VISITS from penguins, regular live music and 'light-hearted banter' between staff and 'very happy' residents have been praised in a glowing report about a West Oxfordshire care home.

Middletown Grange Care Home in Hailey, near Witney, was rated as 'good' overall following a Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection on July 23.

The report produced by the health and social care watchdog, which was published last month, stated: "People told us they felt safe living at Middletown Grange."

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A key feature of this was the positive relationships staff shared with the residents.

Inspectors wrote: “We observed staff talking to people in a polite and respectful manner.

"We heard staff and people indulging in appropriate light-hearted banter which created a very pleasant atmosphere.

It added: "People's body language demonstrated that they were very happy in the presence of staff and other residents.

"Staff knew people very well and knew how best to support them.”

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The inspectors also reviewed how meals at the home were carried out, stating: “We saw people had an enjoyable dining experience.

"Some people chose to have meals in their rooms and staff respected that.

"People had the same pleasant dining experience and support where ever they chose to have their meal."

The inspectors also noted the wide range of activities on offer to the 52 people aged 65 and over cared for at the home, stating: "People had access to activities which included in-house, days out and group activities.

"For example, a range of musical activities such as singing and listening to music. Walks in the garden or in to the village were supported by staff.

"A Pets As Therapy dog visits regularly and animal visit sessions took place, including penguins."

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It went on: "The cinema is in regular use, with people playing a part in the selection of films. External entertainers visited regularly, including theatre groups, jazz musicians and exercise specialists.

"Trips out were a feature, with recent visits including a visit to a wildlife park, a farm park and garden centre as well as a pub meal. Last winter people were taken ice-skating."

Middletown Grange general manager Claire Gascoigne said they were 'delighted' with the rating, adding: "The team at Middletown Grange always strive to provide the best possible quality care for everyone who lives at the home.”

In celebration of the rating staff were all given a £100 gift voucher.