with respect to the exceptionally high levels of person centred dementia care it achieves”

Coombe House Response to Panorama Revelations

Following the Panorama revelations, I wrote to all the families who have people they love living with us at Coombe:

As a response to last night’s Panorama programme, I’d like to reassure you (if that is either the correct word, or if indeed that can be done) that I wept, all of us wept, just as any of you who saw it will have done.

What can I say? What can we do?

We would ask you to bring your concerns to us (however small) ring, visit, email. We are always there for you.

If we don’t give you the answers you want, try again in case we haven’t understood.

Ask to speak to me, to Angie, or to Dawn.

Visit any time you like, day or night, stay the night if that makes you feel less anxious. Coombe is well inspected, by the Cornwall Quality and Assurance team and CQC, whatever you might think of them.

We are proud of our Dementia Care Matters kite mark.

People from outside visit regularly, whether that is the church, Sally, the music therapist, or Phil the Tai Chi man! All are outsiders looking in who can make sure nothing happens that would cause them to question what we do.

Everything we saw on Panorama last night is a cause for distress but also anger. They tar us with their brush.

We are not the same, we never have been, we are appalled and horrified that such things are allowed to happen.

All the staff who work in those homes are culpable by not speaking out, some staff should have their registration withdrawn and never work again.

We take pride in our good practice and we love what we do. We refuse to let such practice diminish us. We will continue to do our very best to look after your loved ones as if they were our own.

Talk to us,

PS Cornwall say they have been working with the Morleigh group since October 26th. if you have concerns about the programme, or about the Cornwall Safeguarding team, you can contact them on 01872224210.

Many families have responded to this letter immediately, which has been overwhelming. Many replies have had me in tears! all of them have been shared with the team here. I want to thank everyone for their continuing support of what we do here. We couldn’t do it without you.