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Gainsborough Care Home, Swanage, Dorset

Gainsborough Care Home offers a home for life in Swanage, providing affordable residential, respite and dementia care. You’ll find us in a picturesque Purbeck seaside town, just a stone’s throw from Dorset’s stunning Jurassic Coast.

We respect all our residents – their dignity, their space, and their right to make personal choices in care. Each resident is an individual, and we offer different activities and menu options so every person feels happy, stimulated and cared-for.

As well as caring for our residents we care about their families too. Our door is always open for a chat, and family and friends are welcome to visit at any time. We have a kitchenette, where visitors can help themselves to tea and coffee.

Call us on 01929 422 500 to arrange a visit or for an informal chat. We’d love to introduce you to the home, our staff and our residents.

Where is the care home located in Swanage?

We’re within walking distance from the beach and the shops. But if you prefer to take the bus into Swanage town centre with its library, theatre, places to eat, and the impressive Swanage Railway, we’re handily placed on the bus route.

You can also take the Number 40 in the other direction and go all the way to Poole, or even Bournemouth.

What are the weekly care home costs?

Fees start from £750 per week. This includes accommodation, care and nursing costs (based on your individual needs), all meals, laundry and a range of activities. Funding may be available.

Try our care home cost calculator to find your nearest care homes and a guide to the weekly care costs.

Is the care home COVID-free?

We're pleased to be COVID-free and are rigorously following safety guidelines including regular testing of residents and staff.

What coronavirus precautions are you taking?

We would like to provide reassurance that we are doing everything in our power to minimise the risk of residents in our care and nursing homes getting COVID-19.

Covid care home infographic

The Care Quality Commission completed an assessment of how we are managing the impact of COVID-19 in May 2020. The Emergency Support Framework (ESF) Summary Record includes a positive response to every question asked and an equally positive overall summary.

Is your care home open to family visits?

We’re happy to be able to welcome visitors - albeit with a few stipulations to minimise the risk.

Swanage sea front

Latest news & blog posts from our Swanage care home

Who could benefit from our residential care home?

Our Swanage residential care home is an ideal alternative for families who are looking for a more personal touch for their loved ones.  We provide a high level of care, assisting residents with medication and daily activities such as bathing, cooking, getting dressed and more.

Care home facilities

After being completely refurbished to a very high standard Gainsborough is fully equipped to deal with a range of needs and requirements.

Because we want Gainsborough to feel like a ‘home-from-home’, we don’t furnish our communal rooms in a clinical way.

Our three comfortable lounges and our dining room mean there is plenty of space for group activities, or somewhere to find a quieter spot.

Residents and visitors are welcome to use the free Gainsborough wi-fi. All our care homes have a tablet for residents to use – Skype calls work really well – and for families to use when they visit.

Visitors often bring in their own devices and use our wi-fi to show loved ones videos and photos, and to play games. And our wi-fi has proved very popular with the children of visiting families!

All of the residents, particularly those with dementia, are encouraged to add their personal touches to their room, such as photographs, to give their space a homely feel.

The bedrooms at Gainsborough

There are bedrooms on the ground floor and the first floor. Our first floor is fully accessible, by stairs or a lift.

All our rooms have en-suites or a washbasin in the room. Some rooms have en-suite wet rooms. The rooms without en-suites have accessible bathrooms or wet rooms nearby.

We encourage our residents to personalise their rooms with their own photos and furniture. Personal possessions help residents feel Gainsborough is a home-from-home, and provide extra stimulation and time for reminiscence.

One of our residents even brought her budgie with her when she moved in. Each bedroom’s front door is a different colour and style, which makes it more recognisable.

Call us on 01929 422 500 to arrange a visit or for an informal chat. We’d love to introduce you to the home, our staff and our residents.

Fish pond external Swanage care home

The garden at Gainsborough

We have a secure and spacious accessible garden. Residents can join in outdoor activities, such as skittles, or simply enjoy the fresh sea air.

There’s a pond and a fountain, and an area where residents can plant their own bulbs and flowers. And in the summer we’ll have chairs, tables and parasols out.

Our staff

Louise Van Dorn is the registered manager of Gainsborough Care Home (pictured below with Deputy Manager Alma Varona)

Gainsborough Care Home in Swanage - Registered Manager and Deputy Manager

I have now been the Registered Manager of Gainsborough since March 2020, and I absolutely love it here. Each resident adds character to the home. The staff are wonderful and truly care for the people that live here, not to mention how welcoming they made me feel.

I couldn’t believe it when I was told we had a minibus donated to us by a previous residents’ relative, as what a prime opportunity to use it – being on the Jurassic Coast, surrounded by miles of beautiful coast and countryside.

Our staff work hard to make our residents feel cared for, and at home. We have a core of long-standing staff with great team-spirit, pride and compassion in their work.

Some examples of how our staff go the extra mile for our residents:

  • Louisa laid on a surprise afternoon tea for the wedding anniversary of one of our residents and their husband. They dressed the dining room up and bought flowers and cards to mark this special occasion. The lady’s husband Terry called later to say how thrilled and thankful he was
  • Mitzi found out that a resident used to love watching and playing cricket, and is planning to take the resident to watch a local cricket match in her own time. Mitzi also brings in lager and lime especially for a resident as it is all she seems to drink, and does this out of the kindness of her own heart

Staff training

All our staff go on an intensive three-day Agincare training course before starting at Gainsborough.

Being part of the Agincare family means there are great career progression opportunities. We actively encourage our staff to widen their care experience and learn new skills.

We use an online care planning tool to give our staff immediate real-time access to residents’ likes, dislikes and care information on a handset. Our care team can easily keep track of a resident’s day, including medication, activities, hydration and how much they’ve eaten etc.

Social activities

Our activities co-ordinator will make sure there’s something for you to enjoy at Gainsborough, if you want to take part in our activities.

Our residents love visits from animal therapy teams. We’ve welcomed birds of prey, alpacas, PAT dogs and even insects and reptiles into Gainsborough.

Musical activities play a big part here, and our entertainers make the most of the lovely piano in our dining room.

Music from the 1940s is always a big hit with our residents, and at Christmas we love to welcome the local school choir in to lead us in some of our favourite carols.

Other activities in a week could include:

  • Arts and crafts
  • Manicures and beauty treatments
  • Hair-dressing – our hair salon is well-used on a Monday, when a local hairdresser comes in
  • Singalongs
  • Memory boxes

We also get out and about as much as we can in the Gainsborough minibus, which was kindly donated by a resident and his family.

Trips to Weymouth, and fish and chips or ice creams on the Esplanade, are a big favourite! We also love visits to nearby Farmer Palmer’s and the Swanage Railway.

And we enjoy opening our doors to family, friends and the public on our open days and coffee mornings.

Food and nutrition

Good, wholesome home-cooked food is essential at a care home. Our chefs at Gainsborough cook with locally-sourced ingredients as much as possible. Puddings and cakes are a specialty!

Our chefs always ask for feedback from our residents when they’re designing our menus.

One of the ways they do this is at the quarterly residents’ forums. Here residents can suggest what they’d like to see more (or less) of on the menu.

We serve three main meals a day and mealtimes are really important. Our snack trolley also offers a little something extra to eat mid-morning and mid-afternoon.

We encourage our residents to eat together in our lovely dining room. There are so many social and nutritional benefits to eating together. Simply being in the company of others can go a long way to helping people feel like eating.

However, people can choose to eat their meals in private too, if they prefer.

We have picture and written menus, but we always re-offer before serving, to check our residents haven’t changed their minds about what they’d like to eat.

Read more about food and nutrition in our care homes.

To find out more about how we could support you or a loved-one from £495 per week, please call us on 01929 422 500.

Take the tour
  • En-suite in many rooms
  • Delicious home-cooked meals
  • Secure landscaped gardens and patio area
  • Many rooms overlooking our gardens
  • Variety of interesting and stimulating activities
  • Visitors welcome
  • Car park
  • Disabled access
  • 24-hour call system
What residents, their family and friends say about Gainsborough Care Home

The staff are very friendly, extremely helpful and caring not only to the residents but to their friends, family and visitors. The care given to the patients that I have experienced over the last 18 months has been amazing.

Suzanne M – Daughter of Resident

Since mum has been a resident she is a different person so happy and looks well and is well. She loves the company and eats well. I feel happy every time I see mum because I know she is well looked after.

Margaret C – Daughter of Resident

Very satisfied with overall care. I visit most days and have only experienced caring and dignified treatment administered with a smile or kind word, even in difficult circumstances.

Avril N – Daughter of Resident

We could not be happier with this home. We have found our relative to be clean, well fed and happy. The staff are warm, caring and professional. There is an atmosphere of calm even when they are handling difficult behaviours.

Sarah H – Daughter-in-law of Resident

Response to CQC report (July 2019)

Tracy Jennings was the registered manager

Tracy was responsible for the day-to-day management of Gainsborough Care Home and leading the team of staff. As registered manager she also shared the legal responsibility for meeting the requirements of the relevant regulations with Agincare.

As such, Tracy was responsible for making sure the whole home operates effectively and delivers the very best quality care to her residents, meeting national care standards.

“When we received our rating following our CQC inspection in April 2019 I had mixed emotions. I would encourage you to read the full CQC report. It describes how we support people, treating them with dignity and respect, and involving them as partners in their care.

The report also highlights that our care plans are more individualised than at the last inspection, better reflecting people’s needs and preferences.

I was, and continue to be, incredibly proud of my team for achieving a ‘GOOD’ rating in the categories of Effective, Responsive and Caring. At the previous inspection all three ‘required improvement’. The hard work of the whole team was recognised and the report reads very positively in these areas.

However, I am disappointed that the CQC rated us as ‘requiring improvement’ in two of the five categories: Safe and Well-led. In response, we have already put an action plan in place to make sure that we are complying with the regulations, have the necessary staffing level, and that all of our documentation is current, relevant and effective. We are always looking to see how changes to the home might improve our residents’ lives.

I would like to reassure residents, families and staff that this overall rating is due to a shortfall around paperwork, not in the standard of care provided in the home. At no time were any residents negatively affected by the points raised by the inspectors.

We always welcome people coming to Gainsborough to see the home for themselves and meet the team and the residents. My door is always open for them to come and have a chat and a cuppa with myself or a member of the senior team.”

Tim Buckley, Chief Operating Officer of Agincare Homes Holdings

Gainsborough has come a long way since the previous inspection, and making sure that people feel at home and cared for is critically important to the Gainsborough team. We are delighted to welcome Louise to our Agincare family, leading our Gainsborough Home with her background of improving the previous home she managed in Bridport over a few years to be rated by CQC as Outstanding.

I can already see evidence of Louise’s passion and skill, making the required improvements at our Gainsborough home. With new leadership and the combined determination of everyone associated with Gainsborough, I’m confident the team will demonstrate what a good care home Gainsborough is at their next opportunity.

Find Us


53 Ulwell Road, Swanage BH19 1LQ

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